Thursday, May 10, 2007

TTAF3 - MA Human Resources Management

Why study the HRM programme?

A career in Human Resource Management can be a particularly challenging one. As organisations seek to adapt to the threats and opportunities of accelerating environmental change, the management of human resources has acquired growing strategic significance. As an HRM specialist you will be required to have a wide understanding of organisations and people and the ability to translate organisational strategies into effective HR policies and practice. You will need expertise and analytical ability, together with a grasp of "the big picture".

The Human Resource Management programmes at Bristol Business School are designed to develop these skills and give you the confidence to succeed in your career. Both programmes have been running for many years and have an excellent "track record" borne out by the destinations of our former students.

Full or part time route?

Bristol Business School offers this Masters award as a full or part time route, with the flexibility to leave the programme at several exit points with a recognized qualification and graduate membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The full time route is an intensive 12-month programme, commencing in September. There is an option to complete the first nine months in order to achieve the Postgraduate Diploma and gain CIPD recognition. However, students usually elect to study for a further 3 months in order to complete a dissertation and gain the prestigious Masters award. Students attending the full time route are typically recent undergraduates, or mature students seeking a mid-career change.

The first is the Postgraduate Management Foundation (which covers the CIPD's Leadership & Management standards) which runs from September to August. The second stage, which runs from September to August, is the Postgraduate Diploma (which covers the CIPD's People Management & Development field, the electives and management project/CPD learning log). Successful completion of these two stages will give you Graduate membership of the CIPD and a UWE post-graduate Diploma in HRM. Further study and completion of a dissertation will enable you to achieve the full Master's award. The Master's stage takes up to 12 months to complete and commences in September.

Structure of the programme

Postgraduate Management Foundation

(covering the CIPD's Leadership & Management standards)

This stage provides an introduction to the theory and practice of management and the study of strategy and organisational analysis. There are 4 modules:

  • Managing People - which looks at the factors which impinge on organisational effectiveness, leadership, and personal managerial effectiveness.

  • Organisational Management - this module looks at landmark studies in the history of organisational thinking, change and culture management. The module also examines quality management and continuous improvement processes and initiatives.
  • Managing Information for Competitive Advantage - this module examines the role of information and systems structures in modern organisations, the use and construction of statistical data and accounting and finance principles.

On the full time programme these modules are taught at the beginning of the programme in the first term. There is a residential outdoor activities session in the first term, offering you an opportunity to develop personal and inter-personal skills whilst getting to know other members of the group.

On the part-time programme this course of study will last for the whole of the first academic year (September - August). It will require your attendance on one afternoon/evening a week or one full-day a week. There is a 2-day block release (non-residential) period of study as part of this programme during the year.

Postgraduate Diploma

(covering the CIPD's People Management & Development field, the electives, and the project/CPD log)

This stage consists of the following:

  • Human Resource Management & Development - which provides an integrative examination of the four main HRM disciplines: Employee Resourcing, Managing Reward, Employee Relations and Employee Development.

  • Elective choices which further enhance knowledge and development in key HRM areas. Students choose 4 electives from a choice which normally includes:
People Resourcing
Management & Career Development
Employee Relations
Managing Reward
Employment Law
Psychometric assessment
  • A project -either a management report or a dissertation (see below). The management report is around 6,000 words in length and is based on a project identified by the student and host or placement organisation. Students receive research methods tuition before beginning this project.

  • A continuous professional development learning log - in which students record their learning in a CPD record covering both learning on the course and in the workplace or placement organisation.

  • Skills workshops - these are designed to help develop the skills that underpin your personal and professional effectiveness. Skills workshops are normally attached to core and elective modules and typically include:
Interviewing (linked to HRM & Development)
Preparing for an Employment Tribunal (Employment Law elective)
Negotiation (Managing Reward elective)
Redundancy handling (Employee Relations elective)

More generic skills are also developed throughout the course, such as presentation skills, report-writing, group-working, problem-solving etc

On the full-time programme this phase of the programme runs in the autumn and spring terms. The project is based on an organisational placement which is a unique feature of the programme and a highlight for many students. The placement will be for either 5 weeks (management report) or 10 weeks (dissertation). You negotiate a project which is designed to develop your applied understanding and to be of real value to the host organisation. Placements in recent years have included blue chip companies in the manufacturing and financial services sectors, the building industry, retail sector, local government, central government agencies, education and the privatised utilities.

On the part-time programme this phase runs for the second academic year (September - August) and involves both day release and block release delivery. The project is normally based on the student's own employer, but alternative methods are available for students who are not currently in employment.

The Master's dissertation

This final phase runs over three terms and includes a research methods module which develops your research skills in preparation for your project. The dissertation is based either on a placement project (for full-time students or part-time students not currently in employment) or the employing organisation for part-time students. The dissertation is around 15,000 - 18,000 words in length. Students will be allocated an individual dissertation supervisor for the duration of the research.

Students completing a Master's dissertation do not have to complete a management report as well.

Teaching and Learning

The MAHRM encourages learning through a wide variety of participative and learner-centred methods. These include syndicate work, group discussions and presentations, student-led seminar activities, analysis of case studies, guided private study, experiential learning exercises, and practical computing and statistical exercises.

The MAHRM is an intensive programme and you are unlikely to complete it successfully unless you allow time for reading and preparation. You should aim to allow a minimum of 15 hours study per week on the full-time programme and 6 hours on the part-time programme.

Class based study is supplemented by reading from set texts or further reading lists, and additional preparation is needed to read case studies or prepare for other presentations and activities. Some of these will require group tasks so you must be able to meet outside the timetabled sessions on occasions.

Entry Requirements

Full time route

Entry is open to all first-degree graduates of UK universities in any subject. Applications from candidates with other qualifications are welcome. If you are not preparing for or do not currently possess a first degree, you will be asked to complete a written exercise in your own time as evidence of your suitability for study at postgraduate level.

We welcome applications from international students, both from within the EU and elsewhere. Applicants should hold qualifications comparable to the entry requirements for UK students.

Proficiency in spoken and written English is essential. Applicants whose first language is not English require a qualification such as Cambridge/British Council English Language Testing Service (IELTS) with a score of 6.5 or above, or to have achieved a TOEFL score of at least 600.

As this programme is designed to satisfy CIPD requirements, no exemptions are allowed from elements (e.g. Employment Law) whose application is restricted to part or all of the UK.

Part time route

Minimum entry requirements are a good degree in any subject or successful completion of an assessment exercise designed to assist you in deciding whether you are ready for study at post-graduate level.

Accreditation of prior learning

Accreditation of prior learning may be possible if you hold other Master's level qualifications which cover at least 80% of the learning outcomes for a module on the programme. The credit rating of the module you are offering as equivalent must be the same (or greater) than that of the MAHRM programme. You will be asked to complete an accreditation of prior learning application form and submit a certificate showing the pass in the module and a syllabus showing the learning outcomes and assessment arrangements. Accreditation is normally only given for "current qualifications" ie those completed within the last 5 years. The Programme Tutor will be happy to advise you about the APL requirements.


The MAHRM uses a wide range of assessment methods including assignments, group presentations or projects, examinations and class-based tests. Our assessment methods are chosen to resemble the types of work faced by professional practitioners.

Teaching team

The MAHRM is taught by well-qualified staff who are used to working with post-graduate students. All of the tutors are established researchers in the areas in which they teach and/or have experience in consultancy.


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