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Human Resource Management

MSc and PGDip

Develop a critical understanding of people and organisations with this distance-learning Master's in Human Resource Management.

Focus on strategic and individual-level improvements, considering factors such as the role of human resource management (HRM) in modern organisations, the issues involved in developing strategic aims (including on an international basis), and employment relations.

HR staff conducting a meeting
Study the MSc Human Resource Management wherever you are in the world.

By studying this course, you will:

  • Build extensive knowledge about human resource management (in areas including careers, personnel selection, training, employment relations, practices in human resource management, and well-being at work).
  • Design and evaluate qualitative and quantitative research, and carry out basic forms of descriptive and inferential statistical analysis on quantitative data.
  • Use technology to obtain research data in human resource management.

Course details

  • PGDip: You study 8 modules.
  • MSc: You study 8 modules, plus a research project.

View Modules

April session

Application deadline3 March 2019
Registration deadline23 March 2019
Session starts29 April 2019
ExaminationsJuly 2019

October session

Application deadline6 September 2019
Registration deadline24 September 2019
Session starts30 September 2019
ExaminationsDecember 2019

January session

Application deadline8 November 2019
Registration deadline8 December 2019
Session starts13 January 2020
ExaminationsMarch 2020

The programme is offered online and is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You study at a time and pace that suits you (subject to course-specific deadlines) using the study materials provided and support from a dedicated tutor.

The degree offers the flexibility to complete in one year, or up to five years depending on your desired study pace.

Study materials

We will send you study materials developed by academics at Birkbeck. These include a core subject guide for each course; further textbooks and collections of key readings; and various online and multimedia tools.

All study materials (articles and/or set texts) are included in the programme fee, with the exception of materials required to carry out the Research Project.

Online support

Tutors oversee all modules; they respond to queries, monitor discussions and provide general guidance. Each module includes interactive study materials, including videos, quizzes and online discussions. Each module also includes a revision week and revision guidance.

When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables access to course materials, resources, and activities.
  • The Online Library holds thousands of journal articles which you can access free of charge. A dedicated helpdesk is available if you have any difficulties in finding what you need.

Time commitment

You study one module at a time over a sixteen-week study session. There are two study sessions (and two dissertation sessions) per year. If you follow this without interruption, you should complete in the minimum two-year period.

You should expect to study between 10-15 hours a week during these sessions.


Each module is assessed by a series of written online activities (30% of the module mark), and a coursework essay of 4,000-5,000 words (70% of the mark). Exams are usually held in December, March and July.

The dissertation will be assessed by an initial 1,500 word research proposal (15%) followed by a written dissertation of up to 15,000 words, excluding bibliography and appendices (85%).

More about coursework.

What qualifications do you need?

You need the equivalent of a UK second-class honours degree (e.g. bachelor). If you don't hold a degree but you have relevant industry experience and have completed the The Manager's Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Managing People at Work MOOC, we will consider each case on its merits.

To study modules on an individual basis, you should meet the same criteria. If you do not meet them, we may still consider your application if you can demonstrate your ability to undertake advanced study.

Find equivalent qualifications where you live.

English Language requirements

You need a high standard of English to study this programme. You will meet our language requirements if you have achieved the following within the past three years:

  • (IELTS) International English Language Testing System - 6.5 overall (with 6 in reading and writing).
  • (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language - 92 overall (with 22 in reading and writing, and 20 in speaking and listening).

Computer requirements

We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this degree, you will also need Adobe Flash Player to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.

More about computer requirements.


The fees below apply if you begin during the 2018-2019 session. These may increase by up to 5% per year.

Human Resource Management2018-2019

Registration fee

£ 2,175

Module fee

£ 1,100

Research project (MSc only)

£ 2,200

Total MSc

£ 13,175

Total Postgraduate Diploma

£ 10,975

Total per module (on a standalone basis for CPD)

£ 1,315

Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.

Additional Costs

You will also need to budget for exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.

We accept most traditional payment methods, including debit/credit card, international money order, and Western Union.

How to pay your fees.

On 1 July 2017 a Goods and Services Tax (GST) [external website] was introduced in India which applies to online services. From 1 August 2019, the University will be required to add GST at the statutory rate of 18% to its programme fees for new and continuing students resident in India.

Graduates of this course go on to become training professionals, motivators, careers advisers, managers and consultants within large multinational companies, government departments, or in any company where advanced knowledge of organisational psychology may be useful.

What do employers think of our graduates?

In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.

Birkbeck was founded in 1823 as the London Mechanics' Institute. It is unique in its special mission to enable mature students to gain higher education qualifications via part-time study. Consequently, staff are experienced in ensuring a flexible learning environment.

Its Department of Organizational Psychology is the oldest and largest department of its kind in the UK and makes a major contribution to research in the field of behaviour at work. It is one of the principal providers of academic and professional training in occupational psychology within the UK.

Programme Director

Mr Mark Stringer has spent the last 35 years in a variety of posts within business and academia in the UK. He has worked internationally as a Director of HR and gained his MSc in Organizational Behaviour at Birkbeck. Currently completing his PhD at Birkbeck, his teaching and research covers many areas within OP and HRM, with a specific focus on areas with the use of psychoanalysis in interpreting organisational phenomena. He has had papers published at EGOS, OPUS, EURAM. He is Chartered MCIPD, an Associate Fellow of the HEA and a Member of the Association of Business Psychologists.

Programme Team

Dr Keely Jo Frasca joined the OPHRM programme in 2018 and currently convenes the Selection and Assessment, Employee Relations and Motivation, and Learning and Development modules. In addition, Keely leads the quantitative conferences of the Research Methods module.

Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.

More on funding your study.