Human Resource Management PgCert/PgDip

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Study employer-led modules. Focus on your personal development in key areas of People Management and Learning and Development. Progress onto an MSc in HRM.

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Overview

The Certificate and Diploma in Human Resources Management, Level 7 stand-alone courses have been designed to develop relevant and essential knowledge and skills in People Management and Learning and Development and are a route into professional membership of the CIPD.

At Sunderland, we focus on problem-solving ability and linking theory to real-world challenges. As part of this, you will visit UK companies and also learn from guest speakers who share their practical business experience. HR practitioners work with our academic team to deliver events and workshops that will help prepare you to become a part of the HRM professional community. The networks you develop will become invaluable to you when you graduate and embark on your career in a senior role in human resource management.

Why us?

  • The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) in the UK and by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) in the USA
  • 'World-leading' research in Business, according to the Latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • During our special skills weeks you will work on both academic and workplace skills you will need to succeed on the course and in your future in people management
  • The course provides a pathway to the MSc in Human Resource Management should you wish to take this route

Course structure

Attainment of the Certificate and/or Diploma in Human Resources Management is on successful achievement of the following credits attributed to the modules of study:

Postgraduate Certificate in Human Resource Management (60 credits)
Postgraduate Diploma Human Resource Management (120 credits)
The stand-alone courses provide a pathway to achievement of an MSc HRM (180 credits)

All modules are at postgraduate level (level 7 in the UK’s national scheme).

Throughout the course we encourage you to develop a strong sense of self-awareness and of your own strengths and weaknesses as managers and colleagues. You will be working on the development of skills to improve and develop a range of definable skills that are pivotal to successful management practice and to effective leadership in your future. These include thinking and decision making skills, the management of financial information, a range of team working and interpersonal skills and others associated with developing personal effectiveness and credibility at work.

You will develop key postgraduate study and research skills including critical reflection on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint. We also include two special skills development weeks to augment the work you will be doing within each module.

Overall you will be required to consider and reflect on your professional development to establish this as the foundation of a lifetime practice in your future as a business “savvy” human resources and people development professional.

Your progress will be assessed through a range of methods which include individual and group assignments, business reports, presentations, case study analysis, portfolios of work, time-constrained activities and project work.

Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Core modules

  • Human Resource Management in Context (30 credits)

The module provides an understanding of the principal internal and external environmental contexts of contemporary organisations, including the managerial and business context, within which managers, HR professionals and workers interact in conditions of environmental turbulence, change and uncertainty. It examines how leading organisations respond to these dynamic environmental contexts. The module considers how leaders in organisations, and those in HR, need to recognise and acknowledge that corporate decisions and HR choices are not always shaped by managers alone. This includes consideration of the financial resources which can strongly influence corporate decision making.

You will also explore the international aspects of HRM such as the policies and processes of HR management in multinational corporations, comparative HRM issues, and the challenges associated with building and managing an international workforce. This includes managing a diverse workforce, interpreting legislative frameworks and developing appropriate policies to promote diversity and monitor implementation.

  • Leading, Managing and Developing People and Organisations (30 credits)

The module attempts to evaluate the importance of employees' behaviour in organisations with reference to their individual performance and its impact upon business performance as a whole. You will examines the role of management staff both in the management, leadership and development of employees and the subsequent impact on employee performance. A distinction is made between leadership and management and their roles within organisations. You will explore the relationship between the leadership of the organisation, the behaviour of managers, human resource policies and processes and the organisation's corporate strategy in relation to how these can be successfully integrated. It considers the HR professional’s role in relation to ethical standards and those of the CIPD. It also looks at the role CPD can play in ensuring individual practitioners maintain their personal knowledge, skills and standards.

The module then focuses on decisions that have to be made on the most appropriate organisational structure(s) to ensure delivery of organisational activity and to maximise its effectiveness, aiming for flexibility in delivery of its services in a changing environment. Organisational change is a constant and in this module we consider approaches that managers can take to the complex challenges of individual and organisational change.

Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)

You will study the same core modules as the Postgraduate Certificate plus:

  • Investigating a Business Issue from an HR Perspective (30 credits)

Qualified professionals should be able to research relevant topics and write reports that can persuade key stakeholders in the organisation to change or adopt a particular policy or practice. This module provides you with the opportunity to develop the skills needed to diagnose and investigate a live, complex business issue from an HR perspective and to write  a report of this nature.

The focus of this module is the development of a Management Research Report (MRR) which meets the ‘Thinking Performer’ Standards of the CIPD. This is in the form of a piece of applied case study research based on a diagnosing a business issue with the purpose of analysing literature, secondary and primary data to design recommendations, solutions and an implementation plan which includes costs.

The applied nature of the report requires a critical evaluative approach, empirical investigation and analysis and a combination of academic research and business report writing skills. It requires reflection on the implications for professional practice from an ethical, professional and continuous professional development standpoint.

Optional modules (choose one):

  • Managing Learning and Talent Development in Organisations (30 credits)

This module is concerned with the key role of developing talent to match the organisation’s needs today and into the future. There are two key strands to the module, Learning and Development from a theoretical standpoint (personal and organisational) and the practical skill based formulation, design and delivery of Learning and Development (specifically leadership and management development) to meet key business goals.

The construct of learning is explored as are learning theories from both an individual and group or organisational perspective. Planned and unplanned change as a trigger and its relationship with identifying learning needs are studied along with the enablers and barriers to learning. Identifying learning needs in practice is the next focus, requiring the formulation of learning strategy, before changing focus to the actual design, delivery and evaluation of a self-created learning tool.

There is recognition of differing approaches and interpretations of the concepts of learning and development and leadership and management development within a range of organisational contexts including public, private, not-for-profit, large, small, national, international and multicultural organisations. Overall, this module encompasses learning and development at all levels and draws on the established body of knowledge and theory in both leadership and management and learning and development.

  • Managing the Employment Relationship (30 credits)

The employment relationship has undergone significant change over the past few decades in terms of its structures and power relationships. Economic, technological and legal developments throughout this period have affected the way employees, management and trade unions interact with each other and hence molded the employment relationship. The employment relationship is therefore an important and dynamic area within the discipline of human resource management.

The aim of the module is to understand and analyse the main HR interventions which take place during the employment relationship from vacancy to termination and steps between. It will provide students with a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the full employment cycle set within the historical context and enable analysis of the contemporary changing nature of this.

The module is designed for both knowledge acquisition, understanding and application of practices in order to develop/enhance HR skills and behaviours.

MSc Human Resource Development (180 credits)

You will study the same modules as the Postgraduate Diploma plus another 60 credits from:

  • Developing the Researching HR Professional (30 credits)

A key component of the MSc HRM degree and the CIPD Continuous Professional Development framework is for students to develop, reflect and enhance the work they undertake and in this instance the research conducted while completing ‘Investigating a Business Problem from a Human Resource Perspective’. This module will facilitate your understanding of a Human Resource Organisational based issues within an academic and professional community context. It will then allow you to reflect on and critique your role as a researcher and as a future HR Professional using multiple ethnographic practices.

You will create a Digital Reflection on your professional identity as a HR Professional and as a Researching Professional consisting of a written piece and a short video or audio reflection. This is a research based module where the focus is on developing routines (habits) of critical reflection as future ‘researching professionals’. This module has been designed to develop critically reflective HR professionals and Managers.

Optional modules (choose one):

  • Managing Learning and Talent Development in Organisations (30 credits)

This module is concerned with the key role of developing talent to match the organisation’s needs today and into the future. There are two key strands to the module, Learning and Development from a theoretical standpoint (personal and organisational) and the practical skill based formulation, design and delivery of Learning and Development (specifically leadership and management development) to meet key business goals.

The construct of learning is explored as are learning theories from both an individual and group or organisational perspective. Planned and unplanned change as a trigger and its relationship with identifying learning needs are studied along with the enablers and barriers to learning. Identifying learning needs in practice is the next focus, requiring the formulation of learning strategy, before changing focus to the actual design, delivery and evaluation of a self-created learning tool.

There is recognition of differing approaches and interpretations of the concepts of learning and development and leadership and management development within a range of organisational contexts including public, private, not-for-profit, large, small, national, international and multicultural organisations. Overall, this module encompasses learning and development at all levels and draws on the established body of knowledge and theory in both leadership and management and learning and development.

  • Managing the Employment Relationship (30 credits)

The employment relationship has undergone significant change over the past few decades in terms of its structures and power relationships. Economic, technological and legal developments throughout this period have affected the way employees, management and trade unions interact with each other and hence molded the employment relationship. The employment relationship is therefore an important and dynamic area within the discipline of human resource management.

The aim of the module is to understand and analyse the main HR interventions which take place during the employment relationship from vacancy to termination and steps between. It will provide students with a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the full employment cycle set within the historical context and enable analysis of the contemporary changing nature of this.

The module is designed for both knowledge acquisition, understanding and application of practices in order to develop/enhance HR skills and behaviours.

  • We’ve got thousands of relevant books and e-books, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to- date academic and industry articles. There are nearly 9,000 journal titles, mostly in electronic format.

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Facilities

You’ll be based at The Reg Vardy Centre, on the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. The Reg Vardy Centre is a modern building with views of the river, and just a short walk from both the coast and Sunderland town centre.

 

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from a range of academic and professional backgrounds. Please contact us to ensure that your qualifications and experience meet the entry requirements.

The Postgraduate Certificate can be studied over 7 months part-time or 4 months full-time.

The Postgraduate Diploma can be studied over 16 months part-time or 7 months full-time.

Fees and finance

The fee for this course is tbc.

 

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The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night

Employment

Previous HRM postgraduate degree students now work at senior HR manager level in a number of organisations, including Caterpillar, BT and Nissan.

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