Taught course

International Human Resource Management and Comparative Industrial Relations

The University of Manchester · Alliance Manchester Business School

Entry requirements

We normally look for a First or Upper Second class honours (2:1) degree from a UK university or the overseas equivalent in any discipline.

Months of entry


Course content

With more and more people working for multinational corporations or in global supply chains, the study of international human resources and comparative industrial relations is becoming ever more important.

The increasing globalisation of the economy and pan-national employment legislation means that the ability to compare processes and practices across continents is a highly sought-after skill. This CIPD-approved course is extremely advantageous in securing a career in HRM. It gives you an understanding of the differences between the employment practices and industrial relations systems of varying countries and multinationals, and how they are influenced by social and economic factors. You also look at the influence of economic integration on changing systems of employment and industrial relations.

CIPD Course recognition

This Masters is approved to the new equivalent advanced level postgraduate standard. You will join CIPD as a student member and on completion of the Masters and CIPD components you will have achieved the underpinning knowledge towards a level of professional membership. Once you have applied your knowledge in the workplace you will be in a position to apply to CIPD for a membership upgrade.

On passing all the modules of the Master’s degree (including the dissertation) and the CIPD-recognised stream and activities of the course you will automatically achieve Associate Membership. Once you have work experience you can apply for Chartered membership.

Further details including costs are available from the postgraduate administration team and you can visit the CIPD website: www.cipd.co.uk/qualifications

Course structure (All taught units are 15 credits)

Semester 1 - Core Units

  • Comparative Industrial Relations
  • Human Resource Management: Strategy and Practice
  • Multinationals and Comparative Employment Systems
  • Research Methods for Organisations

Elective unit

  • Industrial Relations
  • Organisation Development

Semester 2 Core units

  • International Human Resource Management
  • International Labour Law and Regulation

Elective unit:

  • Employment Policy and Practice
  • Human Resource Management: Context and Organisation*
  • Human Resource Management in Asia
  • Management of International Organisational Change*

* These elective units are compulsory in order to achieve CIPD recognition.

Note: a maximum of eight units can be taken so you choose only one elective unit. There may be minor changes to the allocation of units to each semester.

To gain CIPD membership you attend a series of skills workshops with guests invited from a wide range of companies, enabling you to develop practical HR skills.

Summer research period

  • Research dissertation [60 credits]

The dissertation gives you the opportunity to apply what you have learned in the taught part of the course. It normally consists of a literature review followed by a piece of empirical work, involving either qualitative or quantitative research.

Examples of recent dissertation topics include:

  • Employment security in domestic privately owned enterprises in South China
  • Workers’ attitudes towards the implementation of performance-related pay in Chinese domestic enterprises
  • Disability discrimination
  • Organisational boundaries and temporary agency staff
  • Public private partnerships in local authorities
  • Career expectations of white collar managers
  • Employee involvement and participation in the retail sector
  • Employers’ policies and HIV positive employees

Information for international students

IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL 100 internet-based. English language test results submitted must be less than two years old. See the website for more information.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Alliance MBS Scholarships are also available - contact the Admissions Office for details and visit the Alliance MBS website for further details:

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Masters Admissions
+ 44 (0)161 306 1339