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Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management

This qualification is suitable for those at the start of a career in human resources (HR) or hoping to enter the HR profession and for line managers.  This diploma will deepen your understanding of HR management and strategy, while building the specialist skills essential for practitioners. You will address business and change management issues and work at a strategic level; and explore issues such as employee relations, employee engagement, learning and development, employee resourcing and talent management. There is a strong emphasis on practice-based learning, and you will examine international and comparative practice – preparing you for work in the global economy. You will also evaluate the relevance of research and theory in relation to practice improvement.

Key features of the course

  • Suitable for those at the start of their HR career or aspiring to enter the HR profession
  • Explores the role of the HR professional, the nature of professionalism and approaches to addressing ethical dilemmas
  • Develops people management skills such as interviewing, coaching, managing conflict and managing performance
  • Prepares you for further study, such as the MSc in Human Resource Management. 

Diploma

Course code
E84
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
120
How long it takes
1–5 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details

Modules

You should study the modules in the order shown.

If you started your studies prior to November 2019 and you successfully passed Managing research in the workplace (B865), you can use this diploma as a route to membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) if you also take the module HR management residential school (BXR868).

To gain this qualification, you need 120 credits and there are two routes to achieving this.

Route 1

60 credits from:

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
The human resource professional (B863)

This module provides an introduction to the various requirements of a human resource professional in an organisation. 

See full description

Register
30 07 Nov 2020
Human resource management in context (B864)

This module examines how HR policies and practices operate at macro (societal and international) and micro (organisational) levels, incorporating resourcing and talent management as examples of HR practice.

See full description

Register
30 01 May 2021

plus
60 credits from:

Optional modules Credits Next start
Employment relations and employee engagement (B866)

This module explores employment relations strategies in national and international contexts and the associated impacts on employee engagement, as well as the management of change, diversity and conflict.

See full description

Register
30 07 Nov 2020
Workplace learning with coaching and mentoring (B867)

This module explores learning and talent development at strategic and operational levels and provides an opportunity to develop coaching and mentoring skills.

See full description

Register
30 01 May 2021

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module B865

Route 2

60 credits from:

Compulsory module Credits Next start
HR management in practice (BXM840)

This module introduces the various requirements of a human resource professional in an organisation.

See full description

Register
60 02 Nov 2020

plus
60 credits from:

Optional modules Credits Next start
Employment relations and employee engagement (B866)

This module explores employment relations strategies in national and international contexts and the associated impacts on employee engagement, as well as the management of change, diversity and conflict.

See full description

Register
30 07 Nov 2020
Workplace learning with coaching and mentoring (B867)

This module explores learning and talent development at strategic and operational levels and provides an opportunity to develop coaching and mentoring skills.

See full description

Register
30 01 May 2021

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module B865

CIPD recognition of this qualification:

Please note that a route to CIPD membership is only available to students using this qualification where they have successfully passed Managing research in the workplace (B865) – final presentation was November 2019.

Both routes to the Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management are complemented by a residential school that is offered in two formats; a three day face-to-face residential school or as an online alternative residential school where there is daily contact time over an 18 day period with some of the contact being synchronous, real time online tutorials which students are required to participate in. The schools provide an additional a three day residential school that provides an additional opportunity to practise and receive feedback on HR skills. The residential school is compulsory for those seeking CIPD membership and is optional for all other students.

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Human resource management residential school (BXR868)

A residential school only module in human resource management that is required for CIPD accreditation of both the Postgraduate Diploma and the MSc in Human Resource Management.

See full description

Register
0 01 May 2021

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.


We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 17 March 2020.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit  our Credit Transfer website.


On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded the qualification of Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management entitling you to use PgDip HRM (Open) after your name.

Recognition in your country

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

Entry requirements

You must hold a bachelors degree awarded by a recognised UK university, or equivalent. Please contact us if you hold a qualification that you believe is an equivalent level to a UK degree, to ensure that it meets the requirements for admission.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 6.5 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.

You will need to be able to draw on experience of working in or with organisations. This experience can be drawn from a wide range of situations such as employment in public and private sector organisations and in self-employed or voluntary roles.

How long it takes

Most students study this qualification in two years by studying 60 credits a year. The minimum time to complete is one year, the maximum time to complete is five years.
 

Career relevance

This qualification can provide a route to professional membership of the CIPD if you wish to develop a career in HR management. It will also provide training in research and academic skills if you want to develop an academic career in the field of HR management, and if you have studied Managing research in the workplace (B865) and complete the HR management residential school (BXR868). 

More generally, by studying a postgraduate business qualification you can expect your salary to increase and for it to have a positive impact on your career progression, as well as bringing improvements to their organisation.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.