A good honours degree (minimum 2:2), or equivalent, in social sciences or a business-related discipline. Alternatively, suitable professional qualifications and at least 5 years' significant management experience. HR professionals and consultants with at least 5 years' significant experience in a range of organisations and evidence of formal and appropriate training and professional development may be considered, even if they are unable to meet the formal qualification requirements. It is at the admissions tutor's discretion to assess suitability. Candidates may be required to submit other documentation, such as work samples, to determine eligibility for entry. Potential applicants should note that the programme is reliant on candidates being able to apply the learning directly to a relevant work environment (e.g. drafting and scoping an internal consultancy activity). Thus, it is essential that all candidates have some current or prior relevant work experience.
Months of entry
This Master's degree focuses on Human Resource Development (HRD) and Consultancy. It takes a strategic approach to people management and organisational development, designed to enhance learning, skills, personal development and performance in the workplace, as well as a range of other topical issues.
The programme is intellectually challenging. It integrates learning on training, organisational development, lifelong learning principles and consultancy practice, as well as offering a systematic approach to the design, management and evaluation of programmes to improve personal effectiveness and organisational performance. A substantial aspect of the programme is a management research project which combines the academic rigour of more traditional research dissertations with focus on activities which make a difference to practice in organisations. All modules taught on this programme place emphasis on bridging cutting-edge academic thinking with direct application to practice. The programme is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and students who successfully complete the programme are eligible for membership of this thought-leading professional association.
All modules integrate academic perspectives with practice-based approaches to HRD and considerable emphasis is placed on developing the knowledge and skills required in more senior HRD roles. You will gain an understanding of relevant organisational, psychological and management theory, whilst examining contemporary developments within the HRD field. Dedicated sessions will also equip you with skills in consultancy framework and paradigms, including practical methods for applying these. There is a particular focus on ensuring you are aware of the importance of acting ethically and professionally with a demonstrated commitment to equality of opportunity and diversity, and appreciate the importance of continuous personal and professional development.
You need to be aware that successful completion of the programme is contingent on a good attendance record and in particular practical engagement in the weekend workshops; dates are published in advance of programme commencement. This is necessary to embed the relevant learning, and also to gain CIPD membership.
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.
Fees and funding
The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses – and you don't have to start repaying until 2019.
Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.
Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Department of Organizational Psychology
- + 44 (0)20 7631 6659
- + 44 (0)20 7631 6769