Are you a people professional aspiring to lead in today’s challenging environment? Our CIPD accredited MSc in Human Resource Management equips students with an exemplary insight into people management, a practice which sits at the heart of business success.
Some say the greatest asset to any business is its people. As a Kent Business School student studying our CIPD-accredited Human Resource Management MSc, our experts help you to gain the knowledge and confidence to take the lead in people management.
The course teaches a multitude of knowledge and transferable skills to secure senior roles within the field of human resources.
Students who join the programme develop a deep understanding of the core theories, practises and techniques required for working within human resource management. Get ready to explore exciting and innovative areas of study such as HR analytics, leadership and strategy plus insight into the management of employee relations and the contextual forces which impact an organisation.
Studying Human Resource Management with Kent Business School opens up incredible opportunities to experience the world of human resource management through hands-on sessions via in-class live case studies from our visiting industry experts, enterprise challenges and company visits.
Our research-led teaching is delivered to a high quality by our academic staff, all of whom are published experts in their field. We also work closely with the CIPD to deliver extra-curricular events to enhance learning, skills and employability.
You will also have access to our ASPIRE centre, a purpose built entrepreneurial lab where you can develop, plan and launch your own start up business.
Our Human Resource Management graduates receive the Level 7 CIPD Advanced Learning Award, allowing them to gain the prestigious CIPD Chartered Member status. They graduate with the skillset and contacts to pursue a sought-after career in people management in a wide range of businesses and organisations.
"With an MSc HRM degree from Kent, I hope to have a career that will take me to the top of an organisation."
Billy Ward, Human Resource Management 2021.
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You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply please check our information on how to apply and the documentation required to process your application.
Our School is proud to be in the top 1% of business schools globally to hold accreditations from three large business organisations:
Our programmes offer world-class business education enabling transformative learning experiences built around the School’s fundamental values of sustainable innovation and responsible management practice. Our students are at the heart of all considerations and through engaging teaching, world-class research, professional partnerships and an international community, we create an exciting atmosphere in which to learn and thrive.
All of our programmes at Kent Business School address the challenges of modern global business and we aim to meet industry demands of producing quality graduates by ensuring we unlock our students’ potential, expand their thinking and nurture their talent.
You are more than your grades
For 2021, in response to the challenges caused by Covid-19 we will consider applicants either holding or projected a 2:2. This response is part of our flexible approach to admissions whereby we consider each student and their personal circumstances. If you have any questions, please get in touch.
A minimum of a second-class UK degree, or an equivalent internationally recognised qualification in a variety of subject areas is accepted, but we encourage particularly applicants from the social sciences and humanities.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and those 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.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes.
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.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Applicants who are required to meet an English language condition may be able to study a pre-sessional course in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Duration: 1 year full-time
All students achieve two qualifications – the MSc in Human Resource Management plus the advanced level 7 knowledge to become eligible for Chartered Membership of CIPD.
The course consists of six compulsory and four optional modules in Stage 1 with Stage 2 consisting of a piece of human resources related research.
Stage 1 aims to provide you with a broad overview of human resources management, including modules on the context, practices and business skills involved in managing people. There will also be opportunities to study more specific areas in the chosen field such as HR strategy, the psychology of selection processes and employee relations.
Stage 2 consists of a detailed human resources business report. This allows you to further develop your skills in human resource management theory whilst practically applying the knowledge and skills developed throughout Stage 1.
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.
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
This module will provide students with an in-depth and critical understanding of the major internal and external environmental contexts within which human resource managers operate in public, private and NGO sectors. It will also provide insights in terms of customising and delivering effective HR strategies consistent with the cultural or organisational contexts. The awareness of markets, products and services is now a key attribute for HR practitioners. Prospective practitioners need to be aware of the wide range of contexts in which HR work takes place, and the influence of external bodies of various kinds, and this applies to all types of practitioner, including the personnel and development generalist or specialist, line manager or consultant. The manager of people also needs to develop an analytical and critical reflective approach to the subject, to enable him or her to distinguish between the conflicting solutions put forward to human resource problems.
Topic areas are as follows:
- Contemporary organisations and their principle environments
- The managerial and business environment within which HR professionals work
- How organisational and HR strategies are shaped by and developed in response to internal and external environmental factors
- The market and competitive environments of organisations and how organisational leaders and the HR function respond to them
- Globalisation and international forces and how they shape and impact on organisational and HR strategies and HR practice
- Demographic, social and technological trends and how they shape and impact on organisational and HR strategies and practices
- Government policy and legal regulation and how these shape and impact on organisational and HR strategies and practices.
- Ethical frameworks and HRM
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.
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
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.
This module develops the necessary knowledge and skills for students to be able to successfully complete a scholarly dissertation under the supervision of a member of staff.
Topics are as follows:
- 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
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.
Topics included may be:
• 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.
The curriculum 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 employment relations. This will enable students to develop and apply employment relations to specific organisational contexts and consider the implications of employment relations for employee commitment, organisational change and organisational performance in a competitive global economy.
Topics included may be:
• 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
• Employment relations outcomes: the impact of employment relations on firm performance and national economic performance and employee commitment and
• 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
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. Indicative 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
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 reward and performance management. This will enable students to develop and apply reward and performance management tools and techniques to specific organisational contents in which they might operate.
Topics of study 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
This module aims to provide an understanding of the importance of HR analytics in practice. It will also ensure that students have hand-on experience to apply current quantitative techniques and tools to a variety of problems encountered in HR. Special emphasis will be given to the analysis of diversity within companies and how HR analytics can contribute to a better understanding on how this relates to performance, retention and the wider organisational climate.
• Introduction to HR Analytics
• HR Systems, Data Databases and their usage
• Diversity Analytics
• Engagement and Workforce Perceptions
• Predicting Employee turnover and performance
• HR analytics – recruitment and selection
• HR Analytics to mentor training and interventions
• Critical HR Analytics – ethical and moral implications for Organisations and Employees
This module provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate the ability to diagnose and investigate a complex business issue from an HR perspective, to locate the work within the body of contemporary knowledge, to collect and analyse data, to derive supportable conclusions and to make practical and actionable recommendations for change, improvement or enhancement of current practice.
The applied nature of the report requires a critical evaluative approach, empirical investigation and analysis and a combination of academic research and business report writing skills. It requires reflection on the implications for professional practice from an ethical, professional and continuous professional development standpoint, including an account of what has been learned during the project and how this can be applied in the future.
We use a variety of teaching methods, including:
Classroom-based learning is supported by the latest online technologies and learning platforms.
Your progress on this course is assessed through a variety of means, including:
Students wishing to undertake the optional industrial placement will be required to successfully complete all stage 1 modules. The Industrial Placement is assessed by the completion of the Industrial Placement Report.
The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
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 email@example.com.
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:
In The Complete University Guide 2021, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.
Please see the University League Tables 2021 for more information.
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 School.
Kent Business School is a research-led business school. Our research strategy is developed around the core theme of sustainable innovation which cuts across the entire School. This theme can be seen as being divided into two sub-strands of research aimed at answering these main questions:
Kent Business School advances knowledge through constant promotion and support of innovative research. We have an impact on wider society through extensive collaborations with external partners which range from other academic institutions to a variety of local, national and international businesses as well as the NHS. Within this wider context, our main strategic aim has been geared towards establishing ourselves as a leading institution for research in sustainable innovation.
Kent Business School is a global leader in research and develops a wide portfolio of research related activities including workshops, conferences and research seminar series. This has led to a large number of international collaborations and to over 200 co-authored papers with international partners.
Specialising in public-sector critical accounting and accounting history.
Looking into a wide array of financial issues from derivatives pricing to real-estate modelling.
Innovating in wide-ranging topics such as operational research and systems thinking.
Studying issues surrounding consumer behaviours, product development and maintaining value supply chains among others.
Specialising in improving human resource management, organisational behaviour and leadership.
Helping in the development of innovative business strategies for business all over the world.
Helping companies to solve complex strategic, tactical and operational problems.
Contribute to the productivity debate and drive improvements at all levels; from the national economic output, to changes in the ways SME’s operate.
Providing quantitative analysis of issues in the financial markets for businesses and policy makers.
Helping both academics and practitioners tackle the challenges emerging from the rapid development of new digital technologies
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Critical Perspectives on Accounting; Quantitative Finance; Human Resource Management Journal; Journal of Product Innovation Management; European Journal of Operational Research; and Psychology & Marketing.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Of Kent postgraduate students who responded to the most recent national survey of graduate destinations, over 97% were in work or further study within six months. (DLHE 2017)
Studying an Msc in Human Resource Management sets our students up for the most senior roles in fields such as employee relations, reward and recognition, recruitment, retention, and people and organisational development.
Our Human Resource Management graduates find work in public and private sector management and consultancy both overseas and in the UK in a wide range of companies and organisations, including:
Many of our students also stay local and find job opportunities regionally in small and medium firms or even set-up their own businesses as well-equipped entrepreneurs.
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.
Kent Business School has an excellent international reputation and good links with businesses locally and globally. Our qualified careers practitioners provide support to all business postgraduate students for up to three years after graduation.
In addition, Careers and Employability Service at the University provide a comprehensive package of skills development training programmes, careers advice, volunteering and paid work opportunities to enhance your career prospects.
The programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Europe’s largest professional institute for HRM and HR development, to its Advanced Level Standards.
As a CIPD Approved Centre, we are recognised as a professional deliverer of HRM education so that on completion of this programme, you will have acquired the level of knowledge and understanding to apply for full professional membership of the CIPD.
Kent Business School has a lively and active postgraduate community, bought about in part by our strong research culture and by the close interaction between our staff and students. Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books and embed their research in their teaching.
Taught students have regular contact with their course and module conveners with staff on hand to answer any questions and to provide helpful and constructive feedback on submitted work.
The Business School has an active and inclusive extra-curricular academic and social scene with guest lectures, talks and workshops organised by our academic staff, research centres and the ASPIRE team. You can catch up with our most recent Open for Business Seminar Series.
The Human Resource Management course is taught at the multi-award-winning Sibson Building, Kent Business School's home on our Canterbury campus. This vibrant, state-of-the-art structure includes lecture theatres, seminar rooms, dedicated MBA, PhD and IT suites as well as social and breakout areas to fully enhance your learning experience.
Kent’s libraries offer over a million books, periodicals and journals, and we have subject-specific librarians to help you to secure access to the information you need.
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.
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.
Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
Once started, you can save and return to your application at any time.