MSc International HRM student giving presentation

International Human Resource Management MSc

This one-year CIPD-accredited Master's will develop your skills to manage people across borders and handle cross-cultural issues.

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Are you looking to start a global career in human resource management in this exciting, challenging and influential area of business? Our MSc International Human Resource Management (HRM) Master's degree prepares graduates from any national background for success in human resources (HR) and people management, anywhere in the world.

This course, tailored to the global environment, will develop your knowledge of HR and people management in an international context. You’ll  study alongside students from a range of nationalities and cultures and have the opportunity to network with professionals as you learn about the globalisation of business and its effect on the HR industry. You’ll explore topics including why HR measures that are effective in one country can fail in another, even within the same organisation. This practical course considers the opportunities and challenges of human resource management and people management practice in a global setting.

When you graduate we'll make sure you have the skills to manage people across borders, and to handle cross-cultural issues in international human resources. These skills are in demand in the HR industry and beyond; you'll be ready to advance your career in business development, recruitment, or training and development. 

Upon completion of this course, you’ll be eligible for internationally recognised associate Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) membership which demonstrates your commitment to the highest standards of the profession, as well as being equipped with the knowledge and skills to start a career as an HR practitioner or as a people manager in a global environment.

Course highlights

  • Compare human resource practices across different regions of the world
  • Gain expertise in issues around ethics and sustainability in a global context and its impact on the world of work
  • Learn from experienced lecturers and practitioners from international human resource backgrounds
  • Practically develop your professional and managerial skills
  • Consider the theory and practice of HRM in the global business environment
  • Eligibility for associate CIPD membership once you graduate 


Accredited by:

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). On successful completion providing students are in active CIPD membership students will automatically gain Associate membership of the CIPD. They will also gain the eligibility to potentially upgrade their membership to Chartered depending on their experience.

This course is aligned with the standards laid out in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) curriculum. With over 300,000 HR and business executive members spanning 165 countries, SHRM is the largest human resource management association on the planet. This recognition confirms the high level of HR education we uphold, and our role as a springboard for exceptional human resource professionals.

The University of Portsmouth has earned business accreditation from the AACSB in recognition of the outstanding quality of its business and management education. Less than six percent of the world's schools offering business degree programs hold AACSB business accreditation.

Earth systems and environmental sciences at the University of Portsmouth is ranked 4th of all post-1992 universities for research quality

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

Read more about our amazing earth and environmental sciences postgraduate research

Contact Information

Student Recruitment Centre

+44 (0) 23 9284 2991

Contact Student Recruitment Centre

Entry requirements​


This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

September 2024 / January 2025 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.

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.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2024 / January 2025 start)

  • Full-time: £12,000

All fees include Transition Scholarship.

  • Full-time: £12,000

  • Full-time: £17,900

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.

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.

Female Master's student
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Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

international business students
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Fees and funding for Master's courses

Explore Master's funding options, including loans, scholarships, bursaries and more.

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When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to: 

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of yourself and your impact on others in a professional context

  • Critically evaluate the people management skill-set needed to operate effectively at work

  • Critically assess the need for professional courage to challenge and influence the decisions and actions of others

  • Critically evaluate sound and justifiable evidence-based situational decision making and problem-solving skills

  • Demonstrate a commitment to reflective practice, critical thinking and a passion for continuing professional development

Explore this module

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to: 

  • Critically evaluate the academic and theoretical aspects of strategic people management

  • Reflect upon and critically discuss contemporary practice in people management

  • Compare and contrast the theory and practice of strategic people management

Explore this module

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to: 

  • Analyse the main theories, features and developments relating to managing employment relations in a global context

  • Critically examine the main approaches and methods used by employing organisations to manage employment relations in a global context

  • Critically examine the main influences on how employment relations is managed in a global context, including the role of governments and representative institutions such as trade unions

Explore this module

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to: 

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of social, environmental and economic challenges affecting modern business

  • Evaluate organisations against the theoretical frameworks of ethics, governance and sustainability

  • Analyse and identify the wider stakeholder implications of a range of alternative business models

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of how expectations of responsible business influences the role of HR practice within organisations

Explore this module

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to: 

  • Critically analyse the features of a supportive learning culture in different global contexts

  • Critically evaluate the impact of organisational and national forces on the development of strategic learning and development policy

  • Justify different approaches to learning and development strategy in organisations

Explore this module

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to: 

  • Discuss and explore leading edge research into HR policy and practice within a variety of global, international and comparative contexts

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of how HR practices and policies differ from and are implemented in a global business environment

  • Working with others, develop a critical understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion across cultures and the HR policy and practice implications from a strategic and global perspective

  • Develop an awareness of global leadership competencies to support individual and organisational relevance

Explore this module

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to: 

  • Review and critically evaluate major contemporary leadership styles and research debates and practice in the fields of HRM

  • Critically evaluate leadership development strategies

  • Critically assess the contribution of both the leadership role and the HR role in delivering effective organisational change management

Explore this module

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to: 

  • Critically analyse the influence of the external environment on organisational strategy

  • Determine the impact of internal and external forces on the development of strategic HRM policy

  • Analyse mangerial and HR responses to changes in the international competitive environment

  • Evaluate managerial and HR strategic responses to the dynamic international context

Explore this module

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to: 

  • Select an appropriate HRM 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

  • Communicate clearly, concisely and effectively at Master's standard, for appropriate audiences drawing conclusions and making recommendations

Explore this module

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.

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.

Course structure

This Master's degree will take:

  • 1 year (full-time study)

Typically, you can expect:

  • to attend in-person lectures, seminars and classroom teaching 
  • to attend 2 to 3 days of classes per week on Tuesdays-Fridays

Hours of independent study, Course Leader to advise

In the last 3 months of the course you'll be focusing on your research project.


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.


  • assignments
  • group presentations
  • open book exams

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. This includes group discussions, peer review activities, and virtual seminars.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

Le Bo Portrait

Dr Le Bo

Senior Lecturer

Portsmouth Business School

Faculty of Business and Law

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Matthew Robert Anderson Portrait

Dr Matthew Anderson

Senior Lecturer

Portsmouth Business School

Faculty of Business and Law

PhD Supervisor

Read more

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.

January start

Courses that start in January have the same amount of teaching as September-start courses, but they normally run over a longer time period.

January-start courses normally run between 14–18 months, beginning in January and ending in the spring / summer of the following year. There are breaks at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. In the last few months you’ll be writing your project / dissertation.

See key dates

Career development

Careers this Master’s prepares you for

Once you complete this Master's in International Human Resource Management, you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge, to operate successfully in a global environment.

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

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles such as:

  • HR Business Partner
  • Learning and Development Specialist
  • Recruitment Consultancy
  • Pay and Benefits Specialist
  • HR Consultant
  • HR Manager

9 reasons to do a Master's

employability desk

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking 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

Supporting you

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.

Graduation Class of 2021

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. 

Information for international students


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.

Start this course in September 2024

Apply now (Full-time 1 year)

Start this course in January 2025

Apply now (Full-time 1 year)

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 2023, 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.