BA (Hons) Human Resource Management with Psychology - University of Portsmouth
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BA (Hons)

Human Resource Management with Psychology

UCAS codeN6C8

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Complement the study of HRM with a psychological perspective of the workplace

Course Overview

Why take this course?

Do you believe that people are at the heart of a business? Do you agree that managing people within the workplace cannot be successful without some consideration of the psychological issues surrounding working life?

This course provides you with an insight into exploring the psychological issues in work and links to the HR profession as it also teaches you to effectively work with managers from a variety of backgrounds so they can perform to their full potential through their people resources and hence contributing to the business.

It may be that you are attracted to an HR career pathway and would enjoy constantly handling new issues, ensuring that the company is focusing on the best interests of the diverse mix of employees, and attracting and retaining the right people using psychometric profiling. Or maybe that you are keener to follow a less business orientated route and follow a stronger psychology pathway.

This course offers a structured pathway to help you achieve this and ensure that you are an attractive proposition to employers whilst you are studying and on graduating.

What will I experience?

Many of our students gather work experience whilst they are with us in part –time positions and/ or a placement year. In the initial year you will gain a foundation of business and psychology studying the theories and techniques of managing people in the workplace. 

On this course you can:

  • Do a one-year placement working in a paid full-time role
  • Enjoy the variety of linked study; Psychology, HRM and Business
  • Strong support from the course team due to the smaller numbers compared to the other business courses

What opportunities might it lead to?

HR offers an exciting and varied career path. It is a really flexible discipline especially as every business is different and the way their HR function operates is different. Roles in HR range from more generalist positions that touch on a lot of different activities to specialist areas which are associated with psychology such as psychometric testing, performance management and reward. There is also a strong chance of progression especially with the CIPD qualification.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • HR Assistant
  • HR Officer
  • Recruitment Co-ordinator
  • Training Officer
  • HR Trainee Manager
  • Recruitment Consultant

Maybe you are attracted to focus on career in psychology. This would still be an option potentially with further study.


Ryan Mills, BA (Hons) Human Resource Management with Psychology student

The fact that you can complete a year in industry is the best part.

Ryan Mills, BA (Hons) Human Resource Management with Psychology 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 among some of our business courses provides you with a broad understanding of how business operates as well as providing you with a sound grounding of Psychology.

Core units in this year include:

  • Managing People in organisations
  • Quantitative Methods and Data Analysis
  • Introduction to Business Operations and Systems Management
  • Business Accounting
  • The Psychology of Everyday Life
  • Introduction to Psychological Science
  • Personal and Professional Development

Year two

Develop your understanding of business and develop your understanding of human resource management. Also begin to tailor your degree through our range of options including relevant psychology units which will increase your knowledge as an HR practitioner.

Core units in this year include:

  • Approaches to Psychology
  • Human Resources for the Professional
  • Human Resource Development
  • Contemporary Employment Relations
  • Employability, Research and Professional Development
  • Contemporary Issues in Psychology

Year three

Specialise further in a range of specific 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
  • Work Psychology

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Issues in Health and Clinical Psychology
  • Language and Communication

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: 15% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 85% 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, 7% by practical exams and 35% by coursework
  • Year two students: 32% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 60% by coursework
  • Year three students: 25% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 75% 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?

As people form the essential part of any business, small or large, this course allows you to consider a wide variety of opportunities, from setting up your own business through to working as part of a small business team or working in a major business or international business operations.

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 seeking key business competencies and experience alongside a good degree, work experience is more vital than ever. Due to its very nature 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.

Alexis Barclay, BA (Hons) Human Resource Management with Psychology student 2013

My placement lasted for over a year with a company called CELEXO, who are a catering facilities management company. I secured a role with them as HR co-ordinator on their Olympic project. I was there every day – living and breathing the Olympics. It was a once in a life time opportunity and I am so glad that I could be part of it.

Alexis Barclay, BA (Hons) Human Resource Management with Psychology student 2013

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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.

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