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Human Resource Development and Consultancy (MSc)

Course Description

This Master's degree focuses on Human Resource Development (HRD) and Consultancy. It takes a strategic approach to people management and organisational development, designed to enhance learning, skills, personal development and performance in the workplace, as well as a range of other topical issues.

The programme is intellectually challenging. It integrates learning on training, organisational development, lifelong learning principles and consultancy practice, as well as offering a systematic approach to the design, management and evaluation of programmes to improve personal effectiveness and organisational performance. A substantial aspect of the programme is a management research project which combines the academic rigour of more traditional research dissertations with focus on activities which make a difference to practice in organisations. All modules taught on this programme place emphasis on bridging cutting-edge academic thinking with direct application to practice. The programme is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and students who successfully complete the programme are eligible for membership of this thought-leading professional association.

All modules integrate academic perspectives with practice-based approaches to HRD and considerable emphasis is placed on developing the knowledge and skills required in more senior HRD roles. You will gain an understanding of relevant organisational, psychological and management theory, whilst examining contemporary developments within the HRD field. Dedicated sessions will also equip you with skills in consultancy framework and paradigms, including practical methods for applying these. There is a particular focus on ensuring you are aware of the importance of acting ethically and professionally with a demonstrated commitment to equality of opportunity and diversity, and appreciate the importance of continuous personal and professional development.

You need to be aware that successful completion of the programme is contingent on a good attendance record and in particular practical engagement in the weekend workshops; dates are published in advance of programme commencement. This is necessary to embed the relevant learning, and also to gain CIPD membership.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Integrates academic perspectives with a consultancy and practice-based approach to human resource development.
Suitable for graduates, experienced organisational development and HR practitioners.
Flexible and intensive course that provides opportunities to focus on your particular needs and interests.
Approved by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Birkbeck provides a diverse range of library and learning resources designed to facilitate your studies and research. Programme- and module-specific materials are also made available to support your learning.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Visit the Human Resource Development and Consultancy (MSc) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time) - 20+ Awards

We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16
Domiciled in the UK/EU
Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13)
Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time

Application Procedure

If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:Submit an application for your intended course
Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Good honours degree (minimum 2:2), or equivalent, in social sciences or a business-related discipline. Alternatively, at least 5 years' significant management experience. HRD professionals and consultants with at least 5 or more years' significant experience in a range of organisations may be considered, even if they are unable to meet the formal qualification requirements. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa

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Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London
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