MSc in International Human Resource Management


Program Description

International organisations draw on talent and expertise from all over the world. They rely on human resource professionals with cultural awareness and a global perspective. The MSc International Human Resource Management programme prepares you to meet that need.

The programme is one of a small number in the UK to be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and aligned with standards set by the US Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It's also mutually recognised by the Australian Human Resources Institute. Since the professional qualification, you'll earn is respected all over the world, you'll be a competitive candidate for jobs in any location.

The curriculum incorporates a global perspective enabling you to:

  • develop the expertise to effectively manage people in a diverse national and international environment
  • study the contemporary theory of human resource management
  • learn the best practices in the industry
  • expand your cross-cultural awareness to successfully navigate a multicultural context

The programme is both practical and challenging, incorporating real-world learning from case studies, investigative projects and talks by industry experts. Our specialist staff, with a background across a range of national and international organisations, including some well-known blue-chip giants, will guide you.

Students will conduct a hands-on research project in international human resource management in the form of an HRM Research Project (MSc) or Business Investigation Report (PgD).

By building workforce talent, encouraging employees to become international leaders and supporting a diverse and welcoming workplace, you will contribute to your company's success - as well contribute to the common good.

A unique feature of the programme is a week-long visit to the University of Milano-Bicocca where you will attend classes, participate in industrial site visits to leading organisations and engage in cultural visits and activities.

Your career

The programme will prepare you for a career as an effective human resources manager in an international or multicultural environment. It will also make you a more competitive candidate for any leadership or management role.

Our graduates are in high demand and find work in public, private and third sector organisations all over the world. Previous graduates have secured employment internationally as HR Manager (M H Alshaya Co, United Arab Emirates), HR Executive (Hyperoptic Ltd, England), HR Consultant (Ascension Consulting Services, Nigeria), HR Advisor (Optimus Aberdeen Ltd, Scotland; Aberdeen City Council, Scotland), and Lecturer in HRM (University of Ilorin, Nigeria). Others have pursued careers in other roles, for example, Project Coordinator (Ernst & Young, Germany). A number of graduates have also embarked on a PhD and other doctoral study programmes.

What you will study

  • Professional and Personal Competence Development for HR Managers: Adopting a competency framework approach, this module facilitates the development of effective skills for HR professionals, through a critical reflection of individual and professional competencies and behaviours, to enhance personal and professional advancement.
  • Managing Workforce and Workplace Diversity: This module aims to develop insights into key elements of managing workforce and workplace diversity at an individual, national and organisational levels.
  • HRD Strategies in Practice: The aim of the module is to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the key concepts and practices of Human Resource Development, and its role and contribution to organisational strategy.
  • HRM in International Contexts: The aim of the module is to provide students with the key skills through which to interpret and analyse the environment in which an organisation operates including relevant financial data.
  • Resourcing and Talent Management: This module develops a critical understanding of resourcing and talent management issues to promote fair and effective decision making in key aspects of HRM. Adopting multiple perspectives, it incorporates an appreciation of global employment issues and implications.
  • Managing People in Global Organisations: This module explores the aims of international HRM and the key challenges of managing people across different cultural contexts. It looks at how to manage people in different organisational contexts, including multinational companies, supranational organisations and international third sector organisations.
  • Business Investigation Business Investigation Report (for PgD students): This module enables students to further develop their ability in applying analytical, investigative and communication skills and to demonstrate their academic and professional competence, through research of an HR issue.
  • Performance Management: This module aims to explore how managers in organisations might optimise individual and collective performance to achieve strategic goals through effective performance management policies and procedures in a variety of international and organisational settings.
  • Organisational Change and Responsible Leadership: This module develops a critical appreciation of organisational change and the accompanying leadership implications and demands, within the context of the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME), in global environments.
  • Research Design and Critical Inquiry: This module introduces and evaluates research methods in HR. It provides knowledge of HR research design and adopts a critical perspective in comparing and contrasting alternative research paradigms.
  • Human Resource Management Research Project: This module requires an investigation of a substantial HRM issue or problem, which includes a critical awareness of management practice, relevant theories and research techniques and approaches.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods vary between modules and may include: essays, reports, class tests, written exams, presentations, and skills-based assessments.

"I chose the MSc International HRM because I wanted to work overseas. The programme was enriching and gave me the platform I needed to be able to apply for international roles; SHRM recognition was a draw." Marion Anderson, HR Manager, M.H. Alshaya (Dubai, UAE), MSc International Human Resource Management graduate

Entry Requirements

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Typical entry requirements

  • UK honours degree 2:2 (or equivalent) in people or business-centred subjects or any business subject such as marketing or finance.
  • Advanced standing for like-for-like modules at postgraduate level from CIPD or a CIPD accredited institution.

English language

An academic IELTS score of 6.0 (or equivalent) with no element below 5.5.

Please note: if you are from a majority English speaking country, you may not be required to provide further proof of your English Language proficiency.

Other academic and vocational qualifications

Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

Advanced standing

Advanced standing operates where there is evidence of completion of a like for like module at the postgraduate level either from the CIPD or a CIPD accredited institution. Precise regulations on transfer from another CIPD accredited programme or nationally assessed centre are prescribed by CIPD.

Students wishing to transfer into our programme are advised to contact the Membership and Qualifications team at the CIPD on 0208 612 6208.

International pathways

If you do not meet the English language requirements, you may be eligible for our pre-sessional English programme which is taught at our Glasgow campus.

Fees and funding

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status.

Tuition fees 2020/21

Tuition fees include a week-long study trip to Milan.

  • Home: £7,000
  • RUK: £7,000
  • EU: £7,000
  • International: £14,500

CIPD membership fees

As part of this masters course, you are required to take out student membership of the CIPD. To retain membership thereafter you will be required to renew your subscription at the end of the 12-month membership period.

Membership fees are set by the CIPD and can be subject to change. As a guide, the 2019/20 admissions fee to CIPD is £40 and a 12-month student CIPD membership fee currently stands at £98.


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of over £2.5 million per year.

Professional accreditation

Our programme is distinguished by recognition from both globally renowned HR professional bodies, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Only seven programmes in the UK have achieved this status, two of which are taught by GCU.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

The CIPD is the world's largest Chartered HR professional body for those involved in the management of people aimed at setting the global benchmark for HR excellence within the profession. Our HRM courses are fully CIPD accredited.

Students, who successfully complete our CIPD accredited programme, including assignments and skills assessments, will achieve the full 'knowledge bank' required for Associate Membership of the CIPD. CIPD qualifications are 'recognised by large employers inside and outside the UK, as a standard for human resource practice' (CIPD, 2010). Independent research reveals that individuals with professional qualifications and membership stand to earn £81,000 in additional earnings over a lifetime.

As part of the programme, students are required to take out student membership of the CIPD.

Benefits of student membership

  • access to West of Scotland Branch events
  • subscription to the professional HR journal 'People Management'
  • a discount on CIPD published texts
  • access to a large collection of online resources and communities of support via the CIPD website

Information on how to join the CIPD will be given to students in the class. Students are responsible for the payment of their membership fees directly to the CIPD. Students should refer to the CIPD Membership pages for more information

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

The Society for Human Resource Management has officially recognised that both the GCU MSc International Human Resource Management and MSc Human Resource Management programmes fully align with SHRM's HR curriculum guidelines. GCU was the first institution in the UK to achieve this recognition.

SHRM is the largest association devoted to HRM and is committed to advancing the human resource profession to ensure that HR is an essential and effective partner in developing and executing organisational strategy.

Headquartered in the USA, the SHRM represents more than 285,000 members in more than 165 countries worldwide. SHRM provides resources, global best practices and a network of valuable contacts to all members. As part of SHRM's commitment to developing the HR profession globally, they have offices in Mumbai (India), Beijing (China) and the United Arab Emirates.

On graduation, you will be encouraged to engage further with SHRM to undertake the examinations that will upgrade your professional status.

Teaching methods

The HRM programmes are delivered by specialist staff with expertise and recognition both in academia and industry with a background across a range of national and international organisations including some well known blue-chip giants across both public and private sector organisations.

Colleagues from across the Glasgow School for Business and Society contribute expertise in areas including Strategic Management and Finance. In addition to the specialist teaching staff, we also bring industry experts into our classrooms and take our students out of the university and into workplaces to learn. You will experience case-based learning and will have the opportunity to engage in real-life project work. We aim to make your learning meaningful and relevant to the world of work.

Overseas Study Trip

As part of the Managing Workforce and Workplace Diversity module, you will have the opportunity to participate in an overseas study trip to Milan. You will receive 12 hours of teaching from faculty at the University of Bicocca which will be supplemented by case studies looking at the HR and diversity experiences of Italian companies. During the visit to Milan, you will take part in site visits to leading Italian organisations and engage in a range of cultural activities. The purpose of the trip is to broaden your international outlook and cross-cultural awareness which is essential in becoming an IHRM practitioner. The ethos of the trip underpins research by the CIPD (2018) which recognises globalisation as a key trend affecting the world of work and encourages HR practitioners to develop a stronger international outlook.

Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

Corporate responsibility and sustainability are fundamental concerns for every organisation. The Glasgow School for Business and Society seeks to address the complex challenges of the global economy, ... Read More

Corporate responsibility and sustainability are fundamental concerns for every organisation. The Glasgow School for Business and Society seeks to address the complex challenges of the global economy, while delivering social benefit to local and global communities. Read less
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