University of Hertfordshire - MA Human Resource Management (Work Psychology)

University of Hertfordshire

MA Human Resource Management (Work Psychology)

As a Human Resource (HR) practitioner, you will need to find solutions to critical issues. The course combines Human Resource Management (HRM) theory with psychology to develop a deeper understanding of people management. Having psychological knowledge provides a deeper insight into why people behave the way they do and how we may attempt to change or influence this in the workplace.

You'll gain a deep understanding of how we can respond to the challenges that arise from how and where people want to work in the current and changing work context. Organisations need to quickly respond to external factors. Whether they are routed in government policies, environmental issues, or changes in society. Our world is complex, and the challenges faced by organisations need an innovative approach. Psychology provides a useful and unique insight into human behaviour and how we may shape this. The course explores what drives and shapes human behaviour in the workplace and how a HRM practitioner may utilise these insights.

Central to this course are the themes of how to manage change and personnel development. HR practitioners need to think in radical ways to manage diverse attitudes and motivations of people entering the labour market.

The intrinsic link between human resource management, an organisation’s strategic and operational requirements, and the impact on society, can be powerful. This course will give you relevant and practical tools you need to respond to a range of HRM issues. New ways of thinking about work and the role organisations play in the world is crucial. We will guide you to become a critical, inspiring leader of the future, starting today. You will be able to immediately apply the learning to the workplace with our assessments geared to provide you with both academic and real life practical skills to enhance your career.

All HRM students complete the following core modules:

  • Working lives in a changing environment
  • Strategic People Management & Development
  • Business research in people practice
  • Personal effectiveness and leadership
  • And a consultancy based HRM dissertation using psychology

The work psychology pathway has two core psychological modules, namely Effective Work Psychology and Contemporary Issues in Work Psychology. These modules provide you with key psychological theories and how to apply them in the workplace.

Entry Requirements

Students need to have an honours degree with classification 2.2 or better in any subject from a UK university or the equivalent from a recognised university overseas


a CIPD level 5 qualification and two years Human Resource Management experience

Career Prospects

This course will give you everything you need to become a critical, practical, ethical and sustainable HRM practitioner or consultant in human resource management using psychological insights. It will particularly appeal to those interested in a career in human resource management, industrial/employment relations and to those responsible for managing people in organisations.

What job can I get?

The course will develop your HRM expertise and develop psychological knowledge to apply in the workplace. You could work as an HRM practitioner in fields as varied as general HRM, learning and development, change management and talent management or a management consultant in people management or business psychology.

Course Details

We offer a problem-based learning approach to our teaching so you can gain real life skills for the workplace. Together we’ll explore complex issues arising from research, practices and current debates. You’ll analyse HRM at an individual, organisational, national and international level. We’ll teach you how to recognise ethical dilemmas and corporate responsibility issues to ensure that the organisations you work with are sustainable. You’ll develop an inquiry practice-orientated mindset, showing expert problem-solving, decision making and evaluation skills

The psychology pathway provides an overview of the application of psychological theory and research to understanding, predicting and influencing behaviour at work. You'll gain an understanding of how work psychology theories can inform contemporary business issues. By identifying and exploring these issues in relation to psychology, you'll be equipped to find innovative solutions. 

We offer a blended learning approach, including individual and group work, one-to-one sessions, workshops, study trips, guest speakers and live projects/case studies. Formal lectures will be kept to a minimum (and available online if you can’t be with us in person or want to review later).

We value our students as HR practitioners in training. At Herts, you start or continue your professional development in the classroom. To reflect this, our teaching, learning and assessment share this core value. For example, our tutors will facilitate and role model HRM practice. Plus, we'll encourage you to apply your learning to HRM problems and issues in the class and during assessments.

Our focus is on experiential real-life learning, where you’ll be immersed in activities that bridge the gap between theory and practice. You’ll be assessed in this way too, with each assessment having two sections: a critical review of theory and application of that theory to practice. For example, you could carry out small consultancy work, deliver a presentation or write a brief to the board of directors to evidence your knowledge.

The world of human resource management is complex and unpredictable. By studying at Herts, you’ll gain the personal development, skills and strategies you need to help individuals, organisations and your own career thrive.

Pg hrm dissertation/management research project (cipd)
Working lives in a changing environment
Strategic people management and development
Business research in people practice
Personal effectiveness and leadership
Effective work psychology
Contemporary issues in work psychology

Optional modules
Employment law
Contemporary employment relations
Sustainable organisational change and development
Strategic reward
People resourcing
Strategic learning and development
Ethics in business: a global perspective
Global hrm
People management across cultures

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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