Other sections in Masters:
Our Masters develops your expertise in working with and through people – developing human resources in pursuit of strategic objectives.
Get a prospectus
Whether you want to work in an HR role, focus on the learning and development of people, advise on the people function in a consulting organisation, or become an independent people consultant, then this programme will match your needs.
You will develop your expertise in activating people, and in stimulating change through consulting. The interactive and experiential learning approach, combined with working with real organisations, will embed and extend the theoretical and practical abilities developed on the programme. Whether you are already working in HR, management education or consultancy, or are relatively new to the field, you’ll be stretching your mind as we train you to think critically about all of these. Working collaboratively and sharing your ideas and experiences with your international classmates and a team of supportive tutors is key – and, as our graduates tell us, it’s often how you learn the most.
You will graduate prepared for a role in any of the following areas: human resource management, human resource development, organisation development, leadership and management development, or consulting in the people side of organisations.
12-month course, starting in October
CIPD Accredited, option to gain Associate CIPD level
Average class size
Designed for HR professionals, learning and development professionals, and people consultants
Consulting projects allow you to put your knowledge into practice
Gain relevant skills sought by the HR industry
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:
We look for the following qualities in those who join the programme:
The modules on the MA in HR and Consulting are taught over three terms, with a break at Christmas and Easter. Some of the modules span across terms. The first term, from October to December, sets the groundwork for the programme with a number of short and small assessments and a focus on key HR, development and teamwork knowledge and skills.
Alongside the modules listed below, there is also a Careers and Learning Development element, which provides interactive group sessions over term one and two that will equip you with skills to make the most of your learning, study and careers opportunities.
This module is focused on developing understanding of Human Resources (HR) from the developmental and strategic perspectives. This module therefore aims to provide students foundational knowledge about the nature, role and impact of HR in organizations, both nationally and internationally, and its social, political and economic context. A further key aim of this module is to aid and support applicants’ professional development and enable them to apply and demonstrate key knowledge, understanding and learning in the professional practice of HR.
The module aims to develop students’ understanding and knowledge of HR practices and strategies through introduction to a range of HR functions including recruitment and selection, performance appraisal, training and coaching, leadership development, reward management, and the employment relationship. The module also aims to develop students’ understanding and knowledge of the principle internal and external environmental contexts of contemporary organisations, including the organizational context and international context, within which HR professionals and consultants work out HR strategies in different aspects of HR functions, in order to enhance organizational performance. Drawing upon real life case studies and examples, contemporary research and classroom exercises, the module aims to develop students’ critical thinking on HR practices and strategies within these different contexts. Through interactive exercises in class and the assessment, the module also aims to develop students’ skills in the critical evaluation of HR theories and practices including application of knowledge to analyse contemporary HR processes, practices and strategies, and in the application of theories into business activities.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate:
an understanding of HR theories, their application and practice
an understanding of the nature, role and impact of HR in organizations, both nationally and internationally, and its social, political and economic context
an understanding of the forms, lifecycle, processes and elements of HR interventions
an understanding of HR practices from developmental and strategic perspectives
an ability to think in critical and analytical (rather than merely descriptive) ways about HR practices and strategies and their implications in different contexts and across different levels
an ability to critically evaluate, select and apply HR theories and approaches to diverse contexts and taking into account a range of contextual factors
an ability to design HR strategies in different aspects of HR functions within a business context
skills of actively and critically reflecting on HR theories and practice
an ability to apply knowledge on contemporary organisations and their principal internal and external environments (including globalisation and international aspects) in analysing contemporary organisational and HR strategies and practice
an ability to apply knowledge on the managerial and business environment within which HR professionals work in analysing contemporary HR
an ability to apply knowledge on demographic, social and technological trends in the analysis of how they shape and impact on organisational and HR strategies and HR practices
the critical evaluation of major traditions of contemporary research in HRM and HRD
the critical evaluation of major theories relating to motivation, commitment and engagement at work and how these are put into practice by organisations
the critical discussion of the aims and objectives of the HRM and HRD function in organisations and how these are met in practice
The Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management (OLKM) module is based on how understandings of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management theoretical perspectives align with practical implications of each theory. This module therefore aims to develop students’ critical understanding of how Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management (OLKM) are influenced by the context in which they occur including social, cultural, organizational contexts, and how learning can create innovation and sustainable competitive advantages in today’s organizations.
The module aims to develop a subject specific understanding of different concepts related to OLKM. It aims to develop understanding of different concepts within the field and encourage students to identify and explore the use of innovative practices concurrent with OLKM concepts. The module aims to provide students with a sound basis of skills and knowledge for future careers in the field of HRD, particularly as a knowledge management and organizational learning consultant. The module design and processes include the design of effective teaching and learning activities, which will foster inclusive and engaging learning experiences during the 1st term. The design includes drawing on real life examples, contemporary research and classroom exercises including interactive learning with group and individual learning exercises (1-2 informal presentations, final consulting presentation and individual essay).
On successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate:
An understanding and critical evaluation of a range of OLKM theories, concepts and practice,
An appreciation and understanding of learning and knowledge practices in contemporary organizations.
A critical awareness of OLKM dynamics in formal and informal settings and in-group learning situations, taking into account a range of contextual factors.
The identification and understanding of the disciplinary areas that contribute to OLKM in theory and practice.
Critical thinking about OLKM concepts and their application to the workplace
The Design and Dynamics module is based on understandings of learning as a socially situated phenomenon, where learning occurs in and emerges from social situations. This module therefore aims to develop students’ critical understanding of how learning design and learning dynamics are influenced by the context in which they occur including social, cultural, political and organizational contexts and how learning design and dynamics in turn affect learning interventions and outcomes.
The module aims to develop understanding and knowledge of learning designs and processes including the design, delivery and evaluation of learning through introduction to a range of learning designs including designs for networked learning. Through interactive exercises, formative and summative assessment the module aims to develop students’ skills in the critical evaluation of learning designs and processes, their application, delivery and evaluation. The module also aims to develop students’ understanding and knowledge of the dynamics of learning. Drawing on real life examples, contemporary research and classroom exercises the module aims to develop students’ critical awareness of learning dynamics in formal and informal learning, in networked learning and in group learning situations, taking into account a range of contextual factors.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate:
an ability to critically evaluate learning design theories and practice
the ability to design learning within particular resources and constraints (time, materials, budget)
skills related to the design, delivery and facilitation of learning including employing a range of methods and in relation to diverse groups
The aim of the module is to introduce students to the evaluation, design, development and conduct of research. While focusing primarily on qualitative research, the module also aims to provide sufficient introduction to the key features of qualitative and quantitative research, their purposes and attendant methods. The module therefore aims to enable students to understand the different purposes and uses of various forms of research including mixed methods, and provide sufficient context for the quantitative research and survey methods module (DLM507) to build upon.
A key purpose of the module is to show how qualitative research allows the researcher to go beneath the surface in order to understand how people experience and make sense of events and everyday practice including how they feel about things, and why they make particular choices. The module aims to facilitate students in understanding both the theory and practice of qualitative research, and to provide foundations from which students can build upon. The module seeks to offer the necessary knowledge and skills concerning the evaluation, design, development and conduct of qualitative research projects to students for undertaking their dissertations. A further aim is to prepare students should they progress to PhD level, or seek in the future to undertake rigorous qualitative research as part of their employment. The module aims to encourage students to feel responsible, and to take responsibility for, any research they undertake, and to read widely and critically in relation to qualitative research.
an understanding of theoretical and practical concerns relevant to research in human resources, management and leadership, and consulting including political and ethical issues encountered in their implementation.
an understanding of philosophies (ontological and epistemological assumptions) that underpin major research traditions and their application to the design of research projects
an understanding of the features of qualitative and quantitative research approaches and their relevance for different forms of research and inquiry
an understanding of a range of qualitative research methods and their application to different forms of research and inquiry
an understanding of research design principles and theories and their application to practice
an ability to critically evaluate, select and apply appropriate research design theories and approaches and methods to diverse contexts and taking into account a range of contextual factors
the ability to critically reflect and think analytically in relation to HR, consulting, management and leadership theory and practice
the ability to design, develop and conduct a research project within particular resources and constraints (time, materials, budget)
During your second term from January to March you engage in a consulting project with an external client organisation, as well as developing advanced knowledge in HR and research methods. In this term you also begin to work on your dissertation proposal.
The Consulting and Organizational Diagnosis module is focused on developing understanding of the overall lifecycle, components of, and approaches to HR and organizational development consulting interventions. This module therefore aims to provide students foundational and advanced knowledge about the forms, processes and elements of HR and organizational development types of consulting interventions.
The module aims to develop students’ understanding and knowledge of the different approaches to HR and organizational development consulting interventions practices through introduction to a range of consulting approaches, including the expert, doctor-patient and process consulting modes of consultant-client interaction. The module also aims to develop students’ understanding and knowledge of the principle internal organizational features that impact upon and influence consulting interventions, namely the political relationship of the consultant to the client system, the political relationships within the client system, the organizational structure, and the organizational culture or climate. The role of the consultant in relation to the client system, in particular, is explored and the dynamics of this relationship and the different choices available to consultants are developed. The crucial role of organizational diagnosis – the processes involved and the different conceptual lenses for approaching diagnosis are introduced and critically explored. Drawing upon real life case studies and examples, contemporary research and classroom exercises, the module aims to develop students’ critical thinking on consulting practices and strategies, and their application of these practices and strategies into consulting activities.
The module also looks at the nature of consulting and the roles of internal and external consultants – both in theory and in practice. It considers the research skills required for consulting work and reflects on ways of managing projects and organisational interventions. Within the module, teams of students take the role of a consultancy group enlisted by a client organisation to work on a live consultancy brief. The brief involves investigating a business issue of the client’s from a HR and organisational development perspective. The students need to negotiate the scope of the brief, to diagnose and investigate the business issue from an HR or organisational development perspective, to locate the work within a relevant body of contemporary knowledge, to collect and analyse data, to facilitate appropriate change, to derive supportable conclusions and to make practical and actionable recommendations for change, improvement or enhancement of the client’s current practice.
an understanding of consulting theories, their application and practice
an understanding of the forms, lifecycle, processes and elements of HR and organizational development types of consulting interventions
an understanding of consulting practices from developmental and strategic perspectives
an ability to think in critical and analytical (rather than merely descriptive) ways about HR and consulting practices and strategies and their implications in different contexts and across different levels
an ability to critically evaluate, select and apply consulting theories and approaches to diverse contexts and taking into account a range of contextual factors
skills of actively and critically reflecting on consulting theories and practice
the planning, management and critical reflection on managing relationships with the client system
the planning, management and critical reflection on project management and developing deliverables for a client
the planning, management and critical reflection on diagnosing, researching, and drawing conclusions about organizational and business issues from a HR or organisational development perspective
the development of appropriate strategies for project and organisational problem-solving
the planning, management and critical reflection on the development of strategic options and practical and actionable recommendations for a client
the evaluation and application of the philosophies and practicalities of management-based research and evaluation, including the various political, ethical and legal issues encountered in their implementation in the HR and consulting context
This module aims to develop knowledge and skills in HR theory and professional practice. This module builds on student’ foundational understanding and knowledge of HR provided in the introductory module in Term 1. The module is focused on financial aspects of HR and power and politics and the application of theories and ideas into practice.
The aims of this module are:
On successful completion of this module students will be able...
1. To demonstrate the analysis of market and competitive environments of organisations and how organisational leaders and the HR function respond to them
2. To demonstrate the analysis of government policy and legal regulation and how these shape and impact on organisational and HR strategies and HR practices.
3. To demonstrate the assessment of the contribution made by HRM and HRD specialists in different types of organisation
4. To demonstrate the interpretation of financial information
5. To demonstrate the management of financial resources
6. To demonstrate the drawing of appropriate conclusions and making recommendations based on costed options
The module provides detailed guidance on undertaking large scale research, using a range of quantitative methods. The main methods covered are descriptive data analysis, statistical relationships (correlational and regression analysis), hypothesis testing, data reduction analysis (factor analysis) and scale construction. The aims are:
- To introduce some traditional and new conventions of data analysis to human resources students
- To develop the confidence of those with little or no previous experience of computing and/or statistics.
- To provide an introduction to computer-aided data analysis and the use of appropriate software packages.
- To encourage informed choices on the types of data to be collected and modes of analysis.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to...
Design their own research study using dependent and independent variables, and how to make and test hypotheses
Apply the theory behind sampling, and the differences between sampling distributions and population distributions
Plot and graph data, test for assumptions of normality, and transform data to meet assumptions of normality
Apply the concepts of the importance of confidence intervals and tests of significance
Test for mean differences and differences between means
Understand, appropriately apply and perform correlational analyses
Understand, appropriately apply and perform both simple and multiple regression analyses
Understand, appropriately apply and perform parametric and non-parametric tests
Understand, create, and appropriately apply scales
Understand, appropriately apply and perform factor and discriminant analyses
Utilize appropriate software to appropriately and correctly input, manipulate, analyse, interpret and present quantitative data
Building on DLM503, this module aims to give students experience in the design, development, planning and conduct of a research project; including creating data collection instruments, employing different research methods, negotiating access for data, prioritising, planning and managing time and work effectively, and crafting a major piece of academic work in the broad areas of human resources and consulting.
The aim of the dissertation is for students to design and conduct an independent, self-managed and clearly defined piece of research in a topic/ area relevant to HR and Consulting, using appropriate research methods. Students are expected to identify a question which is of intellectual/ scholarly interest and to critically engage with theory and existing knowledge relevant to HR and Consulting.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
Provide an adequate formulation of the research question, in light of the literature reviewed
Demonstrate understanding and application of research design and methodology by providing a methodological rationale for the methods chosen
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of data methods and analysis by collecting and analysing appropriate data
Apply the methods and/or perspective adequately throughout the data analysis
Discuss the findings and link this discussion adequately to the literature review
Make an intelligible contribution to debate
Draw conclusions from the study and reflect on the methods and processes
Negotiate access for data,
Prioritise, plan and manage time and work effectively.
From May to July you develop your advanced knowledge in leadership, and work on your Masters dissertation in a learning group, with support from your dissertation supervisor. The dissertation is your opportunity to focus on an HR or consulting topic of your choice. You will submit it at the end of August, at the end of your Masters programme.
This module aims to develop knowledge and skills in the practice of leadership in organizations. The module is focused on leadership theory and practice in organizations and the application of theories and ideas into practice.
- Demonstrate the critical discussion and evaluation of the characteristics of effective leadership and the methods used to develop leaders in organisations
- Demonstrate knowledge of the contribution of the promotion of flexible working and effective change management in organisations
- Evaluate major theories relating to motivation, commitment and engagement at work and how these are put into practice by organisations
The Organisational Diagnosis and Consulting project is where you can put to real practical use the skills in consultancy, research and project management that you have been building during Term 1. It will also draw on your previous work experience.
The project runs over eight weeks in Term 2 and you work in teams of six-eight students, with support from a tutor. Clients for the project typically come from both the private and public sector, and may include large and small organisations.
In the initial four weeks you undergo an intensive training in consultancy techniques and skills which will deepen your understanding of the nature of consultancy and what it means to be a consultant, whether internal or external. In addition to the academic input you will be given very practical advice by practitioners from consultancy organisations on how to manage a consultancy intervention, in particular how to manage the client relationship.
In the second four weeks, you move into the client project process. You work to a brief supplied by your client on an HR-related area they have identified as important for their organisation. Your task as a team is to provide a more detailed diagnosis of the issue, collect and analyse relevant data, and come up with sound and implementable recommendations as to what needs to be done.
You are supported throughout this process by your tutor as needed, but managing the client relationship is the responsibility of the student group.
Our assessments are designed to develop your learning. Coursework has a mix of individual and team-based elements, and goes from smaller and shorter elements in the first term, building in scope and size and leading to the dissertation. Assessments are not necessarily tied to one specific module. The coursework involves essays, group presentations, a consulting project and a dissertation. There are also three exams, which are a requirement for the Associate level of CIPD professional membership.
During your studies, you will benefit from a range of real-world experiences to connect your learning to the realities of the HR Industry. These include client projects, group tasks, guest talks from senior HR leaders, case-studies from international contexts and cross-cultural learning. Collectively, these elements are designed to develop your experience, encourage you to reflect and allow you to specialise your knowledge to suit your desired career path.
The programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and is recognised as equivalent to the CIPD Advanced Level Diploma in Human Resource Development. Upon successful completion students can gain Associate (Assoc CIPD) level of professional membership. As a level 7 award this provides a route for future upgrade to Chartered CIPD membership.
Our programme-specific scholarships for 2019 are aimed at high achieving applicants from across the world, and all the details can be found below. In addition to those below, we also offer other scholarships - visit our Apply for Masters page to find out more.
Up to £6,000
Multiple awards available
All applications are automatically considered before receiving the offer of a place on the programme. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend a Skype or telephone interview with the Admissions Director.
Awards are made throughout the year until all funds are allocated.
5 scholarships of £5,000
Please indicate as part of your application if you wish to be considered for one of these scholarships. Awards are made throughout the year so please apply early.
If you are not successful in obtaining a Home/EU Scholarship, you will be considered for an Open Scholarship.
*Please note, alumni or partner discounts may be held in conjunction with this award. Total scholarships and discounts awarded will be capped at the full tuition fee, and no part of this award is redeemable for cash or other services at Lancaster University.
UK/EU applicants with a good honours degree who wish to go on to study for a PhD can apply for an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 1+3 Studentship. This covers tuition fees and, depending on eligibility, living expenses for the MA and, provisionally, for a further three years’ study for a PhD.
You will benefit from a dedicated Careers and Learning Development module, which integrates job-seeking advice and careers development alongside inputs on assessment, coaching and professional development.
This is supplemented by the Careers Team at LUMS who help you to shape your career plans and support your job-hunting process in a variety of ways, including personalised one-to-one support and interactive workshops on areas such as career strategies, writing CVs and applications, interview skills, psychometric testing, what to expect at assessment centres, and online networking strategies.
Alumni from the programme have entered into a wide range of specialisms across the globe – in HR, consulting, academia and other business areas. Recent alumni have secured roles including Associate Consultant, Senior HR Manager, Training Development Specialist, Reward and Performance Manager, HR Business Partner and Learning Solution Project Manager at organisations such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ernst and Young, Teleperformance Benelux, AchieveForum, KPMG India and Deloitte.
MA Human Resources and Consulting , 2017
MA Human Resources and Consulting, 2017
MA Human Resources and Consulting, 2016
MA Human Resources and Consulting, 2015
MA Human Resources and Consulting, 2013
Contact a student