Effective management to maximise the performance of human resources (HR) is central to any business success. Employers need managers who can proactively and positively influence organisational strategy, developing and implementing the policies, benefits, employee relations and engagement that helps them recruit and retain the best talent.

By studying this professionally-accredited master’s degree, approved by the CIPD, you’ll gain cutting-edge strategic knowledge to leverage the employment relationship, needed now more than ever in the turbulent, competitive world of work where being able to change and innovate are critical success factors.  

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Acknowledging the importance of considering different perspectives and cultural dimensions, our broad-based, integrated curriculum includes the employer, employee and other stakeholder perspectives, when covering issues such as employee resourcing and development, employee relations, communications and pay.  

You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of managing people and, importantly, how best to handle the challenges posed by employer interventions, the workers themselves, trade unions or government. This will give you the edge over other candidates in the job market, whatever field of management you choose.

People management skills are needed in all types of jobs and industries; having appropriate knowledge of HR strategies and tactics from this master’s will provide a useful top-up to the knowledge gained from various degrees and regardless of your desired profession. We therefore welcome applicants from a wide range of undergraduate disciplines; past students have joined us having studied subjects as diverse as law, history, psychology and various management disciplines.

What you will learn

This professionally-focused master’s course provides an excellent grounding in the theory and practice of HRM, the evolution of labour management and latest practices in employment relations. You’ll gain a greater appreciation of the challenges posed by globalisation, including the economic, social, legal and ethical implications of HRM interventions and how to respond to an ever-changing employment market.

HR is by its nature a multidisciplinary field, which makes it fascinating to study, drawing from a diverse range of subjects, including employment law, politics, economics, psychology, health and safety, and sociology of work.

In semesters 1 and 2 of the programme, you will study seven core modules and choose one elective module from a choice of two. If you opt for the Dissertation in your final semester, you must take the Research Methods module, while those taking one of the other three pathways must take the Creativity and Personal Development module.

Key Facts

  • Keele is ranked 3rd in the UK for business by the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES 2019).
  • Practical skills workshops focus on developing essential skills such as negotiating and resolving sensitive workplace issues and problems or applying legal remedies to workplace issues.
  • Approved by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) allowing Associate Membership on graduation.
  • Close relationship with North Staffs and South Cheshire CIPD Branch, giving our students access to its 1,100-strong members, professional networking events and workshops.
  • Opportunity to work on a consultancy project*: one previous student looked at how the Gingerbread Centre, a non-profit organisation, could increase volunteers and engage them using HRM methods.
  • Hear from industry practitioners which have previously included a representative from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).
  • Hands-on practical experience tackling real-life workplace issues in areas such as equality, dignity and respect, for example, ranging from the gender pay gap to sexual harassment.
  • Enhance your communications and interpersonal skills by volunteering as an annually elected Student Voice Representative – you’ll receive training from the Students’ Union and present student views of modules or programmes at Student Staff Voice Committees (SSVCs) and other forums.
  • Our students go on to work for Kia Motors, Interserve, NHS, Npower, the Prudential and Bayer.

    *Please note that our students’ health and wellbeing is paramount, therefore contact and work-based activities have been suspended due to the global pandemic.

DURATION: 1-year full-time

SUBJECT AREAS: Business and Management

FEES (2021/22 ACADEMIC YEAR): £18,000

SCHOLARSHIPS: £1,000 to £10,000