For businesses today, managing people is crucial. Human Resource Management (HRM) deals with the management of an organisation’s workforce, from the most junior member of staff to the chief executive.
Organisational success depends upon developing appropriate methods of recruitment and selection, motivation, reward, training and development, grievance and discipline, performance management and career progression.
HR specialists work closely with operational managers to manage the employment relationship, enhance individual and team performance and ensure that workers are fairly treated. Indeed all managers need to possess HRM skills. HRM also attempts to increase the organisation’s ability to adapt within its environment through broadening the skills of the workforce. As such, HR specialists also need to have a good understanding of the labour market and their organisation’s wider social, economic and political environments.
BBBB - one sitting.
ABBB - two sittings.
SQA Adv. Higher:
General entrance requirements apply
Mathematics Standard Grade (3), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.
Modes of study
Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
January entry also available - see semester dates
Find out more
In Semesters 1 and 2 you will be taught core modules alongside students from Business Studies, Management, Marketing and Retail Marketing. These early modules are designed to give you a solid grounding in the general principles of business, management, marketing, human resources and organisations. In these first two semesters, additional modules are taken from elsewhere in the University; many students take modules in related subject areas, such as: Business Law, Economics, Psychology or Sociology.
Year 2 entry is available for suitably qualified candidates who can expect a seamless transition into Semester 3.
From Year 2 onwards, students take specialist modules in Human Resource Management covering areas such as techniques and policy within HRM; strategic HRM; learning and development; employment relations; and contemporary issues and change in HRM, work and employment. The teaching is comprehensive, covering the wider labour market and political environment, how HRM operates within organisations and the implications of HRM for individual workers. In addition to specialist HRM modules, optional modules are chosen from Business Studies, Management or from one of the other subjects for which you are qualified, e.g. Marketing. Students are encouraged to take electives in Accounting & Finance for Managers and Economics for Managers.
Students complete a dissertation on an HRM issue of their choice in their final semester, alongside developing their employability skills.
You will have numerous opportunities to develop appropriate work-related skills at every stage of your studies, culminating in the Professional Development and Practice module in Semester 8 which helps you prepare for entering the workplace.
View full module descriptions
Teaching and assessment
Teaching is by lectures, seminars and practical work. In the advanced modules there is more opportunity for group work, case study analysis and skills development.
Assessment is by a combination of coursework and formal examinations. In the final semester (Year 4), all students complete an Honours dissertation which allows concentration on areas of particular interest.
General texts which may be of interest include:
Beardwell, J and Claydon, T. (2010) Human Resource Management a Contemporary Approach (6th edn.), London: FT Prentice Hall.
Gilmore, S., & Williams, S. (2009) Human Resource Management, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Grey, C. (2009) A very short, fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book about studying organizations (2nd edn.) London: Sage.
Noon, M., & Blyton, P. (2007) The Realities of Work (3rd edn.) Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan
For additional information on each subject included in Combined Honours courses, refer to individual subject entries.
Human Resource Management can be studied with:
(For a Combined Honours degree the higher entrance requirements of the subjects usually apply.)
The University of Stirling’s HRM degree takes an approach which provides students with the essential critical thinking and analytical skills needed to manage and thrive in today’s organisations. The degree is not prescriptive and encourages students to critically examine organisational policies as well as claims made about employment and the labour market more widely. As such, HR ‘best practice’ is questioned throughout the degree. The Working Lives Group, within the Management, Work & Organisation Division, which houses the degree, has a focus that goes beyond traditional businesses to include the public and non-profit sectors, community organisations and employee-owned organisations.
You have the opportunity to study abroad through Stirling's well-established connections with several international universities. Recent HRM students studying abroad have studied in locations as diverse as the United States, Hong Kong, Canada and the Netherlands.
Teaching provision in Business and Management has been assessed by the Scottish Funding Council and rated as 'highly satisfactory'.
The HRM degree critically examines HRM and employment policies, where these don’t work as they should and how they may be improved. The degree focuses on the wellbeing of employees as well as organisational success and considers a number of different organisational forms, as well as the wider labour market. Staff come from a number of academic and employment backgrounds and bring a rich variety of perspectives to their teaching.
Graduate employment case study: BA in HRM.
I obtained a job with Hilton Worldwide as a Corporate Human Resources (HR) Trainee after graduating in June 2012. My initial graduate role involved acting as a point of contact for 30 hotels in Eastern Europe, providing them with HR advice. I then transitioned into a HR role specialising in employees’ learning and development (e.g. training). I now work as an HR Advisor for the fashion company ASOS.com. Stirling’s HRM degree provided me with a solid understanding of all key aspects relevant to the HR profession. Without this degree, starting life in corporate HR would have been much more difficult. I believe my degree also made me stand out against other applicants who applied for the same role, giving me an advantage in the selection process.
Stacey McGill, currently working with ASOS.com in London.
Dr Scott Hurrell studied Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management at undergraduate level at the University of Kent following this up with an MA by Research in Industrial Relations at the same institution. Scott later completed his PhD in Human Resource Management at the University of Strathclyde and has worked at Strathclyde, Aston and Stirling Universities. Scott’s research interests include skills and work organisation, recruitment and selection, the interactive service and non-profit sectors and labour market policy. Scott has a variety of wider employment experience mainly in the hospitality and university administration sectors.
94% of University of Stirling 2012 graduates have found work, or are in a
further programme of study within 6 months of graduation. The Telegraph
ranks Stirling in the top 12 UK universities for getting a job.
Where are our graduates now?
Human Resource Management graduates are contributing to the performance of a range of private, public and third sector organisations including:
- National Australia Group
- BAE Systems
- JP Morgan
- Aviva UK
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Local and central government
- Audit Scotland
- Marks & Spencer
- Capita Plc
Recent graduates from Stirling’s Human Resource Management degree have started their careers in the following roles:
- Resource Assistant, Hyde Group Engineering
- HR Administrator, Capita HR Solutions
- Learning & Development Graduate Trainee, Hilton Worldwide
- Recruitment Consultant, Recruitair Ltd
- Researcher, Experis Manpower Group
Graduates who left Stirling up to ten years ago have now forged careers in the following areas:
- Performance Improvement, PricewaterhouseCoopers
- HR Manager, Sainsbury’s
- HR Policy Developer, University of Central Lancashire
- Regulatory Analyst, Baillie Gifford
- Policy Officer – Care, Health & Wellbeing, NHS Forth Valley
- Employer Brand Consultant, RBS Insurance
An HRM degree from Stirling is a solid foundation upon which to build a career in HR. Some of our more established graduates are currently employed as the following:
- Regional HR Director, Trinity Mirror Plc
- HR Business Partner, BBC
- HR Consultant, Audit Scotland
- HR Operations Manager, Capita Plc
- Leadership Development, National Australia Group
- HR Strategy & Planning Advisor, City of York Council
- Expertise Management Leader, IBM
- Deputy Director of Learning & Development
Some of our graduates have used their Human Resource Management degree as a basis upon which to progress into some potentially less obvious careers including: Policy Officer (Scottish Government), Senior Business Support Officer (Glasgow City Council), Careers Advisor (University of Stirling), Marketing Consultant (Elementary Solutions), Communications Advisor (BAE Systems), Business Development Manager (Heineken UK) and Management Accountant (Kerry Goods Ltd).
Stirling Management School’s Careers Mentoring Scheme
The Careers Mentoring Scheme is open to all Year 3 and Year 4 students across Stirling Management School. Mentoring is widely recognised as an effective tool for enhancing your career prospects and of ensuring informed choice, and this scheme is designed to provide additional support as you progress through your studies, as well as preparing you for progression into your desired professions. Mentors are all former students of Stirling Management School who know what it is like to be unsure about your future career plans. They are keen to pass on tips relating to potential careers and applying for jobs.
The benefits of the scheme include:
- Improving your employability skills
- Building your confidence and self-esteem when applying for jobs
- Searching and applying for suitable jobs, writing CVs, interview skills
- Providing an insight into the world of work and a particular industry
Discover other ways in which our alumni get involved with our students
Internship – What they are and why you should consider doing one?
An internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to students (or interns) over a fixed period of time, which enables the student to gain practical experience. The Career Development Centre has details of internships available around the world with large private sector organisations, as well as opportunities with smaller local businesses which are promoted through both the Third Sector Internship Scheme, the Saltire Foundation, and our very own Stirling Internship Programme. As a student, you will automatically be registered onto the University’s Vacancy & Events System which means that you will receive regular updates regarding new opportunities as they become available.
Six reasons why you should consider an internship:
- Boost your CV and stand out from the crowd in order to have an edge in the graduate job market.
- Make professional connections which may lead to the offer of a job upon graduation
- Test your career choices – internships can ease your transition into future careers or alternatively, help you decide that you don’t want to work in that area after all
- ‘Real world’ business experience, enabling you to put theory into practice
- Develop transferable skills such as communication, team working, problem-solving, decision-making, initiative and creativity
- Help fund your studies by earning a full-time salary during the vacation periods