The MSc Human Resource Management (HRM) addresses contemporary HRM debates and draws on the niche expertise of staff to deliver mainstream and specialised HR learning, balanced with expert speakers and teaching participants. Given developments globally in responsible management education (UN PRiME)* special attention is paid to understanding issues of responsibility and sustainability in HR management. The course develops HR leaders (not HR technicians) who can lead responsible and sustainable HR practices in a global environment.
This course provides a critical and academic assessment of the Human Resource Management (HRM) approach and its application by employers in the context of significant structural and contextual change in the world of work and employment. Particular attention is paid to understanding issues of responsibility and sustainability in HR management.
The curriculum for the MSc Human Resource Management builds on mainstream HRM to incorporate specialist topics which are regularly updated to ensure topicality and continued relevance. The course is taught from the Institute for Socio-Management and so students have access to specialists in a variety of fields.
The curriculum and how it is delivered is innovative and challenging for all students regardless of their academic background. The course uses a variety of assessment methods ranging from the more traditional examinations and essays, to formative assignments (short essays and group feedback).
The course seeks to provide recent graduates with a conceptual foundation for a career in the field of human resource management or for further academic study in the subject, or to update the knowledge and qualifications of personnel/HR practitioners and trade unionists. It will also provide you with a wider perspective on the principal issues and concerns affecting work and provide the basis for more effective decisions.
* PRiME stands for Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRiME) and its mission is to encourage responsible management education, research and thought leadership globally. To this end, PRiME provides a voluntary engagement platform for business schools and management-related academic institutions. The Stirling Management School is committed to the principles of the PRiME agenda and the MSc in Human Resource Management programme has corporate responsibility and sustainability at the core of its taught programmes.
A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (5.5 in all bands).
If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard.
Our range of pre-sessional courses.
Modes of study
MSc: one year; Diploma: nine months
Course start date
Structure and content
The full-time course consists of two 15-week semesters of taught modules and a three-month dissertation period.
Preparing and supporting students through their postgraduate studies
September 2014 will see the introduction of an intensive and invigorating period of ‘learning to learn’ for Stirling Management School’s postgraduate students. Activities, workshops and information sessions held during this period will help students better prepare for the year ahead in order to ensure that they make the most of their time at Stirling. Students will be provided with an opportunity to develop the necessary skills required to ensure that they can interact and engage with others and fully explore the subjects and themes covered by their course.
Providing students with the very best start to their studies, these activities will support students to:
- discover more about the exciting period of learning ahead;
- develop an understanding of the course expectations;
- get to know the teaching team and support staff;
- learn more about a diverse range of approaches to learning;
- understand what it takes to work as part of a successful team;
- develop presentation skills and build confidence in public speaking;
- learn about cultural and individual differences;
- discover all that the University campus and the vibrant city of Stirling has to offer;
- maximise their time studying at Stirling;
- have fun and make new friends.
By the end of this period, students will be fully prepared to embark upon the formal teaching course invigorated and committed to the journey ahead with newly developed skills.
In Semester 1 you take the following 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 will deal with human resource planning, recruitment and selection, managing performance, rewards, grievance and discipline, managing relationships, learning and development, health, safety and welfare, and diversity.
- Responsible and Participative Management: places employee participation within a business, ethical, political and sociological context. Attention is paid to understanding issues of responsibility and sustainability in managing for employee participation. Students will develop knowledge of issues that confront managers and trade unions involved with employee ownership and employee participation.
- Responsible Business in Society: addresses the contemporary challenges to business practice emanating from the sustainable development and responsibility agendas. It provides a strong foundation for understanding the implications of business practice on broader society, and conversely the impact that social activism, public scrutiny and pressures on the brand have on business governance/corporate strategy.
In Semester 2 you will take the following modules:
- The HRM Debate: analyses the concepts, practices and outcomes of HRM 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.
- Contemporary Issues in HRM: provides an in depth examination of HRM in particular sectoral contexts. It seeks to provide students with a variety of examples within which theoretical HRM debates are played out.
- Management Research Methods: introduces research methods in the field of business and management. You will be shown how these methods can be used in practice in preparing for your dissertation.
- Strategic Management: provides an overall understanding of the needs, contexts and processes involved in Strategic Management within organisations. You will examine the main underlying approaches to strategic management
View full module descriptions
Delivery and assessment
You have an active role in your learning experience. Delivery includes lectures, seminars, case studies, presentations, and workshops, followed by a three-month dissertation period. Assessment is by a mixture of examination and coursework, including written assignments and presentations. Successful completion of the taught element of the programme leads to the award of the Diploma or allows you to continue for the award of the MSc HRM by completing a 15,000-word dissertation based on an original research question agreed by yourself and your supervisor. The project should reflect your own understanding and knowledge of selected topics learnt during taught courses.
Dr Juliette Summers
The reputation of our research staff was recognised in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), where 85 percent of our research activity was rated as being of ‘International Signiﬁcance’.
The MSc Human Resource Management course at Stirling fully satisfied my expectations. It was an intense and challenging course requiring a great amount of work and analytical thinking throughout the year. The course was always enjoyable and interesting in terms of its nature of teaching including seminars, lectures and group presentations. I gained the necessary knowledge and confidence that will help my future career; acquired brilliant communication skills; and met a number of friendly, helpful people. The atmosphere, wonderful surroundings of the campus and learning activities have provides an excellent platform for my studying and personal development. The experience of my year at Stirling will remain in my memory for a long time.
Toma Staskeviciute, MSc Human Resource Management (2009)
Where are our graduates now?
MSc Human Resource Management graduates are currently working around the world in countries such as Nigeria, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, China, Kazakhstan, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Spain. They are actively contributing to the performance of the following organisations:
- Sun Microsystems
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Ernst & Young
- United Nations
- Central and local government
- Universities around the world
Graduates entering into employment in the past three years are currently working as:
- Talent Manager, SXL Group (China)
- HR Specialist, Ferragamo Retail Taiwan
- Recruitment Specialist, GSM Kazakhstan
- PhD Research Student, University of Strathclyde (UK)
Alumni of the MSc Human Resource Management degree who graduated between five and ten years ago have since advanced into some of the following positions:
- HR Business Partner, Nestle (Sweden)
- Management Trainer, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency
- Partner, Future Career Consultancy (China)
- HR Development Consultant, Bang & Olufsen (Greece)
Some of our more established alumni are currently leading and shaping the strategy of global organisations – here is an example of how a few former Human Resource Management students have advanced in their careers:
- Human Resource Director, Detica (UK)
- Director, Workplace Solutions (India)
- HR Manager, PT. Bank Niaga Tbk (Indonesia)
- Head of Business Support, Royal Bank of Scotland
- Group Manager, CGU Plc (UK)
- HR Consultant, Aibel (Norway)
Graduating with a Master's in Human Resource Management does not necessarily mean that you have to progress into a career in that field, it offers a solid foundation upon which to base a career in many different areas, as is shown by some of the potentially less obvious roles that our HRM graduates are currently employed:
- International Development Intern, United Nations (UK)
- Social Worker, Fife Council (UK)
- Forensic Officer, Indonesian National Police
- HR Lecturer, University of the West of Scotland
- Head of Marketing, Equiniti (UK)
- Sales Account Manager, Heineken (Greece)
You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.
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 Programmes 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.
For further information on possible sources of funding, visit: http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/