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MSc/PgDip/PgCert Human Resource Management with CIPD

Businesses need good people to succeed and grow. If you want a career that has real impact, explore what HR has to offer.

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People are at the heart of Human Resources (HR). The field covers a wide range of areas – from recruitment and retention to wellbeing and resource management. At Manchester Met, we’ll prepare you for work in this exciting and fast-paced environment. 

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). You’ll develop the skills you need to work across a variety of HR roles and gain a solid understanding of business operations to put your work into context.

Adding value

Strong HR management (HRM) can make a real difference to organisations. You can have a positive impact on business performance and make sure people are happy and healthy on an individual level.

On this course you’ll cover the essentials of HR, including people management, employment resourcing, legislation and business leadership. You can also choose from optional units to tailor your studies to suit your career ambitions. 

Professional recognition

The MSc or PgDip in HRM will give you full exemption for the CIPD’s Level 7 Advanced Diploma in HRM.

Features and Benefits

  • CIPD dual award – receive a CIPD diploma as well as an MSc or PgDip. Make the most of CIPD resources as a student and after graduation as an associate member.
  • Cutting-edge research – learn how the experts from the Decent Work and Productivity research centre provide tailor-made solutions for public and private-sector clients.
  • Triple crown - study in a Business School that has prestigious triple accreditation from EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA.
  • Outstanding reputation – our Business School has excellent links to global businesses and is renowned for its excellence in teaching HRM to CIPD standards.
  • Hands-on learning – take part in the Postgraduate Internship Programme, which could also be the setting for your research project.
  • Taught by HRM experts – our lecturers specialise in various disciplines within HRM and have extensive experience working in the profession.
  • Industry insights – attend talks and debates organised by the Manchester Industrial Relations Society. Enhance your knowledge at conferences and workshops and enjoy networking opportunities through the local CIPD branch.
  • Skills development – participate in a management skills/self-development residential at the start of your course. Use your internship experience to boost your CV.
“My supervisor for my dissertation has helped me immensely, she has gone out of her way to help me with professional contacts for my dissertation and I could not have completed it without her.” Heather Boyles, MSc Human Resource Management with CIPD.

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

"Our CIPD HRM courses are designed to develop world-class HR professionals with the skills and knowledge to make a valuable contribution to organisational performance.”

Cecilia Ellis, Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management

Career Prospects

This course will prepare you for a rewarding career in HRM. Workforces are evolving and the global nature of business is creating new challenges for HR managers.

HR opens a range of career paths. And you can specialise in areas such as training and development, employee retention, people analytics or employment legislation.

Whatever your background, there will be a career in HR to suit you. Our graduates have gone on to work at companies such as Barclays, KPMG and Tesco.

This course is designed to channel your existing skills and knowledge into a HR role. You’ll develop a solid understanding of people management that you can apply to organisations of all sizes and across all sectors.

Your additional CIPD award will also help you stand out in competitive job markets. Work your way up from HR adviser to HR manager as you gain experience and confidence in the sector.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

You’ll need a good UK honours degree – at least a 2:2 – or the international equivalent. We may also consider your application if you do not meet the degree requirements, but have substantial experience in people management.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.


“The teaching approach at Manchester Metropolitan University is a very connected approach and we work with a range of employers across public and private sector, right up to global corporations…”
Listen to what Dr Fiona Creaby, Senior Lecturer, has to say about studying at Manchester Metropolitan University…

Course details

The success of any organisation relies on its people – which makes HR skills and principles vital commodities in the workplace, and a career in HR one that’s full of real impact.

This is a CIPD-accredited course that’s open to graduates in any subject and it can also offer valuable skills if you’re already working in HR, but looking for a step up in your career. The course offers the advanced-level studies for achieving a masters qualification over the course of a year. But it also offers the flexibility for those that don’t have a year to commit – with a diploma (PgDip) or a certificate (PgCert). 

It’s even a dual-award course (for those working toward the masters or diploma), leading toward a CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma – paving the way to Chartered Membership of the CIPD after you leave us.

Throughout this course, you’ll study a range of core units to give you a solid grounding of HR skills and principles, together with an option unit that reflects your ambitions and interests. If you’re studying for a full masters, you’ll also learn some research techniques, equipping you to tackle a dissertation project – potentially based on an issue from your own workplace, if you’re currently working in HR.


The Developing Skills for Business Leadership unit is a compulsory unit on your MSc/PgDip programme, and therefore all students need to engage fully with the content and taught sessions. The residential launches the unit and covers approximately one-third of the teaching content. The fee for the residential covers your hotel stay including meals and use of all hotel spa and leisure facilities, all course materials, toolkits and teaching provision.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Employment Resourcing, Relations and Law

This unit provides comprehensive coverage of the key strategic HR activities of resourcing and managing employment relationships within a legally compliant framework. You will apply theoretical frameworks and employment law to critically evaluate contemporary practices.

Leading, Managing and Developing People

This unit provides a critical evaluation of research and debate in the fields of HRM and HRD. The theoretical foundations of leading, managing and developing people are examined. In particular, the unit will consider the nature, scope and impact of HRM, the theory and practice of leading and managing people at work, and finally will look at the field of learning and development.

Human Resources in Context

This unit develops major internal and external contextual issues that shape decision making in business and in HRM. 

Firstly, the unit aims to introduce you to the major external environmental trends that shape both HR practice in organisations as well as decision-making at the strategic level. These include increased competitive intensity, major labour market developments and government policy. Particular emphasis is placed on globalisation and the role of international business.

Secondly, the unit introduces you to principal developments in the internal business environment, in particular key contemporary developments in finance, marketing and operations management. Their implications for the HR function are explained and debated.

Finally the unit focuses on the response of organisations, both now and in the future, to the environmental developments outlined. Particular emphasis here is placed on longer-term strategic responses in the HR field. The unit will draw on the Business School's 'Principles of Responsible Management'.

Developing Skills for Business Leadership

This unit aims to equip you with management, leadership and HR professional skills to support your continuing professional development.  The unit is structured around three broad themes as follows: Self-awareness and Development; Managing and Developing Others; and Specialist HR Skills.

Research Methods in Human Resource Management

This unit enables you to develop the skills required to identify and investigate HR issues in order to stimulate and support improvements to organisations strategies and practices and to people's working lives.

Dissertation (HR)

You will be required to identify, structure, frame and investigate a complex managerial or business issue. Supported by a dissertation supervisor, you then produce a substantial written document of your findings, achievements and conclusions. You will make practical recommendations and provide an implementation plan. Students write a reflective account of what has been learned during the project and how this can be applied to personal development and practice in the future.

Likely Optional Units

Business Psychology in Action

This unit will explore the use of psychology to achieve a more productive and satisfying workplace, and develop your understanding of the psychological tools and resources available to you as a manager.

Performance and Reward

This unit provides comprehensive coverage of the key strategic HR activities of managing performance and reward. You will apply theoretical frameworks to evaluate contemporary practice in both areas. Indicative content may include: HR Strategy; Performance Management; Performance Appraisal; Discipline; 360 degree feedback; Personal Development Planning; Reward Strategies; Pay; Job Evaluation; Performance-Related Pay; Incentives; Benefits; Total Reward; The Business Context for Performance and Reward Management; Performance and Reward in a Global Context.

Strategic Learning, Coaching and Talent Development

This unit investigates the contribution strategic learning and coaching policy and practice make to organisational and individual performance. The unit is based around two themes of learning: Strategic Talent and Human Development, and, Coaching and Mentoring. 

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


Placement options

As part of the course, you will be given the opportunity to take part in our Postgraduate Internship Programme. It’s not only a taste of the responsibilities and impact you’ll have as an HR professional, but can also offer the setting for your research project. Securing an internship is your responsibility however, our placement team is on hand to support you by advertising roles and helping you with key employability skills, like preparing for an interview, making applications or writing your CV. With a short-term internship, you’ll not only show potential employers that you’re ready to get to work, but also gain practice credits, which can count towards your studies.

While you need to do at least 100 hours of work, starting any time between November and early August, how you do those hours is flexible. You could work full time during a break in your studies, or you might do a day or two a week throughout term time, fitting it around your studies.

Department of People and Performance

Our People and Performance Department brings together industry leading professionals and academics with specialisms in strategy, innovation, enterprise, human resource management, entrepreneurship and sports management.

The department provides academic leadership for a broad undergraduate and postgraduate portfolio, providing real-life business expertise underpinned by cutting-edge business management theory.

More about the department

Taught by experts

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.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £7,125 to £9,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £12,750 to £17,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

In addition to tuition fees, a residential fee of £250 is payable.

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

Find out more

Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

Learn more

Want to know more?

How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

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. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.