MA Human Resource Management (Work Psychology)

Why choose Herts?

  • Professional Accreditation: Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) enabling graduates to become a Chartered CIPD Member once they gain relevant experience.
  • Employment Prospects: Graduates have secured promotions with their current employers and work as HR Professionals for a variety of organisations, including KPMG, Tesco, and Ocado, as well as becoming independent HR consultants.
  • Industry Connections: You will have opportunity to attend school networking events to interact with our business partners.

Work placements offered


Funding available*

Professional Accreditations

This MA Human Resource Management degree is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

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.

Upgrading to Chartered Membership enables you to use the designated letters CMCIPD further enhancing your employability.

CIPD logo

About the course

As a Human Resource (HR) practitioner, you will need to find solutions to critical issues. The course combines Human Resource Management (HRM) theory with psychology to develop a deeper understanding of people management. Having psychological knowledge provides a deeper insight into why people behave the way they do and how we may attempt to change or influence this in the workplace.

You'll gain a deep understanding of how we can respond to the challenges that arise from how and where people want to work in the current and changing work context. Organisations need to quickly respond to external factors. Whether they are routed in government policies, environmental issues, or changes in society. Our world is complex, and the challenges faced by organisations need an innovative approach. Psychology provides a useful and unique insight into human behaviour and how we may shape this. The course explores what drives and shapes human behaviour in the workplace and how a HRM practitioner may utilise these insights.

Central to this course are the themes of how to manage change and personnel development. HR practitioners need to think in radical ways to manage diverse attitudes and motivations of people entering the labour market.

The intrinsic link between human resource management, an organisation’s strategic and operational requirements, and the impact on society, can be powerful. This course will give you relevant and practical tools you need to respond to a range of HRM issues. New ways of thinking about work and the role organisations play in the world is crucial. We will guide you to become a critical, inspiring leader of the future, starting today. You will be able to immediately apply the learning to the workplace with our assessments geared to provide you with both academic and real life practical skills to enhance your career.

All HRM students complete the following core modules:

  • Working lives in a changing environment
  • Strategic People Management & Development
  • Business research in people practice
  • Personal effectiveness and leadership
  • And a consultancy based HRM dissertation using psychology

The work psychology pathway has two core psychological modules, namely Effective Work Psychology and Contemporary Issues in Work Psychology. These modules provide you with key psychological theories and how to apply them in the workplace.

Why choose this course?

  • You want relevant and key skills to develop your career
  • You want learn about psychology and how to apply this to the workplace
  • You want to understand human behaviour
  • You want to help people reach their potential
  • You want to add value to organisations and make a positive impact on society
  • You’re looking for inspiring course content, with a range of optional modules to tailor your studies to suit your interests
  • You value a fresh approach to teaching and learning, which focuses on real-life application of theory
  • You’re looking to study alongside a diverse and inspiring cohort. We expect you to be studying alongside personnel and human resource managers, line managers, trade unionists and equal opportunity officers from a variety of backgrounds. This will be a valuable opportunity to learn from the experience and perspective of your peers.

What will I study?

We offer a problem-based learning approach to our teaching so you can gain real life skills for the workplace. Together we’ll explore complex issues arising from research, practices and current debates. You’ll analyse HRM at an individual, organisational, national and international level. We’ll teach you how to recognise ethical dilemmas and corporate responsibility issues to ensure that the organisations you work with are sustainable. You’ll develop an inquiry practice-orientated mindset, showing expert problem-solving, decision making and evaluation skills

The psychology pathway provides an overview of the application of psychological theory and research to understanding, predicting and influencing behaviour at work. You'll gain an understanding of how work psychology theories can inform contemporary business issues. By identifying and exploring these issues in relation to psychology, you'll be equipped to find innovative solutions. 

We offer a blended learning approach, including individual and group work, one-to-one sessions, workshops, study trips, guest speakers and live projects/case studies. Formal lectures will be kept to a minimum (and available online if you can’t be with us in person or want to review later).

We value our students as HR practitioners in training. At Herts, you start or continue your professional development in the classroom. To reflect this, our teaching, learning and assessment share this core value. For example, our tutors will facilitate and role model HRM practice. Plus, we'll encourage you to apply your learning to HRM problems and issues in the class and during assessments.

Our focus is on experiential real-life learning, where you’ll be immersed in activities that bridge the gap between theory and practice. You’ll be assessed in this way too, with each assessment having two sections: a critical review of theory and application of that theory to practice. 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.

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

  • 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
    Effective Work Psychology 15 Credits Compulsory
    Contemporary Issues in Work Psychology 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
  • Key staff

    Adrian Thornley
    Programme Leader
    Find out more about Adrian Thornley

    Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    MA Human Resource Management (Work Psychology) Download
    Programme specifications
    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

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