Human Resource Management MSc

Learn about the latest developments in HR and update your knowledge and skills on our CIPD-accredited Masters

Effective development and implementation of human resource management (HRM) strategy is seen as increasingly important in achieving business success and positively influencing the performance and wellbeing of employees.

Our MSc HRM programme will enable you to make a significant contribution to people management practice and develop a deep understanding of the changing role of HRM in the development and implementation of employment policies and procedures. 

You will learn the specialist skills and expertise you need to be effective and influential in an HR role at both strategic and operational levels and acquire an in-depth understanding of key HRM policy areas such as recruitment and selection, training and development, employee relations and performance management.

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Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time)


1 years

Start date:


Course details
Aimed at both newly-qualified graduates and managers already working in the field of people management, as well as those who see their careers developing in this direction, the course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) as an advanced-level qualification and provides you (on successful completion) with Associate Membership of CIPD and with the knowledge indicators required to apply for upgrade to Full Chartered Membership of the CIPD (please note that upgrading to full Chartered Member is dependent on the type and level of professional experience you have accumulated. Refer to CIPD website for details).

This full-time course is based Edinburgh Napier Business School. We work closely with industries and draw from an extensive network of academics and practitioners who provide a unique blend of expertise in HRM, wellbeing and leadership practice.

Our programme has received a number of commendations of good practice from the CIPD, including our responsive and innovative approach to programme delivery and our research-informed approach to teaching.

You will graduate with an advanced practical and theoretical understanding of all areas of HRM.

Development of research abilities is emphasised, and you'll learn techniques and strategies that will enable you to critically reflect on your workplace experiences and create your own on-going programme of professional development.
  • calendar How you’ll be taught This is a one year full-time course starting in September and is split up into three trimesters.
    You’ll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, external professional speakers, role-play, workshops, seminars and independent study.
  • note and pen Assessments This course is assessed by examination and coursework. Students are also expected to undertake independent study facilitated by tutor support, to complete a dissertation in the area of HRM.
  • briefcase Work placement As full time students on the programme you are required to participate in a compulsory 15 day work placement in the Human Resource department (or equivalent) of an organisation. The majority of organisations offering student placements will interview students, allowing the organisation to select the most appropriate student for the placement.

    When selecting students for placements we do consider past work experience where applicable and will consider, but not guarantee, early requests from you for sectors you may wish to work within. It is important to note that given the current climate placements can be difficult to obtain and we would encourage you to keep an open mind with regards to location and sector.


Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Employee Resourcing ( HRM11102 )

The module examines the range of methods and approaches used by employers to resource their organisations to enable them to meet their strategic goals. In examining these, the module is structured under the umbrella heading of Talent Management (in other words, the need to have the right skills/talent available, and in the right place at the right time). The module takes account of both internal and external contextual factors influencing organisational approaches to talent, including: job and competency analysis; recruitment; selection; human resource (HR) planning and flexibility; diversity; performance management; reward management; and employer branding. The module recognises the challenge for organisations, HR and line managers to minimise employee costs at the same time as trying to maximise employee value, and it provides scope to debate the theory and philosophy of employee resourcing within the reality of its everyday use.

Further information

Employment Law ( LAW11101 )

European, statutory and common law rights: Employment courts and procedure; institutions of employment law; Human Rights.
The employment relationship: formation and sources of the contract of employment; specific and implied terms and the legal consequences of unilateral change.
Contractual and statutory protection on dismissal; redundancy; transfer of undertakings and deficient wages.
Unlawful discrimination and remedies.
Equal pay; maternity pay and family friendly rights.
Intellectual Property; Data Protection; confidential information and 'whistle-blowing'.
Health and Safety law.
Collective employment law: trade unions; immunities and industrial action.

Further information

Labour Relations ( HRM11103 )

The module establishes a theoretical framework for the critical analysis of labour relations, the political significance of emergent issues and the impact of changing contexts on national trends and organisational practice. The development of new approaches to labour relations, in both private and public sectors and the influence of government on these, is of particular relevance. The module covers both an analysis of trends and an examination of management in the workplace, focusing on the contribution that effective management of labour relations makes to the achievement of key business objectives and organisational change and the interconnected nature of labour relations issues. Key skills and competences are identified in developing policies and procedures, handling conflict (discipline & grievance, collective disputes, employee voice), negotiation. The module explores the implications of developments in employment legislation and assumes some prior knowledge of Employment Law.

Further information

Learning and Development ( HRM11106 )

This module critically analyses current theories and trends in the field of human resource development (HRD) and critically reflects on the merits and effectiveness of a range of organisational HRD practices. The module provides advanced content on how individuals learn across contexts; the design, delivery and evaluation of training programmes; the dissemination and sharing of knowledge and learning in and between organisations; the strategic positioning of HRD practices in organisations and the barriers and drivers in HRD practice across organisational sectors. The module focuses on the development of academic/theoretical knowledge as well as developing and improving vocational skills in the field of HRD.

Further information

Masters Project ( HRM11108 )

Building on the previous Research skills and Professional Development module, the module covers the skills and knowledge required to complete a masters research project, including research skills, project management skills and academic writing skills covering each area of the research process. The module is focused on developing advanced skills in writing a literature review and research design, enabling a review and enhancement of key areas of the research project. The modules examines the data collection and analysis process, the writing up of results and the development of conclusions and practice-based recommendations. The module is also concerned with learner development of a business orientation, a concern with adding value through HR practice, and a range of skills pivotal to successful people management practice and effective leadership, including critical reflection, problem solving and decision-making skills; and enhanced IT proficiency.

Further information

People and Organisational Development ( HRM11115 )

This module includes critical examination of the impact of people management on organisational and individual behaviour in the key areas of organisational change, leadership, motivation, engagement, and employee well-being (including managing emotion at work), within the contexts of HRM, OD and OB. The module examines the changing role of the HR function, its influence on achieving competitive advantage, and the broader context in which it operates. The module is also concerned with learner development of a business orientation, a concern with adding value through HR practice, and a range of skills pivotal to successful people management practice and effective leadership. This includes critical reflection, problem solving and decision-making skills; enhanced IT proficiency; a range of team working and interpersonal skills and others associated with developing personal effectiveness and credibility at work.

Further information

Research Skills and Professional Development ( HRM11107 )

The module takes students through the practicalities of undertaking a research project in the field of human resource management at postgraduate level and sets out to nurture critical reflection and lifelong learning. It examines a wide range of quantitative and qualitative research methods and techniques and addresses different approaches to data analysis and the write-up of a management research report and scoping study. Emphasis is placed on the development of students critical and analytical skills, drawing on a strong evidence base and applying theory to practice. The module examines the research process and considers the practical, technical, academic and ethical issues therein. Learners will develop enhanced proficiency in critical reflection, problem solving and decision-making; IT and interpersonal skills,and the development of personal effectiveness and credibility at work.

Further information

The Organisational Context of HR ( HRM11116 )

The module begins with an overview of the various internal and external environmental contexts which shape organisational action (PEST forces) and consideration of organisational objectives. The module then moves onto review competing conceptions of the role and function of management and their implications for practice. Next, an introduction to the links between strategic HRM and organisational strategy is followed by a concise overview of strategic management models. The module then examines the concept of strategic HRM, the variety of ways strategic HR decisions are made within different organisations, the implications for the HR function and critically evaluates the different approaches to aligning organisational strategy with people management practices. In doing so, the module provides a critical understanding of strategic HR. Distinctions are drawn between the different levels of HR strategy and the diverse directions of growth and international strategic choice in a globally competitive environment. The potential ethical issues arising from strategic choices to internationalise the organisation are also considered.

The impact of the increasing use of technology within HR as the function attempts to strategically reposition itself within the organisation is critically evaluated. Mindful of emergent strategies adopted by organisations to quantify the contribution of the HR function to organisational profitability the module also offers an introduction to Human Capital Management. To support this end and in recognition of the centrality of financial planning to organisational success this module provides instruction on the preparation and interpretation of financial statements and data, including profit & loss accounts, balance sheets, cash budgets, capital investment appraisal and break-even analysis.

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.



Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:2 or above. We look for applicants to have a background in any discipline in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient professional work experience within the industry.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult, Mental Health, Child, Learning Disabilities)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2023/24 2024/25
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £8,300 tba
Overseas and EU £17,090 tba

Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next.
For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees

Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

The University offers a 20% discount on Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.

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