Human Resource Management (CIPD accredited) MSc - University of Sunderland

Course overview

Do you want to be an influential decision maker? Do you want to have an impact on employee motivation, careers development and diversity? This part-time course provides specialist postgraduate training and development within the field of Human Resource Management.

This Human Resource Management degree is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). These accreditations demonstrates that our postgraduate HRM courses fully align with the latest academic and professional advancements, within the UK as well as internationally.

Successful completion* of the course fulfils part of the requirements for professional membership of the CIPD. Membership of a professional body such as this will further boost individual employability and help students progress towards senior managerial roles.

Advanced CIPD accreditation is also applicable to students who successful complete the Postgraduate Diploma at the appropriate level (i.e. 50% or above on all relevant modules).

The course explores the Human Resource Management in areas such as leadership, employment relations, recruitment, selection, training, development and managing. The teaching is informed by current academic debates and the latest research. Core modules include ‘Managing, Leading and Developing People’, ‘Investigating a Business Issue from an HR Perspective’, ‘Developing Skills for Business and Leadership’ and ‘Learning and Talent Development’. The Management Research Report and the Reflective Project will focus on a strategic HRM issue within an organisation which students identify themselves with the support of an academic tutor.

The University will ensure that the student’s learning is rooted in a real-world context by inviting guest speakers to share their practical HRM business experience together with arranging an external organisational visit. 

Sunderland Business School is ranked Best in the Noth East for Course Satisfaction, according to The Guardian University Guide 2015. Our teaching is informed by the latest research and up-to-date approaches and in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) research in the business area was rated 'world-leading'.

If you prefer, this course is also available as a full-time Human Resources Management MSc.

* Please note that students must achieve a 50% pass mark in all CIPD related areas to gain Advanced Membership of the CIPD.

Course content

Modules on this course include:

  • Developing Skills for Business Leadership (15 Credits)
  • Human Resource Management in Context (15 Credits)
  • Managing, Leading and Developing People (15 Credits)
  • Learning and Talent Development (15 Credits)
  • Leadership and Management Development (15 Credits)
  • Resourcing and Talent Management (15 Credits)
  • Investigating a Business Issues from a Human Resource Management Perspective (15 Credits)
  • Human Resource Reflective Project (45 Credits)

Plus choose one module from the following list of three modules:

  • Employee Relations (15 Credits)
  • Employment Law (15 Credits)
  • Organisational Development and Change (15 Credits)

Plus choose one further module from the following list of five modules:

  • International HRM (15 Credits)
  • Managing Diversity (15 Credits)
  • Employee Relations (15 Credits)
  • Employment Law (15 Credits)
  • Organisational Development and Change (15 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, case studies and workshops which are supported by the University’s virtual learning environment, Sunspace.

This course is part-time. Students will need to attend the University once a week, on Thursdays from 2-9pm.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters course requires a higher level of independent working.

Assessment methods include individual and group assignments, management reports, presentations, case study analysis, portfolios of work and time-constrained activities as well as the Masters reflective project. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Entry requirements

We usually require applicants to hold at least a 2:2 honours degree or equivalent.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Fees & finance

The fee for this course is £2,000 per 60 Credits.

Facilities & location

This course is based on the banks of the River Wear at The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. Recently the University developed a Student Learning Space that is specifically designed to facilitate collaboration and team-based projects. It includes a board room as well as bookable areas to hold meetings and to meet with staff and visitors from outside the University.

University Library Services

The St Peter’s Library contains over 31,000 books related to business, economics, management, human resources, marketing, strategy and tourism.

Added to this, students benefit from a wide range of journals and periodicals in the St Peter’s library, many of them in online format. To help you make the most of the wealth of resources there’s a full-time librarian who is dedicated to the Business and Tourism sections.

Further resources are available at the main Murray Library, which has a total of over 430,000 books with many more available through the inter-library loan service. The University spends around £1 million every year on new books and resources.

IT provision

When it comes to IT provision students can choose from over a hundred PCs in the St Peter’s Library, three computer laboratories, and wireless access zones. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

Learning environment

The University of Sunderland is a vibrant learning environment with an international dimension thanks to the presence of students from around the world. At the same time, the University is fully plugged into the world of business as a result of strong links with industry organisations.


The Reg Vardy Centre

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's, St Peter's Way, Sunderland, SR6 0DD

Employment & careers

The average salary of a HR officer is £25,000 and HR directors typically earn between £75,000 and £100,000 (source: Hudson 2013 Salary & Employment Insights). CIPD-accredited qualifications can significantly enhance your career opportunities.

Previous Sunderland graduates are now working at senior and strategic levels in HRM in a wide range of industries including Caterpillar, BT and Nissan.

Your Masters degree will also enhance opportunities in academic roles or further study towards a PhD.

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751


Support for your learning

From the start of the course students will be put in contact with the Course Leader who will be available to meet individual students at agreed times throughout your course. The Course Leader is a useful point of contact for any queries about the course. They are also able to direct the students towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

All students at Sunderland Business School have access to Student Academic Advisors. They provide workshops on study skills and follow up with one-to-one support and guidance as necessary.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting individual aspirations for personal development, students will be invited to complete in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for students to keep the University up-to-date with student opinions and developmental improvements for the course.

During the course, and particularly towards the end of it, the University will encourage each student to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps students explore career opportunities and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"I chose to study at Sunderland because of its international links and placement opportunities."

James Ghulam - Graduate NN2C

James Ghulam - Graduate

Operations Manager - White Lodging Services, USA

"In my second year I decided to sign up for the University's nine-month Study Abroad exchange programme at Valdosta State University in Georgia. I absolutely loved it, ever since I was young I've wanted to live and work in America. I decided to stay on, made some enquiries and found a placement in Houston, Texas with White Lodging Services (WLS) for one year.

"The experience really was life-changing and I knew when I returned to University for my final year what I had to do to succeed. It really helped open my eyes to the world of work and made me more professional. The company is renowned in the US for developing young professionals. They have taken me from a student abroad into a full grown professional, now I'm going back as an operations manager.

"Sunderland has given me a life-changing experience and developed me into a fully-fledged professional, I am a lot more focused on my career. I would advise any students to make the most of their opportunities at the University.

"This opportunity would not have happened without the University of Sunderland. I chose to study here because of its international links and placement opportunities. The support you receive throughout your course from your lecturers is second to none.

Apply for this course

Applications to study a postgraduate qualification are submitted directly to the University. You can apply by downloading and completing an application form.

The completion of the application form is a means of conveying information about yourself, your potential and your motivation. Full guidance on how to complete this form is available online. Alternatively, visit one of our open days and speak to our staff and current students, or drop-in to see us at The Gateway on the City Campus.

Contact Sunderland

Course Leader:
Derek Watson

For more information about this course please contact:

Enterprise, Marketing and Recruitment Team
Tel: 0191 515 3341

The details

Course Name Human Resource Management (CIPD Accredited)
Classification MSc
Course Mode Part-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 2 years depending on the level of entry
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 19 October 2015
UK/EU Fee £6,000
Intl Fee £Unavailable

Entry requirements

2:2 or above in any subject

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