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Postgraduate Diploma Human Resource Management

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  • Entry requirements
    For entry requirements to Year 1 please see the Certificate in Management entry. For entry onto Year 2 you will need to have completed the University’s Certificate in Management or Core Management/Leadership and Management from a CIPD approved centre. Applicants will normally work in a human resource department with a minimum of two years' experience.
  • Academic Title
    Postgraduate Diploma Human Resource Management
  • Course description
    CIPD accredited

    The Diploma in Human Resource Management (DHRM) is a well-established and nationally recognised postgraduate/post-experience qualification. Successful completion provides students with graduate membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

    The first year of the DHRM consists of the Certificate in Management (CM) which leads to licentiate membership of the CIPD. The second year builds on the CM by expanding knowledge and skills in a range of human resource management areas. You will study modules in People Management and Development, Learning and Development, Employee Relations, People Resourcing and Employee Reward. You will also undertake a research project in the form of a Management Research Report. Continuing professional development is a key focus of the programme; this can enable students to progress directly to corporate membership of the CIPD.

    At the end of the second year you may elect to complete the postgraduate diploma through a Management Research Report or progress to the MA in Human Resource Management and undertake a single module that addresses research methods, critical issues in research and how to deliver a master's dissertation (subject to external validation).

    The DHRM is run at Oxford Brookes' Wheatley Campus.

    Course content

    Year 2 comprises:

        * People Management and Development provides PM&D knowledge and understanding, as well as an introduction to the skills that are required to be a practitioner. This knowledge, skill and understanding cannot be viewed in isolation, but must be seen within organisational, societal and commercial contexts. Practitioners need to be aware of the wide range of circumstances in which PM&D takes place, and consequently the degree to which particular strategies and practices may be appropriate in specific situations. There is also a need to evaluate the contribution that PM&D makes to organisational success, and to consider the ways in which this contribution can be made more effective. Such an approach is relevant for all types of practitioner: PM&D generalists and specialists, line managers, consultants and academics.
        * Employee Relations develops further the People Management and Development module coverage with the aim of achieving professional competence in employee relations. The module is for those who wish to qualify as generalists. It is designed to provide sufficient knowledge, understanding and competence for individuals to operate as professional personnel practitioners in a number of different situations, including both union and non-union situations. Unlike other modules it will focus on the general management skill of negotiation with managerial colleagues, senior management colleagues, management colleagues from other management functions, individual employees (grievances and discipline) and employees as a group.
        * People Resourcing provides additional coverage of people resourcing for those practitioners who wish to maintain a generalist route to graduate membership of the CIPD. People resourcing is that part of personnel and development that focuses on the recruitment and release of individuals from organisations, as well as the management of their performance and potential while employed by an organisation. It aims to develop a critical awareness of work organisation and human resource planning, recruitment and selection, performance management, and release from the organisation, as well as providing the principal skills and competences required to undertake activities in this area.
        * Learning and Development develops further the People Management and Development module coverage with the aim of achieving basic professional competence in L&D. The module is for those who wish to qualify, at least initially, as a generalist. It is designed to provide sufficient knowledge, understanding and competence for individuals to operate as professional personnel practitioners in a variety of situations.
        * Employee Reward covers how people are rewarded in accordance with their value to an organisation. It is about financial and non-financial rewards and embraces the strategies, policies, structures and processes used to develop and maintain reward systems. The ways in which people are valued can make a considerable impact on the effectiveness of the organisation, and is at the heart of the employment relationship. The aim of employee reward policies and practices is to help attract, retain and motivate high-quality people. Getting it wrong can have a significant negative effect on the motivation, commitment and morale of employees. Personnel and development professionals will be involved frequently in reward issues, whether they are generalists or specialists in people resourcing, learning and development or employee relations. An integrated approach to human resource management means that all these aspects have to be considered together so that a mutually reinforcing and inter-related set of personnel policies and practices can be developed.

    Year 3 comprises:

        * Management Research Report provides an opportunity for students to identify a human resource topic relevant to themselves, their organisation and the course, which they would like to investigate in depth. The topic must be real, practical, complex, broadly based and allow students to apply knowledge and understanding from the course to solve a workplace problem or to open up a new human resource option. The investigation should reach conclusions, and students are required to make recommendations to senior managers about how to improve the overall effectiveness of the organisation and, where appropriate, develop strategies to implement proposals. The module is integrative and is intended to encourage students to draw together learning from appropriate modules. Students are expected to show managerial expertise in completing this part of the course and for this reason the investigation will be a self-managed activity. Support and guidance during the investigation will be provided by tutors, mentors and fellow students. However, the overall responsibility for completing the investigation lies with individual students.

    For details of the MA HRM see the MA in Human Resource Management.
    Teaching, learning and assessment

    A range of learning methods is used. These include lectures, directed reading, workshops, self-directed learning in action learning sets, e-learning, and project work. Students are required to attend the Skills Development workshop, which may be scheduled at weekend(s). Each module is taught by a team of at least two tutors specialising in the module topic.

    Each module is assessed individually with a range of assessment methods being used. These include individual assignments, group-work, examinations, a CIPD portfolio and the management research report. Some assessments include an element of peer and/or self-assessment. Some aspects of learning are managed by students who meet regularly in Action Learning Groups to share experiences of the practice, which helps build practical human resource knowledge.


    The reputation of the Business School is underpinned through membership of and programme accreditations received from the Association of MBAs, the Association of Business Schools, and professional associations such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and the European Foundation for Management Development. The Business School is, therefore, widely regarded as one of the best within its peer group.

    The Business School's programmes benefit from rigorous quality assurance procedures and regularly receive excellent feedback from external examiners, employers, students and professional bodies. In 2005 Business and Management achieved 'Broad Confidence', the best possible result, in the discipline audit trail as part of the Quality Assurance Agency Institutional Audit.

    Many students who graduate from Business School programmes go on to achieve high status in the industry of their choice.

    The Business School has an active programme of research based around six key research areas:

        * Accounting, Governance and Information Management
        * Economics and Strategy
        * Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Management
        * Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour
        * Marketing and Operations Management
        * Pedagogy

    The School maintains a rigorous and dynamic doctoral programme leading to the higher degrees of MPhil and PhD. Postgraduate students join a supportive, friendly and multicultural research environment.

    Teaching staff are drawn primarily from the Department of Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour but with some contributions from specialists in other departments of the Business School.

    Visiting speakers from business and industry, local government, consultancies and research bodies provide further input.

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