MA Human Resource Management

Our MA Human Resource Management is a highly valued postgraduate qualification with an international reputation for quality. It is designed for those who want to pursue senior level careers in human resource management (HRM) and covers essential skills for your professional development and future career.

The programme has an international focus and draws on the leading research of our expert teaching team. This research-led teaching means that you will also receive an excellent grounding if you are interested in research careers or doctoral studies.

Our MA Human Resource Management is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the only HR institution in the world to recognise human resource professionals through chartered membership.

You can opt to take the HRM in Practice pathway, which will satisfy the entry requirements for associate membership of CIPD. This will also give you the opportunity to develop key skills and behaviours that have been identified by CIPD as capturing what successful HR people do. The HRM in Practice pathway includes additional practical and interactive skills sessions led by industry specialists and informed by the CIPD HR profession map.

This professional programmes fits around your lifestyle. You can choose to study full time over one year, or part time over two or three years.


Key Features

You can study the programme on a full or part-time basis to fit around your lifestyle and work commitments. Full time programmes are completed in one year, part time programmes in two or three years. 

Taught by one of the leading HR groups in the UK, with a strong international reputation, these programmes provide the academic knowledge and employability skills necessary for a senior-level career in global human resources and diversity management – you will develop strong analytical and problem-solving skills, and become a reflective HR practitioner. 

The programme has a very strong international focus, both in the coverage of HR issues and the composition of students. 

Fully accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), a global community of over 130,000 members working in HR, learning and development, people management and consulting. Successful completion of the programme combined with the relevant work experience allows you to apply for both Associate and Chartered levels of membership.


HR Professional Pathway

This course gives you an optional pathway to satisfy the advanced level knowledge requirements for entry to Associate and Chartered levels of professional membership of the  Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD),.

The Practitioner Pathway features additional practical and interactive skills sessions, led by industry specialists and informed by the CIPD HR Profession Map.

This option not only equips students with the knowledge required to gain professional membership of the CIPD, but also gives the opportunity to develop key skills and behaviours that have been identified, by the CIPD, as capturing how successful HR people operate.

Student experience

As part of the Pathway, students work in sector specific teams supported by a CIPD mentor, to develop and practise the specific skills and abilities required to work in HR.

The sessions added a practical outlook to our theoretical knowledge of HRM. Through the weekly tasks we transformed from being a group into becoming one harmonious team."

Almas Madarwala, MA Human Resource Management, 2014

Read more about Almas' experience on the Pathway, as a winner of the 2014 Prize for HRM 'Team of the Year'


Professional Development

Our dedicated Professional Development Tutors work with programme directors to provide bespoke academic and careers support within each taught Masters programme. So not only do you develop the essential skills to successfully progress through your programme –you also gain the employability skills you need for your career. 

In addition to working with internationally respected research academics you can expect support and guidance on career choices, help in identifying and applying for jobs, coaching on interpersonal skills and exposure to practitioners in human resources. 

On the MA Human Resource Management programme, Marianne Savory will  help you develop your interpersonal and professional business skills. She oversees and facilitates the core elements of the programme where skills such as team working, presentation skills and cross cultural communication skills are developed. 

Marianne also develops and manages relationships with employers and alumni. With several years’ experience in HR and Recruitment she is well placed to give you industry specific advice; signposting, coaching and advising on student career plans.

The use of professional development tutors across all programmes is a distinctive and unique feature of the school
AMBA reaccreditation team, December 2012

Students talk about the skills they have gained from the programme and how these will enhance their employability.
Davina Peverall

The Business School helped me to broaden my analytical, presentation and communication skills, which are all relevant to my career… I got a job in Human Resources straight after completing the dissertation and have been able to use the knowledge I gained on the course to input ideas into key projects.” -  Davina Peverall

Read more

Davina Peverall

“[After graduating] I entered a postgraduate trainee programme at GDF SUEZ, one of the worlds largest energy and utility companies. After one year I was asked to take over the role as an HR business partner, serving employees and managers up to board-level at the German headquarters based in Berlin.” - Jan-Dirk Fruechtenicht

Read more

Watch the video below to hear students talk about the professional skills they have gained whilst working in activity teams as part of the programme:


Research–informed teaching

Human Resource Management research at Leeds University Business School is carried out through the Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change (CERIC) - an internationally renowned research initiative. 

View current projects.

Case study - Jennifer Tomlinson: Examining inequalities in the legal profession

Jennifer and a number of colleagues explored agency and career strategies of white women and black and minority ethnic individuals in the legal profession in England and Wales.

Although the legal profession is becoming more diverse - with white women and black and minority ethnic (BME) individuals entering the profession in larger numbers - inequalities remain, particularly in terms of promotion.

Jenny’s research examined the career strategies of 68 white women and BME legal professionals to understand more about their experiences of recruitment and promotion. The research found that women and BME lawyers used different strategies in response to the lack of diversity and inclusivity in the profession. For example in early career, people tend to ‘play the game’ adapting to existing opportunity structures and assimilating to dominant work cultures. Typically these respondents were often working out where in the organisation power and influence were focused. Also, by doing committee work and employing a range of visibility and self-promotional tactics, respondents aimed to get ahead or stand out from peers.

In contrast, there was a small group of respondents who aimed to reform the system within their organisations. This challenging strategy required high levels of skill and knowledge for people to draw on their past experiences, understand the current dilemmas and demonstrate a determination to enact change.

The research highlighted the reasons why even in organisations that may appear committed to equal opportunities, old structures with their associated inequalities often endure. View the article based on the report.

Length of Course 12, 24 or 36 months
Mode of Study Full time or part time
Start Date September
Related Courses MSc Management

Module choices and the HR practitioner pathway

To cover the underpinning knowledge for CIPD membership, if you choose to take the HR practitioner pathway, you must choose Industrial Relations and either Training and Development or Gender and Equality at Work in Comparative Perspective. The third option is your choice.

For further details please see the Taught Masters Programmes brochure.

Qualification Requirements

  • A good quality Bachelors degree usually in the social sciences or equivalent qualification and relevant experience. Applications with a good quality degree from a non social science background will also be considered.
  • If you are not from the UK please visit equivalent qualifications to find out about entry requirements from non-UK countries.

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language you need to attain a recognised English language qualification e.g. IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with a score of 6 or more in each section.

2015 MA Human Resource Management
UK/EU: £9,000
International: £17,000

View full information on fees


We award a range of scholarships to UK/EU and international students. There are several scholarships available for this programme that you may be eligible to apply for. Scholarships are available to candidates who can demonstrate an excellent academic record and show excellent professional and personal skills.

Find out more about scholarships

Kunlagan Boonyauva

The school provides the best of both academic and student life. There were always lots of activities and conferences to take part in. The staff at the Business School are always on hand to provide expert guidance."

Graduates have the skills and knowledge for a senior-level career in human resource management. Recent graduates work for blue-chip multinationals such as Canon, Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace.

The course also offers opportunities if you want to study at research or doctoral level.