MSc Human Resource Management

Organisations thrive on the strength of their people. As a human resource, people manager, you play an essential role. GCU's MSc Human Resource Management prepares you for the ethical, cultural, legal, operational and strategic aspects of human resource management - while giving you a global outlook and an understanding of responsible leadership. This way you'll be ready for success - and support the common good to make a positive impact.

The programme is one of only several in the UK to be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and aligned to the US Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) standards. It's available on a part-time and full-time basis, offering flexibility for career-focused professionals and recent graduates alike.

The curriculum brings together critical analysis of leading theories and trends in human resources with relevant industry practice from the real world. You'll develop skills that will be practical and valuable in a range of contemporary specialist and generalist HRM/people manager roles.

  • Expand your expertise of niche and specialised topics in HR
  • Develop the expertise to effectively manage people in a diverse national and international environment
  • Study contemporary theory of human resource management
  • Apply theory to practice through case-studies and investigative projects

The MSc Human Resource Management course provides sessions on contemporary issues such as

  • Remote working and work-life balance issues 
  • Dealing with furloughed workers
  • Rights of zero-hours and temporary workers in the gig economy

Full-time students will also complete an industry placement in a human resources function. This work placement ties into a hands-on research project, so you can bring together everything you've learned through a Business Investigation Report (PG Diploma) or HRM Research Project (Masters) - an accomplishment that's especially valuable to employers.

Part-time students will also have the opportunity to add value to their own work or organisation through a Business Investigation Report (PG Diploma) or HRM Research Project (Masters).

Your career

Our graduates are leaders and change-makers, successful and socially driven. They are competitive candidates for jobs in human resources in the UK and internationally. Recent graduates have enjoyed a high rate of success in a diverse range of sectors with companies such as Morgan Stanley, Marks and Spencer, NHS Scotland , ScottishPower and Sky BSB. Graduates of the part-time programme have advanced their careers through internal and external promotion.

You will be intellectually challenged by a specialist staff with a background in a range of national and international organisations, including some well-known blue-chip giants. For a human resources professional, the insight you'll develop at GCU is essential.

Employment Law for HR Practitioners; Performance Management; HRD Strategies in Practice; HRM in International Contexts; Managing Employment Relationships; Organisational Change and Responsible Leadership; Professional and Personal Competence Development for HR Managers; Resourcing and Talent Management; Research Design and Critical Inquiry; Human Resource Management Research Project/Business Investigation Report.

Download the Programme Specification for a detailed breakdown of its structure, what you will learn and other useful information.

September 21 applications can only be accepted from students from Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Study Options

  • 2021/22


Mode of study


Start date


Full Time
16 Months
31 Jan 2022
GCU Glasgow
Part Time
2 - 3 Years
31 Jan 2022
GCU Glasgow
Full Time
1 Year
28 Sep 2021
GCU Glasgow
Part Time
2 - 3 Years
28 Sep 2021
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location  
MSc Full Time 16 Months 31 Jan 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Part Time 2 - 3 Years 31 Jan 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Full Time 1 Year 28 Sep 2021 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Part Time 2 - 3 Years 28 Sep 2021 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Minimum academic requirement

Minimum academic requirement: UK honours degree 2:2 (or equivalent) in any subject area.

Non-standard entry is considered for applicants with CIPD-certification and/or relevant experience.

Advanced entry is considered for modules previously achieved at postgraduate level from CIPD or a CIPD-accredited institution.

English language

English language Academic IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element below 6.0.

Please note: if you are from a majority English speaking country, you may not be required to provide further proof of your English Language proficiency.

Additional information

Other academic and vocational qualifications

Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

Advanced standing

Advanced standing operates where there is evidence of completion of a like for like module at postgraduate level either from the CIPD or a CIPD accredited institution. Precise regulations on transfer from another CIPD accredited programme or nationally assessed centre are prescribed by CIPD.

Students wishing to transfer into our programme are advised to contact the Membership and Studying CIPD Qualifications team on 0208 612 6208.

International pathways

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Annual full-time tuition fees 2021/22

Home and RUK: £6,000
EU and International: £13,500

Part-time and distance-learning tuition fees

View our part-time and distance-learning fee schedules

Fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only.

Additional costs

As a student at the University, there are additional fees and costs which may or may not apply to you, but that you should be aware of.

View additional costs

CIPD fees

As part of the programme, students are required to take out student membership of the CIPD. As a new student, you will be charged CIPD admissions and annual subscription. Subscriptions are renewed on July 1 each year.


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of £2 million per year.

View our postgraduate scholarships.

 Assessment methods vary between modules and may include: essays, reports, class tests, written exams, presentations and skills based assessments.

Our course is distinguished by recognition from globally renowned HR professional bodies, the Charted Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI).


Students on this course will get the opportunity to hear from guest lecturers.
This course offers routes to chartered status CIPD.
Students on this course will be able to undertake an HR-related work experience placement.
Professional engagement opportunities include events on campus, the CIPD Scotland Student Conference and an annual careers and employability event.
This course has been designed with industry input.

A key feature of the full-time programme is the HR work placement. You'll be based in the HR function of an organisation in the public, private or third sector.

The placement is an integral part of the learning process and provides a valuable way of gaining some hands on experience and developing key skills in a real environment, which is valued by employers.

The placement is linked with the final project. Drawing on academic theory, you'll be directly involved in investigating a particular human resource management issue in practice. Along with developing your knowledge and analytical skills, the placement gives you a realistic view of organisations and the human resource challenges faced. The organisation you'll be working with also benefits from the findings and recommendations from your investigation.

The HRM programmes are delivered by a specialist staff with expertise and recognition both in academia and industry with background across a range of national and international organisations including some well known blue-chip giants across both public and private sector organisations.

Colleagues from across the Glasgow School for Business and Society contribute expertise in areas including Strategic Management, Finance and Law. In addition to the specialist teaching staff, we also bring industry experts into our classrooms and take our students out of the university and into workplaces to learn. You will experience case based learning and will have the opportunity for hosted project work. We aim to make your learning meaningful and relevant to the world of work.

In partnership with HM Forces, GCU has identified this course is being particularly suited to military and ex-military men and women. Visit the HM Forces Careers Zone for more information on the services we provide.