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Course content

Explore human resource management (HRM) in an international setting, on a course designed in response to the increasing internationalisation and workforce diversity of organisations.

The course focuses on managing human resources in organisations that operate across national borders and the cross cultural issues of people management. It is for those wishing to develop careers in HRM at a strategic and international level within organisations operating in the international environment.

The course enables you to

  • develop a critical understanding of the philosophies and general practices of international HRM
  • appreciate and critically evaluate the latest theoretical concepts, principles, standards and frameworks of HRM practice
  • develop skills in solving complex scenarios related to improving the activities and functions of modern HRM
  • develop a holistic approach to examining issues and solving complex International HR problems

You develop your professional expertise and improve your employability and career prospects by gaining broader international business, management and leadership knowledge.

We begin by introducing you to organisation theory, which covers organisational design, organisational theory and methodologies for understanding complex organisations. You also develop your critical thinking on issues such as organisational change and innovation.

You then study specialist theory and practice from an international perspective, giving you practical expertise across key areas of international HR, including

  • the context of HRM
  • cross cultural leadership
  • international human resource development
  • comparative approaches to International employee relations
  • organisational ethics and corporate social responsibility

To enable you to manage and interpret financial and management accounting information, you learn skills such as budgeting, ratio analysis and using IT in an HR environment.

We give you the opportunity to work with our academics on suitable research projects. This work leads directly to your dissertation, and in suitable cases you may be able to present a paper at a conference or publish your research. If you already have an interest in a particular area of research for your dissertation, we will provide you with the support that could also lead to a conference paper or publication.

Completing a dissertation develops your ability to research new ideas and approaches from a cross cultural perspective. You also develop the skills to formally present your research findings to your fellow students and course tutor.

Previous students have completed research in cross cultural management and expatriate development programmes. They have also worked on projects for their sponsoring company including • the development of under- represented groups in home countries • the relevance of western practices to home country organisations • migrant labour • global reward.

The course includes attendance at a three day residential held outside Sheffield. The residential gives you hands on experience of managing an HR activity in a strategic and international context. 

Course structure

Full time – September start – typically 12 months

Full time – January start – typically 15 months

Semester one – postgraduate certificate modules

  • organisation analysis and design
  • cross-cultural leadership
  • international human resource development
  • context of HR
  • research methods (part1)

Semester two – postgraduate diploma modules

  • comparative approaches to international employee relations
  • international strategies for HRM
  • information and financial management for HR
  • organisational ethics and corporate social responsibility
  • research methods (part 2)

Semester three – MSc modules

  • dissertation

this is a major project geared to your interest and based on an area of strategic or international importance. Your research must be carried out in an organisational setting.


  • coursework
  • dissertation - there are no examinations


Our students have taken up careers in human resource management with companies and organisations such as • Carrefour • Lenovo • International Hilton Hotels • the banking sector in Nigeria • Da Nang University and many organisations across Russia and the Middle East.

Visit the International Human Resource Management MSc page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!




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