Mode of StudyPart-time
Duration9 months part-time (top-up)
Start dateSeptember 2023
You're a passionate and qualified Human Resource (HR) practitioner looking to progress your career. You've already successfully achieved the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Advanced Level 7 qualification and you're looking to progress your HR training to Master's level. This MSc Human Resource Development Top-up will help take you there, boosting your skills and employability.
Human Resource Development (HRD) is a more specialised field, with a specific focus on the learning and development of people within organisations. HRD activities include training, coaching, mentoring, well-being, management development, technology-enhanced learning strategies and many more.
You'll enhance your HR knowledge and skills through a 3-day intensive research methods workshop at the University, before completing a dissertation proposal and dissertation on a related subject of your choosing. As you progress through your studies, you'll get support from your dissertation supervisor through online tutorials.
You'll graduate as a highly competent HR practitioner, with the specialist skills needed to achieve success in your chosen career path. Depending on your choice of dissertation, you'll be awarded with either an MSc Human Resource Management (HRM), or an MSc Human Resource Development (HRD) qualification.
The University of Portsmouth is an Approved Centre for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the professional body for HR specialists and the world's largest Chartered HR professional organisation.
This course accepts UK, EU, and International students.
- Jump into a 3-day intensive research skills development workshop, where you'll develop the skills needed to complete your dissertation
- Focus on a specialist topic which has real meaning for you, and get help and support in progressing your dissertation proposal from your dedicated supervisor
- Work through pre-course reading and proposal development activities, further deepening your knowledge of the field
- Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection
Business and management studies at the University of Portsmouth is ranked 2nd of the modern universities by research power.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
Read more about our business and management research
What you'll study on this MSc Human Resource Development (Top-up) degree course
What you'll learn
When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:
Select an appropriate HRM/HRD issue and formulate master's level research objectives
Critically evaluate existing, relevant literature
Design master's level research using appropriate concepts, theories, and techniques
Collect, analyse, and synthesise data, and draw appropriate conclusions
Communicate clearly, concisely and effectively at master's standard, for appropriate audiences
Recognise and prioritise personal research skills and related personal development needs
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
HR practitioners are integral to any business or organisation and professionals in this field are in demand across all sectors of industry.
As a graduate of this MSc Human Resource Development (Top-up) degree course, you'll have successfully boosted your HR training to Master's level, increasing your skills and employability in a more specialised field, with a specific focus on the learning and development of people within organisations.
Graduates of this course have gone into areas such as:
- Business development and consultancy
- Human resources
Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.
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.
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
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.
This Master's degree will take:
- 6 months full-time (top-up)
- 9 months part-time (top-up)
Your course will start with a 3-day intensive research methods workshop at the University, after which you'll submit a dissertation proposal and will be allocated a supervisor. You'll then work on your dissertation independently, with online contact with your dissertation supervisor as you progress through your dissertation.
You can expect:
- Pre-course reading and some proposal development activities
- 3-day research methods workshop on campus
- Ongoing support and guidance from your supervisor
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 methods on this course include:
- 3-day research methods workshop on campus
- Virtual meetings and conversations with your dissertation supervisor
You'll be assessed through:
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.
Joining us as an international student
You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.
Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in.
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 independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
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
- 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 a librarian who specialises in your subject area.
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 2023 start)
£3,800 for this 6 months (9 months part-time) top-up course.
£3,800 for this 6 months (9 months part-time) top-up course.
£5,970 for this 6 months (9 months part-time) top-up course.
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.
Loans, scholarships and bursaries
Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.
Funding for international students
Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.
Fees and funding for Master's courses
Discover how you can fund your Master's study at Portsmouth – including loans, scholarships and bursaries – and read our guidance on topics like how to budget, and how to get support if you're disabled or have dependents.
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 as 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.
This course accepts UK, EU, and International students.
- Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Advanced Level 7 Qualification either through the completion of a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management/Development or Personnel Management or the level 7 qualification at a CIPD accredited centre.
- If a Pg Diploma was gained more than 5 years previously, Chartered Fellows and Chartered Members of the CIPD may be eligible to apply through a specific RPL route.
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, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.
To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification.
- 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.
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.
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.