Manchester Metropolitan University

Certificate in Professional Studies

CIPD Level 5 Certificate in Human Resource Management

2017 entry

Features and benefits of the course

  • This course is designed to build your practical knowledge and develop your skills through real experiences of human resource management in a range of different organisational settings.
  • The course will provide you with an excellent grounding in all aspects of HR, developing your knowledge and practical skills, and focussing particularly on how HR can add value to organisations.
  • This course has been specially designed to provide foundational knowledge and skills for a career in HR, covering key aspects of policy and practice (such as resourcing, reward, performance management, employment law, and training and development) as well as developing the skills to be an effective practitioner.
  • Successful completion of the course leads to automatic Associate Membership of CIPD.
  • The course leads to the CIPD Intermediate Certificate in HRM.
  • Successful completion of this Certificate can provide a route for  entry to our highly regarded Postgraduate Diploma in HRM, which gives full exemption from the CIPD Advanced Diploma - the gateway qualification to becoming a Chartered Member of the CIPD.
  • This programme is taught at the Business School by professionally qualified staff with relevant academic and workplace experience through a range of inter-active lectures, workshops, case studies  and project-based assignments.

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

About the course

Research informed teaching

The course is taught by an experienced team of lecturers from the Department of Management, many of whom have extensive experience as HR professionals, and others who are actively researching and publishing in the field through the Business School's Centre for People and Performance. 

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

There are two units on this course and assessment is purely through assignments- there are no exams.

HR Policy and Practice (30 credits)

The HR Policy and Practice unit will introduce you to the key themes of the HR function, including employment law, training and development, and coaching.

This unit is designed to introduce you to the areas of resourcing and talent planning; employee reward; employment law; training and development; and coaching and mentoring.

The unit will cover recruitment and selection, talent management, retention and termination of employment, including redundancy, dismissal, retirement and change management with associated legal requirements. We also consider HR policy and practice relating to pay, reward, performance management and discipline; working time and the treatment of staff in work

This unit will also consider the design, delivery and evaluation of inclusive learning and development activities including coaching and mentoring capability.

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to understand and evaluate people management policy and practice in these areas. Your learning is assessed through one Case Study Assignment where you evaluate HR policy and Practice through a case and one written assignment on an HR topic of professional relevance, selected from the wide range of themes covered.

The Effective HR Practitioner (30 credits)

The Effective HR Practitioner unit will provide you with skills necessary for working in a HR context, looking at how the HR function adds value to an organisation’s performance in both the internal and external environment. 

This unit is designed to introduce you to the HR function and the internal and external contexts in which HR professionals work. The unit will also equip you with the skills necessary for working in a HR context.

This unit offers students an opportunity to examine the purpose and objectives of the HR function, consider the business/organisational context and explore the ways in which HR adds value and to organisation performance and change management.  We also consider what it means to be an effective HR practitioner, with opportunities to reflect on a range of key practitioner skills such as team-working and business research.  We introduce a variety of approaches to ongoing professional development, personal reflection and coaching.

You will conduct a piece of original research on a relevant HR issue to your organization , write a persuasive business report and reflect on your own personal and professional development.

This unit will provide an excellent opportunity for developing as an effective practitioner, will enhance your workplace contribution and provide you with a framework for ongoing professional development.

Programme Review

Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.

Assessment details

There will be a mix of written assignments/reports and a portfolio of learning.

There are no examinations on this course.

The HR Policy and Practice assignments are designed to offer you an opportunity to investigate  an HR issue of current relevance to your work, and also to reflect critically on practice in your own organisation.

The Effective HR Practitioner assignments include a short piece of research relating to the management of people at work, and a reflective record on your learning through the duration of the course in which you consider the impact on your own effectiveness at work.

Teaching Staff

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject. Details of departmental staff can be found at:

Typical entry requirements

The Standard Entry requirements for the Certificate in Professional Studies (HRM) are GCSE Maths and English (C) or equivalent, plus at least 2 years' relevant work experience. This programme is open to candidates who do not hold a degree but can demonstrate appropriate experience, either as an existing HR practitioner, as a manager wanting to specialise in HRM or prior learning through business-related experience of managing and supervising people at work. Candidates will be required to set out their learning through prior experience in their application submitting evidence such as CV, job description and references. Candidates who do not meet our standard qualification and work experience entry requirements will be considered if they can demonstrate prior learning from other forms of experience. 

Our detailed requirements are set out below:


Standard Entry: GCSE Maths and English (C) or equivalent;

Work Experience

This programme is open to candidates with experience, either as an existing HR practitioner, as a manager wanting to specialise in HRM or to individuals who can demonstrate appropriate prior learning through business-related experience of managing and supervising people at work. Candidates will be required to set out their learning through prior experience in their application, submitting evidence such as CV, job description and through references.

Candidates who do not meet our standard qualification and work experience entry requirements will be considered under MMU’s widening participation strategy if they can demonstrate  prior learning from other forms of experience such as:

  • One or more A levels
  • CIPD Foundation Level certificates: Personnel Practice, Training Practice, Employment Law etc
  • Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) in HRM
  • HNC or academic/professional qualifications of an equivalent level
  • Significant responsibility of recruiting, managing and/or developing people in voluntary or other forms of unpaid work


There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

How do I apply for this course?

You can apply for part-time taught courses by completing the Postgraduate Application Form[K1] . There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Next stages of your application

We will contact you to let you know the outcome of your application. You may be invited for interview or asked to provide further information in support of your application

Some offers may be conditional upon achieving certain grades in your examinations, or successfully completing a particular programme, and you must satisfy these conditions before we can confirm your place.

Please note, to apply for this course, you only need to submit one reference. While the application form does ask for two, providing one reference (preferably from an academic institution or an employer), will allow your application to be processed.

Career options after the course

On completion of the course you will have gained a University certificate and a professionally-recognised certificate, both of which will demonstrate to employers that you have strong understanding of HR policy and practice. The course should allow you to progress into a mid-level or senior role if you are currently in a junior level position, or progress into further advanced study to postgraduate Masters level.

Confirmation of Regulator

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Important Notice

This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.

Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.

The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.