BA (Hons) Business and Human Resource Management - University of Portsmouth
A Gold rating in teaching excellence Read more
BA (Hons)

Business and Human Resource Management

UCAS codeNN16

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Effective professional training in this popular management discipline

Course Overview

Why take this course?

Our Business & Human Resource Management degree course was top-rated receiving 100% for overall student satisfaction (NSS 2017).

Successful human resource management (HRM) professionals support people to achieve their potential and perform at their best for the organisation to succeed. Their role involves attracting and retaining the right people, in the right place and at the right time. These professionals also assist in the development of employees along with the somewhat complex and fascinating nature of employee welfare and employment law.

We are an Approved Centre for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). This means, on graduating, your qualification is CIPD accredited and you will be eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the CIPD.

CIPD qualifications are pre-requisite for most human resource management roles which employers from all business disciplines highly respect. We have a strong relationship with the CIPD at both a local and national level our academics regularly contribute to CIPD working parties and publish research papers as well as writing some of the CIPD textbooks that are used on HR courses.

We have a Gold rating in teaching excellence and are ranked 30th out of 117 institutions in the subject of Business, Management and Marketing in The Guardian’s University league table for 2018.

What will I experience?

On this course you:

  • will gain a good foundation in all aspects of business during your first year
  • will be taught by a mix of HRM academics, some who have been practitioners in industry and others who are researchers – which guarantees a rich learning experience
  • will be taught in technology enhanced learning facilities such as our Business Simulation Suite
  • can undertake a  one-year paid placement in organisations such as Honda, Bosch Home Appliances, Oracle Corporation and IBM’s European Headquarters in Portsmouth
  • can opt to study a foreign language

What opportunities might it lead to?

Our HRM graduates work in a diverse range of industries. Most organisations have a team of people responsible for HRM who are not only employed in the day-to- day business of recruiting, training and managing but work as business partners and focus on longer-term business success.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued in organisations such as Reed and Kier Construction Group:

  • HR assistant recruitment co-ordinator
  • HR officer
  • HR trainee manager
  • training officer
  • recruitment consultant

This course has EPAS accreditation, which is a scheme operated by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), a European network that promotes and enhances excellence in management development internationally. This means that you will benefit from studying a course which is recognised for its high quality student experiences of internationalisation and corporate engagement.


David Netley, HRM student

Studying a specialist area enabled me to focus more on the theories and principles of an area I knew I wanted to work in. The content of the course and quality of teaching has enabled me to obtain one of the best HR graduate roles on the market!

David Netley, HRM student


Business and Management

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Insight into different aspects of the business world
  • Lecturers who are experienced in their field and are passionate about sharing their knowledge
  • Excellent work placement opportunities and careers support

Browse all courses in Business and Management

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

This common first year, which is offered among some of our business courses, provides you with a broad understanding of how business operates.

You will specifically focus on the following areas:

  • Business Accounting
  • Business Innovation Development Project
  • Business Operations and Systems Management
  • Economics for Business
  • Managing People in Organisations
  • Marketing Principles and Practice
  • Quantitative Methods and Data Analysis

Portsmouth Business School is a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Accredited Study Centre. In your first year you will have the opportunity to gain the CIM's Introductory Certificate in Marketing alongside the Marketing Principles and Practice unit.

Year two

Build on your understanding of business from a Human Resource perspective. You can tailor your approach to your degree through our range of options. 

Core units in this year include:

  • Human Resources for the Professional
  • Human Resource Development
  • Contemporary Employment Relations
  • Business and Employment Law
  • Employability, Research and Professional Development

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Leadership, Governance and Ethics
  • Business Analysis and Decision Making
  • Responsible Business Management and Sustainability
  • Developing Individual and Team Creativity
  • Organisation Design, Theory and Analysis
  • A foreign language

Year three*

Specialise further in a range of business disciplines and the aspects of HR that particularly interest you. You will also have a choice for your final year project from either a dissertation, work-based learning project or a business research project.

Core units in this year include:

  • Strategic and Comparative Human Resource Management
  • People Resourcing

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Cross Cultural Awareness for Business
  • Discrimination and Conflict in Employment Law
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Improvement and Creativity
  • Managing Equality and Diversity at work
  • A foreign language

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement).

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


Our teaching approach involves a varied structure of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. We aim to provide a stimulating environment that encourages use of IT teaching methods as well as participation in group discussions and projects, alongside individual study.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 24% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 76% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 21% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 79% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 21% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 79% studying independently and 0% on work placement


We ensure a balance in assessment approaches to suit differing learning styles. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • individual and group coursework
  • examinations
  • online activities
  • presentations
  • your choice of independent research

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 58% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 42% by coursework
  • Year two students: 15% by written exams, 17% by practical exams and 68% by coursework
  • Year three students: 27% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 73% by coursework

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Facilities & Features

Placements Office

Take advantage of our Placements Office. Providing you with a huge portfolio of employers offering great business-related placement opportunities, the experienced team is always on hand to offer advice on everything from producing high quality applications through to preparation for a company assessment day.

Academic Skills Unit (ASK)

ASK will help you become a successful university student. Our workshops are designed to improve a number of essential academic skills from essay writing and understanding plagiarism to revision and exam techniques. This is a great way to enhance your academic performance and make a smooth transition into university study.


We have invested heavily in open access computer suites across campus. Great working spaces with high-spec PCs (multimedia and CAD), Macs and printing facilities. There is also more specialised software and equipment available such as large format printing, audio-visual equipment and language laboratories. Should you need any assistance, there are specialist technicians on hand to support you in using the facilities.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

This degree has a career-specific HRM focus. However, as people form the essential part of any business, small or large, this course also allows you to consider a wide variety of opportunities, from setting up your own business through to working as part of a major business team.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • benefits analyst
  • human resource officer
  • human resource systems manager
  • personnel adviser
  • recruitment consultant
  • training and development coordinator

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

Boost your degree with the opportunity to undertake a one-year placement working in a paid full-time role which offers progression and a suitable level of responsibility. You will benefit from the contemporary business experience that employers demand, making you highly employable upon graduation.

With employers now looking for key business competencies and experience alongside a good degree, work experience is more vital than ever. A placement year is the best and most involving type of work experience you can do during your time at university. As such, a placement will help ensure you are as employable as possible upon graduation.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

University of Portsmouth
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Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

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