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MSc Human Resource Management

Course Description

This programme combines Surrey Business School’s expertise in core management disciplines with modules that advance the self-awareness and personal development required for careers in human resource management.


At Surrey Business School, we take pride in the quality of our research and teaching. Our excellent standards are reflected in our accreditations from the AACSB and the AMBA and our close links with national and international businesses of all sizes and across all sectors.

Visit the website http://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/human-resource-management


Our MSc in Human Resource Management develops your knowledge and skills in the evaluation, discussion and analysis of issues in the sector. You will learn how managers are best able to utilise human resources to create added value for customers and to secure a competitive advantage for their organisation.

The programme will help you to develop positive and critical attitudes towards leadership, change and enterprise, so as to reflect the dynamism and vibrancy of the business and management environment.

As well as providing specialist modules that deal with particular aspects of human resources, the programme is built around a central core of modules that give you a thorough grounding in essential management disciplines.

Throughout the programme, a strong emphasis is placed on an international perspective to ensure that graduates benefit from an education that has real relevance in today’s global economy.

Programme structure

This programme consists of six compulsory modules, two optional modules and a dissertation.

Compulsory modules:

- Management of Human Resources
- Human Resource Development
- Employment Law
- Research Methods
- Accounting and Finance for Business
- Industrial Relations

Optional modules include:

- International Human Resource Management
- Strategy

Example module content

Management of Human Resources
This module provides a general perspective on human resource management and organisational behaviour. The topics covered include organisational structure and culture, motivation and performance management, labour markets, recruitment and selection, organisational learning and managing change.

Accounting and Finance for Business
The finance module introduces you to a range of finance systems and processes. The topics covered include profit and loss accounts, balance sheets, cash flow statements, financial analysis, and trend and ratio analysis.

Employment Law
This module exposes you to the legal framework which underpins and governs the employment relationship. The topics covered include common and statute law, contract formation, contract maintenance and termination, discrimination in employment, and health and safety in the workplace.

Industrial Relations
This module looks in depth at the employment relationship; the way in which it is formed and maintained. The individual and collective environments are scrutinised in detail. The topics covered include frames of reference and industrial relations theories, collective bargaining and incomes determination, employee participation, industrial action and comparative industrial relations.

Human Resource Development
This module looks at the way that individuals and organisations learn. The topics covered include individual learning processes and learning styles, organisational learning through mental models and the concept of a ‘learning organisation’.

Research Methods
This module prepares you for the dissertation stage, but it also enables you to become competent in manipulating HR-related data for organisational decision-making. The module provides tuition in both qualitative and quantitative approaches.

International Human Resource Management
This module builds on the Management of Human Resources module by looking at the contribution that the HR function can make in the international environment. It is primarily directed towards multinational corporations. The topics covered include international recruitment and selection, international performance management and employee relations in multinational firms.

This module addresses the broader concepts of corporate and business strategy and provides the opportunity for you to identify where HR strategy integrates with higher level strategy. The module topics include force field analysis, marketing and total quality management.

The dissertation is a 15,000-word piece of independent research into an aspect of human resource management or organisational behaviour.

Teaching and assessment

The teaching strategy provides a combination of lectures, seminars, discussion groups, video and case study analysis. We believe that a variety of teaching methods allows us to satisfy most individual learning styles and preferences at some point in the programme. The programme is specifically designed to provide a balanced assessment strategy.

We aim to expose you and your fellow students to a range of assessment techniques, so you are not penalised if one approach does not suit your particular style.

Assessments will include:

- Written assignments in the essay style, testing your ability to synthesise information and to compare and contrast theory with practical examples

- Traditional examinations, providing an opportunity for you to demonstrate how well you can take information and solve problems under time-constrained conditions, just as you might be asked to do in the workplace

We also recognise that, in modern organisations, HR professionals rarely work independently. Some of the written and oral assessments will involve pairs or groups. This allows you to develop the ‘soft’ skills of communication, coordination, teamwork, time management and project management, all of which are increasingly important in the HR departments of high-performance organisations.

International relevance

With the importance of globalisation, it is highly likely that, after graduation, you will spend at least part of your career in a multinational organisation. You will encounter management problems which are largely created by the cross-cultural nature of the modern organisation. To prepare you for this environment, we have purposefully designed a programme which is international in terms of its content and focus. Our academics have considerable international experience.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/postgraduate

Visit the MSc Human Resource Management page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Wosilat Aliyu

I started my working life back home in Nigeria at a bank in Lagos after taking a degree in accountancy.
But my job changed and I found myself in human resources. I realised I needed to get the right qualifications and discovered Surrey was a good place to take a Masters in Human Resource Management.
It was a very intensive course with much to learn. Employment law, for example, is complex and very different to the systems in Africa. My dissertation considered if companies regard human resources as important and whether HR professionals are involved in top-level decision-making.
Everyone was very kind and my lecturers and the other staff were so friendly, it was just like a family. I enjoyed meeting students from other cultures and discovered it was good to find out how businesses operate in other countries. During my Masters, I stayed on campus and got involved in university life. I joined the gym and I think the nightlife is great as well! I did a reasonable amount of travelling, including a trip to Paris!


Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a Bachelors degree (UK 2.2 or above) or equivalent qualification from a recognised British or overseas university in a subject related to this MSc (psychology, economics, law, business studies with HR). If an applicant’s degree is not in a subject related to this MSc, they should have at least one year of relevant work experience to be considered for entry to this programme. English language requirements; IELTS minimum overall: 6.5; IELTS minimum by component: 6.0

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