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About the course

You will build essential professional experience through practical assignments and a research-based management report, in which you will investigate a contemporary business issue and propose actionable solutions.

An organisation’s most valuable resource is its people – putting HR at the heart of the business, and opening up exciting and varied career paths. You will have the opportunity to build broad personnel skills as a respected generalist, or focus on a specialism such as learning and development.

Accredited as a Level Seven (Advanced) diploma by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), this essential course delivers the practical skills and theory you need to meet the challenges of today’s complex HR and employment environment.

Developing your professional skills in people management and development to a high level, you will study core subjects such as leadership, employment law and management of change, and equip yourself for membership of the CIPD.

We are an Accredited Centre for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). On successful completion of the postgraduate diploma, you will have gained all the knowledge required for the CIPD’s postgraduate Level 7 Professional Map. You are then eligible to seek Associate Membership of the CIPD.

This course has been accredited by a professional body.
Professional accreditation
You can apply direct to Solent University for this course.
Apply direct
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
You can study this course part-time.
Part time option

A course team who have worked in senior HRM roles across a range of sectors in the UK and overseas, and are actively engaged in related research and enterprise activities.

What does this course lead to?

As your career develops, bolstered by an understanding of how people-management and commercial awareness are mutually inclusive, you’ll be able to make horizontal moves across your organisation and reach the top either as HR director or as a managing director.

The majority of senior HR roles expect candidates to possess both this qualification and full CIPD membership; the postgraduate diploma provides a route towards this, aligning with the CIPD’s postgraduate Level 7 Professional Map and making you eligible for CIPD associate membership.

Who is this course for?

This CIPD-accredited Level 7 (Advanced) diploma is aimed at those currently working in human resources who wish to further develop their professional skills and knowledge.

The course is suitable for those who wish to apply for CIPD membership.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2020/21 academic year are:
UK and EU part-time fees: £2,810 per year
International part-time fees: Students from outside the EU are usually unable to obtain a visa for part-time study. Please visit our  visas and immigration page for more information.

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2020/21 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

Optional costs:
CIPD professional body accreditation: £130 (last reviewed July 2016)
Renewal fee: £90 (last reviewed July 2016)

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

    Either a first degree in any subject, or the CIPD Intermediate Diploma in HRM.

    Experience working in a HR role, or other suitable line management experience, would be desirable.

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Please click the link below to apply for the PgD Personnel and Development.

If you have any questions about your application, please contact our admissions team:


Starts on 24 September 2020

What you'll study

Four core modules:

Human Resource Management in Context:

This module helps you broaden your understanding of the internal and external factors that affect organisations, including the constantly evolving business context in which managers, HR professionals and employees interact.

Leading, Managing and Developing People:

On this module you will critically assess how people are managed and developed in contemporary organisations. You will also research and study evidence on effective approaches to HR, and learning and development practice.

Professional Development 1 – Developing Skills for Business Leadership:

Aimed at developing a stronger awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses as a manager and colleague, this unit focuses on awareness and improvement of key skills for successful management practice and effective leadership: decision-making, managing financial information and budgets, teamwork and interpersonal skills, as well as developing personal effectiveness and credibility at work.

Professional Development 2 – Investigating a Business Issue:

Through a work placement, this module gives you the opportunity to diagnose and investigate a live, complex business issue from an HR perspective. You will collect and analyse data, derive supportable conclusions and make practical and actionable recommendations for change or enhancements to current practice.

Four optional modules, for example:

Organisational Design and Development:

This module develops your critical understanding of the theory and conceptual framework of organisation design, and of the principles and practices of organisation development. It considers how an organisation’s culture, values and environment support and enhance organisational performance and adaptability.

Leadership and Management Development:

This module focuses on the development of leadership and management, and their role in facilitating change and growth in individuals, teams and organisations.

Resourcing and Talent Management:

On this module you look at the role of resourcing and talent management in supporting strategic objectives in national and international contexts. You will also examine the various approaches to resourcing in organisations through recruitment, selection, employee retention and dismissal processes.

Managing Employment Relations:

This module focuses on building understanding of changing nature of employee relations work in UK organisations. You will explore the employment relationship, conflict and mediation, industrial action and strikes, trade union recognition and negotiation, collective bargaining, whistleblowing and employee engagement and voice.

Employment Law:

You will learn the key principles that underpin UK, Irish and EU employment law, and focus on situations that occur relatively regularly in the workplace. You will explore the purpose behind the laws, the major arguments employers are able to deploy when defending cases, and the potential organisational costs and risks associated with losing them.

Learning and Development:

The module looks at the strategic and operational integration of development into the organisation. You will explore how personnel development can contribute to the enhanced performance of individuals, teams and organisations, focusing on the wider national context and the notion of talent.

Understanding and Implementing Coaching and Mentoring:

On this module you will critically analyse how the use of coaching and mentoring can enhance performance for individuals within organisations.

Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

Audrey Horton academic profile Audrey Horton Course Leader View profile
Gillian Saieva academic profile Gillian Saieva Senior Lecturer View profile
Mary White academic profile Mary White Senior Lecturer View profile
Celia Walters academic profile Celia Walters Senior Lecturer View profile
Geoff Glover academic profile Geoff Glover Lecturer View profile
James Morris academic profile James Morris Associate Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


The University provides excelled learning resources and facilities to its students, from campus-wide wireless to extensive library services and dedicated student working spaces with plenty of laptop points.

Students are required to complete a total of 60 credits in each year, comprising two core units and two optional units per year. Each unit is equivalent to 15 credits.

Your future

Suitable roles for graduates can include:

  • HR business partner
  • HR manager
  • learning and development manager
  • employee relations manager or advisor
  • HR officer/advisor
  • talent and resources manager
  • private consultancy.

Successful completion of this postgraduate diploma can lead directly into the final year of Solent’s master’s degree in personnel and development, which equips you to operate effectively at a strategic HR level.

  • Having not studied for over ten years, I was worried about starting the course, but with support from the excellent tutors here I really feel I have grown in confidence. What I have enjoyed most about the course is how it relates to my work on a daily basis and has really helped me step up. It is tough, demanding and requires a lot of dedication, but the satisfaction I have had from achieving great results has made it all worthwhile.

    Bianca, PgD Personnel and Development student

  • Solent’s postgraduate diploma in personnel and development has been both challenging and enjoyable. The support from lecturers and fellow students has enabled me to feel confident in seminars and be successful in assessments. I have the confidence now to gain a high-level position in human resources.

    Miranda, PgD Personnel and Development student

Industry links

Solent University’s Business and Law School has extensive professional links across the region, providing you with case studies, guest speakers from the HR industry and opportunities for research.

Our tutors have wide-ranging industry experience across the business and not-for-profit sectors, which informs teaching and learning throughout the course.

We also invite former students to the University as guest speakers to talk about their study experience and research, providing personal experience and first-hand insight into contemporary HR issues.

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