In today’s global, fast-moving business environment it is often people that determine organisational success. Human Resources Management (HRM) is a strategic, business-focused approach to managing people. HR specialists help organisations to achieve success by providing knowledge and insight into a wide range of HRM activities including talent resourcing and selection, performance management, learning and development, change management and employee engagement. HR can be an exciting, rewarding and challenging career that can take you anywhere in the world.
If you have experience within the working environment and want to develop your HRM knowledge or have completed an HRM (or related) degree, then the PG Diploma in Human Resource Management might be the next step in your career progression.
If you are seeking a role in HR and professional membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) then this course is right for you. Our Human Resource Management Postgraduate Diploma is accredited by the CIPD and has been specifically designed to allow HR professionals to enhance their career options and progress into senior roles. Studying this course will give you an advantage with employers, who often look for employees that have professional qualifications and membership. As a HRM student you will become part of this professional body and on completion of the programme will be able to upgrade your status to a chartered member of the CIPD.
Please note you will need to enrol as CIPD student members and will need to remain a member throughout the duration of your course. The CIPD subscription fee is payable directly to CIPD and is not included in your course fee. For more information on the fees please refer to the CIPD Website. Student membership of CIPD gives you access to top quality research, factsheets and other resources that will help you with your studies.
You will be encouraged to join, support and participate in local CIPD branch activities. These are the Northampton and Milton Keynes/Bedfordshire groups. Although you will, officially, be a member of only one CIPD group, you are welcome to attend any of the group meetings some of which will be delivered by Northants branch as part of the programme.
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The aim of this course is to develop your skills and knowledge to allow you to pursue a successful career as an HR professional. You will be introduced to specialist knowledge and research evidence that will give you an in-depth understanding of successful people management in organisations. More importantly, you will practice the tools and techniques of strategic and operational Human Resource Management giving you practical insights and experience that will help further your career.
The course modules are designed to provide you with expert knowledge of distinct HR subject areas combined with exposure to contemporary debates, policies and practices, keeping you at the forefront of developments in your field. You will develop an understanding of HRM within a range of organisational contexts, and you will be equipped with the analytical and diagnostic skills required of HR professionals in the workplace.
In addition to the modules making up this course, you will attend a two-day off-site residential at the end of the taught course that will focus on skills development activities. Attendance at the residential trip is a course requirement and the cost is included within your course fees.
Methods of Learning
The learning and teaching style on this course is designed to enable you to take responsibility for your own learning and skills development with high quality academic support from tutors. You will be introduced to the core course content through activities that can be taken in your own time, off campus. These activities will usually be facilitated through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment – a web-based portal where you will be able to participate in learning activities, online discussions, reading and reflection. During your sessions on campus, the emphasis will be on participative and interactive activities designed to develop your understanding through debate, discussion, role-play and participation in events such as guest speakers and a mock employment tribunal.
The course uses a carefully balanced combination of in-course assignments designed to enrich your learning including business projects, reflective activities, group work, presentations and examinations.
This course usually has a diverse student group which provides a rich basis for sharing different experiences and thinking on organisational and people issues. Peer networking is encouraged so you can maximise your learning from the different student experiences that are shared throughout the course.
The course is offered as a part-time option only. Each module will require you to attend a three hour workshop per week. Class sessions would normally be on one day per week (pm).
To maximise your success on this course, we recommend that you spend approximately 12 hours a week per module in self-directed study to prepare for your sessions and complete your assignments.
In the first year of the course you will take two modules in Semester 1 and one module in Semester 2. In the second year you will take two modules in Semester 1 and two short modules in Semester 2.
Module overview – Year one
HRM in Context – You will explore HRM in a business context to develop your understanding of the increasingly complex environments HR must work within, both inside and external to organisations. This module allows you to develop your analytical skills allowing you to make informed choices on which strategies may be most and least appropriate.
Leading Managing and Developing People – You will analyse key factors in leading, managing and developing people for organisational success. Every organisation is made up of individuals whose behaviour, individually or collectively, will impact on its ability to succeed. Organisational performance can be enhanced and increased through the strategic management, leadership and development of people. This module enables you to gain an in-depth knowledge of HRM and HRD and explores major themes from the growing literature and research in this subject area.
Investigating a Business Issue – You will investigate a live business issue from a HR perspective, locate the issue within the body of contemporary knowledge, collect and analyse data, derive supportable conclusions and make practical and recommendations for enhancement of current practice.
At the end of your first year of studies, there will be a two-day skills development workshop that will explore the skills you need to be an effective HR leader. This is a great chance to consolidate your learning from your first year in a relaxed and informal setting with your classmates and tutors. The workshop is an essential part of the course.
Module overview – Year 2
Resourcing and Talent Management – You will evaluate strategies for resourcing and managing talent within the organisation. There is a focus on activities concerned with resourcing the organisation, the practical aspects of recruitment, selection, employee retention and dismissal. You will also explore the strategic aspects of planning an organisation’s long and short term human resource requirements. This module requires analysis of external labour markets and considerations of flexibility, as well as an understanding of how internal labour markets can become more productive and effective.
Performance Management – You will investigate the management of employee performance within the organisation, exploring the evidence that people are a major source of competitive advantage and the challenge of how best to develop and manage people to maximize their performance. You will assess the major systems for enhancing the performance of employees at all levels and advise organisations on the most appropriate methods for managing performance.
Learning and Talent Development – You will develop a critical understanding of the role and influence of a range of contextual factors associated with the design, delivery and evaluation of learning and development in a variety of organisational contexts. You will also explore and evaluate the contribution of learning and talent development strategies in meeting the ambitions and objectives of the organization and the individual. This is a seven week module.
Employment Relations – You will develop and reflect upon your knowledge and understanding of Employment Relations from a number of different perspectives. The holistic significance of employment relations within an organisation is emphasised together with the importance of aligning HR policies with business strategy, change processes, employee voice and involvement practices. Good employee relations are important for an organisation’s success in the achievement of its business objectives and for gaining employee commitment to those objectives. Increasing legislation in this area has also brought pressure to develop appropriate managerial strategies to ensure employee commitment to organisational success. This is a seven week module.
At the end of the taught part of the course you will take part in an off-site residential course over two days. The residential provides a fantastic opportunity to consolidate and apply all the skills you have learned during the previous two years in a relaxed and celebratory atmosphere. The residential is an essential part of the course.
Assessment will be through a range of methods including written assignments, business reports, projects, reflective activities, group work, presentations and examinations.
Facilities and Special Features
The PG Diploma HRM reflects and incorporates CIPD knowledge and competence requirements. Completing the PG Diploma HRM will provide you with the knowledge required for Chartered CIPD membership. If you have the relevant experience, on completion of the course, you can apply for CIPD membership based on your workplace activities and behaviours.
On successful completion of the PG Diploma in HRM, you are eligible to continue your studies on the MA HRM (top-up).
Syrita Foster – Postgraduate Diploma (CIPD) in HRM
I started the Postgraduate Diploma in HRM to help me deliver an improved HR function to our organisation. I opted to study part time whilst working full time which was difficult at times, but it gave me the ability to manage my time like never before. I knew that classroom based sessions were the right choice for me as I wanted to be able to learn from the experiences of other HR professionals. During the programme we learnt so much, not just from the lecturers and course content but also from each other. It really helped to have other students to study with and keep each other motivated.
Completing this course has completely changed my way of working to be much more strategy and impact driven. The organisation I work for has seen an immediate benefit from each of the modules I have studied and they value my new approach to working. For me personally, the PG Dip HRM has opened up many more opportunities.
The PG Diploma in HRM paves the way for a career in HRM/HRD. The course provides you with opportunities to develop specialist knowledge, skills and leadership capabilities and equips you with enhanced career pathways in the HRM/HRD field in different organisational contexts.
How to apply
For application information please see our how to apply page.
The minimum entry requirements for the PGDip will be a recognised and relevant graduate or postgraduate level professional qualification at Level 5/6 or higher. We also look for at least 12 months current working experience within a personnel or HR department, or related area.
If you hold a CPP, CTP, HNC/HND or DipHE qualifications or equivalent you will usually need to pass the ‘University Certificate in HRM’ to gain a place on the Diploma. If you have extensive HR or people management experience without the minimum entry requirements, you may be offered an interview with the course leader or an entrance test to assess your suitability for admission to the course.
If your first language is not English you must provide evidence of your English language capability at IELTS Level 6.5 or its equivalent.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 17/18 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|Part Time:||£2,925 (Year one 60 Credits) £2,925 (Year two 60 Credits)|
Year two fee may be subject to an inflationary increase for 18/19
Core texts for each module will be identified if you wish to purchase these at your own expense, however, there will also be a limited supply of these available within the University library.
If you do wish to purchase a core text, you may do so at a discounted cost (around £40.00) at the CIPD Online Bookstore.
Please note that this course is not eligible for Postgraduate Loan funding. Please see our scholarships page for more information on the funding that may be available to you.