Taught course

International Human Resource Management and Comparative Industrial Relations

The University of Manchester · People, Management and Organisations

Entry requirements

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

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. There is a charge for the CIPD stream: contact the Masters Admissions Office for details.
CIPD Course recognition
This Masters is approved to the new equivalent advanced level post graduate 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 toward 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 Masters 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 units
  • Industrial Relations
  • Organisation Development
Semester 2
Core units
  • International Human Resource Management*
  • International Labour Law and Regulation*
Elective units
  • Employment Policy and Practice
  • Human Resource Management: Context and Organisation*
  • Management of International Organisational Change*
*These units are compulsory in order to achieve CIPD recognition. 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.
Note: a maximum of eight units can be taken so you choose two elective units during the two semesters.
There may be minor changes to the allocation of units to each semester.
Summer research period
Research dissertation [60 credits]

You must complete a satisfactory dissertation to be awarded your MSc. This piece of work, undertaken in your third term and over the summer, gives you the opportunity to apply the techniques and theories you have learned during the taught modules.

The dissertation itself 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:
  • Work-life balance: perspectives of female teachers from UK and India
  • The development of employee loyalty in a US subsidiary in China
  • The impact of support practices on expatriate adjustment in a Russian multinational corporation
  • Coping mechanisms of Nigerian women balancing motherhood and managerial roles
  • Handling redundancies in economic crises: a comparison between Germany and the UK
  • A critical review of change agents and the HR function in cross-border mergers
Career opportunities
Recent recruiters include: Accenture, AstraZeneca, BDL Engineering, Bentley, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Hewlett-Packard, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, RBS Insurance, Shell International, Telenor Group

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: http://www.mbs.ac.uk/masters/entry-requirements/language-requirements.aspx

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

MBS Scholarships are also available - contact the Admissions Office for details and visit the MBS website for further details: http://www.mbs.ac.uk/programmes/masters/courses/scholarships/

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
- months
part time
- months
full time
12 months
block mode
- months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions
+ 44 (0)161 306 1339