MA Human Resource Management

Why choose Herts?

    • A bang-up to date, market leading programme, taught by expert HR practitioners
    • CIPD accredited graduates can become Chartered member with relevant experience.
    • Flexible study routes to fit round your work
    • Industry led and informed, vocational, skill based teaching

    People are the lifeblood in any business and Human Resource Management (HRM) plays a pivotal role in helping companies, large and small, get the most out of this most important asset.

    The Hertfordshire HR MA programme will develop your HR practitioner skills and know-how to nurture and maintain a happy, fulfilled, effective and responsible workforce.

    Full or Part time study options available. Full time study takes one year and part time study in bite-sized modules takes two years

    Develop professional accreditations. Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and provides associate membership

    Learn from supportive, experienced HR specialists. With the benefit of first-hand knowledge, your teaching team help you develop an expert understanding of the role human resources plays in modern organisations

    Enhance your employment prospects. A dual accredited postgraduate and professional qualification is the gold standard ‘expert’ qualification that will boost your career. CIPD membership opens up opportunities for professional development and Chartered membership

    Build Industry Connections. At Hertfordshire Business School you can attend business networking events, meet HR keynote speakers, and form your own life-long industry peer group with fellow students.


Work placements offered


Funding available*

Professional Accreditations

Our Hertfordshire MA Human Resource Management degree is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), ensuring it is industry-led and remains current.

Successful completion of the MA or PG Diploma, as awarded by the CIPD, means you are eligible to apply for CIPD Associate Membership (allowing you to use the designatory letters Assoc CIPD after your name).

You can apply to upgrade to Chartered Member if you have the relevant experience.

CIPD logo

About the course

If you love managing, helping and developing people, you’ll thrive on this contemporary and relevant post-graduate course. Learn how to manage employees effectively, recruit and motivate talent to ensure success and reward your best performers.

With technology increasing our connectivity across nations and cultures, workforces are global, diverse and more remote than ever. Attracting the best talent from an international pool has raised new opportunities and challenges for HR managers.

Central to this course are the themes of how to manage such change across personnel development, addressing real issues facing businesses such as equality, diversity and climate change.

Explore the role human resources plays in modern organisations, developing both theoretical knowledge and practical skills, which you can apply to your current role from the start.

Understand how progressive organisations can, and do, respond to challenges arising from today's changing work environment embracing an innovative, forward-thinking approach.

Learn to think in radical ways to manage diverse attitudes and motivations of people entering the labour market. Discover how to work across departments to promote inclusive and productive environments, enabling your employees and organisation to thrive.

The intrinsic link between HR management, an organisation’s strategic and operational requirements, and the impact on society, can be powerful. Embrace relevant and practical tools needed to respond to a range of HRM issues.

Freshen your perspective with new ways of thinking about work and the role organisations play in the world, as you build the foundations needed to become a critical, inspiring leader of the future.

Your course at your pace

Part-time study

A course designed to fit around work and family.

Classes are one evening a week for two academic years from a September start date, and two and a half academic years from a January start date.

You can also select a flexible mode option with online delivery. This is a combination of live online sessions once a week with supporting online material.

Full-time study

The full-time course, taught on campus and with some online teaching, can be completed in one year.

The sandwich and advanced research pathways are two years full time.

Tailor your path

We offer a variety of pathways so you can specialise in your area of interest. The below pathways can be combined e.g. Global Sandwich or Global Advanced Research. For any questions about our pathways please email Adrian Thornley, Programme Leader.

Why choose this course?

Our course is well suited to those in the early stages of their HR career who want to delve deeper into HRM. Focus on key areas such as strategy, talent resourcing, employee relations, reward management and leadership.

Professional Body accreditation through the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) means you also benefit from associate CIPD membership.

Strengthen your personal learning to discover how to help others reach their potential, adding value to organisations and make a positive impact on society

Appreciate the real-life application of theory, with a fresh hands-on approach to teaching and learning, focused on applied practice and experiential learning.

Enjoy a flexible programme that gives you options to focus on areas on interest, such as specialising in global human resource management or work psychology.

Study alongside inspiring peers, expanding your learning opportunity and widening your perspective. Cohorts can include personnel and human resource managers, line managers, trade unionists and equal opportunity officers from a variety of backgrounds.

Learn from approachable, supportive HR practitioners, researchers and academics with first-hand experience and in-depth knowledge.

The world of human resource management is complex and unpredictable. By studying at Herts, you’ll gain the skills and strategies you need to help individuals, organisations and your own career thrive.

Meet Deans Award Rising Star 2022, Anusuya Sharma

A student on MA Human Resources Management

Anusuya proved to be a highly motivated student during her studies at Herts. She was a Student Representative on behalf of her peers and was awarded a Go Herts Award. As a dedicated and highly conscientious student, she was engaged in class and a great listener, often wanting to explore topics and issues further.

Recently, Anusuya been successful in her applications to become a Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Abingdon and Witney College, teaching a CIPD Level 3 course.

This is a fantastic achievement, Anusuya! Good luck in your new role and we can't wait to see what the future brings for you.

What will I study?

Analyse the building blocks of human resource management at an individual, organisational, national and international level. Explore complex issues arising from research, practices and current debates.

Learn to recognise ethical dilemmas and corporate responsibility issues to ensure that the organisations you work with are sustainable.

Develop an inquiry practice-orientated mindset, expert problem-solving, decision making and evaluation skills.

Hone your practical skills with experiential real-life learning, where you’ll be immersed in activities that bridge the gap between theory and practice. For example, our tutors will facilitate and role model human resource management practice.

Experience a blended learning approach, including individual and group work, one-to-one sessions, workshops, guest speakers and live projects/case studies.

Assessments will provide you with academic and real-life practical skills to enhance your career. For example, you could carry out small consultancy work, deliver a presentation or write a brief to the board of directors to evidence your knowledge. This means you'll be able to immediately apply your learning to the workplace.

Where you'll study 

Teaching may be online or on our modern de Havilland campus at Hertfordshire Business School with its hi-tech lecture theatres, tutorial classrooms and with a 24/7 Learning Resources Centre, offering open and private study spaces. You also receive comprehensive guided online self-study materials on our virtual learning platform to further support your learning.

On campus, there are dining options, a bar, and a recreational space on campus (shoot some pool or play video games). It also houses Hertfordshire Sports Village, featuring a gym, swimming pool, coffee shop, and climbing wall. Discover the Enterprise Hub, which is home to our Incubator Hub and Business Academy network as a vibrant meet-up destination where local businesses, employers and students can come together to work and learn in comfort.

  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    PG HRM Dissertation/Management Research Project (CIPD) 45 Credits Compulsory
    Working Lives in a Changing Environment 15 Credits Compulsory
    Strategic People Management and Development 15 Credits Compulsory
    Business Research in People Practice 15 Credits Compulsory
    Personal Effectiveness and Leadership 15 Credits Compulsory
    Employment Law 15 Credits Optional
    Contemporary Employment relations 15 Credits Optional
    Sustainable Organisational Change and Development 15 Credits Optional
    Strategic Reward 15 Credits Optional
    People Resourcing 15 Credits Optional
    Strategic Learning and Development 15 Credits Optional
    Ethics In Business: A Global Perspective 15 Credits Optional
    Global HRM 15 Credits Optional
    People Management Across Cultures 15 Credits Optional
    Effective Work Psychology 15 Credits Optional
    Contemporary Issues in Work Psychology 15 Credits Optional
  • Key staff

    Programme leader Adrian Thornley, Ch MCIPD FHEA
    A seasoned HR professional with including Board level and at UK and international operations, with over 10 years HE experience. Practised in both strategy and operations, specialisms include Reward, Global Mobility, Recruitment and Change Management.
    Find out more about Programme leader Adrian Thornley, Ch MCIPD FHEA

    Deputy programme leader Jo Cartwright
    A seasoned HE professional and researcher, Jo has published Dr Jo Cartwright is a Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management at the University of Hertfordshire. Prior to that she worked at London Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester.

    Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    MA Human Resource Management Download
    Programme specifications
    MA Human Resource Management Download
    MA Human Resource Management Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year


    Applications open to international and EU students


    Student experience

    At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.

    Find out about how we support our students

    You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.