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Human Resource Management and Development MA/PG Dip/PG Cert (CIPD Accredited)

Learn about the course below
October 2021
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£11,000 (UK) *
£16,200 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
John Abbott

This Masters' course is designed for those wishing to embark on a career in HR/People Management and for those already in an HR position wishing to enhance their professional development. The course is accredited to Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) professional standards allowing Associate Membership of the CIPD upon graduation.

Why study MA Human Resource Management and Development at Middlesex University?

Middlesex University has been providing HR professional education, in one form or another, for over 50 years: making Middlesex (and its predecessor institutions) one of the longest established providers of HR professional education in the UK. The current MA HRM&D is the most recent incarnation of this history. The course is taught by a team of academic experts informed by research and professional practice.

Course highlights

  • Student membership of the CIPD for the duration of the taught part of the course is paid for as part of your fees
  • As part of the innovative “Principles of People Management and Development” students will attend an interactive two-day weekend event or an extended virtual workshop designed to achieve the same learning goals (normally in January), incorporating activities to develop personal and professional practice.
  • Your fees also include the provision of free e-book for every module on the course.
  • The course provides you with an understanding of fundamental topics such as principles of people management and development, reward management, organisation development, leadership, coaching and mentoring, employee relations, and employee engagement
  • Also linked to the “Principles of People Management and Development” module is the innovative People Leadership Network (PLN), linking students to alumni and others with external contacts.
  • The PLN also offers opportunities – supported, though not included in fees – for further networking opportunities. Previous students have, for example, travelled to meet with Middlesex University HRM students at our Dubai campus for a network event.
  • The course is taught by academics who have close links with the CIPD, and/or who have researched and published on employment law, employment relations, reward and performance management, mentoring and professional development
  • There are strong and robust student support structures within the University to ensure you receive help when you need it

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the MA Human Resource Management and Development course?

You can study for this HR MA either over 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.

A unique feature of the MA Human Resource Management and Development is the way in which students begin the course by being immersed into the full spectrum of HR knowledge and skills (in our innovative module “Principles of People Management and Development” before then moving into three core modules providing the essentials for HR professional knowledge (including the core module on people-related Metrics, Analytics and Data for insight driven and informed practice). This is supplemented by four (term-long) specialist modules with which to refine your area of expertise within the HR field. All students will attend an interactive two-day weekend event or an extended virtual workshop designed to achieve the same learning goals, all of which embed an understanding of how you can apply theory to practice.

The core modules in the course provide a platform for you to acquire knowledge, develop critical thinking and apply theory to practice. You will learn threshold concepts and models, develop people management and development skills, understand the principles of professional and ethical practice, and explore tools for influencing others.

During the final stage of your course, you will be required to undertake an Applied Dissertation project on an HR topic of interest to you, which will be guided by an academic supervisor from the Department.

Exit awards

PG Cert: 60 credits
PG Dip: 120 credits
MA: 180 credits


  • Modules

    • Principles of People Management and Development Practice (0 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to encourage you to develop a strong sense of self-awareness of your strengths and weaknesses as a manager and/or colleague. It seeks to develop your professional practice and its application in ways which ensure successful people management, development practice and effective leadership.

    • Metrics, Analytics and Data (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores the role of HR Analytics in providing an organisation with insights for effectively managing and leading employees, so that business goals can be reached quickly and efficiently. You will critically analyse the concept of insight driven people management and development and its connection to the meaningful analysis of organisational data. You will critically evaluate the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data relating to people management and development. You will explore the use of metrics and other measures and the context in which they are used. Also, you will explore how metric and analytics are used to maximise return on the skills and abilities of employees. You will have the opportunity to develop ethical and sustainable measurement practices suitable for both challenging economic circumstances and organisational growth situations.

    • People Management and Development in Business (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will enable you to promote and deliver people management and development activities to strengthen business performance. You will develop the confidence to build leadership and management skills, create a good place to work, encourage collaboration and promote organisational authenticity. The module will consider how the changing employment landscape is influencing the impact which people management and development activities have on a business.

    • Reward Management (15 Credits) - Optional

      This module provides the knowledge and critical understanding of reward management and you will critically evaluate current reward theories and practices. You will develop the skills required to research and analyse reward within an organisational context, and to present findings and recommendations to senior management. The module aims to give you credibility in the subject of reward, so you can join, or progress further, in the HR profession.

    • Performance Management (15 Credits) - Optional

      The module will develop your ability to analyse an organisation’s objectives and human resources to determine what performance management (PM) strategy would be appropriate and what processes would best suit the environment in which they operate. You will evaluate PM practice, in particular the setting of objectives and the process of giving feedback. You will be able to explain and evaluate the different techniques used in PM and their connection to learning and development and performance related pay. The module aims to develop the knowledge and skills required to conduct a successful performance interview both from a manager and employee point of view. You will gain credibility in the subject of PM, so that you can join, or progress further in the HR profession.

    • Resourcing and Talent Management (15 Credits) - Optional

      The main aim of this module is to explore the practical and aspects of recruitment, selection, employee retention and dismissal, and equip you with the knowledge and skills required for resourcing and talent management within a global context. The module will also discuss diversity management, employer branding, work–life balance initiatives and innovative approaches to job design, in the context of resourcing and talent management. The module will enable you to reflect critically on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint and will provide opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development.

    • Leadership and Management Development (15 Credits) - Optional

      The aim of this module is to enable you to develop a critical understanding of the complexities and contested nature of leadership and management and the contextual opportunities for development. The module focuses is on the development of leadership and management in facilitating organisational, team and individual change and growth. The module encompasses the development of leadership and management at all levels and draws on the established body of knowledge and theory in both leadership and management and learning and development. The module requires learners to reflect critically on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint and provides opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development.

    • Applied Dissertation (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will enable you to demonstrate a critical awareness of people management and development strategies, business orientation, and how research can add value through critically reviewing current people management and development theory and practice. In order to achieve this, it is this module's purpose to develop your ability to identify and undertake a live empirical piece of research into complex business issue from a people management and development perspective that will inform both current theory and practice. Through a comprehensive review of the literature, you will: locate, discuss and critically evaluate their research within current literature, collect and analyse data, critically review their findings in relation to the literature, develop conclusions and make practical and actionable recommendations. The applied nature of the dissertation requires a critical approach, academic research and business report writing skills. It also requires you to reflect on the implications for professional practice from an ethical, professional and continuous professional development standpoint. You will identify and undertake empirical research into complex business issues from a people management and development perspective and produce a 15,000 word report.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the MA Human Resource Management and Development taught?

There is a strong emphasis throughout the course on developing the ability to apply theory to practice. We make use of lectures, seminars, workshops and online activities to help you explore concepts and theories, engage in discussion and look at real issues. To enhance your practice, you will participate in a residential weekend programme off campus (paid for in your fees) and participate in extra curricular professional development events linked  to the North London branch of the CIPD. In class you could expect to engage in case studies, debates and student-led appraisal interviews. Some modules may require you to take part in group and individual activities and self-direct study.



You will be assessed in a variety of ways, including exams, individual coursework and group work or presentations. Assessment may also require you to prepare portfolios, individual and group reports, management reports and a dissertation which is compulsory for students studying the MA.

Teaching and learning – changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some small group sessions on campus, with other interactive teaching as well as larger lectures delivered online and recorded sessions available to you on-demand. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes and make arrangements for any face to face sessions (for example, in some cases these could take place every two weeks with an increased number of hours), the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario 1: Course delivered fully online

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

9.5 hours

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

30.5 hours

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

A maximum of 2 hours

Scenario 2: Course delivered with a mix of online and face to face learning with social distancing in place

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

9.5 hours

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

30.5 hours

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

A maximum of 2 hours

Face-to-face sessions

Contact time per week, per level:

2 hours across all levels

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.
  • Face to face sessions – Wherever it’s possible to do so, and we can make the necessary arrangements to ensure your safety, you’ll be able to attend scheduled sessions, workshops or appointments on campus as part of your live learning. The number of hours given in this scenario provides an indication of the number of hours of face to face learning you could expect, and a full timetable will be provided to you before the start of your course.


You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MA Human Resource Management and Development support your career?

Enhanced understanding of people management and development within organisations, as well as the development of core competencies, can enhance your career in human resource management. The ability to challenge traditional views and assumptions, as well as embracing innovation are highly valued skills in the profession. Careers specific to people and HR management include:

  • HR Business Partner
  • HR Consultant
  • Training Manager
  • Employment Relations Adviser

John Abbott
Lecturer in HRM

John Abbott is a Lecturer of HRM (Chartered Member CIPD & CMI) at Middlesex University and is the Programme Leader for MA HRM & Development. John’s  PHD research is Performance Management and has recently published an article (ATL Union Magazine), entitled ‘the target is more important than the student!’ John wants to ensure students develop their skills, knowledge and behaviours to ensure employment and/or progression. Prior to working at Middlesex John lectured in the FE sector consistently achieving Grade 1 and 2 teaching observations ensuring CIPD courses obtained Self Certification (Grade 1). John has worked for: Centre of Market Analysis, BBC, NHS, Warner Bros, Film Education and is an alumni of Middlesex University. John also studied at the Institute of Education (UCL) for his PGCE.

Julie Haddock-Millar
Associate Professor (Practice) and Senior Teaching Fellow in HRM

Dr Julie Haddock-Millar is currently an Associate Professor (Practice) and Senior Teaching Fellow of Human Resource Management and Development at Middlesex University Business School and Visiting Professor at the International University of Monaco. She leads and teaches on a number of postgraduate programmes in the public and private sector, in the areas of learning and development, coaching, mentoring and organisational development.

Chandana Sanyal
Senior Lecturer (Practice) in HRM

Dr Chandana Sanyal is a Senior Lecturer (Practice) in Human Resource Management and Development at Middlesex University Business School, a Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Higher Education Academy.  She has over 20 years’ experience as a human resource practitioner and a senior manager in the Public Sector. Her specialist teaching areas include individual, team and organisational learning, coaching, mentoring, leadership development and action learning.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

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