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Course content

Our one year, full-time MSc in Management programmes are designed to provide you with the tools, techniques and knowledge to succeed in business.

Effective management of human resources is vital to business success. The MSc Management (HRM) will develop your knowledge of human resource management and can help you prepare for a career in human resources.

Our MSc Management (HRM) is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD). The CIPD is the largest professional body of HR and Learning and Development professionals with some 140,000 members across the globe. As a student on the MSc Management programme you have the option to join the CIPD (additional fee applies). Upon successful completion of your MSc (in line with the requirements of the CIPD) you will be eligible for the award of the CIPD’s Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management; your CIPD membership will be automatically updated to Associate Member, confirming your credentials as prospective HR professional.

The programme consists of a set of core and elective modules, culminating in a practice-based business project or a research-based dissertation.

Core and elective modules

You will study:

  • Strategy
  • Business Economics and Accounting
  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Work and Society
  • Employee Relations
  • Human Resource Management
  • Research Methods and Dissertation

In addition, you will choose two electives to complement your core modules. The list of modules may vary from year to year, but has typically included Change Management, Human Resource Development, Consulting, Employee Reward Strategy and Competitive Strategies and Organisational Fitness.

Business Project or Dissertation

During term 3 you will complete a final project under the supervision of a faculty member, either in the UK or abroad through an international partner institution. Designed to develop your business insight and research skills, and help you to present your analysis and ideas in a rigorous, systematic and professional manner, it takes one of two forms:

  • business project (sourced by you or the School), you will apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired in terms 1 and 2 to address a real organisational problem, or
  • research project, you will apply advanced techniques to analyse a topic of your choice, relevant to your course.

Adding to your experience

International Experience

Our strong international connections and activities aim at providing you with an inside perspective of global business. During the International Study Tour elective, we take a group of students to a European destination, typically Geneva for a week. This self-funded competitive activity has given our students the opportunity not only to visit a series of prestigious global businesses but also to analyse them using a structured learning approach. As such this activity provides an excellent opportunity to be exposed to the challenges of global business, make new contacts, to stand out in the competitive jobs market, while having fun. Our expanding global network of University and business partners also gives you the opportunity to undertake part or all of your dissertation or business abroad. 

Guest Speakers

As part of your programme, you will be invited to presentations by leading international academics and practitioners within your chosen area of interest. Past speakers have included representatives of major global multinationals and leading scholars combining critical and progressive thinking with practical insights.

Dragons’ Den and Blueprint

You can become your own boss on our programme. The School’s heritage as a centre of expertise in entrepreneurship is reflected in two competitions seeking ideas for new businesses. Students on the Masters programme compete to win the School’s Dragon’s Den-style competition to pitch for investment, as well as the University’s Blueprint competition.

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars. Lectures provide key contents of a particular topic. Occasionally lectures might be delivered by guest speakers who are internationally recognised academic experts or practitioners in their field. Students can also attend the Durham Speaker Series, providing the opportunity to network with senior business leaders, staff and alumni.

Seminars provide the opportunity for smaller groups of students to solve problems, discuss and debate issues based on knowledge gained through lectures and independent study.

Students study 7 core modules including a 12,000 word dissertation or business project, and select 2 elective modules which enables them to undertake more in-depth study of particular topics. The dissertation allows students to carry out independent research and develop their skills in analysis and scholarly expression, using an appropriate theoretical framework. The business project usually involves an external organisation and gives students the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the course to solve a real life problem.

In both cases, students are supported in writing their dissertation or business project through the study of a research methods module, and working with an allocated supervisor.

Academic Support:

Throughout the year, students may have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities e.g. networking events, interpersonal skills development, etc. They also have the opportunity to attend an International Study Week at an overseas location at the end of Term 2. This self-funded competitive activity gives students the opportunity to visit a series of prestigious organisations but also to analyse them using a structured learning approach.

Learning Resource:

Outside of timetabled contact hours, students are expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study in preparation for teaching sessions, assignments and other forms of assessment including exams, and general background reading to broaden their subject knowledge. All students have an Academic Adviser who is able to provide general advice on academic matters. Teaching staff are also available to provide additional support on a one-to-one basis via weekly consultation hours.

Students also have access to the facilities available at Mill Hill Lane including dedicated postgraduate working spaces, an onsite library and IT helpdesk.


Visit the Management (Human Resource Management) - MSc page on the Durham University website for more details!

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