Business and Human Resource Management BA (Hons)

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Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

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Study a course highly relevant to the workplace. Focus on skills and knowledge needed for the Human Resources function in modern organisations. Undertake a year-long placement and put your learning into practice.

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This course focuses on the professional skills and knowledge identified by the CIPD. Study full-time and choose an optional years' placement (applied route).


Compared to the core Business and Management course, there is a greater focus on the skills and knowledge needed for the Human Resources function in modern organisations.

Sunderland is one of the first universities in the UK to introduce employability modules across all years of an undergraduate degree. These help you strengthen the six key attributes of being capable, enquiring, creative, enterprising, ethical and global in outlook.

The University of Sunderland Business School is associated with the following bodies:

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Principles for Responsible Management Education


European Foundation for Management Development


Chartered Association of Business Schools


Why us?

  • 'World-leading' research in Business, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • 91.7% of our BA (Hons) Business and Human Resource Management graduates are in employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers)
  • 83.2% of our BA (Hons) Business and Human Resource Management graduates are in graduate-level employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers)
  • Available as a sandwich year course where you can engage in a one-year industrial placement
  • Places HRM in a business and management context to allow better understanding of the role of HRM within the organisation
  • Integrates both the personal and academic development of students to create highly independent actors
  • Our Business courses were ranked 3rd overall in the UK in the 2018 UK Engagement Survey
  • Our Business courses were ranked 4th in the UK for Assessment and, 2nd in the UK for Retention and Progression, and 3rd in the UK for Employability in the 2018 UK Engagement Survey

Course structure

Throughout the course the focus is on innovative teaching and learning by doing and reflecting.

One technique is problem-based learning, where you’ll work within a small team to explore issues or decide how to manage a situation. This helps you to dissect, challenge and debate issues. Other learning techniques include company visits, guest speakers and cutting-edge e-learning technologies. These are in addition to a combination of lectures, seminars, debates, tutorials and workshops.

Your progress will be assessed with coursework, case studies, business simulations, presentations, reports, essays, tests and time-constrained assessments.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Essential Study and Employment Skills
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Introduction to HRM and Talent Development
  • Introduction to Accounting and Finance
  • Introduction to Managing and Leading People
  • Introduction to Business Operations and Services


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Quality Management for Organisational Excellence
  • Business ESR
  • Contemporary Developments in HR
  • Employment Cycle
  • Designing Learning and Development

Year 3:

  • Work placement (optional)

Final year (national level 6):

  • Developing the Reflexive Practitioner
  • Managing and Leading Change
  • Applied HR Project
  • Exploring Equality and Diversity
  • Contemporary Employee Relations
  • International HRM
  • You can access free Wi-Fi throughout the University campus, so you can work from anywhere. If you don't want to carry a laptop around, just use one of the University’s PCs or Apple Macs. We have hundreds of computers for you to use in the Murray Library, St Peter's Library, and the David Goldman Informatics Centre. If you ever have any technical problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

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

    Added to this, you’ll benefit from a wide range of journals and periodicals in the St Peter’s Library, many of them in an 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.

    Library Services - business and tourism
  • Map and directions


You'll be based at The Reg Vardy Centre, on the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. It’s a modern building with great views of the River Wear, and just a few minutes’ walk from the coast.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is

  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement

If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at for further advice.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £11,500 if you are an international student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

Students graduating at the Stadium of Light


Sunderland is one of the first universities in the UK to introduce employability modules across all years of an undergraduate degree. The modules complement the broader skills that you’ll gain in understanding how businesses create success, how to manage business operations, how to make informed decisions and how to lead change in organisations.

HR officers are always in demand. The average salary of a HR officer is between £18,000 and £25,000 and HR managers can earn between £25,000 and £50,000 a year or more (source: National Careers Service). CIPD-accredited qualifications can significantly enhance your career opportunities.

Skills for employment

As part of the course, you’ll take three employability modules specifically designed for self-development. The modules are: ‘Employability Skills’, ‘Developing Career Prospects’ and ‘Applying Critical Reflective Practice’, all of which will complement your learning and increase your employability.

Career destinations

Examples of companies that have recruited Business students from Sunderland include Facebook, Bloomberg, Microsoft, Sage, HSBC, IBM, Enterprise, Nissan, Accenture, Procter & Gamble, Nissan, Marriott Hotels, Viacom 18, PricewaterCoopers and Adidas.

Paid placements 

To further enhance employability we encourage you to undertake a 48-week paid placement between your second and final year. It effectively becomes a third year of a four-year course. You will earn an average salary of £14,000-£18,000 a year depending on your location.

Student Business Society

The University supports student-led initiatives that help you gain practical experience of management. The Business Student Society organises events and guest speakers, as well as attending tours of various companies. With its professional approach, it’s a great way to put into practice the lessons about how to make organisations function effectively. There is something for every student who is studying a subject related to business.

Top-up route

A top-up entry option is available to you if you have already successfully completed a Higher National Diploma (HND) or Foundation degree and wish to progress onto the final year of the Honours degree course. Topping up your existing HND or Foundation Degree will take one year of full-time study and may open up future career options to you depending on your chosen career path.

Contact us to find out how you can get credit for your previous learning and top-up your qualification to a range of degrees.

Meet the students

  • I was offered to continue working on a flexible contract whilst studying my final year at University
    Alan Blakely Square

    Alan Lloyd Blakey

  • My placement year with Caterpillar gave me invaluable knowledge and insight into HR.
    Chelsea Parker Small

    Chelsea Parker

  • The personal development, learning journey and opportunities provided here are all fantastic.
    Ellie McKenna Square

    Ellie McKenna

  • The University of Sunderland has helped shape the career path I’m now following.
    Helen Roffe, Business and Human Resource Management graduate

    Helen Roffe

  • The lecturers give constant encouragement, support and inspiration.
    Jenna Spencer, Business and Human Resource Management graduate

    Jenna Spencer

  • The teachers and support staff have so much experience and knowledge so use them as much as you can.
    Lauren Scott Square

    Lauren Scott

  • My four years at the University of Sunderland have to be one of the best times of my life.
    Thabeena Selvaraj Small

    Thabeena Selvaraj

Meet the team

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