Human Resource Management (Top-Up) MA

Key Facts

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries
+44 (0)1604 893981


Our MA Human Resource Management Top-up degree is specifically designed for those who have completed their Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Postgraduate Diploma and are looking to complete their postgraduate qualification with a higher degree. The Human Resource Management Top-up will build upon your existing qualification and top it up so that you obtain a qualification at Masters level.

This HR top up course offers you the opportunity to meet your continuing professional requirements as a human resource practitioner and enrich your career prospects.


Updated 12/06/2024


  • Designed for those who have completed their Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Postgraduate Diploma or equivalent
  • A dedicated supervisor to support you through the preparation and completion of your masters dissertation
  • Guided week-by-week tasks that you can complete online flexibly, at your own time, and your own pace
  • Fantastic online resources for books, journals and academic skills support
  • 100% online learning with no campus attendance – you can study from anywhere at times to suit you! 

Course Content

  • The top up human resources management MA is designed for those who have completed their Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Postgraduate Diploma and aims to provide a means by which the continuing professional and personal needs of human resource practitioners may be met. This course aims to extend your understanding and competence whilst enhancing your ability to think strategically about management and organisational change.

    This top up degree in human resources is designed to broaden your specialist knowledge gained at the professional level. The Research Methods and Dissertation module provides an introduction to research, types of research methodology, planning a research project, data collection and analysis and the presentation of research findings.

    Following successful completion of your research methods project, you will undertake a dissertation related to an aspect of strategic significance for the organisation. Previous topics have included the following:

    • ‘An analysis of measures to re-engage the workforce after a major restructuring and downsizing programme’
    • ‘An investigation of the human effects of organisational change in a merger and the role of the HR Function in influencing and supporting culture change’
    • ‘Alternative strategies for identifying and tackling major HR challenges in the decade ahead’

    This top up ma in human resource management programme has one module:

    HRMM303 Dissertation and Research Methods (60 credits)

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 24/25. The modules relating to the academic year 25/26 will be available from June 2025.

  • If you have successfully completed the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Postgraduate Diploma, you will be eligible to apply for this top up human resource management course.

    For more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • Minimum standard – IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) for study at postgraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 2024/25 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 2024/25 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • Distance Learning: £2,425 (60 credits)

    Please note that this course is not eligible for Master’s Loan funding.

    See our scholarships page for more information on the funding that may be available to you at the University of Northampton.

    For more information about possible funding options, please visit our Fees and Funding pages.

    Additional Costs

    There are no additional costs for this course for students beginning their studies in September 2024. Should this change, applicants and students will be contacted by the university with details of the costs.

    2023/24 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted for the top up HR masters degree relate to study in the Academic Year 23/24 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • Distance Learning: £2,355 (60 credits)
  • What is the schedule like for this top up human resource management course?

    The complete course runs over one year. Attendance is from January to March.

    You are expected to undertake the Research Methods and Dissertation module in your first trimester and complete your Dissertation over the duration of the course. Typical time to completion is 12 months.

    Can I work full time and complete the Top Up MA in HRM?

    Absolutely! This is why many students select this option. You can organise your academic work to suit your family, work and other commitments. Successful students tell us that they set a plan at the start of their studies – including breaks and holidays – and this helps. Whether you are a recent graduate or haven’t studied for some time, we know it isn’t always easy so we have designed your online learning to suit your needs.

    How many hours each week do I study on this HRM course?

    The choice is yours. For the first 7 weeks, you will have a folder for each week with guided slides, activities and reading to prepare you as a researcher. We would advise a minimum of 7 hours, but this is dependant on learning styles and your own circumstances. When you prepare your dissertation you will set a time/project plan to support your research and chapter drafts.

    How will I learn on the Top Up MA in HRM?

    An online ‘welcome’ session will be held for all students to introduce you to your course leader and the course materials. As a University of Northampton student, you will have full access to our online library resources and other tools and guides to support you. Your supervisor will be an experienced academic or HR professional and will work with you to agree online supervision sessions and provide guidance and feedback on draft work.

    Are there any special features on this course?
    • converts professional qualifications into an MA
    • networking opportunities with other professionals
    • access to webinars, podcasts and contemporary thinking on HRM and the world of work

Careers and Employability

Whether you are a recent graduate, or have not studied for some years, our distance learning MA HRM Top-Up will provide you with a recognised qualification that employers look for in people management professionals. Your ability to think critically and strategically, to form ethical and evidence-based decisions, and to positively influence the world of work as a result of your research will be a distinct advantage.