How can you contribute to the creation of more inclusive work environments and societies through HRM? The MSc in HRM and Socio-Economic Development provides the tools for you to understand the significance of HRM and employment issues in a distinctive and innovative way, by positioning them within the broader spectrum of socio-economic development. The course offers an opportunity to explore in a creative, critical and constructive manner core issues in both HRM and social and economic development. Through exploring the meanings and implications of globalisation in socio-economic terms, you will engage with original material and cases to examine and redefine the terms of sustainable development. In this context, you will learn about and assess the specific challenges of managing people in both traditional and more participative firms. You will explore current issues in globalisation in a creative, critical and constructive manner, by being presented a variety of alternative HRM strategies and business forms, such as conventional businesses, social enterprises and cooperatives. The course focuses also on the impact that different business choices have on economies and societies, and on the context in which those choices are made. It provides the conceptual background as well as the practical knowledge for you to contribute to the creation of more inclusive socio-economic systems.
During your period of study, theoretical and critical reflection will be complemented with insights and practice from business practitioners and policy agents.
The course is especially designed to offer you the opportunity to develop your competence, imagination and ideas in practice. You will be enabled to learn through experience and engagement – with other students, with the course leaders, business practitioners, and from your environment, both physical and cultural. Inspired by the UN’s Principles for Responsible Management Education, the course aims to further the development of responsible reflective practitioners and researchers.
The course develops:
- Knowledge of traditional Human Resource Management (HRM) topics; of how HRM is shaped by economic, political and management choices; and of how HRM influences social cohesion, divisions and identities.
- Appreciation of the motivations of people, their values, their relations and their choices.
- Recognition of the aims, practices and implications of people management.
- Awareness of different forms of participative management located in different forms of organisations.
- Appreciation of the role of creativity, imagination and inclusion in fostering sustainable communities and enterprises.
- Awareness of the ethical issues arising in globalised labour markets; and a holistic view of responsibility in all of its economic, environmental, cultural and social dimensions.
- Understanding of the process of academic research and research skills.
Entry requires a good degree in any subject from a recognised university, normally the equivalent to at least a lower second class Honours degree in a UK university. Applications will also be considered from those without the standard academic qualifications but with wide relevant experience. In this latter case, applicants may be asked to attend for an interview.
The course is suitable for graduate students with an established notion of people management and an interest in how HRM fits with broader societal and economic developments.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6 (minimum 5.5 in each skill), or TOEFL: Listening 21, Reading 22, Speaking 23, Writing 21.
Stirling Management School Postgraduate Scholarships
Stirling Management School is committed to investing in academically talented students, enabling them to further their education with a reputable qualification from one of the many postgraduate degree courses on offer at the University of Stirling. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at Stirling Management School.
Modes of study
MSc: one year; Diploma: nine months; Certificate: six months
Course start date
Structure and content
Semester 1: compulsory modules
- Work, Employment and Society: provides you with a strong foundation for the Master's course. It introduces you to the key issues, concepts and debates regarding the world of work and employment and develops your skills in academic discussion and academic writing.
- People Management: explores the policies and procedures used in organisations to manage staff. It deals with human resource planning, recruitment and selection, managing performance, rewards, grievance and discipline, learning and development, health, safety and welfare, and diversity.
- Responsible Business in Society: addresses the contemporary challenges to business practice emanating from the sustainable development and ethical responsibility agendas. It provides a strong theoretical foundation for understanding the implications of business practice on broader society, and critically assessing issues of business governance and strategy in light of social expectations, moral citizenship and activism.
- Globalisation, Creativity and Socio-Economic Development: provides the analytical foundations for understanding the significance of production activities for social and economic development. Issues addressed include: Strategic choice in the organisation of production under globalisation, economic exclusion and uneven development, the role of institutions in enabling inclusion and cooperation, the use of creativity across economies and societies and its impact on development and wellbeing, the role of imagination in addressing social and ethical issues.
Semester 2: compulsory modules
- The HRM Debate: analyses the concepts, practices and outcomes of human resource management as distinct from personnel management. It assesses the background, assumptions and aims of several HRM models and evaluates them against traditional notions and practices of personnel management in the UK.
- Shaping Business and Policy: brings socio-economic development issues to life by bridging the theory, the policy and the practice of shaping business locally and internationally. Issues addressed relate to different sectors, such as private for-profit and private non-profit, in different industries.
- Management Research Methods: addresses directly the need for both appreciation of the nature of academic research in management, and the practical problem solving and creative inquiry skills needed by postgraduate students. The module prepares you for the dissertation.
- Contemporary Issues in HRM: provides an in-depth examination of HRM in particular sectorial contexts. It seeks to provide students with a variety of examples within which theoretical HRM debates are played out.
- Dissertation in Socio-Economic Development: It builds on an original research question and reflects your own understanding and knowledge of selected topics learnt during taught courses. The topic must be critically positioned with a socio-economic development framework. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods are accepted, consistently with the research question.
View full module descriptions
HRM and Socio-Economic Development? I wasn´t sure what this combined degree would really imply. Now I know it was THE degree for me. Our society has to start rethinking "business".
After finishing my MSc in 2012 I now work for a charity in Canada. I can apply what I learned during my studies in Stirling and contribute towards building an inclusive community that starts to think about social change and responsibility. Without this Masters I would have never experienced this different but important part of our business world and therefore, this degree had a huge impact on my life and I hope it will have on many others.
Miriam Brenner, MSc HRM & Socio-Economic Development Graduate (2012)
Delivery and assessment
You have an active role in your learning experience, which is supported by teaching techniques such as group-work, role-play, problem-solving, case studies, individual reflection and presentations. The course modules are assessed by various methods which include essays, individual and group projects and final examinations. The period of assessed study (lectures, tutorials, seminars) is followed by a period of supervised research resulting in a dissertation.
Contact the School for information on your timetable and reading lists.
Dr Silvia Sacchetti
The School is committed to a research-led approach in all of its activities. This was recognised in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which rated 85 percent of our research activity to be of international significance.
The MSc HRM and Socio-Economic Development is for those students who want to build an understanding of work places and explore ways in which organisations can promote employees well-being and community welfare. As concerns about fairness and social justice have become increasingly visible in national and international debates and policies, the MSc in HRM and SED offers an original and innovative approach to implement practical solutions to social and economic issues.
You will build solid foundations in the nature and strategies of HRM in business organisations. In parallel you will learn about the meaning and implications of ethics in decision-making and corporate social responsibility. The course will then provide a distinct and deep analysis of why alternative forms of business may be desirable, focusing on those organisations which place at their core personal rights, democracy, worker participation, and community welfare. You will learn in particular about cooperatives, cooperation, social enterprises and how those firms marry economic democracy, community welfare, and economic sustainability.
Students who successfully complete the MSc in HRM and SED have a strong interest in work related and social issues, both in their country of origin and more internationally. The course provides them with theoretical and conceptual foundations upon which they can build to refine their understanding of HRM practices. They are open-minded, curious and willing to engage in critical discussion supported by evidence and informed by theory. Students are interested in gaining a critical understanding of the institutional, social, moral and economic dimensions of local development. They appreciate the complexity of business relationships to society, and wish to explore it further with a view to enhance inclusiveness, use of creativity and social justice. The course also strongly encourages students to read widely and strengthens self-reflective abilities.
Dr Silvia Sacchetti is Course Director of the MSc in HRM and SED. She joined the University of Stirling in September 2009, and has been involved in innovative curriculum development in the emerging area of economics and local social development.
Dr Sacchetti has extensive research experience in the field of economic development from a socio-economics perspective, and she has published empirical and theoretical papers on various topics such as American pragmatism and economics, inclusive economic institutions, co-operatives social enterprises and the social economy, the nature and evolution of institutions and businesses, the motivations of people, and the impacts of creative (inclusive) environments. She has conducted academic activities in both the UK and various universities in Italy, as well as being invited to collaborate on European projects on economic co-operation and local development by established research centres.
This course presents a comprehensive and novel approach to human resource management, responsibility and social organisation. The first part of the course provides you with an in depth understanding of work and organisations, as well as a critical perspective to current globalization and transnational corporations. The second part then provides insights into the practices and outcomes of human resource management and particular sectorial contexts. It outlines alternatives to business organisations based on social value, inclusion and democratic participation. This course has the potential to open up novel and untapped perspectives on the way production is organized but may be of interest also to those who are satisfied with the current state of business.
Dr Silvia Sacchetti, MSc HRM & Socio-Economic Development Course Director
The MSc in Human Resource Management and Socio-Economic Development adopts a much-needed critical and constructive perspective on social and economic affairs. It is built upon a belief that co-operation, integration and imagination are essential pillars for a successful economy. The course not only provides insights into why society and economies are structured the way they are, but it also offers innovative and inspiring concepts and tools that highlight practical solutions to drive meaningful social change. Students are challenged to become more intuitive, reflective and responsible citizens.
Dr Cécile Rozuel, Course Co-director
The course is for those who want to be socially responsible decision-makers in a variety of organisations. Specifically you will have a comparative advantage in understanding alternative and prominent business forms such as cooperatives and social enterprises, besides conventional business enterprises, public enterprises, international organisations, government departments and NGOs. The course also provides a sound foundation for those wishing to undertake doctoral research.
As a not for profit community interest company, Creative Stirling aims to develop a commercially sustainable programme of meaningful cultural activity for the local community as well as offering practical support for the local creative industry infrastructure. We work collaboratively with local partners and are developing new ways of working that provide opportunities for learning, employment and professional development. Our social value and impact on the local community is as important as our success as a small business.
Our plans to be minimally reliant on public funding mean that working closely with the University MBA students and staff, provides not only valuable insight into relatively new ways of working for a cultural organisation but critically important information and indicators of both our economic performance and social progress. It is vital to helping us understand what we do and be able to articulate our story to our funders, supporters and new potential partners.
Their involvement has helped us to create a more complete and relevant picture of what we need to do in order to develop and improve our business model to achieve our commercial and social aims. It has also provided exciting opportunity for students and staff to work together and gain insight and practical experience to complement their studies.
Joe Hall, Director Creative Stirling
Social enterprise and other forms of values based businesses are of growing relevance today in a world that is facing many and increasing challenges from peak oil to environmental degradation. Assist Social Capital believes the Masters in Social Economic Development at Stirling University offers an important opportunity for Business students to widen their understanding of the relevance of values and how they influence business and society. We welcome the interest Stirling University has shown in our work and would like to thank Silvia Sacchetti for providing us with the chance to meet and talk to the students. We believe there should be far more University courses providing such opportunities.
Colin Campbell, Executive Director Assist Social Capital CIC