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MSc Human Resource Development (Top-up)

Course Description

Why take this course?

Once you have successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management (or equivalent), you can progress to this Master’s top-up course.

Through an intensive learning block and a self-chosen dissertation, you can become a highly competent HR practitioner with specialist skills to match your chosen career path.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Take part in skills development workshops where you will contribute to managerial and HR-based activities
Participate in live web-based chat forums to discuss your work with lecturers and other students
Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection

What opportunities might it lead to?

We are an Approved Centre for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Following the PgDip which provides the generalist grounding needed to operate as an HR professional; this course equips you to operate effectively at a strategic HR level.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Business development and consultancy
Human resources

Module Details

You will attend a half day induction followed by a four day research methods workshop in May. After the four day research methods workshop in May, you will work on your 2,000 word dissertation proposal for submission in July (full time students) or August (part time students). Following completion of your research proposal, you will be allocated a supervisor who will help you to plan and research a 13,000 word dissertation for submission in November for full time students and the following April for part time students. Your supervisor will support you through email, Skype, telephone conversations, and where practicable, face-to-face meetings.

Programme Assessment

You will be taught in an intensive four-day teaching block in May.

You will be allocated a supervisor who will help you plan and research your dissertation. Your dissertation subject choice will determine whether the final award is MSc Human Resource Development or MSc Human Resource Management.

You will be supported by your supervisor through email, Skype, telephone conversations and where possible, face-to-face meetings.

After the four-day teaching block in May, you will then work on your 2,000 word dissertation proposal for submission in late June and this represents 10 per cent of the total mark.

The 13,000 word dissertation represents 90 per cent of the total mark with submission in September for full-time students and in April for part-time students.

Student Destinations

On this course you will develop your knowledge and understanding of HR strategy and practice, as well as participate in several skills development workshops. Student-centred learning activities relating to both human resource and managerial related activities form the basis for the units, enabling you to enhance your people management and HR specific skills. Reflections upon personal competence and competence development further equip you with the ability to make an active contribution to business performance.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

Benefits analyst
Human resource officer
Human resource systems manager
Personnel adviser
Recruitment consultant
Training and development coordinator

Visit the MSc Human Resource Development (Top-up) page on the University of Portsmouth website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Sue Thomas

213.jpg Sue Thomas studied part time for the Diploma in Personnel Management. She is a Human Resources Partner for IBM.

I gained much more from the course than the professional qualification alone. The breadth of HR knowledge I've acquired has played a significant part in obtaining my new role within the company.

I'd been working in Learning and Development and decided on further study to expand my overall knowledge of HR and to improve my career potential in more generalist HR roles.

Now I advise senior managers within IBM about best practice in a range of HR topics. I work with the leadership team to manage our staff effectively across the lifecycle of their career with IBM.

The Diploma has given me a sense of the wider context in which I do my job as an HR professional and a strategic view of the profession. I now have a really strong theoretical understanding and insight into different areas of HR.

Meeting other people on the course from diverse organisations was extremely useful. We spent time comparing different practices and the insights into how other places do things has improved my ability to think through the HR process in my own organisation.

I attended half a day a week at the University and we learned through a mixture of lectures, projects and group discussion. The quality of teaching was superb and the staff were absolutely excellent. Those students returning to formal education after several years' absence received lots of encouragement and support.

It's been hard work and you need to be very self motivated, but it's been a hugely valuable experience for me, not just for my career development but because it makes you think more deeply and analyse why you do what you do.

(Student Profile)

Beatrice Zulu

216.jpg Beatrice Zulu, completed her first degree and after spending several years working in Manchester, Beatrice decided to head south to study for an MSc in Human Resource Management.
I had been working for a number of years after my first degree and I didn’t want to spend a year away from industry. This course was ideal as I could combine my learning with a three-month work placement and Portsmouth is one of only ten UK institutions recognised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. I was so pleased that I could combine doing a Master’s with becoming professionally qualified.
I completed my work placement in the learning, training and development department at Southern Focus Trust, a large charity organisation based in the city. The experience was fantastic and it has helped me to decide which area of human resource management I now want to specialise in.
When I arrived in Portsmouth I didn’t know a soul so I’m pleased that I have met so many people and made some great friends. Although it has been a challenging year, requiring a great deal of hard work, it has been really exciting.
I am originally from Zimbabwe and I hope to eventually return there but for now I am looking forward to getting into the world of work and thanks to this course I feel really prepared for it.


Portsmouth Business School Scholarship Programme - 20+ Awards

The Portsmouth Business School offers a scholarship programme for students who are commencing postgraduate study at the Business School. This comprises a limited number of awards to self-funding Home and European Union students. The scholarship will be in the form of a 40% discount from any tuition fees due after any other discounts such as the 20% discount for Portsmouth alumni or partial payments by sponsors.Additionally there is an International Student Bursaries scheme.

Value of Scholarship(s)

40% discount off the tuition fees


Awards will be made on a competitive basis, taking into consideration:• If applicable, management/professional experience (type and seniority),
• Academic achievement (minimum is a 2.1 degree)
A written submission of a maximum of 1000 words, in addition to the personal statement submitted with the application, detailing why you should be considered for a scholarship award, what you intend to contribute to your course, and how you will use your degree in your future career. Please use the web link below for details.

Application Procedure

Application form available via web link below

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Advanced Level 7 Qualification either through the completion of a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management or Personnel Management or the level 7 qualification at a CIPD accredited centre. If a Pg Diploma was gained more than 5 years previously, Chartered Fellows and Chartered Members of the CIPD may be eligible to apply through a specific RPL route.English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Last Updated

13 March 2017

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