International Human Resource Management

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate

98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16).


This course will help you prepare for a career as an HR professional in an organisation with an international workforce.

You will develop the knowledge and skills you’ll need to deliver a responsible, participatory and sustainable HR service. It’s also suitable for anyone seeking further academic study in the subject, or to update the knowledge and qualifications of personnel and HR practitioners, managers and trade unionists.

The course content addresses contemporary debates on HR management practices, and business organisation governance and strategy in an international context. It provides a solid foundation if you’re seeking a career where you’ll have responsibility for developing local and global HR systems that incorporate corporate social responsibility, innovation and participatory practices.


The Management School has associated PhDs including those funded by ESRC/Skills Development Scotland.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Study methods: Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: MSc: one year; Diploma: 9 months
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Linda Perriton
Download course leaflet
Download postgraduate prospectus

Course Director

Dr Linda Perriton

Management, Work & Organisation Division
Stirling Management School
University of Stirling

Course objectives

This course provides a critical academic assessment of the approaches international employers take to human resource management (HRM). It pays particular attention to understanding how responsibility and sustainability impact on HR management, as well as exploring how organisations influence HR practices.

It will also equip you with a wider perspective on the principal issues and concerns affecting work, which will provide the basis for making effective decisions as managers in the future.

The curriculum builds on mainstream HRM scholarship and incorporates specialist subjects which are regularly updated to ensure topicality and relevance.

The course doesn’t assume that students have previously studied management. The core modules provide students with a working knowledge of HRM practice in a global context. The elective modules allow students the opportunity to explore wider HRM topics.

Stirling Management School is committed to the principles of the PRiME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) agenda. The MSc International HRM reflects this by integrating social responsibility and sustainability issues in the core curriculum. PRiME’s mission is to encourage responsible management education, research and thought-leadership globally.

What makes us different?

Advance your career with work experience

On this course you will have the opportunity to enhance your career opportunities by participating in work-based multi-disciplinary projects designed to prepare you for the next step on the career ladder.

We work with companies across different sectors in presenting a range of opportunities for our students.


Top 25 in the UK for Business and Management Research

Top 25 in the UK for Business and Management research. REF2014

Developing Leaders of the Future

Our postgraduate education goes beyond textbooks and lecture rooms by also focussing on personal and professional development.

Our unique Flying Start leadership programme equips students with the transferrable skills essential to building a successful career.



98% of Stirling postgraduate students go on to get a job or are in further study within six months of graduating

94% of Stirling Graduates go on to get a job or are in further study within 6 months of graduating

Business Engagement

The University of Stirling Management School equips students to flourish as effective managers in the workplace through enhanced self-awareness, critical thinking, leadership and team-working skills.

Find out more about business engagement

Business Engagement


At the University of Stirling Management School, we are committed to ensuring that every single one of our students realise their potential.

The graduate job market has never been more competitive, and greater focus is now being placed on finding graduates who can demonstrate a wide array of skills, competences and experiences.

Find out more about employability

Employability video

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

Library shelves

Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

Watch our videos now

Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

You’ll need a minimum of a second class honours degree in any subject, or an equivalent qualification. However, you can still apply if you don’t have these formal qualifications, but bring significant work experience in a relevant area.

If you don’t meet the required criteria for this course, you can complete the Graduate Diploma in Business, Finance and Sport to gain a guaranteed entry onto this Master's degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of these qualifications:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on English language requirements.

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. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email to discuss your course of study.

Fees and costs


2018/19 Overseas £15,250
2018/19 Home/EU £7,900


Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

Stirling Management School Postgraduate Scholarships

Stirling Management School is committed to investing in academically talented students, helping them to further their education with one of our university degree courses. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies. More on postgraduate scholarships.

Other Scholarships and Funding

You may qualify for University of Stirling funding as well as funding from government bodies, the European Commission, funding trusts, research councils, industry and employers. Scholarship finder.

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

This is a one-year full-time course of two semesters, followed by a three-month dissertation period. You’ll be taught in lectures, seminars, workshops, presentations and through practical case study exercises.

The course uses a variety of assessment methods ranging from the more traditional individual examinations and essays, but also includes some group presentations and reports.

Following success in your assessments at the end of the second semester, you’ll be awarded a Diploma in International HRM. If you also successfully complete the research dissertation, or a consultancy project, you’ll be awarded an MSc.

Preparation and Support

Begin your new course in the best possible way, with our unique Flying Start Leadership programme.

It’s exclusively for new students about to start one of our postgraduate courses. You’ll take part in a wide range of group and individual activities, workshops and information sessions to help you prepare for the year ahead, and make the most of your time at the University of Stirling Management School.

Attend the Flying Start Leadership programme and you will:

  • Discover more about the exciting period of learning ahead
  • Understand what is expected of you in your course
  • Get to know the teaching and support staff
  • Learn more about a diverse range of approaches to learning
  • Work as part of a successful team
  • Develop your personal goals for the year ahead

Activities range from practical skills – such as effective public speaking – to developing ways to work in groups with other students. The programme is also a chance to discover all that the University and the vibrant city of Stirling has to offer, and to make new friends.

Find out more about the programme.

Other learning activities to prepare you for study in the UK

Prepare for Success is an interactive web learning tool for international students who are coming to the UK to study.


Semester one involves three compulsory modules. There are also three compulsory modules in semester two, plus two other modules of your choice.

Semester 1 Compulsory Modules:

Semester 2 Compulsory Modules:

  • Managing and Developing a Diverse Workforce: helps you understand the practical aspects of managing the challenging elements of diversity in the workforce.
  • Comparative Employment Systems: provides you with knowledge of various employment systems and their economic, social and legal framework around the world.
  • Research Methods: introduces you to the conceptual and practical skills needed to undertake a small research project in a relevant HRM topic. 

Semester 2 Optional Modules: You can select two modules from those available across the School. These include:


During the dissertation period you’ll work, with guidance from an academic supervisor, on a HRM project of your choice. Students who meet the relevant criteria may also have the opportunity to work with an external organisation to tackle a critical business challenge. These projects give you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you develop during the degree. Projects usually last three months — from May/June to September. This work experience helps you develop your technical, personal and key transferable skills while you gain a detailed insight into the dynamics of a particular business sector.

Study method


Why Stirling?


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Top 25 in the UK for Business and Management Research: Top 15 for Real World Impact of Research

The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), an examination conducted by the UK government, which confirmed our place in the UK's top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of over 100 business schools.

The University of Stirling Management School was ranked among the Top 25 in the UK for business and management in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).

In Scotland, the School was ranked in the top five. 64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigor and we were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .



Inspired curriculum

The course fully prepares our graduates to play leadership roles in all types of organisations that are required to increasingly report on corporate social responsibility and other non-financial performance indicators.

Employment-ready graduates

The course emphasises transferable skills and knowledge that is highly relevant to business and industry. Teaching methods give you opportunities to apply theoretical concepts to real world challenges.

Strong links with industry

You’ll have the chance to enhance your career prospects by participating in work-based multi-disciplinary projects designed to prepare you for your next step on the career ladder.

Networking opportunities

Many of our postgraduate students come from overseas. Studying at Stirling offers an excellent opportunity to establish your own global network of contacts at the outset of your career.

Professional development for long-term success

Our Flying Start Leadership programme helps you develop self-awareness about your strengths and acquire new competencies in a supportive environment. You can also participate in a course for professional stock market traders.

MSc International Human Resource Management Prize

A research-based prize of £200 is open to all students undertaking the MSc International Human Resource Management dissertation and is awarded to the student who submits the best dissertation.  The prize may be shared if more than one dissertation achieves the highest mark.

Our staff

Our core teaching staff all publish regularly in prominent international journals. Many also carry out research, including policy-relevant projects, for organisations nationally and internationally. Projects have involved private, public and not-for-profit organisations such as the John Lewis Partnership, The European Commission, UK Commission for Employment and Skills, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

The University of Stirling is ranked 7th in the UK for graduate employability. Stirling Management School is unique in having a dedicated employability manager. From the very beginning of the course, your career is our focus.

Career opportunities

Our alumni include graduates whose successful careers have seen them work in various capacities. These include HR specialists and other managers for public, private, for-profit and not-for-profit organisations operating in many industry sectors across the world, such as:

  • Central and local government
  • Ernst & Young
  • Heineken
  • Nestle
  • NHS
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Sun Microsystems
  • United Nations

Some of our more established alumni (who completed the MSc HRM) are currently leading and shaping the strategy of global organisations at director level.

Graduating with an MSc in International HRM gives you the foundations you need to progress into a career in HRM. Equally, it offers the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in different areas related to business practice, or to local or international socio-economic development policy-making and implementation.

Employability video

employability video promotion

Business engagement video

industry promotional video


98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study withing six months of graduating - Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16

At least 94% of our graduates are in work or further studies within six months of graduating.

Throughout the course, you’ll be introduced to a broad range of topical issues. These enable you to better understand the challenges of work in various types and sizes of organisations operating locally and globally.

As a student on the MSc in International HRM, you’ll learn significant transferable skills that are valued by employers. These include:

  • The ability to research relevant data
  • How to critically analyse data to inform contextual decisions
  • Teamwork
  • How to carry out projects and deliver effective presentations

You’ll also develop your ability to reflect on contemporary management practice in an informed manner.

Your learning and development is further supported by contact with guest-speakers, field trips, and the opportunity to take part in business simulations with fellow students across the Management School.

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