Taught course

Human Resource Management

University of Northampton · Northampton Business School

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirements will be a recognised and relevant graduate or postgraduate level professional qualification at Level 5/6 or higher and at least 12 months current working experience within a personnel/ HR department or related area. Applicants holding CPP, CTP, HNC/ HND or DipHE qualifications or their equivalent are normally expected to pass the 'University Certificate in HRM' to gain a place on the Diploma. However those holding these qualifications who have been working for more than a year at an appropriate level within the HR Function, such as a HR Business Partner or HR Advisor, can sit an entrance test for admission onto the programme provided that they evidence their experience and CPD. Applicants whose native language is not English must provide evidence of their English language capability at IELTS Level 6.5 or its equivalent.‚Äč

Months of entry


Course content

Course content

The aim of this course is to develop you as an HR professional. You will be introduced to specialised knowledge and research evidence giving you an in depth understanding of successful people management in organisations. Perhaps more importantly, you will practice the tools and techniques of strategic and operational HRM giving you practical, insight-driven experience which will help further your career.

The modules on this course are designed to provide you with expert knowledge of distinct HR subject areas together with exposure to contemporary debates, policies and practices, keeping you at the forefront of developments in your field.

You will develop an understanding of HRM within a range of organisational contexts, and you will be equipped with the analytical and diagnostic skills required of HR professionals.

In addition to the modules making up this course you will attend a two day off-site residential at the end of the taught programme focusing specifically on skills development activities. Attendance at the residential is a course requirement and the cost is included in the course fees.

Methods of Learning

The learning and teaching style on this course is designed to enable you to take responsibility for your own learning and skills development within a caring environment facilitated by high quality academic support from tutors. You will be introduced to much of the core course content through activities that can be undertaken in your own time, off campus. These will usually be facilitated through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment – a web-based portal where you will be able to participate in learning activities, on-line discussions, reading and reflection. During on-campus sessions, the emphasis will be on participative and interactive activities designed to consolidate and develop your understanding through debate, discussion, role-play and participation in events such as guest speakers and a mock employment tribunal.

The course uses a carefully balanced combination of in-course assignments designed to enrich your learning which include business projects, reflective activities, group work presentation and examinations.

This course usually has a diverse student group and this diversity provides a rich basis for sharing of different experiences and thinking on organisational and people issues. Peer networking and action learning sets will be facilitated and encouraged to maximise the learning to be gained from different student experiences.

The course is only offered part-time. In Year 1 students will take two modules in Semester 1 and one module in Semester 2. In Year 2 students will take two modules in Semester 1 and two short modules in Semester 2.

Each module will require you to attend a three hour workshop per week. Class sessions would normally be on one day per week (pm).

To maximise chances of success on this course, we recommend students spend approximately 12 hours a week per module in self-directed study time to prepare for the sessions and complete assignments.

Schedule Year one

Semester 1

HRM in Context - You will explore HRM in a business context to develop your understanding of the increasingly complex environments HR must work within both inside and external to organisations. This module allows learners to develop analysis skills to facilitate informed choices on which strategies may be most and least appropriate.

Investigating a Business Issue - You will diagnose and investigate a live business issue from a HR perspective, locate the issue within the body of contemporary knowledge, collect and analyse data, derive supportable conclusions and make practical and actionable recommendations for change and enhancement of current practice.

Semester 2

Leading Managing and Developing People - You will analyse key factors in leading, managing and developing people for organisational success. Every organisation is made up of individuals whose behaviour, individually or collectively will impact on its ability to succeed. Organisational performance can be enhanced and competitive advantage increased through the strategic management, leadership and development of people. This module enables you to gain an in-depth knowledge of HRM and HRD and to explore major themes from the growing literature and research in this subject area.

At the end of your first year of studies, once teaching is over, there will be a two-day skills development workshop that will explore the skills required to be an effective HR leader. This is a great chance to consolidate your learning from Year 1 in a relaxed and informal setting with your classmates and tutors. The workshop is an essential and required part of the course.

Year 2

Semester 1

Resourcing and Talent Management - You will evaluate strategies for resourcing and managing talent within the organisation. There is a focus on activities concerned with resourcing the organisation; the practical aspects of recruitment, selection, employee retention and dismissal, and also on the strategic aspects of planning an organisation's long and short term human resource requirements. This requires analysis of external labour markets and considerations of flexibility, as well as consideration of how internal labour markets may be made more productive and effective.

Performance Management - You will investigate the management of employee performance within the organisation, exploring the evidence that people are a major source of competitive advantage and the challenge of how best to develop and manage people to maximize their performance. You will assess the major systems for enhancing the performance of employees at all levels and advise organisations on the most appropriate methods for managing performance.

Semester 2

Learning and Talent Development – You will develop a critical understanding of the role and influence of a range of contextual factors associated with the design, delivery and evaluation of learning and development in a variety of organisational contexts. You will also explore and evaluate the contribution of learning and talent development strategies and practices in meeting the aspirations, ambitions and objectives of the organization and the individual. This is a seven week module.

Employment Relations – You will develop and reflect upon your knowledge and understanding of Employment Relations from a number of different perspectives. The holistic significance of employment relations within an organisation is emphasised together with the importance of aligning HR policies with business strategy, change processes, employee voice and involvement practices. Good employee relations are important for an organisation's success in the achievement of its business objectives and for gaining employee commitment to those objectives. Increasing legislation in this area has also brought pressure to develop appropriate managerial strategies to ensure employee commitment to organisational success. This is a seven week module.

At the end of teaching you will undertake a two day residential course that will explore how to put all the skills from the course into developing good HR practices.

CIPD Membership

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Europe's largest professional body supporting and developing those responsible for the management and development of people within organisations. The PG Diploma HRM reflects and incorporates CIPD knowledge and competence requirements. Completing the PG Diploma HRM will provide you with the underpinning knowledge required for Chartered CIPD membership. If you have the relevant experience you can then apply for full membership based on your workplace activities and behaviours through the CIPD.

On successful completion of the PG Diploma in HRM, students are eligible to continue their studies on the MA HRM (top-up).

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months

Course contact details

+44 (0) 1604 735500
+44 (0) 1604 713019