Skip to navigation Skip to content


In this section

This course is CIPD accredited, developing HR professionals who understand the business, its context and their role in sustaining the business.


Study Human Resource Management at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

The course fulfils the professional learning, training and development needs of those who are in the early part of their career in human resource management, training and development or employee relations.

It is also a means by which experienced HR or line managers can update their knowledge and understanding of best practice people management and anchor their experience within a theoretical context.

Graduates leave the course with a valuable academic qualification in the masters in HRM and also a professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The Ulster University Business School has an excellent track record of teaching a current, professionally relevant and engaging curriculum from our full-time, subject expert, academic staff.

Sign up for course updates

Sign up to receive regular updates, news and information on courses, events and developments at Ulster University.

We’ll not share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

About this course

In this section


The aims and learning outcomes of the course are achieved through the application of a variety of teaching and learning methods across the modules including lectures, seminars, tutorials, online learning, case studies, residentials and visiting speakers.

The course team contribute to the research base in areas of Human Resource Management and Human Resource Development which provides excellent local and international case study examples to support teaching.

Students work towards a Postgraduate Certificate during the first year of the course, then a Postgraduate Diploma in the second year and then towards the full Master's qualification.

There are eight taught modules on the programme as follows:

Year 1
- Leading, Managing and Developing People
- Resourcing and Talent Management
- HRM in Context
- Organisation Design and Development
Year 2
- Investigating a Business Issue
- Developing Skills for Business Leadership
- Employee Relations
- Employment Law

Alongside the year 2 modules, students also complete a Management Research Report (PgDip exit) or a Dissertation (MSc HRM) with the guidance of an academic supervisor. Students can opt to complete the Dissertation during a third year of study.



The course lasts for a duration of 2 years.

Students attend lectures on Monday afternoon and Monday evening throughout semesters 1 and 2 (September through to December and February through to May). Each semester is 12 weeks in duration.

In year 2 students will also be required to attend a module in semester 3.

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

HRM in Context

Year: 1

This module will provide the learner with the ability to identify and analyse the major contexts in which organisations operate, which will better equip them as HR professionals in responding to their internal, business and external environmental contexts. The module also considers the use of coaching within organisations as part of this response to the context in which organisations operate. Best practice from current research will be explored and used as case study examples. Learning and Teaching methods are varied and assessment is via a 2,000 word assignment as well as a 3-hour unseen examination.

Leading, Managing and Developing People

Year: 1

This module will provide the learner with a wide range of theoretical perspectives on individual and organisational behaviour which will better equip them, as HR/L&D professionals and managers, to understand the complexities of motivation and engagement in the workplace. Best practice from current research will be explored and used as case study examples. Students are encouraged to engage with the CIPD HR Professional Map via the module coursework. Learning and Teaching methods are varied and assessment is by a 3-hour unseen examination and coursework.

Organisation Design and Development

Year: 1

The module will examine a range of theoretical and practical approaches related to organisational design and Organisational Development which will be important for those considering how best to use new knowledge to enhance organisational performance. It is presented to masters students who have considerable work experience and the applications of models to organisational practice will be emphasised at regular intervals. Assessment is by 100% coursework.

Resourcing and Talent Management

Year: 1

The purpose of this module is to develop a comprehensive understanding and critical awareness of the strategic importance of resourcing and talent management. Learning and Teaching will be through a range of methods including lectures, readings and research and visiting speakers. Assessment will be via written assignment and a professional discussion.

Year two

Investigating a Business Issue

Year: 2

The module seeks to expose students of human resources to the range of research methods and problem solving strategies available in investigating a human resource management issue of strategic relevance. Students will acquire an in-depth knowledge of at least one research strategy and be able to apply suitable project management techniques for the purposes of conducting a management research report. Students will prepare a management research report whereby practical, financially viable recommendations are supported by an empirical investigation and analysis of relevant academic research.

Preparation for Dissertation

Year: 2

The module seeks to expose students of human resources to the range of research methods and problem solving strategies available in investigating a human resource management issue of strategic relevance. Students will acquire an in-depth knowledge of at least one research strategy and be able to apply suitable project management techniques for the purposes of developing a research proposal and project plan in preparation for undertaking a human resource oriented style dissertation. Students will prepare a dissertation whereby practical recommendations are supported by an empirical investigation and analysis of relevant academic research.

Developing Skills for Business Leadership

Year: 2

The purpose of this module is to help students to develop core HR and business skills that are vital for professional practice and effective leadership. In addition well informed business decision-making, IT, HR analytics, statistical and accounting skills will help students to gain personal effectiveness and credibility at work. Learning and Teaching methods are varied and offer the opportunity for skills development in a laboratory environment.

Employee Relations

Year: 2

Whilst many theorists would claim that people are the most important strategic resource of any organisation, employees may not always be motivated and handled in the best possible way, due to a number of competing tensions between the objectives of organisations and the aspirations of the employee. This module examines the strategies, policies, procedures and structures that organisations adopt in relating to the people it employs and their representatives. Such approaches impact upon employees? living standards and quality of working life. They also impact on the organisations? competitiveness and its role in the wider economy. The HR manager needs to be able to approach the tasks of employee relations with an understanding of the intellectual basis of these relationships and a practical ability to manage relations with others and resolve conflict within the organisation. This module aims to enhance the understanding and skills of key actors in the employment relationship.


Year: 2

The core aim of the dissertation is that students should investigate an important issue in human resource management. It is expected that students will demonstrate an understanding of practical, ethical and strategic issues within their research area. The research should be work-based and it is expected that the subject and design will be such that students will normally be working with primary, as well as secondary data. The total process seeks to develop and test students' conceptual and analytical ability, to enhance both their work related abilities and to prepare students for further research studies.

Employment law

Year: 2

The importance of the employment relationship between employers, employees, unions and
other statutory bodies and agencies is such that a thorough knowledge of both the context and
the substantive law is necessary for those involved in this area in any capacity. The module
attempts to provide the basis for this knowledge and to put students in the position where they
may not only have an understanding of the law both conceptually and substantively, but also be
in a position to use that knowledge in the solution of problems.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

Entry Requirements

Students are usually expected to have a second class honours degree or equivalent, English (GCSE grade C or equivalent) and one year’s experience in an HR or HR-related role.

In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.

An interview may form part of the selection process.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

Students attend two lectures each week covering two subject areas. Assessment is via coursework and meets the requirements of the CIPD so that graduates from the course can leave with both an Ulster University and a CIPD qualification.

Where possible teaching and assessment is made relevant to the students' workplace and role so that they may see an immediate value in studying the qualification.

Innovative assessment methods are also employed on the course such as applied presentations and professional discussions.

The course is taught by subject experts and we also invite guest lecturers in to the course in order to explore some subject areas. Many of the teaching staff have experience in working outside the University and are able to bring their knowelege and experience into the classroom.

As students of the course all have some work experience examples from the workplace and students' own experience form the subject of discussion within modules. This allows students to network and learn from one another as well as from the lecturers.

Exemptions and transferability

Exemptions may be given on the basis of other postgraduate qualifications and/or the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development’s (CIPD) Advanced Level modules completed at other institutions. Applications for exemption will be assessed by the Course Team on an individual basis.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

This course is very relevant to those in the HR profession, seeking to further their experience and/or career development opportunities. In addition, Professional Membership of the CIPD is vital for employability within the HR profession. CIPD are recognised in the UK and Ireland, Europe and increasingly further afield.

Employers' expectations confirm that successful HR professionals need to understand the business, its context and their role in sustaining the business. Above all employers want the assurance that they are employing someone who can do the job so academic and professional recognition has become increasingly important for employment within the profession. This course attracts a diverse range of applicants from the public, private and third sectors and this provides great opportunity to network with like-minded professionals.

Alumni from this course can be found in leading HR positions both at home and abroad.

Professional recognition

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).


Applications are online via For an informal discussion prior to application please contact Jeanette Harrison or Nick Read at the Ulster University Business School.

Jeanette Harrison E:

Nick Read E:

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Tuition fees shown are for last years entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to an annual increase. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study. Read our Tuition Fees Payment Policy

Northern Ireland & EU:

Scholarships, awards and prizes

There are a number of sponsored prizes awarded to students each year based on their performance on the course.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course. 

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees. 

Please contact the course team for more information.


Jeanette Harrison E:

Nick Read E:


Nicola Barber HR Manager with Kilwaughter Chemical Company Ltd, a leading manufacturing company and Lead Regional Ambassador with Engage for Success, the Government Task Force for employee engagement.

"Having completed the CIPD Professional Development Scheme I felt that as an HR Professional it was important to continue to focus on my continuing professional development. The MSc HRM course was attractive as it offered the opportunity to complete comprehensive research in an area of HR that I am interested. I found the course both challenging and intellectually rewarding. From an organisational perspective the research undertaken as part of the programme has offered strategic solutions contributing to sustained organisational performance."