HR staff presentation

MSc in Human Resource Management

In this MSc you’ll learn about the role of the HR professional, the nature of professionalism and approaches to addressing ethical dilemmas, sustainable HR management, and EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion). You’ll develop the people management skills that are essential for HR work such as selection and appraisal interviewing, delivering training, managing performance, organisational development and people analytics. You’ll also gain the skills and understanding needed to work at a strategic level in an organisation in relation to HR issues. This will include employee relations, learning and development, talent management, engagement with employees and stakeholders, and the ability to address change management issues.

Key features of the course

  • Develop essential people management skills for working in HR
  • Gain the skills and understanding needed to create organisational HR strategies
  • Develop the core behaviours and knowledge to address business and change management issues in an uncertain world
  • Understand a HR professional's role; tackling ethical dilemmas, EDI, and favouring sustainable HR management.

This qualification provides a route to professional membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). See 'Careers' for more information.

Masters degree

Course code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
3 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Course cost
Postgraduate loan available
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details


To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits and we recommend that you study the modules in the following order:

90 credits from the following:

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
The role of the human resource professional  (B810)  

This module provides an introduction to the various requirements of a human resource professional in an organisation.

See full description

30 04 Nov 2023
Human resource management in context  (B811) NEW 

This module examines how HR policies and practices operate within economic, political and social contexts at organisational, societal and international levels.

See full description

30 06 May 2023
Creating evidence-based value in people management  (B812) NEW 

This module explores evidence-based approaches to people management and will develop your ability to evaluate and apply evidence to people management decisions and policies.

See full description

30 04 Nov 2023

plus 30 credits from the following:

Option modules Credits Next start
Employment relations and employee engagement  (B813) NEW 
Examine how employment relations and practices operate within changing economic, political and social contexts and at various levels.

See full description

30 04 May 2024
Learning and development at work  (B814)  

This module covers organisational development; succession planning; career and talent development; and learning, training and development strategies and implementation.

See full description

30 04 May 2024

plus a 60 credits from the following:

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Dissertation (HRM) (B894) PLANNED
60 Nov 2024
You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website

On completion

On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our Masters in Human Resource Management. You’ll be entitled to use the letters MSc HRM (Open) after your name.

If your masters degree is awardable with a distinction or a merit, the qualification regulations explain how you can achieve these.

You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 14 March 2023.

Entry requirements

You must hold a bachelors degree awarded by a recognised UK university, or equivalent. Please contact us if you hold a qualification that you believe is an equivalent level to a UK degree, to ensure that it meets the requirements for admission.

You will need to be able to draw on experience of working in or with organisations. This experience can be drawn from a wide range of situations such as employment in public and private sector organisations and in self-employed or voluntary roles.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 6.5 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.

How long it takes

The minimum time to complete this qualification is three years by studying 60 credits a year. You should allow 12-13 hours of study per week for each 30-credit module. The maximum time to complete is seven years.

Career relevance

This qualification provides a route to professional membership of the CIPD if you wish to develop a career in HR management. If you intend to use this qualification for CIPD membership you will need to indicate that intention at the start of your studies via a Diagnostic Questionnaire to facilitate registration with CIPD as a student on a CIPD approved award. You will also need to have active membership/student membership of CIPD (paying associated annual membership fees) throughout your studies. CIPD membership does give you access to a wide range of relevant resources and the CIPD network.

This qualification also provides training in research and academic skills for those wishing to develop academic careers in the field of human resource management.

More generally, by studying a postgraduate business qualification you can expect your salary to increase and for it to have a positive impact on your career progression, as well as bringing improvements to your organisation.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.