Top reasons to study with us
12-month course, starting in October
Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Designed for graduates from various disciplines or HR practitioners seeking a deeper understanding of HRM.
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. Our MSc Human Resource Management 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.
This course examines the role of the manager, the organisation and employment relations in human resource management. You will be taught by distinguished academics who are acknowledged leaders in their field. We offer a student-centred, supportive environment by keeping the number of students small. This allows our faculty members to role-play with students to give practical experience of situations they will face in the workplace for example, conducting a performance appraisal.
You will study HR concepts such as recruitment and selection, careers and wellbeing as well as Employment Relations issues such as the importance of equality and diversity. We will look at how contemporary organisations function and manage organisational change.
Our graduates leave able to manage people effectively and make sound judgements through conceptual and analytical understanding. Many progress to general management roles, HR management roles or further academic study.
The MSc Human Resource Management is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) the professional body for HR and people development. This means you will be able to become a student member and enjoy the benefits and resources that CIPD provide. Upon graduation, you can become an Associate Member of CIPD (Level 7), and you will have achieved the knowledge objectives for Chartered Membership, which will provide a quicker route to this level, further enhancing your employability in the HR field.Learn more about the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development accreditation
2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in Management, Business Studies, Social Sciences, History, Philosophy, English, Languages, Arts or other Humanities. Relevant work experience is beneficial but not essential.
We may also consider non-standard applicants. Please contact us for information.
If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.
English Language Requirements
We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.
We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.0 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.
If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.
Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
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.
Doing Organisational Research
The module will introduce the students to the nature of knowledge within the organisation studies/management field, and the ways in which the literature can be researched and critically evaluated. It will then provide a systematic consideration of different approaches to research in the social sciences and in organisational studies in particular. This will include an evaluation of different research designs and methodologies, and of a range of methods likely to be particularly useful in organisational research such as: surveys, ethnography, case studies, interviews, questionnaires. The module will also address methods of qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Throughout, links will be made to the practical planning and execution of a piece of research.
This module introduces students to key theoretical perspectives to deepen their understanding of the employment relationship, how organisations operate and how they are managed. The module builds upon and criticises the perspectives by exploring the changing nature and different styles of managing Employee Relations, including issues related to individualism and collectivism in the workplace. We then turn to employee voice, exploring employee involvement and participation, followed by discipline, dismissal, negotiation, and bargaining. Finally, the module considers issues of equality and diversity at work and looks at employment relations within a global context.
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 organisations. The module examines those issues that are seen as central to the practice of HRM, such as recruitment and selection, performance management, and flexible working.
The module provides 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.
Human Resource Management II: The rise and growth of HRM
This module examines the conceptual and cultural foundations of Human Resource Management.
- Where does its appeal come from?
- How is HRM done today – and what exactly does HRM do so successfully?
The answers to these questions are around us, all the time, everywhere – except we do not see them because we are accustomed to the assumptions of HRM.
In this module, we will investigate these assumptions and their roots, and so the task of HRM will appear in a different light. The essential question HRM has to answer seems simple: what is the value of a person’s work? The problem, of course, is that the relationship between work effort and the value of work is always indeterminate. How much is an hour of work worth? How much should anyone be paid so that work is ‘fair’ or ‘just’?
These essential questions cannot be answered independently; they depend on other crucial questions: What is the work that I have to do? What counts as the work covered by an employment contract? Where does effort begin and end? What does it mean, for instance, to be ‘committed’ to one’s job, to be ‘passionate’ company or team – in terms of effort? What does it mean to be creative or innovative? Who has ‘potential’? Are these part of the employment contract? What is work today, after all?
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.
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. It examines a range of key issues in the contemporary organisation including bureaucracy, managerial control, technological change, leadership and management ethics as viewed through the lenses of current debates in social theory, management and organisation studies.
The Management of Organisational Change: Challenges and Debates
What is meant by change management and how to analyse organisational change is an important, contested and complex question. It is the focus of this course.
In recent decades, management gurus, consultants, politicians and academics have talked about a transformation of the workplace but what does this mean? A series of change initiatives have emerged such as Teamworking, Quality Management and Business Process Reengineering which can be understood as part of this transformation and a means to achieve it. This course aims to challenge accepted and simplistic understandings and practices associated with change. Our contention is that to understand what is going on necessitates a reflexive and critical appreciation of the contradictions, complexities and paradoxes of organisational change and interventions that seek to secure change.
The course aims to provide students with a theoretical and practical understanding of key ideas and perspectives in the management of organisational change. Throughout the course we will introduce concepts, theories and cases from studies of managers and organisations. Our focus is upon the development your abilities to analyse change management critically, systemically and reflectively.
As managers and others seek to initiate, implement and account for the impacts of change projects it is important that taken for granted assumptions and simplistic solutions about organisational life are both articulated, understood and rethought. Throughout the course prevailing assumptions in the managerial literature are examined and evaluated from a range of advanced social scientific perspectives. By the end of course you should have developed an understanding of the complex and contested nature and practice of the management of organisational change.
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.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.
Fees and Funding
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2024/25 entry fees have not yet been set.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small College Membership Fee which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2023, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2024 have not yet been set.
Computer equipment and internet access
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
Application fees and tuition fee deposits
For most taught postgraduate applications there is a non-refundable application fee of £40. We cannot consider applications until this fee has been paid, as advised on our online secure payment system. There is no application fee for postgraduate research applications.
For some of our courses you will need to pay a deposit to accept your offer and secure your place. We will let you know in your offer letter if a deposit is required and you will be given a deadline date when this is due to be paid.
Fees in subsequent years
If you are studying on a programme of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. Read more about fees in subsequent years.
Scholarships and Bursaries
Details of our scholarships and bursaries for 2024-entry study are not yet available, but you can use our opportunities for 2023-entry applicants as guidance.
Check our current list of scholarships and bursaries.
Management and Business
- Business Administration MBA
- Business Administration (Executive) MBA
- Business Analytics MSc
- Cyber Security Executive MBA MBA
- Digital Business, Innovation and Management MSc
- Human Resources and Consulting MA
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship MSc
- Innovation and Improvement Science MSc
- Innovation and Improvement Science PgCert
- Innovation and Improvement Science PgDip
- International Business and Strategy MSc
- International Masters Program for Managers No Qual (PGT)
- Leadership and Management PgCert
- Leadership and Management (Health Care) PgCert
- Leadership Practice MSc
- Leadership Practice PgDip
- Leadership Practice (Apprenticeship Pathway) PgDip
- Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc
- Management MSc
- Management (Entrepreneurship and Strategy) PhD
- Management (Organisation, Work and Technology) PhD
- Management Science MRes
- Management Science PhD
- Management Science PhD (Integrated)
- Medical Leadership MSc
- Medical Leadership PgDip
- Medical Leadership PgCert
- Organisation, Work and Technology MRes
- Politics, Philosophy and Management MSc
- Professional Development PGCert
- Professional Practice MA
- Professional Practice MSc
- Professional Practice PgCert
- Professional Practice PgDip
- Project Management MSc
- Strategy MSc
- Theory and Practice of Management PhD
- Theory and Practice of Management (IDPM) PhD
The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
Our Students’ Charter
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.