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. 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.
IB Diploma with a total of 32 points.
HNC or HND with Bs in graded units.
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.
A-levels or Advanced Highers ABB to include Business Studies/Management.
Scottish HND in business-related subjects with Bs in graded units.
General entrance requirements apply.
International students can study our Undergraduate Certificate if they do not possess the necessary entrance requirements to be admitted directly to the first year of an undergraduate degree course.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.
English Standard Grade (2), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE English (C) or equivalent.
Applicants with English Standard Grade (3) will also be considered, although alternative entry conditions may be made in this case.
Mathematics Standard Grade (3), GCSE (C) or equivalent.
Modes of study
Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
February entry also available.
Find out more
Semesters 1 – 3
You will study three general modules in Business and Management:
- The Firm
- The Business Environment
- Business in the 21st Century
These modules form a foundation for the course. They introduce the main functional areas of management and consider the ways in which the behavioural sciences contribute to the understanding of business/organisational behaviour and people at work. These modules also consider the wider business environment and how it is changing. They also provide some of the analytical techniques that underpin organisational activity – data collection, presentation and analysis – and are crucial for management decision making. Students study these modules alongside students from Business Studies, Management Science, Marketing, Public Management and Administration and Retail Marketing.
Additional modules are taken from other subject areas, and you may wish to study related subjects such as Business Law, Economics, Psychology and Sociology.
Semesters 4 – 8
You will take the following core modules covering the broad field of Human Resource Management:
- Introduction to Human Resource Management
- Managing Organisations
- Employment Relations
- Managing People
- Learning and Development
- Contemporary Personnel Policy
- Employee Ownership and Participation
- Human Resource Management
- Business and Organisational Research
In addition, you will choose three optional modules from Business Studies, Management Science or Public Management and Administration or from one of the other subjects for which you are qualified.
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 Stirling Institute for Socio-Management, 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. Employee ownership, for example, is covered extensively within a specific advanced level module on the HRM degree.
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 have since transitioned into a HR role specialising in employees’ learning and development (e.g. training).
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 Hilton Worldwide 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.
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).