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  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Business & Management

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    Part-time: 12 months

  • Course Type

    MA

  • Course Fees

    Please see website

  • Last Updated

    06 September 2017

Course content

The MA Human Resource Management via the direct entry route is aimed at HR professionals who already have a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management (120 Level 7 credits) and want to top up their qualification to a full MA. It can be taken entirely online or via a mixture of online and on-campus study. It offers maximum flexibility, enabling you to study in your own time, wherever you are and in a way that suits your circumstances. Whichever way you choose, you experience a high level of personal support and learning resources.

So if you are already CIPD qualified to postgraduate diploma level, this offers you a straightforward and cost-effective way of achieving a full MA in Human Resource Management. If you are aiming for a Strategic/Senior Management role, the MA is a great way of showing your commitment to building an all-round high level performance profile.

Students studying online participate in individual and group-based learning, all within a supportive online community setting. The online campus provides you with:

  • Highly structured, user friendly written lecture and course materials
  • Audio and video podcast materials specially recorded by course tutors
  • Virtual tutorials, in real time as well as over a period of time
  • Discussion forums - student and tutor led
  • Up-to-date web technology for delivery methods
  • Access to our online library.

Course structure

The MA Human Resource Management direct entry stage is a research-based programme that has been developed to help you progress to management roles or consultancy. Combining theory and practice, it gives you the opportunity to gain specific insights into organisational behaviour and design and then to focus on an area of HRM research that is of specific interest.

The module and dissertation below will be the only requirements to top up the PG Diploma to the full MA HRM award.

Understanding and Researching Organisations: In this module you will develop a framework for understanding, analysing and researching organisations. The content includes both a (traditional) focus on core research methods and an emphasis on ensuring that you have a sound understanding of the organisational context in which management research takes place. The module draws on a range of perspectives from organisation theory and supports a critical awareness of organisations including such things as job design, internal processes, cultural dynamics and change. This awareness will be developed in a manner which prepares students for the completion of high quality, rigorous and systematic management research required for a dissertation. As part of this, you will also develop an appreciation of the use of primary and secondary data common in organisational research as well as the full range of generic methodological issues, procedures and study skills.

The dissertation: This is an in-depth research project into an organisational issue. You will generate high quality, rigorous and systematic applied research. You will reflect critically on relevant theoretical and philosophical assumptions, alongside the ethics of undertaking management research. You will be assigned an individual supervisor, who will support you to develop and implement a rigorous research design collecting data in an organisation of your choice. One of the key skills for professionals in HR is to be able to investigate, diagnose and report on relevant business issues and make practical recommendations for change or improvement within an organisation. This dissertation allows you to develop and practise these skills at a high level. 

As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you choose from may vary from those listed here.

Teaching and learning

Students studying online participate in individual and group-based learning, all within a supportive online community setting. The online campus provides you with:

  • Highly structured, user friendly written lecture and course materials
  • Audio and video podcast materials specially recorded by course tutors
  • Virtual tutorials, in real time as well as over a period of time
  • Discussion forums - student and tutor led
  • Up-to-date web technology for delivery methods
  • Access to our online library.

Students studying through a combination of online and on-campus learning will also participate in a range of classes on our Headington Campus.

Teaching staff are drawn primarily from the Department of Business and Management within the Business School. There are some contributions from specialists in other departments. Visiting speakers from business and industry, local government, consultancies and research bodies provide further input both online and on-campus.

Approach to assessment

Your Understanding of Research Organisations module will be assessed through a research proposal and a research methods portfolio. Your dissertation will be a 20,000 word report on the outcomes of your organisational research project.

Specialist facilities

At Headington we have developed outstanding facilities for our on-campus students. Our John Henry Brookes Building is the most significant project in the history of Oxford Brookes University. Set at the heart of our Headington campus, it has been designed for the future of higher education and has transformed the experiences of our students and the entire University community. Find out more about the John Henry Brookes Building.

We're also investing over £30m to create modern teaching and learning facilities and creating a new home at Headington for the Business School.

Set to be complete in 2017, you'll see:

  • the Faculty of Business brought together in a modern, professional environment
  • 30 teaching rooms and a collaborative lecture theatre
  • a new Main Hall with soundproof walls, perfect for teaching and events like graduations
  • social learning spaces and a cafe
  • a new gateway into the Headington Campus.

Our library provides specialist business resources (both hard copy and via online access) to UK and overseas companies' annual reports, statistics on all aspects of business and management, a wide range of constantly updated key texts, and postgraduate MA, MBA, MSc and PhD theses.


Visit the Human Resource Management MA (fast-track) page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!

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