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Course content

The Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management and the MA in Human Resource Management will progress your career and enhance your HR professional practice. You will develop core HR skills and knowledge as well as the ability to understand and evaluate issues of strategic importance to HRM.

These part-time programmes are studied through a combination of on-campus and online learning. You will benefit from the flexibility of our virtual learning environment and also face-to-face interaction with tutors and classmates.*

The programme is fully accredited by the CIPD against the Advanced Knowledge Standards. You will gain Associate membership of the CIPD on successful completion of your course.

In Year 2, you can choose to study for the full MA in HRM or opt for the Postgraduate Diploma in HRM. Both lead to Associate membership of CIPD and there is a full briefing during Year 1 to help you make this choice.

If you already have a Postgraduate Diploma in HRM from any educational provider, you can make use of our Direct Entry MA Human Resource Management Top Up option. This involves one module and a dissertation over one academic year and results in an MA HRM award.

Course structure

The MA HRM and PG Dip HRM are practice-based and academically rigorous, providing you with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for the challenging role of a human resource professional. Both programmes are fully accredited by the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and mapped against the Advanced Diploma in HRM. Both programmes enable you to gain Associate Membership of the CIPD and as these qualifications are at Advanced Standard, this enables higher membership grades of the CIPD to be achieved with experience, rather than further study.

Please refer to the following course subject charts:

MA Human Resource Management structure chart

Postgraduate Diploma Human Resource Management structure chart

CIPD membership

It is a requirement of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development that all students enrolling on a CIPD HR Programme are student members of the CIPD and pay membership fees to the CIPD. The cost of this is not included in your Oxford Brookes fees. If you are already a student member you are still required to register your continuing professional development with the CIPD, and we ask that you provide us with your CIPD number. You can find details of the CIPD's current student membership fees on their website.

Teaching and learning

On-campus sessions involve tutor input, analysis of case studies, problem-solving activities, virtual business simulations, presentations, analysis of data for decision making, and directed reading and research. Some skills development is best addressed in more intensive workshops and such events will focus principally on:

  • team building and problem solving
  • people management skill sets (eg. interviewing, negotiating, managing disciplinary and grievances)
  • leadership and influencing skills
  • data handling and presentation skills using IT applications

Both on-campus and online learning are fully supported by our library, with almost all resources (journals, reports and many books) now being available electronically 24 hours a day.

Approach to assessment

Each module is assessed individually with a range of assessment methods being used. These include individual assignments, group work, presentations, examinations, a portfolio to demonstrate continuing professional development, and individual research reports. Some assessments include an element of peer and/or self-assessment.

At Headington we have developed outstanding facilities. 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.

Specialist facilities

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

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.

Field trips

We offer an International Business in Practice Study Trip module. The purpose of this study trip is to give postgraduate students a hands-on, intensive experience with the ideas and practices of global business. The programme will include presentations from local management executives and experts. Students will have direct interaction with management executives and practices through site visits to major corporations and agencies.

This study trip is voluntary and all costs associated with the trip will need to be funded by you. It is not linked to university assessments in any way. If you successfully complete this module you will have the following non-credit bearing module recorded on your transcript: P58335 International Business in Practice: Study Trip.

Attendance pattern

The course is mainly delivered through two taught semesters per year running from September to May. Each individual module consists of up to 12 sessions offered through a blend of on-campus and online learning. For each semester the on-campus element will take place through up to five early evening sessions (5-8pm) and three full-day Saturday sessions. In year one the evening sessions are on a Tuesday; in year two evening sessions are on a Wednesday. In addition, there is one full weekend workshop in the first year. Those sessions offered online will on occasion require you to join a virtual classroom at a specific time in the early evening but will mainly be completed in your own time, using online learning materials and taking part in online discussion fora.

If you study the full MA Human Resource Management rather than the Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management you also complete your dissertation over a third semester in the summer of the second year. If you’re completing the full MA, you have the option to do your research methods and dissertation modules entirely online. Note: this revised course delivery pattern is subject to CIPD approval.


Visit the Human Resource Management MA/ PGDip page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!

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