Research course

Evidence-Based Human Resource Management

Birkbeck, University of London · Birkbeck Business School

Entry requirements

A master’s degree in human resource management, or a related field, and relevant in-depth professional experience with merit or distinction. You must be in relevant employment to apply your learning to the workplace.

You must be highly competent in your use of written and spoken English and have good social and communication skills.

Months of entry


Course content

This unique doctoral programme, Evidence-Based Human Resource Management (MRes/Professional Doctorate), provides you with training in evidence-based practice (EBP). This well-established approach to practice emphasises making better-informed decisions about problems (or opportunities) and potential solutions or interventions through use of the best available evidence from multiple sources. The programme is relevant to practitioners working across all areas relevant to human resource practice and scholarship, including management, learning and development, and internal and external consultancy.

Throughout the Professional Doctorate you will undertake work-based learning, including:

  • expert briefings and masterclasses from leading academics and practitioners around each of the four key practice areas in HRM
  • seminars and workshops on evidence-based practice
  • research methods training to extend your knowledge and skills and develop reflective practice
  • peer-learning and group supervision as well as self-learning as appropriate to a research-focused degree.

You will also be allocated a personal supervisor and have access to a wide range of taught courses, professional training courses and networking opportunities. You will have access to a virtual learning environment too, providing you with supplementary materials. It is assumed that you will be able to gain experience and practise and investigate evidence-based Human Resource Management at your workplace.

The first part of the programme constitutes the MRes. In the first year, you take two fundamental evidence modules and a content module focused on assessment and selection. In the second year, which runs from January to December, you take a further three modules to work through the employee life cycle. Each of these modules is assessed by a case study which together will form an evidence-based practice portfolio.

If you pass the first part, you then undertake research methods training and develop proposals for, and undertake, a systematic review and major study, which form your final doctoral thesis, assessed through a viva voce.

Year 1 Modules

Spring term: Evidence-Based Professional Practice Portfolio: The Foundations of Evidence-Based HRM

Summer term: Evidence-Based Professional Practice Portfolio: Critical Appraisal of Scientific and Other Evidence

Autumn term: Evidence-Based Professional Practice Portfolio: Selection and Assessment

Year 2 modules

Spring term: Evidence-Based Professional Practice Portfolio: Learning and Development

Summer term: Evidence-Based Professional Practice Portfolio: Performance, Talent and Reward Management

Autumn term: Evidence-Based Professional Practice Portfolio: Job Satisfaction, Well-being, and Engagement


Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Fees and funding

PhD students resident in England can apply for government loans of over £26,000 to cover the cost of tuition fees, maintenance and other study-related costs.

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MRes
    part time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • ProfDoc
    part time
    56 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44 (0)20 3907 0700