Human Resource Management MSc

Learn about the latest developments in HRM to develop and enhance your knowledge and skills on our CIPD-accredited Masters


At Edinburgh Napier University we aim to be recognised as a University that is professional, ambitious, innovative and inclusive. In our dealings with you we will act with respect and integrity. We will create an environment to enable you to feel proud to be a student of the University, to feel confident, challenged and supported.

Effective human resource management (HRM) is recognised as vital to organisational performance. Our programme will enable you to make a significant contribution to people management practice and develop a deep understanding of the changing role of HRM in the development and implementation of employment policies and procedures. It is designed for those who desire a comprehensive knowledge and development of professional competencies in this field. The focus on reflective practice enables you to make a sustainable contribution to HRM practice within your own or your client organisation. Edinburgh Napier University is a CIPD Accredited Programme Provider.

Reflecting the strategic role of HRM within organisations, the programme focuses on how the function can develop high quality leaders and practitioners who make a positive and enduring difference to the wellbeing of organisations and society. It emphasises HRM as an integral part of corporate strategy and demonstrates its links with other managerial activities. You will learn the specialist skills and expertise you need to be effective and influential in an HR role at both strategic and operational levels and acquire an in-depth understanding of key HRM policy areas such as organisational development, recruitment and selection, sustainable working practices, employee relations, diversity management, business analytics and change along with pivotal employment law regulations.

Our MSc in Human Resource Management has a 91% overall student satisfaction score (PTES, 2023). 

Two people talking over a coffee, at the Apex Cafe in Merchiston

Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time)


1 years

Course details

Our overarching philosophy is to follow the principles of practice-based learning and active learning. We encourage you to adopt an evidence-based approach to learning and practice, drawing on research and theory to challenge the assumptions, processes and mindsets which drive actions. This provides you with an opportunity to apply academic learning to practice and to develop a deeper understanding of what happens in practice and why this may happen, while being aware of the benefits to your ongoing sustainable personal and professional development. This helps facilitate the transfer of learning and encourages you to make closer connections between the acquisition of new knowledge and the application of this to your current and future practice.

The programme is structured to provide you with a strong sense of programme identity, building your professional and scholarly skills, knowledge, and confidence throughout your student journey. Aimed at both newly qualified graduates and managers already working in the field of people management, as well as those who see their careers developing in this direction. The face-to-face taught learning strategy of the programme ensures you develop as a confident individual with advanced, high-quality knowledge, skills and behaviours that are recognised and valued by you, your employer(s) and the wider community in all areas of HRM. This full-time course is based within the Business School. We work closely with industries and draw from an extensive network of academics and practitioners who provide a unique blend of expertise in HRM, wellbeing and leadership practice.

Modules you will study on our programme:

  • People and Organisational Development
  • Business Analytics and Change
  • Employment Law
  • Employee Resourcing
  • Labour Relations
  • Skills in People Management
  • Research Methods for HRM
  • HRM Masters Research Project

When you graduate (and achieve all CIPD requirements), you can become a CIPD Associate Member and use the designation Assoc CIPD. You may also be eligible to become a CIPD Chartered Member or CIPD Chartered Fellow, depending on your experience. Our programme has been accredited by the CIPD for over 25 years, offering a strong focus on theory to practice and developing students’ knowledge and behaviours as HR professionals. We have received several commendations of good practice from internal and external stakeholders including the CIPD, recognising aspects such as our responsive and innovative approach to programme delivery, our engagement with the CIPD professional standards and our research-informed approach to teaching.

[GL1] CIPD has been championing better work and working lives for over 100 years. It helps organisations thrive by focusing on their people, supporting our economies and societies. It’s the professional body for HR, L&D, OD and all people professionals – experts in people, work and change. With almost 160,000 members globally – and a growing community using its research, insights and learning – it gives trusted advice and offers independent thought leadership. It’s a leading voice in the call for good work that creates value for everyone.

 [GL1]This is the CIPD narrative from within the brand guidelines

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    How you’ll be taught

    This is a one year full-time course starting in September and is split up into three trimesters.
    You’ll learn by a variety of te

    This is a one-year full-time course starting in September and is split up into three trimesters. You’ll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, external professional speakers, role-play, workshops, seminars and independent study.

    A key feature of the Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) strategy is ensuring an appropriate balance of theory and research alongside a practical application of the subject area with relevant work-based examples, thus encouraging you to examine the subject area and your practice from a more critical stance as is appropriate at Masters Level. This approach is encouraged in class activities, through appropriate lecture/seminar style and format and high-quality specialist workshops. We also draw on elements of active learning where we will encourage you to be actively engaged in and think about the learning process and how it affects you, personally and professionally, and how it might influence or enhance your learning and understanding of other modules and disciplinary areas.aching methods including lectures, external professional speakers, role-play, workshops, seminars and independent study.
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    Knowledge and understanding are assessed by a range of assessments strategies including report-style work based or case study assignments, portfolios, oral presentations, group-based assessments, online examinations and a dissertation. Behaviour and competencies encapsulated are further assessed through development discussions, individual and group reflections, role play activities, debates and group work. Formative assessment takes several forms, being either oral or written and includes tutor and peer feedback.

    The strong focus on theory to practice and reflective practice are integrated the programme by acquiring professional accreditation this aligns with the employability agenda of developing professional highly skilled students. You'll learn techniques and strategies that will enable you to critically reflect on your workplace experiences and create your own on-going programme of professional development. Formative and summative assessment plus, a practice-based research project develops and measures your knowledge and skill-based development on a continuous basis.

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    Work placement

    We offer a voluntary placement, in the Human Resource department (or equivalent) of an organisation, undertaken alongside and integrated within the programme of study. This is a highly beneficial opportunity for a variety of reasons and is especially useful for those who do not have any relevant HR employment experience. This opportunity facilitates the development of employability skills, and reflective practice whilst providing access to organisational practice along with a primary data research source.

    For the research element (dissertation) of the MSc HRM programme a 'problem-based learning' approach will be utilised and will help to ensure projects have the potential to add real and immediate value in your current workplace or placement organisation, thus enhancing employability and transfer of learning. Integrating reflective practice within this research process will facilitate your learning and development. We encourage you to engage with your employer, host organisations or contact(s) when formulating your research topic and potential future implementation of appropriate research-based recommendations for practice. Moreover, you are encouraged to reflect on your own CV when deciding upon a research focus, in terms of your future career direction and employment prospects.



Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for Human Resource Management?

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:2 or above. We look for applicants to have a background in any discipline in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient professional work experience within the industry.

Can I get admission into Human Resource Management based on my working experience in this sector?

This course has academic entry requirements which are assessed alongside relevant work experience. Full details of any relevant work experience, including references should be submitted with your application and may be considered for entry where the minimum academic entry requirements are below those required.

Usually, unrelated work experience is not considered sufficient for entry without meeting the minimum academic entry requirements. Please contact us with your specific circumstances by submitting an enquiry form above and we will be happy to discuss your options.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the postgraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult, Mental Health, Child, Learning Disabilities)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2023/24 2024/25
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £8,300 tba
Overseas and EU £17,090 tba
Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
The University offers a 20% discount on Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes. The discount can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount. For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.

Please note:

The discount for Edinburgh Napier alumni can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount.

For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.

Please read our full T&C here


On successful completion of this programme, you will have the knowledge, understanding and skills to gain postgraduate-level employment in Human Resource Management and related professions. Alternatively, you will be eligible to apply or seek entry to doctoral-level study at Edinburgh Napier University or another higher education institution. Some job roles our alumni have secured include:

  • Human Resources Advisor/Coordinator
  • Human Resources Manager
  • HR Business Partner
  • Organisation Development manager
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