Aims and philosophy

The MA in Human Resources and Consulting takes a critical perspective on management theory and practice.

It lets you engage with many different ideas, concepts and ways of thinking about HRD and management development, about individual and organisational learning and the underlying processes and issues. You will be looking at those ideas from a theoretical perspective and – just as crucially – reflecting on how they translate into organisational practice. From our perspective, these two elements must always go hand in hand.

This dual focus on theory and practice is designed not only to enrich your awareness of different approaches but also to enhance your skills in designing and managing development interventions – making you far more adept at knowing what will work where, and why. The MA will also give you a better understanding of the contribution that HR makes to business and the role of evaluation in diagnosing organisational and individual needs.

A central philosophy of the programme is a belief in the importance of self-directed study, coupled with collaborative working. 

The programme takes an experiential approach to learning and development, which is why project work is used to complement academic study. Throughout the MA you are actively encouraged to diagnose and explore issues that are central to your individual learning – and encouraged to question and challenge philosophies and theories and to re-examine established beliefs and managerial practices.

Through its various strands and activities, the programme aims to:

  • Develop your skills and awareness as a responsive, reflective practitioner, able to analyse and respond to changing needs and evolving organisational contexts
  • Develop your critical thinking skills and your analytical capabilities
  • Increase your confidence and skills in working with others within an international learning community
  • Develop your ability to form balanced and reasoned judgements about the value, strengths and weaknesses of your own work and those of others

What we want students to bring to the programme

We look for the following qualities in those who join the programme:

  • Intellectual curiosity, enthusiasm and stamina, and the capacity to grapple with complex, multi-faceted issues and abstract concepts
  • Flexibility and open-mindedness in your thinking, and the readiness to challenge your own assumptions and preconceptions
  • Receptiveness to the ideas of other members of the group, and to support the development of others through constructive debate and feedback
  • An active approach to learning
  • Critical engagement in individual and group learning