Key Facts

Course Title: Human Resource Management (MA)
Course type: MA, Postgraduate Diploma
Mode of Study:Full Time
Contact Details:Claire Butters
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Subject Area: Business and Management


This full-time course is designed for UK, European Union and international students wishing to access in-depth academic study in the field of Human Resource Management, with a view to working, researching or teaching in the subject area. This is a high-quality and distinctive programme for candidates with a good first degree, or those with other acceptable qualifications and relevant experience.

The MA/PG Diploma programme in Human Resource Management provides a thorough understanding of the employment relationship and an excellent grounding in the theory and practice of Human Resource Management, labour management and industrial relations. It examines key institutions, problems and issues in contemporary Human Resource Management and industrial relations, including the rights and interests of employees as well as the formation and impact of public policy. This course provides an excellent foundation for a career in the management of human resources and associated management positions in both the public and private sectors.

The main focus is on the United Kingdom, but this is set within a broader comparative perspective, enabling students to assess contrasting systems of industrial relations and to evaluate a range of crucial issues on a European and a global scale.

Keele University is a main provider of Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations courses and research in the UK. The subject group is active in research and publication, focusing on international and national employment and equalities aspects of public policy, spanning both private and public sectors, and typically featuring high levels of engagement with employers, trade unions, and government bodies.

We welcome applications from both home and overseas students.  We have a range of support services available for all students and further information specifically for international students can be found by clicking on the International Applications Information link above.

Aims of the Course

Postgraduate students benefit from a wide range of support, including a range of learning resources, research training and accessible tutors and supervisors. Each student is allocated an academic tutor, whose role is to work with the student to explain key themes, develop study and writing skills and provide advice on assessment. 

Major course aims:

• To provide academically rigorous education in HRM, industrial relations and associated disciplines.

• To develop the analytical skills of students.

• To develop a critical approach to HRM literature, issues and practice.

• To prepare students for further study or career progression.


Entry Requirements

Applicants are normally required to hold at least a second-class honours degree (2.2 or above) or overseas equivalent. 

The University uses a range of relevant selection criteria including academic qualifications, professional experience, evidence of likely commitment to academic study, and an estimate of a candidate’s future potential.

Anyone applying from a country where English is not the first language is required to take one of the internationally recognised English language tests such as Academic IELTS or equivalent English language qualification. The minimum entry level is IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each subtest or equivalent English language test scores.

For overseas students who do not meet all direct entry requirements, the opportunity to take an intensive pre-MA programme leading to MA entry may be offered.

Course Content

Semester 1: 

Core Modules:
  • Professional Skills and Practice in Human Resource Management
  • Foundations of Human Resource Management
  • Workshops in Human Resource Management
  • Introduction to Research

In the second semester (January to May) you will take four modules

Semester 2: 

Core Modules:
  • Employee Resourcing and Development
  • Employee Relations and Reward
  • Strategic Human resource Management
  • Research Methods


Choice of either Dissertation or Applied Company Research Project

Exit Routes from the Award

The MA can be awarded 'with distinction'. The final award achieved will depend on the credits achieved and the modules taken:

  • 8 module passes plus dissertation or project (180 credits).
Postgraduate Diploma
  • 8 module passes (120 credits)
Postgraduate Certificate
  • 4 module passes

Teaching and Assessment

There are seven taught modules and a research-based dissertation.  Each of these modules is assessed by an essay, and the research-based dissertation consists of an extended piece of writing based on a small research project carried out by the student. In order to obtain a Masters degree, students must obtain 180 credits, of which 120 credits are from taught modules and 60 credits from the dissertation. Students taking the postgraduate diploma follow the taught modules only. All modules are core modules. The modules address a wide range of human resource management issues.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines, we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate course.

The Graduate Attributes Statement is designed to raise awareness of the attributes that will be developed whilst you are a student at Keele University. It explains each of the attributes in detail, tips on how to achieve them and how they relate to your chosen programme of study.

The Graduate Attributes Statement for this course can be downloaded here.