International Human Resource Management - MSc


Human resource management is at the centre of business performance and a critical partner for organisational success. This MSc programme develops your people management skills and prepares you for a career as a human resource practitioner.



Gain an insight into the principal areas of managing human resources and the important influences of the wider international environment, providing a critical assessment of human resource management and employment relations.

You are taught by a multi-disciplinary group of academics with research experience in human resource management, management & organisational behaviour, employment relations and international business. They bring a breadth of experience and expertise to their teaching and are involved in a wide range of research and professional activities.

Funding opportunities

The Business School has a wide range of funding opportunities for postgraduate students, which include Scholarships, Bursaries, the Double Loyalty Scheme for University of Kent undergraduates and the KBS Early Bird Scheme. The Early Bird equates to a 10% discount on tuition fees.

For more information on funding available from the University of Kent, please visit the Student Funding page.

Kent Business School (KBS)

With over 25 years’ experience delivering business education, Kent Business School is ranked as a top 20 UK business school, both for the standard of our teaching and student satisfaction. Our portfolio of postgraduate programmes demonstrates the breadth and depth of our expertise. Academic research and links with global business inform our teaching, ensuring a curriculum that is relevant and current. We also hold a number of accreditations by professional bodies.

Studying at Kent Business School (KBS) gives you the opportunity to increase your employability with real-life case studies, a student council and a business society. We have strong links to local and national organisations providing opportunities for projects, internships and graduate placements. The School attracts many high-profile speakers from industry and last year included visits and lectures from staff of the Bank of England, BAE Systems, Barclays, Lloyds Insurance, Cummins, Delphi and Kent County Council.

The School currently has 60 PhD students, who form a dynamic and close-knit research community.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, we were placed 25th (out of 101 institutions) in the UK for research intensity in business and management studies and 98% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence.

The School was also ranked 24th for its breadth and depth of research across the whole community of research active staff by the Association of Business Schools.

Course structure


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

Modules may include Credits

The main topics of study are as follows:

• Postgraduate study skills

• Time Management

• Working in groups

• Teams and team-building

• Learning and influencing others

• Interpersonal communication and relationships

• Ethical behaviours

• Decision making

• Coaching and mentoring

• Information-handling skills: Interpreting and managing financial resources, IT skills

• People management skills

• Self-awareness and personal development planning

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Key elements of professional HRM&D competence in organisations are a strategic business orientation and a concern with adding value through HR practice. This module introduces students to the aims and objectives of HRM&D function in organisations and how these are met in practice

The module is designed to introduce students to the range of practical skills required by HR professionals. Building on their understanding of the basic notions in the field, students will learn current best practices and procedures within organisations.

The module will include core lectures but its focus will be on case studies, practice based workshops and directed learning activities. These will include activities around various HRM functions within an ethical and legislative framework.

The main topics of study are as follows:

* Aims and objectives of HRM&D functions and current developments

* Human Resource Management & Development in different organisational contexts

* Effective leadership and methods of leadership development

* Employee motivation, commitment and engagement

* Flexible working

* Change management

* Ethical issues and practices in HRM&D

* Contemporary research and debates in Human Resource Management

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This module aims to provide learners with a rigorous framework of knowledge and understanding concerning people management and development that they will need whatever the degree of specialisation they later elect to follow. It has a number of distinct learning objectives. Firstly, the module seeks to familiarise students with major contemporary research evidence on effective approaches to leadership and learning and development practice. Research focusing on the links between people management practices and positive organisational outcomes is covered, as is research that highlights major contemporary changes and developments in practice.

Secondly, the module introduces students to major debates about theory and practice in the specific fields of leadership, change management, and leadership development. The aim is to help them become effective leaders as well as effective HR specialists, managing others fairly and effectively and increasing levels of engagement, commitment, motivation and performance. Finally, the module requires students to reflect critically on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint and provides opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development.

The main topics of study are as follows:

* Fundamentals of leadership and its defining characteristics. Differences between leadership and management

* The concepts of leadership and management in an organisational, social, environmental and multicultural context

* The key roles that leaders play in creating visions and strategies, and the implementation of leadership and management strategies to meet current and future organisational demands

* Critical issues in leadership and management development, including how leaders are selected, development tools that are available, and issues of evaluation

* How leadership development strategy is formulated and implemented in international and global contexts

* Leading change, and the key challenges that organisations and individual managers face

* How leaders influence and persuade others; ethical issues that such practices pose

* How leaders build employee commitment and engagement, particularly through practising 'Evidence Based Management'

* Leadership skills for building teams and securing involvement and participation

* Core communication skills used by leaders to motivate followers

* Thinking skills for leaders: barriers to rational thinking and how they can be overcome

* Promoting collaborative working and engaged followership behaviours

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This module covers:

• Introduction to the HRM Project

• Identifying suitable project topics

• Literature search and Literature Review

• Data collection and questionnaire

• Research Methodologies

• Preparing the dissertation proposal

• Structuring a Project Report

• Data Analysis

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The aims of the module are to:

• Develop an appreciation of the complexity and diversity associated with doing business internationally.

• Provide an overview of the major theories and concepts which have been developed by academics and practitioners in order to understand the international business arena.

• Offer some practical solutions to the problems faced by the international business community.

• Derive insights which will enable students to effectively play part in managing resources across national boundaries within their organisation, at present or in the future.

Business in an International Perspective is an exploration of an area that is highly topical within the practice of management and scholarly research. The chances are high indeed that, at some time during their career, today’s MSc graduates will work for an international organisation, an international market research company or a multinational enterprise. The notion of purely domestic organisation is becoming more and more difficult to substantiate. The module adopts an analytical and critical perspective to the somewhat prescriptive literature which is associated with this contentious problem area.

The topics addressed in this module will include:

• International business and international trade theory

• Cultural factors and their impact on business, including human resource management

• Risk analysis, country risk and the consequences for trade and investment

• Government-business relations and market regulation

• International organisations and international business: GATT/WTO and multilateral trade issues

• The world financial environment and the multinational finance function: foreign exchange markets, business implications of exchange rate changes

• Corporate social responsibility and the impact of international business on various stakeholders

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Indicative topics are:

• Theories of reward/performance management in context:

• Understanding the role of internal and external labour markets in reward/performance management: the changing world of work and major features of national and international employment markets.

• Understanding strategic reward/performance management practices.

• Understanding the role of paying for performance

• Understanding the linking practices for reward and performance management: job evaluation and the balanced scorecard

• Evaluating the success of reward/performance management practices

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This module aims to provide learners with a rigorous framework of knowledge and understanding concerning the process of strategy formulation and implementation. It seems to enhance their understanding of the context in which businesses and public sector organisations operate, and how the HR function can enhance overall capability.

The main topics of study are as follows:

* Fundamentals of strategy and its defining characteristics. Differences between strategy and implementation.

* The role of context in shaping strategy

* How the HR function supports the process of strategy development and implementation

* How enhanced people management skills and processes support the management of change and foster a culture of adaptability

* Leading culture change, and the key challenges that organisations and individual managers face

* History and origins of Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM)

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The aim of this module is to describe, analyse and evaluate current practice and developments in employee resourcing. It will provide students with a range of theoretical and practical knowledge, providing them with the opportunity to think critically and evaluate the theory and practice of employee resourcing. This will enable students to develop and apply employee resourcing tools and techniques to specific organisational contexts in which they might operate.

The module will include:

• Employee Resourcing in context: the changing world of work and major features of national and international employment markets

• The Strategic Importance of employee resourcing and approaches to employee resourcing including resourcing and talent management, diversity management and flexible working initiatives.

• The role of business ethics and organisational stakeholders in the practice of employee resourcing and talent management.

• Human Resource Planning – talent and succession planning

• Recruitment, Selection and Induction

• People Management: socialisation and improving performance

• Employee turnover and employee retention

• Managing release: retirement, redundancy and dismissal.

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The aims of this module are: to acquire theories and concepts in employee relations; and, to critically examine and apply employee relations theories in practice, within diverse organisations and wider environmental contexts. In order to be eligible for the CIPD award your performance may not be compensated or condoned in this module.

The main topics of study are:

• The context of employment relations: the employment relationship and the psychological contract, workplace decision making, the organisational context, the labour market, the economy, European Union and historical background.

• Theories and perspectives of employment relations

• The actors in employment relations: the roles of managers, employees and the state. Issues to be discussed include: management styles and strategies, the role of employer associations and trade unions, the role of the state as an economic manager, regulator and employer and the role of state agencies.

• Employment relations processes: employee involvement and participation, collective bargaining, individual bargaining and negotiation, joint consultation and the rise of alternative forms of representation, non-union workplaces, industrial conflict and dispute resolution, pay determination, employee commitment and organisational change.

• Employment relations outcomes: the impact of employment relations on firm performance and national economic performance and employee commitment and agreement types.

• Employment relations skills: grievances, disciplinaries, redundancies and termination of employment, negotiation, change and problem solving.

• Employment law: historical background, institutions of employment law, individual and collective employment law, implications of EU membership for employment law.

• Occupational health and safety: the legal framework, the rights and duties of employers and employees, safety management, the role and function of health and safety committees and contemporary trends in health and safety

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This module will provide students with a range of theoretical and practical knowledge, providing them with the opportunity to think critically and evaluate the theory and practice of employee resourcing. This will enable students to develop and apply employee resourcing tools and techniques to specific organisational contents in which they might operate. The main topics of study are as follows:

• Overview of the selection process

• The role of legislation

• Job and competency analysis

• Selection Tools: Recruitment and application forms; individual differences and psychometrics; selection interviews; work samples, and situational judgement tests

• Fairness and diversity in assessment.

• International selection methods

• Evaluating Selection from a candidate’s perspective

• Assessment beyond selection: Appraisal, 360 degree appraisals and promotion

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The aims of the module are:

• Analyze the modern multinational enterprise and its evolution.

• Explore the various ways multinationals are expanding and organized.

• Investigate the different subsidiary mandates.

• Critically examine innovation management within the multinational enterprise.

The module content will include:

• Evolution of the Multinational Enterprise – Multinational Enterprise Theories.

• Multinationals and their Difference from Domestic Firms (Hymer’s approach to the Modern Multinational, Modes of Internationalization).

• Integrated Approaches – The Eclectic Framework and the Investment Development Path.

• Strategy and the Multinational Enterprise.

• Integration Responsiveness Framework – Multinational Structures and Roles of Subsidiaries.

• Organization of the Multinational Network – Heterarchy vs. Hierarchy, Subsidiary Mandates.

• Technological Innovation and the Multinational.

• Cultural Differences and Multinational Performance.

• Unifying Approach –Global Value Chain.

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Business failures in the global financial sector, and the subsequent repercussions for a range of different groups, not just shareholders, have put the spotlight on the role of business and the behaviour of managers. Is business just responsible for maximising profit for its owners, or does it have responsibilities to other groups? This raises a number of difficult questions; which groups? responsible for what? And if so, how to discharge these responsibilities?

The Globalisation and Corporate Responsibility module has three main aims:

• To develop critical thought, insight and debate regarding the changing role of business in today’s society.

• To broaden your views on the role of business in society.

• To provide you with the tools, skills and knowledge to manage responsibly.

The nature of the topic is constantly changing and evolving; therefore the module will be

subject to continual refinement according to developments in industry, government and academia. Specific issues to be covered will include:

• Definitions of Corporate Responsibility

• The Role of Business and Society

• Theories of Corporate Responsibility

• Ethics Theory

• Business Ethics and Corporate Governance

• Areas of Corporate Responsibility

• Firm Level Responses

• Social Accounting

• Criticisms of Corporate Responsibility

• Social Entrepreneurship

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You gain much more than an academic qualification when you graduate from Kent Business School – we enhance your student experience and accelerate your career prospects.

In today’s business climate employers are increasingly demanding more from new employees, we are therefore proud that they continually target our graduates for their organisations across the globe. Employers respect our robust teaching and reputation for delivering international business expertise, leading global research and an outstanding international learning experience.

From the moment you start with us, our efforts are focused on helping you gain the knowledge, skills and experience you need to thrive in an increasingly competitive workplace.

Professional recognition

Kent Business School is a member of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS); and the Kent MBA is an Association of MBAs (AMBA) accredited programme. In addition, KBS have accreditations with The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).

KBS is a signatory of the United Nation's Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), which provides a global network for academic institutions to advance corporate sustainability and social responsibility.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

Kent Business School currently occupies a purpose-designed building consisting of executive learning facilities with wireless provision throughout. Each postgraduate student is assigned a specific member of academic staff who acts as your first point of contact throughout your studies. There is a lively postgraduate community at the School, with plenty of space to relax and interact with your fellow students and our academic staff. On the Canterbury Campus, Kent Business School will soon be moving into a new academic building, known as The Sibson Building, a vibrant new campus destination.

New academic facilities and social spaces for Kent Business School at Medway have also recently opened. The Sail and Colour Loft features six seminar rooms, a group learning room, a computer suite, quiet study areas, student social spaces and a special reference collection of core text books. Kent’s libraries offer over a million books, periodicals and journals, and we have subject-specific librarians to help you secure access to the information you need.

We also offer excellent teaching facilities with tailor-made specialist resources. Postgraduate students can access a range of specialist software packages used in quantitative analysis and in finance. Most academic schools have specific study areas for postgraduates and there is also a general postgraduate common room with work area.

An international focus

Kent Business School has more than 60 internationally recognised academics from 22 different countries. Most of our teaching faculty are involved with researching the latest issues in business and management, working with organisations to provide new insight for business leaders and policymakers. Their knowledge and findings feed into the programmes to ensure they are both cutting-edge and globally relevant.

Worldwide partnerships

Kent Business School has close links with: ifs (Institute of Financial Services); dunnhumby, who partners the Consumer Insight Service in the Centre for Value Chain Research; Hong Kong Baptist University, with whom we offer a joint Master’s programme in Operational Research and Finance Business Statistics; University of Castellanza (Italy); Audencia Nantes Business School (France); Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences (Denmark); Universiti Teknologi Malaysia; University of Ingolstadt, Bayern (Germany); City University of Hong Kong; Renmin University of China, School of Business.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money; International Journal of Finance & Economics; Journal of Banking and Finance; European Journal of Operational Research; Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting; Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control; European Journal of Finance; Journal of Asset Management; International Review of Financial Analysis.

Global skills

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Students who wish to apply for a higher degree should have a good honours degree from the UK or equivalent internationally recognised qualification, in a relevant subject such as business, economics, finance, and accounting, humanities, engineering and computer science. Consideration will be given to those applicants holding a good second class honours degree.

Applicants without an honours degree may also be considered on the basis of work experience, professional qualifications and the relevance of the programme to their current professional role.

English language requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. 

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Research activities at Kent Business School are broadly organised into six areas;

Research in our People, Management and Organisation group examines themes in the areas of employment relations, human resource management, organisational behaviour and leadership. The group covers a wide range of research, including employment relationships, the role of social partners, the effects of skills, technology and culture on the world of work, employee engagement, and the role of leadership.

For more information, see our Applied Research Centre:

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Samantha Evans: Lecturer in Industrial Relations and HRM

HRM and line managers, performance management and appraisal, trade union strategies across a variety of countries and equality of employment.

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Professor Yannis Georgellis: Professor of Management

Employee well-being and engagement, psychological theories of adaption, work-life conflict/enrichment, social comparisons at work, evaluation of HRM practices, workplace training and skills, intrinsic motivation in the public sector, happiness research and behavioural and personal economics.

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Professor Soo Hee Lee: Professor in Organisation Studies

Qualitative research: strategic thinking; design management; arts policy and management; science and technology policy; product innovation; digital strategy; new media; human computer interaction; organisation theory; international management; artistic creativity and innovation.

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Dr Patricia Lewis: Reader in Management

Entrepreneurial identity; female entrepreneurs; ‘mumpreneurs’; femininity; postfeminism; gender and organisations.

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Mr Fred Ryder: Lecturer in Accounting


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Dr Maddy Wyatt: Lecturer in Human Resources Management

Career success; organisational politics; ethnic diversity; gender diversity; political skill; politicians; occupational psychology.

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Dr Pamela Yeow: Senior Lecturer in Management

The role of trust (and trust repair) and communication in managing change effectively, and how communities of practice work in reality.

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The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

International Human Resource Management - MSc at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £10480 £18400

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 


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