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Start dates
Degree type


Course length

1 year full-time


Durham City

Program code


Business School Programmes

Course details

Our MSc in Human Resource Management focuses on the importance of managing people in the workplace and explores how this function of management makes a major contribution to business success.

This one-year full-time course provides you with the skills and knowledge to achieve a successful career in HR and does not require you to have any background experience in business or in management.

As well as a core module in HR management, you will also cover a wide range of contemporary commercial subjects. These include business strategy, business economics and accounting, individual behaviour in an organisation, employee relations and themes in work and society.

You will also take optional modules and at the end of the course, you will complete a dissertation, which can be a work placement-based business project or a research-led piece of writing.

The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), which is the largest professional HR and Learning organisation in the world with some 140,000 members, and on successful completion you will become eligible for the award of the organisation’s Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management.

As a student on the course you will join the University’s renowned Business School. The Business School is one of an elite group of UK institutions to have been accredited by all three major business accreditation bodies, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Association of MBAs and the European Quality Improvement System.

World-class Business Education

  • 5th (UK) - Financial Times: Masters in Management 2023
  • 8th (UK) 38th (Europe) =51st (Global) - QS World University Rankings: Masters in Management 2024

Course structure

Core modules:

Strategy aims to explain business success or lack of success by considering the relationships between strategy and the external business environment and between strategy and the internal resources and capabilities available.

Business Economics and Accounting enables you to understand the key economic aspects of the business environment and develops your skills in applying economic analysis to business decision-making and planning. You will also learn about accounting, its forms, purpose and the needs of its users.

Organisational Behaviour addresses key issues of individual behaviour within organisations and includes sensitive topics such as an individual’s personal and mental ability, the management of attitudes and work motivation and addressing issues of injustice and inequality.

Work and Society builds your knowledge around trends in work and society such as the changing context of work, globalisation, power and management control in organisations and language, rhetoric, and organisational communication.

Employee Relations develops your ability to understand trends in modern employment relationships and how relations between managers and employees are conducted. You will understand the reasons behind such trends and consider how they vary in a global context.

Human Resource Management develops your understanding of key issues in the processes and practices of human resource management and shows you how to understand and analyse research in the field.

Research Methods and Dissertation (International study route and business project routes available) provides you with the key principles of research design and methodology in business and management and develops your skills in conducting research in order to produce a dissertation. You may opt to do research abroad at a partner university or undertake a business project instead of the dissertation. This may involve either working with a specific host organisation or undertaking an issue-led investigation across a range of organisations on a specific management issue.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Strategy Simulation and System Thinking
  • Buyer Behaviour and Marketing Innovation
  • Consulting
  • East Asian Business and Management
  • Employee Reward Strategy
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Global Business
  • Global Sport Business
  • International Study Tour
  • The Science of Leadership
  • Competitive Strategies and Organisational Fitness
  • Human Resource Development
  • Society and Sustainability
  • A language module such as those offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study

Careers and employability

With human resource management representing a vital piece of the business jigsaw, this course ensures you are well-positioned for an exciting and rewarding career at the heart of a business organisation.

Your skills and ability in people management will be highly sought after by potential employers in a wide range of business and industrial sectors across the world, in particular large office-based areas such as finance, banking, insurance and even government.

The development of your personal attributes during the year’s study, including confidence, leadership, problem-solving and communication, will give you a head start when it comes to the recruitment process.

The School’s reputation for academic excellence and the alumni network that it has developed in 140 countries across the globe will serve as an excellent springboard into a rewarding and fulfilling professional career.

The partnership with the CIPD and the School’s business accreditation credentials also provide a firm foundation as you go about the search for work.


The course is delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars. Lectures provide key contents on the modules and are supported by small-group seminars which provide you with the opportunity to solve problems and discuss and debate issues. You will also be expected to spend time reading and preparing for seminars outside of contact hours.

The course culminates in an in-depth dissertation which is completed through independent research, alternatively you may choose to carry out a business project, which will involve a work placement with an external partner organisation, tackling a real-life problem.

You will also have the opportunity to attend an international study week in which you can learn about the business, economy and culture of another country, and to network with key business staff.


Assessment is rigorous with core modules assessed by written examinations and assignments and either a dissertation or business project. The majority of optional modules are assessed by essays.

Entry requirements

Application deadlines

Please note: The application process will open 1st October for entry the following academic year. Our application deadline dates for this programme are:

  • Applications from individuals resident in Mainland China must be received by 23:59hrs on 31 March 2024.

There is a high demand for places on these programmes. To maximise your chances of being offered one of these places, we recommend that you submit your application to the University as early as possible.

Should you miss the deadlines specified above, then it may be possible for the University to add your application to a waiting list, which may be consulted in the event that following review and processing of all applications received prior to the deadlines, vacant places remain available on the programme.

The University is under no obligation to make any offer of a place on the programme to any applicant, nor is the University obligated to fill all spaces available on the programme.

Consideration of any application received by the University after expiry of the deadlines specified herein, shall be made at the sole discretion of the University.

Masters in Management programmes are intended for graduates in any subject or discipline; no previous study in business or management is necessary. For example, in the past we have had graduates from a diverse range of degrees such as Music, Anthropology, Medicine and Geography. Business and Management undergraduate students may find some content overlaps with their first degree.

This programme is intended for graduates in any subject or discipline; no previous study in management is necessary. Please note however, management undergraduate students, or students who have completed a professional management qualification may find some content on this programme overlaps with their prior learning.

What do I need first?

The equivalent of a UK first or upper second class honours degree. Check the full list of equivalent qualifications.

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

NB Chinese Applicants: Applications will be accepted from students who have graduated from a prestigious university in China. Entry requirements may vary depending upon the reputation of the university you have graduated from and the academic programme you have applied for. As a guide, applicants are expected to have achieved an overall average of 85%.

How do I apply?

You will need to complete an online application form.

Please note you can only apply for one Masters Management programme.

>>Fill out the online application form

To support your online application form, you will need to provide the following documents.

  • Official transcript of marks
  • Copy of degree certificate (if available)
  • Copy of English test results (if available).

You can either upload your supporting documents with your online application or email or fax them to the Postgraduate Admissions Office using the contact details below.


Only files of type .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .rtf are permitted to be uploaded.The maximum file size is 5MB.

Application fee

Once we receive your online application form, you’ll get an automatic email within 48 hours asking you to pay the £60 application fee* which is required to progress your application.

You’ll need to follow the link in the email to the webpage where you can confirm your details and make the payment using a debit or credit card. This is a secure website operated by Secpay, which will send you an automatic receipt of payment.

Once we receive confirmation that your application fee has been paid, we’ll be able to progress your application. If you do not pay the application fee your application will be automatically withdrawn.

*Please note you will only be able to make a payment for one programme in each suite i.e. one MSc Finance programme, one MSc Management programme, one MSc Economics programme.

College membership

If you’re applying for a full-time programme you’ll need to become a member of one of our Colleges as well as being accepted by a department. Here’s more information about how the college system works. Once you accept your programme offer, the College Postgraduate Office will get in touch with you to arrange accommodation. Please note that demand for college accommodation usually exceeds availability, so please try to arrange it as soon as possible.

Admissions process

Here are the steps in the admissions process:

  1. We will let you know when we’ve received your application.
  2. Once we’ve received all of your supporting documents, we will email you to let you know our decision.
  3. If the decision is to make you an offer of a place on the programme we will let you know by email. Please note we do not issue hard copy offer letters as these are not required to obtain a student visa.
  4. You should confirm acceptance of your offer as soon as possible. In order to secure your place, you are required to pay a deposit within six weeks of the date of your original offer (check your offer documents for details of payment methods).
  5. International students requiring a student visa will receive a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance of Studies) via email once all offer conditions are met, acceptance and deposit have been received and you are within five months of the start date of your programme.

Please note: You must let us know your own personal email address when applying. Please do not use a university-linked email which may stop working once you complete your bachelor degree.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £14,500 per year
EU students £31,500 per year
Island students £14,500 per year
International students £31,500 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.


We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find Out More

Career opportunities

Business School

Our postgraduate programmes with a focus on employability fully equip you with the skills and industry insight to embark on a successful and rewarding business career.

The knowledge and understanding you develop reflect the Department’s values of sustainability, wellbeing and equality of opportunity across the globe.

You gain a combination of analytical and practical skills that employers value, such as independent thinking and problem-solving, and are able to enhance your people skills that are essential in business and much sought after by employers.

Department information

Business School

The School is one of the UK’s longest established business schools and one of an elite group of institutions in the UK to be accredited by all three major bodies – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).

We consistently rank highly in independent league tables for both the quality and reputation of our Department, with teaching delivered by a world-class academic community that includes experienced business professionals and researchers who work across a wide variety of business disciplines.

We recruit students from around the world onto our postgraduate programmes. Our students take part in live business projects, internships and placements as part of their studies, enabling them to apply their knowledge to practical challenges in the most forward thinking companies. We have an active alumni network of more than 36,000 graduates in over 140 countries.

Research Excellence Framework

Read more about our results in the recent REF 2021.


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Our Events

Join one of our virtual events, webinars, open events or recruitment fairs.

Durham Business School Postgraduate Events
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Find out more
Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
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