MSc HR Practice

Degree awarded by the University of Plymouth


February and October

Study options

1 year, 2 years



People are critical to the success of any business and so every business has the need for effective HR practitioners.

Mapped against the advanced professional standards set out by CIPD, the GSM London MSc in HR Practice will give you a deep understanding of professional HR practice within a wide range of business context – from SMEs and global corporations to public sector organisations.

The programme is ideal for experienced HR practitioners looking for build on their experience with a formal qualification, graduates from other disciplines who wish to enter HR, or people who run or have the desire to run their own business.

Why study our MSc HR Practice Degree?

This Master’s degree is designed to build on your personal strengths and develop your HR management skills through both academic exploration and practical application. With its focus on using HR strategy and leadership to promote sustainable growth, it can make you a major asset to businesses and organisations, large and small.

This programme will help you develop your knowledge, broaden your skill set, and enhance your career prospects as well as being a catalyst for career changers looking to work in this field. It opens up a wealth of career opportunities – from public sector roles in the NHS or civil service, to private sector positions in large corporates or SMEs.

Whether you choose to pursue a career as an HR generalist or decide to specialise in a particular aspect of HR such as Training and Development, the knowledge and skills acquired on the course will serve you well. It is also invaluable if you plan to run your own business and employ staff, as a strategic understanding of HR is key for your enterprise’s growth and development.

After completing your Master’s, you may also wish to continue your studies with an MBA or a PhD research programme.

Real-world application and expertise
This programme’s key emphasis is on developing your abilities as an HR strategist, alongside examining subjects such as employment law and compliance. In today’s business environment, corporate social responsibility is an integral theme so this MSc also places a strong emphasis on ethical practice.

Teaching staff bring industry experience and research expertise to the classroom and the programme regularly features guest speakers and visits to relevant organisations and events. You will also enjoy networking opportunities with students and professionals from a range of business sectors.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
This Master’s programme is mapped against the advanced professional standards set out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). It also enables you to build up a portfolio of work which can be used to apply for CIPD membership.

Awarded by the University of Plymouth
Your MSc is awarded by the University of Plymouth, ranked 2nd in Times Higher Education's Young University Rankings 2018 (THE's list of the UK's best universities aged under 50). An established educational institution with business enterprise at its heart, it is a fitting validating partner for your MSc.

Study in London, the financial capital of the world
Our London location in Greenwich places you in the heart of one of the largest and most diverse commercial capitals of the world, a renowned city for events and entertainment. Studying in London will open up extensive opportunities to connect with senior stakeholders and business leaders across many global markets and industries.

How is the course structured?

The MSc programme can be broken down into the following stages:

Postgraduate Certificate HR Practice

  • HR Policy and Practice
  • Employee Relations – Reward and Motivation
  • Professional Development for HR Leaders


Postgraduate Diploma HR Practice

  • Research Skills and Consultancy Planning
  • Work Psychology, Employment and Society
  • Plus one elective (subject to demand):
    • Consultancy Skills in HR Practice
    • International and Comparative HR Management


Master’s Degree (MSc) in HR Practice

  • Employment Law in Practice
  • Plus either:
    • Consultancy project
    • Or two electives from:
      • Organisational Performance
      • Resourcing and Assessing Talent
      • Project and Strategic Risk Management
      • Financial Implications of People


To find out more about course modules, see full module descriptions.

Alternatively, see the programme specification for further details on this programme. Note that the specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change.

For more details on the coure module please review the course Module Specifications.

MSc HR (Human Resource) Practice Module Specifications

Entry requirements

To start on Level 7, applicants require a recognised Bachelor Honours Degree with minimum 2:2 classification, (an equivalent qualification from a recognised UK or overseas institution may be accepted).

If you are not a UK passport holder, or a UK passport holder born outside of the UK and not born in a country that appears on the published list, you may need to complete an English language test, such as the in-house GSM London English Language Proficiency Test or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, to demonstrate you have the language skills needed to complete your postgraduate degree. All of our programmes are taught in English. Once you submit your application to GSM London the Admissions team will assess it. Should your application be successful and if an English Language Test is required it will appear as a condition of offer.

You will need an IELTS score of 6.5, or equivalent qualification.

Applicants to postgraduate programmes who hold a first degree (bachelor's degree) studied and awarded in the UK, or in a country that UKVI recognise as a majority English speaking country will be accepted in lieu of IELTS etc. but only if the degree was awarded 2 years ago or less.

Further details on English Language requirements are provided here.

To commence this programme, the applicant will need to have a recognised Bachelor Honours Degree with minimum classification 2:2, (an equivalent qualification from a recognised UK or overseas institution may be accepted). In addition to the above all applicants must have a minimum of three years’ work experience.

Applicants will be required to provide supporting evidence in the form of a satisfactory work reference which covers the period in question.


Non-standard entry:
Applicants who lack the normal programme entry requirements are positively encouraged to apply. In such cases, the Admissions Team must be satisfied that the applicant has the necessary potential, knowledge or experience and motivation to follow the programme successfully.

Applicants will be interviewed to identify their aptitude for study at postgraduate level through relevant life or career experience, and other factors relating to professional qualifications. Applicants will be required to provide supporting evidence of such achievements.

Accreditation of prior learning:
Partial exemptions from a postgraduate programme may be obtained in accordance with the Academic Regulations dependent on the compatibility of previous study. Each case is considered on its own merit and will be subject to approval by University of Plymouth.

Further information can be found in the Recognition of Prior Learnings Regulations within the Consolidated Policies and Regulations Document.

We will not normally consider APCL’s older than 3 years unless the applicant has a recent experiential learning that is directly related to the APCL/APEL.


Tuition fees

UK/EU student fees


International student fee


Discounts offered for alumni. Please contact us for details.

How to apply

Applications to GSM London for a postgraduate programme can be made direct to us using the application form here or made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) here.  All available programmes from GSM London are listed on the UCAS website.  There is no cost to you for applying directly to GSM London or through UCAS for a postgraduate programme.

Please note the application deadlines if applying through UCAS which can be found here along with further guidance.

If at any point you require any information, advice or guidance please do get in contact with our Course Advisory team by clicking here.

Registration and Enrolment

Once we receive your application form and supporting documents, we will assess your application and if successful, we will issue you an acceptance letter and a fee statement detailing your enrolment date, course cost and duration. 

You should arrive for enrolment on the date specified in your acceptance letter, at your chosen GSM London campus. Please note that international students will be asked to pay a percentage of tuition fees on or before enrolment.

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