Human resource management students in meeting
Mode of Study
1 year full-time (MSc)
Start Date
September 2022


Build on your UK business experience and prepare to pursue a career in the HR industry. Our highly practical course offers workplace placements and regular opportunities to engage with the business world as you apply your learning in industry.

This accredited course reflects current practice and HR thinking in the UK and Europe. During your degree you’ll study areas including leadership, learning and development, and employment relations, and explore topical issues such as toxic leadership structures and sustainable business practices. 

You’ll build on your interpersonal, communication and persuasion skills as you prepare for a career in UK or European HRM. During our Professional Skills module you'll develop your professional and managerial skills, ready for your work placement. In addition to your placement with a local business, you'll be able to meet and network with other industry professionals while you study. 

After you graduate you'll be eligible to apply for associate membership with CIPD, and upgrade to full chartered membership if you have the relevant work experience. This shows employers that you've trained to a professional standard and have the knowledge and experience to have an impact in the workplace.

Our course has been designed to align with CIPD professional standards and to prepare you for a rewarding career with valuable, innovative and up-to-date modules and topics. You'll learn from experienced industry professionals and receive a practical point of view as you discover the industry and continually put your learning into practice through assessments and practical placements. 

This degree is a stepping stone into HRM from any degree background. You may have studied business, social science or technology in the past, and be looking to start your career in human resources. You do not need to work in human resource management to apply. 


This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Gain workplace experience with optional industry placements
  • Learn from professionals with years of experience   
  • Qualify for professional CIPD membership when you graduate   
  • Attend talks from industry experts including speakers from CIPD 
  • Build on your academic experience, whatever your subject
  • Study at a CIPD accredited centre
  • Prepare to start your career in the HR industry


CIPD Approved Centre logo

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Graduates will be entitled to apply for Associate membership of the CIPD.


What you'll study on this MSc Human Resource Management degree course


Modules currently being studied

Core modules include:

  • Professional Skills - 15 credits
  • Resourcing and Talent Management - 15 credits
  • Employment Relations - 15 credits
  • Business Ethics and Sustainability - 15 credits
  • Learning and Development - 15 credits
  • Global Human Resource Management — Challenges and Debates - 15 credits
  • Leadership and Change - 15 credits
  • HR Strategy and Context - 15 credits
  • Human Resource Management Dissertation - 60 credits 

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master's prepares you for

This human resource management Master's will prepare you for your career in HRM. You'll graduate with professional workplace experience and a CIPD aligned degree, which means you'll be eligible to apply for associate membership with the CIPD. This shows employers you're ready to start your career in human resources and make an impact in the workplace. 

This course is a way into the HRM industry, whether you have an existing business background or not.

You’ll build relationships with other professionals in the industry through placement opportunities and our existing relationships with companies including the local CIPD branch. 

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles such as:

  • HR business partners
  • Learning and development specialists
  • Pay and benefits specialists
  • Recruitment consultancy members
  • HR consultants
  • General management and HR roles

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert career support from our Careers and Employability Centre, your tutors and our Business and Law Career-Ready Programme. This support will continue for 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • Regular emails from the Career Ready Programme sharing job opportunities, application tips and events
  • Applied projects with companies such as IBM, Boeing and Hampshire County Council
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • 1-to-1 appointments 
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

Placements and industry connections

During your course you'll complete 10 days of HRM work experience activities with an employer. You'll undertake one day per week, usually on Tuesdays during term time.  

You'll also have the opportunity to:
  • complete unpaid work experience with a local employer, arranged by us, or
  • arrange and complete your own placement

If you choose to organise your own placement, you can arrange to experience a range of HR components in one business.

We also run events throughout the year to help develop your professional skills and knowledge. These include:  

  • Practitioner day — a guest speaker event where you'll hear from several HR practitioners about their roles in the real world
  • Professional guest speaker talks — focusing on topics such as study skills and professional skills, and usually hosted during consolidation week

As well as these University events our ongoing relationship with the local CIPD branch means you'll have specific networking opportunities and be able to attend local CIPD events throughout your studies.

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.

It is our expectation that all international students will join us here on campus in Portsmouth.

Course structure

You will study this course full time on campus. You’ll study 4 modules in teaching block 1, and another 4 modules plus your dissertation in teaching block 2. 

You can expect:

  • classes on 3 days per week
  • to attend campus on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Friday mornings during term time
  • to attend some evening events and classes
  • no scheduled classes on Tuesdays, so you can complete work placements
  • weekly optional drop-in sessions with your tutor


Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree, but the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching on this course includes:

  • lectures
  • classroom teaching 
  • seminars 

Each module also has a scheduled online session where you can drop in and ask your lecturers specific questions about your learning. 


You'll be assessed through:

  • assignments 
  • group presentations
  • open book exams

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project/dissertation.

See key dates


Use our specialist facilities, including: 
Boardroom with large table, several chairs, bookcases and TV screen.

Business Suite

Experience the boardroom in our replica business suite.

Discover our Business Simulation Suite


Wide view of the TEAL room showing tables and screens.

TEAL room

Our technology enhanced active learning space promotes social learning.

Discover our TEAL learning space

Supporting your learning

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you'll also have access to our student engagement officers. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing, and refer you to specialist support services if you need extra help or support.

The Maths Cafe offers free advice and help with maths skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your maths skills at a workshop, or use our online resources.

You'll have help from a team of study support tutors. Based within the Faculty of Business and Law, these tutors are familiar with the specific requirements your assignments and work closely with faculty academics. This means they can give you focused support with the specific study skills you need to be successful on your course. They're available face-to-face, by phone, email, and by video call.

They can help with:

  • academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations, projects and literature reviews)
  • reflective writing skills
  • critical thinking skills
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

If you're a mature student, specialist support to help you return to learning is available.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University's library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from librarians who specialise in business and law.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2022 start)

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £10,900

  • Full time: £17,000

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

If you're a UK student who achieved a first in your undergraduate degree you may be eligible for a £3,000 University of Portsmouth scholarship.

Additional costs

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees so you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. Additional costs could include:

  • Accommodation: Accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages.
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: such photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Entry requirements​


This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

September 2022 start

  • A second-class honours degree or equivalent in any academic subject and seeking to pursue/continue a HR career. Applicants with appropriate work experience and a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Level 3 or 5 qualifications will be considered.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, view the equivalent entry requirements we accept for your country.

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

  • Applicants may be subject to interview.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start date in September, as long as there are places available. If you wait until September to apply, you may find that the course is full.

If you're applying as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Standard applications

Start this course in September 2022

Apply now (Full-time)

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2021, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.