Institution / Open University In Ireland
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Human Resource Management

This qualification is suitable for those at the start of a career in HR or hoping to enter the HR profession and also line managers. This MSc combines an in-depth understanding of human resource (HR) management with a broader exploration of its organisational and management context. Whether you’re at the start of your career in HR, aspiring to enter HR or an experienced professional, it will give you up-to-date knowledge of organisational theory and behaviour and the specialist skills essential to practitioners. You will explore HR strategy both within organisations (including issues such as employee relations and employee engagement; learning and development, and employee resourcing and talent management) and in relation to the external environment – including globalisation and international forces, social and technological change and government policies and regulation.

Key features of the course
• Develops the skills essential for HR work such as: leading and working in teams, making decisions, managing financial information, communicating effectively and helping others to learn

• A strong emphasis on practice-based learning – you will be asked to evaluate research and theory and consider its relevance to practice

• Develops academic and research skills such as assessing information and critically evaluating its relevance, and prepares you for higher level study.

The qualification provides a route to professional membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Students following this route are expected to be student members of CIPD throughout their studies and attend the Human resource management residential school.

Entry requirements

You must hold a bachelors degree awarded by a recognised UK university, or equivalent. Please contact us if you hold a qualification that you believe is an equivalent level to a UK degree, to ensure that it meets the requirements for admission.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 6.5 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.

You will need to be able to draw on experience of working in or with organisations. This experience can be drawn from a wide range of situations such as employment in public and private sector organisations and in self-employed or voluntary roles.


2 - 7 years.

Most students study this qualification in three years by studying 60 credits a year. From November 2015, the minimum time to complete has been two years by studying more than one module at a time. You will only have a full selection of optional modules if you take your first module in November rather than May 2017. The maximum time to complete is seven years.

Number of credits

180 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
This qualification provides a route to professional membership of the CIPD if you wish to develop a career in HR management. It also considers international examples of human resource management and some aspects of comparative HR practice, helping to prepare you for work in the global economy. If you want to develop an academic career, the course provides training in research and academic skills and is ideal preparation for doctoral studies in the field of HR management.

More generally, by studying a postgraduate business qualification you can expect your salary to increase and for it to have a positive impact on your career progression, as well as bringing improvements to your organisation.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from the OU Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442

Subjects taught

You should study the modules in the order shown. However if you wish to start in May, you can do so by taking Workplace learning with coaching and mentoring (B867) first as a standalone module. When you register for The human resource professional (B863) and meet the entry requirements for the qualification, B867 can be linked to the qualification.

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

60 credits of compulsory modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits Next start
The human resource professional (B863) 30 04 Nov 2017
Human resource management in context (B864) 30 06 May 2017


60 credits from this list:

Optional modules

Credits Next start
Managing research in the workplace (B865) 30 04 Nov 2017
Employment relations and employee engagement (B866) 30 04 Nov 2017
Workplace learning with coaching and mentoring (B867) 30 06 May 2017


a final 60 credit compulsory module:

Compulsory module

Credits Next start
Dissertation (HRM) (B804) 60 04 Nov 2017

For CIPD recognition of this qualification:
The MSc in Human Resource Management is complemented by a three day residential school that provides an additional opportunity to practise and receive feedback on HR skills. The residential school is compulsory for those seeking CIPD membership and is optional for all other students.

Compulsory module

Credits Next start
Human resource management residential school (BXR868) 0 06 May 2017

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.


On completion
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded the qualification of Masters in Human Resource Management entitling you to use the letters MSc HRM (Open) after your name.

You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.

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