Group of people talking

MSc International Human Resource Management Unit Information

Group of people talking

The MSc International Human Resource Management is made up of eight 15 credit units; this includes seven compulsory and one elective unit. Students will also complete a 60 credit Dissertation.

Please open the relevant tabs below for more unit information or download the unit factsheet.


This unit provides a critical evaluation of research and debate in the fields of HRM and HRD. The theoretical foundations of leading, managing and developing people are examined. The unit will consider three major thematic strands regarding the nature of people management and development in theory and practice.


This unit is designed to provide an overview of the major contemporary trends and explain their significance for organisations. The unit will introduce students to the major external environmental trends that shape both HR practice in organisations as well as decision-making at the strategic level in a more general sense. The unit introduces students to principal developments in the internal business environment, in particular key contemporary developments in finance, marketing and operations management. The unit focuses on the response of organisations, both now and in the future, to the environmental developments outlined. Particular emphasis here is placed on longer-term strategic responses in the HR field.


This unit is structured around three broad themes, as follows: Self-awareness and Development; Managing and Developing Others; and Specialist HR Skills. Subjects include: critical thinking, decision-making, managing financial and other management information (project management), understanding self and others, working in teams, personal effectiveness, professionalism, and a range of specialist HR skills related to the taught units, eg selection interviewing, coaching, consultancy, evaluation, etc.


This unit covers international, comparative and cross-cultural HRM. Academic theory and practical cases from across the globe are central discussion points. Globalisation and the Global Political Economy set the scene and context before key debates in IHRM are reviewed including National Models of HRM, HRM in developing countries and International Mergers and Acquisitions. The unit evaluates various external influences on HRM practice and includes an exploration of the strategic context, structure, roles and cultural dimensions that affect the management and integration of global HRM practices into business.


This unit explores the dimensions of employee engagement including cognitive, affective and behaviour reviewing theoretical viewpoints and considering the challenges of measurement. On a practical level, the exploration of what it means to develop and implement strategies for employee engagement in organisations is assessed and its contribution to strategic, reputational and competitive excellence in a high working environment is assessed via personal reflection and/or case study evidence.


This unit analyses and evaluates major features of national and international employment markets from which organisations source staff – critically reviewing the effectiveness and applicability of a range of resourcing and talent strategies. An assessment of the effectiveness of these strategies in building long-term organisational performance and competitive advantage is made and reflection on own organisational practice is encouraged. Central to the unit is the importance of planning to meet future skill demand and the importance of fair, lawful and ethical practice and a consideration of the challenges of operating in a global economy.


The nature of management and employment research; the research/practice gap; the research process; critically reviewing literature; identifying and framing issues for research; drawing up a research proposal; research design; research philosophies and methodologies; research methods; data analysis; writing up research findings; ethics of research.


Please note: Optional units are normally subject to a minimum of 12 students. Where fewer than 12 students choose an optional unit, all students will normally be required to study the same unit.

You will study one of the two following units:


This unit provides comprehensive coverage of the key strategic HR activities of managing performance. Students apply theoretical frameworks to evaluate contemporary practice in this area. Indicative content includes HR Strategy, Performance Management, Performance Appraisal, Discipline, 360-degree feedback, Personal Development Planning, The Business Context for Performance, and Performance in a Global Context.

Reward management

Theoretical debates and key issues informing reward management at an international and organisational level are critiqued including traditional, contingent and knowledge bases for transaction and relational reward. The concept of total reward – if and how it aligns with HR and business strategy to increase organisational performance is reviewed, as are the challenges faced when managing and setting rewards in an international context.


You will be required to identify, structure, frame and investigate a complex managerial or business issue and produce a substantial written document of your achievements and conclusions. To successfully complete the masters award, you are required to undertake a 15,000-word dissertation, supported by an individual tutor. This piece of individual work can be used to inform research in an industry or sector that is aligned to your management career aspirations. All students may fulfil the requirements of the unit by undertaking one of four types of dissertation.

Consultancy Based: Answering distinct research questions, which are triggered by an issue of strategic or operational importance to a specific client organisation, mainly by conducting fieldwork (collecting primary data) in the client organisation, with the objective of offering an appropriate short-term to medium-term solution to the business, and also drawing out the implications for the wider managerial professional practice.

Empirically Based: Answering distinct research questions, which are triggered by an issue of strategic or operational importance, mainly by conducting fieldwork (collecting primary data), with the objective of drawing out the implications for the wider managerial professional practice.

Library Based: Answering distinct research questions, which are triggered by an issue of strategic or operational importance, mainly by gathering secondary data and doing a meta-analysis of published interpretations of existing data sets, with the objective of drawing out the implications for the wider managerial professional practice.

Action Learning: Reflective examination and interpretation of a problem-solving ‘action intervention’ made by the author in his/her organisation through the lens of relevant literature with the objective of demonstrating insights and enhanced managerial competence, and drawing out the implications for the wider managerial professional practice.