Human Resource Management MSc

This programme combines Surrey Business School’s expertise in core management disciplines with modules that advance the self-awareness and personal development required for careers in human resource management.

Why Surrey?

At Surrey Business School, we take pride in the quality of our research and teaching. Our excellent standards are reflected in our accreditations from the AACSB and the AMBA and our close links with national and international businesses of all sizes and across all sectors.

Programme overview

Our MSc in Human Resource Management develops your knowledge and skills in the evaluation, discussion and analysis of issues in the sector. You will learn how managers are best able to utilise human resources to create added value for customers and to secure a competitive advantage for their organisation.

The programme will help you to develop positive and critical attitudes towards leadership, change and enterprise, so as to reflect the dynamism and vibrancy of the business and management environment.

As well as providing specialist modules that deal with particular aspects of human resources, the programme is built around a central core of modules that give you a thorough grounding in essential management disciplines.

Throughout the programme, a strong emphasis is placed on an international perspective to ensure that graduates benefit from an education that has real relevance in today’s global economy.

Programme structure

This programme consists of six compulsory modules, two optional modules and a dissertation.

Compulsory modules:

  • Management of Human Resources
  • Human Resource Development
  • Employment Law
  • Research Methods
  • Accounting and Finance for Business
  • Industrial Relations

Optional modules include:

  • International Human Resource Management
  • Strategy

Example module content

Management of Human Resources

This module provides a general perspective on human resource management and organisational behaviour. The topics covered include organisational structure and culture, motivation and performance management, labour markets, recruitment and selection, organisational learning and managing change.

Accounting and Finance for Business

The finance module introduces you to a range of finance systems and processes. The topics covered include profit and loss accounts, balance sheets, cash flow statements, financial analysis, and trend and ratio analysis.

Employment Law

This module exposes you to the legal framework which underpins and governs the employment relationship. The topics covered include common and statute law, contract formation, contract maintenance and termination, discrimination in employment, and health and safety in the workplace.

Industrial Relations

This module looks in depth at the employment relationship; the way in which it is formed and maintained. The individual and collective environments are scrutinised in detail. The topics covered include frames of reference and industrial relations theories, collective bargaining and incomes determination, employee participation, industrial action and comparative industrial relations.

Human Resource Development

This module looks at the way that individuals and organisations learn. The topics covered include individual learning processes and learning styles, organisational learning through mental models and the concept of a ‘learning organisation’.

Research Methods

This module prepares you for the dissertation stage, but it also enables you to become competent in manipulating HR-related data for organisational decision-making. The module provides tuition in both qualitative and quantitative approaches.

International Human Resource Management

This module builds on the Management of Human Resources module by looking at the contribution that the HR function can make in the international environment. It is primarily directed towards multinational corporations. The topics covered include international recruitment and selection, international performance management and employee relations in multinational firms.


This module addresses the broader concepts of corporate and business strategy and provides the opportunity for you to identify where HR strategy integrates with higher level strategy. The module topics include force field analysis, marketing and total quality management.


The dissertation is a 15,000-word piece of independent research into an aspect of human resource management or organisational behaviour.

Teaching and assessment

The teaching strategy provides a combination of lectures, seminars, discussion groups, video and case study analysis. We believe that a variety of teaching methods allows us to satisfy most individual learning styles and preferences at some point in the programme. The programme is specifically designed to provide a balanced assessment strategy.

We aim to expose you and your fellow students to a range of assessment techniques, so you are not penalised if one approach does not suit your particular style.

Assessments will include:

  • Written assignments in the essay style, testing your ability to synthesise information and to compare and contrast theory with practical examples
  • Traditional examinations, providing an opportunity for you to demonstrate how well you can take information and solve problems under time-constrained conditions, just as you might be asked to do in the workplace

We also recognise that, in modern organisations, HR professionals rarely work independently. Some of the written and oral assessments will involve pairs or groups. This allows you to develop the ‘soft’ skills of communication, coordination, teamwork, time management and project management, all of which are increasingly important in the HR departments of high-performance organisations.

International relevance

With the importance of globalisation, it is highly likely that, after graduation, you will spend at least part of your career in a multinational organisation. You will encounter management problems which are largely created by the cross-cultural nature of the modern organisation. To prepare you for this environment, we have purposefully designed a programme which is international in terms of its content and focus. Our academics have considerable international experience.

Professional recognition

Surrey Business School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and by the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Mark Williams

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months

Start date:

Sep 2016

Entry Requirements

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2016 £11,000 £17,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2016/2017 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

Admissions Information

Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

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Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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