Human Resource Management MSc | Brunel Business School
About the course
With employees now recognised as a key resource, the MSc in Human Resource Management offers students the opportunity to explore in depth the theoretical and analytical issues in the management of human resources and the roles these play in organisation success.
Students will examine a full range of HRM approaches, techniques and methodologies. The course is designed for those who wish to become humane resource practioners in academic, consultancy or commercial settings. It is also suitbale for students looking to undertake further research in academic consultancy or commercial settings.
The compulsory modules on the course are in relation to Human Resource Management contexts, concepts and practices, and contemporary issues such as talent and leadership recruitment and selection, reward management, performance management and facilitating learning and development in organisations.
Issues in international human resource management such as expatriation, managing across cultures will also be covered, as well as HR systems and processes from an international perspective. A number of leading edge optional modules are available on the programme including Global Diversity Management; Ethics and Corporate Governance.
- You will be provided with a critical theoretical and applied knowledge and understanding of human resource management.
- Graduates as prospective entrants to human resources management roles, as 'thinking performers', should be able to address business and professional situations knowledgeably, making contributions to improved organisational performance and delivery of sound personnel/human resources practice and services
Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)
The MSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.
Human Resource Management: Contexts, Concepts and Politics I: This module introduces HRM as a field of science and as a framework for analysis of how organisations manage their people. In particular the module examines the rise of HRM, what it involves in contemporary organizations, the strategic nature of HRM and its practices, its impact on organisational performance and the changing in employment practices.
The module provides also insight into key HRM functions such as recruitment, selection, selection assessment, organization entry and changing work roles which are central to people’s management in organisations.
International and Comparative Human Resource Management: The HRM practitioner is in a position to make a substantial contribution to helping the organisation and its managers understand and apply the knowledge and skills needed for success in an international context. This module examines human resources strategy and practices for organisations operating across national boundaries, including the European Union (EU) and its member states, the USA, Japan and South East Asia.
Knowledge Management, Social Networks and Innovation: This module explores the intersection between knowledge, social network technologies and innovation. It examines how organisations create, utilise and communicate knowledge in the global knowledge-based economy and the wider social and economic factors affecting knowledge transfer. The module identifies the exploitation of Web 2.0 which enables social engagement and processes for business development.
Organisational Behaviour: This module explores the main theories and key functions of leadership and management and their application. You will be able to critique these as well as appreciate the contemporary issues facing leaders and managers. You will also be able to critically evaluate characteristics of effective management and how this differentiates from leadership. You will discuss and assess relative strengths and limitations of key approaches to developing leaders and managers in organisations.
Understanding Business and Management Research: The module is predicated on the dominant role of both quantitative and qualitative methods in management research. It is based on the need to enable the understanding of research reports and use this information to improve the quality of work, decision-making, and the understanding of complex management problems. The latter will be instrumental in applying existing management theory and research to practical management problems as action researchers.
The specific aims of this module are:
• to provide a balanced view of social science and business research methods enabling a critical understanding of research information
• to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge for business management by covering issues and debates in management research as reflected in the literature
• to provide knowledge of relevant research methods and techniques for masters level project work.
Dissertation: A research-based dissertation is an integral and particularly important element of the programm. Students are required to base their dissertation on empirical research into a management problem or issue of their choice (subject to approval).
Dissertations are supervised by full-time members of the academic staff of the school who have a wide range of research interests and expertise. The dissertation must be submitted by the end of the academic year during which a student completes all of the taught modules of the course.
Human Resource Management: Contexts, Concepts and Politics II: This module aims to further explore HRM issues particularly the functions, values and actions associated with contemporary human resources management practice. It will also explore key issues and debates in respect of HRD (Human Resource Development), with a particular focus on organisational impacts and outcomes.
The module will also consider the critical issues of the HR function and it's contribution to leadership development and strategic definition.
Finally, the module will require learners to reflect critically on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint. It will provide opportunities for applied learning and professional development.
International Management: The module has six main aims:
1. Examine the important trends impacting international business and the major developing players in the international economy
2. Explore the issues and challenges of managing in an international environment and with reference to particular countries and regions
3. Understand the nature and forms of interaction between an international organisation, managerial decisions and the external environment, especially the effects of globalisation upon MNCs in both developed and developing countries
4. Facilitate understanding of the theories and concepts of international management and how to use them to diagnose and solve managerial problems
5. Equip students with the analytical tools, techniques and models of negotiations, communication, and conflict resolution in international contexts;
6. Eexplore the theories and concepts relating to the management of human resources in international context.
International Business Ethics and Corporate Governance: This module focuses on business ethics, sustainability and corporate governance in the international context. Both areas will be addressed from the perspective of the dual ‘business’ models of the shareholder and the stakeholder approaches. Further the broader societal impacts of business activities will be considered in depth. The full range of businesses will be considered – from large corporations through to SMEs. Empirical studies will be used to apply the theoretical resources of moral philosophy, CSR, sustainability and corporate governance.
Global Diversity Management: To get insight into Global Diversity Management by examining how organisations plan, coordinate and implement a set of management strategies, policies and initiatives. These include training and development activities that seek to accommodate diverse sets of social and individual backgrounds, interests, beliefs, values and ways of work in organisations with international, multinational, global and transnational workforces and operations.
Strategic Management: The module has four main aims:
- Enable students to appreciate the issues and challenges that confront managers responsible for strategic management in potentially complex, hostile and uncertain conditions
- Introduce students to concepts, topics and methodological approaches and tools relevant to the analysis of the strategic position of the organisation
- Introduce students to the development and implementation of strategies and policies, and their major operational implications
- Ddevelop students’ skills of critical thinking, logical analysis, argument and judgement via the use of case study and other materials exemplar readings and other information sources.
Entrepreneurship: This module introduces Entrepreneurship as a field of study and as a framework of analysis. It focuses on the nature of entrepreneurship and its importance in society. In particular the module examines:
- the person - through the analysis and understanding of the psychological and behavioural characteristics of the entrepreneurs. This is achieved by examining and reflecting upon the major theories in the field (psychological theory and cognitive theory).
- the process – through the review and analysis of the main approaches to entrepreneurship. In addition, the module shows how entrepreneurship unfolds in a wide range of contexts.
Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
Previous students from MSc Human Resource Management have achieved graduate positions at:
- Accenture (UK) Limited
- Cap Gemini
- Cyprus (Government)
- CORMED International.
Employability Events, Visits and Training
The school’s Business Life Employability Programme is designed to help students to acquire a range of employability and networking skills, enabling them to gain a distinct edge in the labour market and to manage their career search and development more effectively. Typical events have included:
- BAT (Bloomberg Aptitude Test) with Bloomberg
The BAT is offered as a three-hour online test taken on campus within an invigilated environment with a Bloomberg representative. BAT was designed in conjunction with leading financial institutions and academics to uncover an individual’s knowledge and skills relevant for a financial career. Students can choose to submit their names along with test scores or anonymously during job recruitment drives.
- Meet the Professionals Showcase
A professional association is an organisation formed to unite and inform people who work in the same occupation. There are many advantages to joining professional bodies: typically they offer training and access to research, as well as networking opportunities like conferences and forums. Brunel Business School regularly invites key professional bodies to showcase these benefits to Business School students on campus. Professional bodies who regularly take part in the Showcase include: ACCA, ICAEW, CIPFA, CIMA, BCS, OR, CMI, CILT, CIPD, CII, CBI, CFA, CIM and CIPR.
- Psychometric testing
A comprehensive overview of the tests currently being used by graduate employers for the selection of candidates for jobs and the opportunity to experience a range of on-line aptitude and ability tests under test conditions. Students will also receive confidential feedback on their performance and advice and tips to help them maximise their results.
- Assessment centres
The opportunity to experience a range of assessment centre exercises and tasks from the perspective of the candidate and the assessor.
- Myers Briggs Type Indicator
Widely used in organisations for individual type assessment to help people understand team dynamics. This will help students to identify their own preferred style of communication, information processing and decision making. They will gain an insight into how other team members prefer to communicate and make decisions.
An opportunity to take the Team Role questionnaire with a personalized report. This will provide students with a common vocabulary to help form productive working relationships, select and develop high-performing teams, raise self-awareness, increase personal effectiveness, identify talent in the workplace and aid recruitment decisions.
UK Industrial and Commercial Visits
Where possible, events and external visits are arranged with UK organisations to help demonstrate theory in practice.
Graduate School Workshops
- CV Writing for Masters Students
A good quality CV is crucial and takes time to perfect. Students on taught masters are invited to attend this special training session on how to prepare Curriculum Vitae towards a targeted job or sector.
- CV Writing Drop-in Clinic for Masters Students
Masters students are invited to bring along their CVs for a one-to-one review session with a careers advisor or as a follow-up to the Graduates School’s CVs writing for Masters students.
- How to Succeed in Assessment Centres (Masters Students)
This session will help students to prepare for assessment centres which are used as part of an organisation’s recruitment processes for jobs in industry or academia, in particular for highly competitive positions.
- Interview Techniques for Masters Students
A training session tailored for masters students that explores the competitive process of a job interview from preparation to presenting and demonstrating your interest on the day.
- Transferrable Skills for Masters Students
Students are encouraged to widen their skills base during postgraduate study in response to employer demand for transferrable skills as well as intellectual knowledge.
Graduates of this programme have a good record of securing employment in the field of Human Resource Management.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability