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MSc Human Resource Management

Essential preparation for managing Human Resources in contemporary organisations.

About The Course

Successful organisations have successful employee relations. However, it takes sophisticated conceptual and analytical skills to deliver this. It needs a deep understanding of people in an organisational context. This MSc provides the tools to allow you to thrive in the world of human resource management.

This programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). You receive student CIPD membership immediately and become an associate member when you are awarded your degree (subject to successful completion of all modules and necessary fees).

Every organisational decision has an impact on its workforce. Our aim is to foster critical and reflective thinking and pragmatism. We will give you the confidence to challenge existing workplace thinking using good theoretical understanding. You will engage with real life business reports and learn how to assess the impact on HR issues which may include staff development, retention and workload alongside financial outcomes.

Key Facts

12-month course, starts in October

Designed for graduates from various disciplines or HR practitioners seeking a deeper understanding of HRM.

CIPD logo

Accreditation

Our MSc Human Resource Management is recognised as equivalent to the CIPD Advanced Level Diploma in Human Resource Management. 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.

Course Content

The degree begins with a week of intensive activities designed to introduce you to the programme and make clear what will be expected of you. Induction will also allow you to find out more about the University and Management School and the facilities available. A series of activities and social events, including two off-site visits to places of interest, will allow you to get to know your fellow students and the staff in the department.

During your first term from October to December, you will study the below modules.

Please note that the Professional Skills module listed below is only compulsory for those wishing to gain CIPD accreditation.

  • Organisations in the 21st Century: New Forms of Organising in the Contemporary World

    This module introduces contemporary organisations as institutional structures in which management functions. We begin by considering the formal organisation (and the role of management) which was developed through the twentieth century, and which provides the basis for much of our present day understanding of organising.

    The main part of the module deals with the contemporary situation and it is argued that the present time is one of extraordinary change in organisations, which offers a considerable challenge to orthodox organisational theory. The material presented looks at what seems to be happening to organisations large and small, and examines key issues in contemporary organisation including bureaucracy, managerial control, technological change and leadership. The latest range of organisational theories, such as institutional theory, discourse analysis and critical realism will be introduced to frame the understanding of ‘new realities’ in organisation.

  • Human Resource Management I: Contexts, Controversies and Critiques

    This module introduces the major debates and perspectives on Human Resource Management. It critically examines controversies about the nature of HRM, placing it in context to understand how it developed and what it constitutes in contemporary ‘globalised’ organisations. The module examines those issues that are seen as central to the practice of HRM, such as recruitment and selection, performance management, and remuneration strategies. Eve and Kay will draw on their own research to provide an insight into the HRM process, explored in a way that critiques its taken for granted ‘normality’, and unpacks the assumptions underlying this central organisational function.

  • The rise of management ideas and concepts

    How has management emerged as crucial form of organising work throughout the 20th Century and why is it so important? Where do management ideas come from and why do we see management in the specific ways we do? What counts as management knowledge? This module asks these questions and shows in detail how knowledge about people, work and organisations is produced, how it relies upon certain assumptions and how these assumptions have changed over time.

    The aims of this module are to examine the influence of scientific ideologies in the domain of management and organisation studies and to explore the cultural authority of science. On the one hand, we shall examine the ‘downstream’ impacts of scientific knowledge. On the other, we focus upon the ‘upstream’ conditions associated with the production of scientific knowledge. Recently, radically different concepts of the nature of science have been developed, which entails careful consideration of the process involved in the achievement of scientific knowledge. The module introduces important contemporary modes of thought on organising, including the rise of evidence-based management, complexity theory and actor network theory.

  • Advanced Study and Professional Skills

    This module provides you with important resources for developing your postgraduate study and HR professional skills. Whilst we recognise that different people have different skills and abilities, everyone can benefit from reflecting upon and honing their study skills. For some this represents an important step in making the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study, for others it will provide an opportunity to develop skills further. In all cases this module should have a positive impact on your levels of attainment across the course; so whilst it does not have a formal credit weighting on the course, it is a requirement that you participate fully in the module and that you submit the required evidence fully and on time. Also, participation in the module and the completion of the Lent term assessments is mandatory for those of you registering for the CIPD diploma. The Lent term workshops will focus on a range of skills and capabilities that are valued in the HR professional, covering issues such as recruitment and selection tasks, business analysis and negotiation.

  • Employment Relations

    The aim of the module is to develop the students' knowledge of the employment context and employment relations in contemporary economies. This will include developing their understanding of the employment market and the inter-relationship between industry context and employment practices. The knowledge and understanding of a range of dimensions of employment, such as contractual relations, remuneration and reward schemes, and diversity, within the context of a changing terrain, will be enhanced (see curriculum design content).

The second part of the course runs from January to March, and includes the below modules:

  • International Human Resource Management

    In essence this module aims to explore the significance and complications of managing human resources in the international arena. The management of employees is one of the key elements in the success of global organisations and over time managers have adapted a range of approaches to this task. This module will also provide useful insights on such processes. By the completion of the study you will be able develop the skills of analysis and critical evaluation through the examination of human resource issues utilizing HRM models and frameworks in the global context. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate team working, presentation and secondary research skills.

  • The Management of Organisational Change: Challenges and Debates

    What is meant by ‘change’? How can organisational change be analysed? This module to provides students with a broad theoretical and practical understanding of some key concepts and issues in managing organisational changes.

    The contemporary world is characterised by a range of social, political, economic, technological, ecological and organisational changes that challenge accepted understandings and practices. This module introduces contributions from the social sciences that are useful in thinking about change. The focus is upon the development of an account of change that steers between reformist tinkering and revolutionary upheaval.

    As managers and others seek to engage with change it is important that taken for granted assumptions and simplistic solutions about organisational life are both articulated and rethought. Prevailing assumptions in the managerial literature are compared to contrasting approaches within organisation studies. The contention of the module is that the emerging socio-technical-politico-economic context necessitates a reflexive appreciation of the complexities and uncertainties of change and intervention.

  • Human Resource Management II: The rise and growth of HRM

    HRM II builds upon the foundations of HRM I. We will continue to examine examples of some of the most important current HRM practices. This module aims to build a wide-ranging cultural image of HRM practices today. We will show that the essence of HRM is to govern one of the central questions of all our lives: who are we when we work today? How does HRM seek to take control over this fundamental question?

    We will explore areas such as employability, performativity and self-realisation. We will look at the complex apparatus of recruitment today, from job advertisements, CVs, to power words and images of ideal human subjects. We will see how performance control and appraisal systems make their cultural contribution to contemporary management in tight connection with work motivation and the idea of self-actualisation. We will also consider how human resources have become the strategic assets of contemporary organisations in the knowledge economy and try to understand what is implied in central trends in contemporary work, including talent management, employee wellness and happiness at work, ‘play@work’ and workplace architectures in 21st-century organisations.

  • Analysing management in practice

    We live in a complex world in which the actions of individuals, groups, organisations and governments are justified or informed by knowledge claims that frequently have their roots in research. Accordingly, this is a module with practical goals as well as academic content. The main purposes are twofold: first, to introduce some of the basic ideas of research methodology and the standard techniques of research relevant to the study of organisational settings; and second, to reach an understanding of research as a process of social communication, one in which knowledge is produced for specific purposes and for the benefit of identifiable audiences.

    The module is also a key stage in your preparation for the research project you will undertake for your dissertation.

  • Advanced Study and Professional Skills

    This module provides you with important resources for developing your postgraduate study and HR professional skills. Whilst we recognise that different people have different skills and abilities, everyone can benefit from reflecting upon and honing their study skills. For some this represents an important step in making the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study, for others it will provide an opportunity to develop skills further. In all cases this module should have a positive impact on your levels of attainment across the course; so whilst it does not have a formal credit weighting on the course, it is a requirement that you participate fully in the module and that you submit the required evidence fully and on time. Also, participation in the module and the completion of the Lent term assessments is mandatory for those of you registering for the CIPD diploma. The Lent term workshops will focus on a range of skills and capabilities that are valued in the HR professional, covering issues such as recruitment and selection tasks, business analysis and negotiation.

From May to September you will work on your dissertation with support from your supervisor. You will submit it at the start of September, at the end of your Masters programme. 

  • Quantitative Methods in Management Practices

    The purpose of this module is to provide students with key quantitative techniques and their applications within the context of a questionnaire-based survey focusing on an aspect of management research. The main quantitative methods to be covered are: descriptive data analysis, statistical relationships (correlation and regression analysis), hypothesis testing, data reduction analysis (factor analysis) and data classification analysis (discriminant analysis).

    The module will be taught via a mixture of lectures, computer workshops and a survey exercise including design, data collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation of results. Examples will be drawn from several research areas across the various departments in the Management School. The computing laboratory sessions are aimed at introducing students to computer-aided data analysis using the relevant statistical packages.

  • Dissertation

    The dissertation represents the culmination of the year's work and students work exclusively on the project between June and September. It allows a student to focus on a specific area of interest and undertake a sustained period of study on that theme. Often, students choose themes that link directly to their career ambitions, which can subsequently be used to showcase their interests and abilities to prospective employers. For most students this period of independent study is an opportunity to hone their research skills and enhance their intellectual powers.

    The standard form of the dissertation is an organisational research project in which a student undertakes a case study of a particular organisation, which will involve engaging in live fieldwork. However, this is by no means the only form for the dissertation project, and research projects using a range of different procedures are allowable, including a library-based project.

    Students are invited to begin consideration of their dissertation as early as possible and a series of workshops through the year provide support on developing and refining ideas into a coherent proposal. The dissertation work is then supported by an academic supervisor based in the Department and assigned according to area of research interest.

Learning Environment

You'll be immersed in an interactive learning environment, with emphasis on developing the transferable skills required to succeed. Through group activities and study visits, you will become part of a cohesive learning community and gain a strong understanding of contemporary issues in organisations as well as the latest techniques to address them. You will also explore an advanced skills module to prepare you for the workplace, and group tasks to reinforce your team-working skills.

Scholarships

Our programme-specific scholarships for 2020 entry are aimed at high-achieving students with a strong academic or personal profile. We'll automatically consider you for these scholarships when you apply and if you are shortlisted we'll be in touch with the next steps, so it's best to apply as soon as possible.

We also offer other scholarships - visit our Apply for Masters page to find out more.

Careers

The Careers Team at LUMS helps you shape your career plans and supports 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.

Learn more

Student Profiles