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About the course

Are you a HR or management professional? Hoping to build on your HR skills and broaden your career prospects? Southampton Solent’s flexible personnel and development master’s degree provides the ideal route to advance your management career, expanding both your decision making skills and your core personnel and development competencies.

This higher-level course aims to help students develop the skills required to be an effective manager of people in changing employment conditions. Students will have the opportunity to explore a specific personnel issue in depth and develop both operationally and strategically. Through six weekend tuition sessions and online study, students are able to apply their studies to their current employment.

Students are guided as they write a dissertation and are encouraged to choose a topic that draws on their current working environment, enabling them to put knowledge gained into practice in a ‘real-world’ scenario.

The course is ideal for those involved in the management of people at a senior and strategic level and is particularly suited to HR professionals, middle and senior managers, and trade union officials.

The academic team has extensive and wide-ranging industry experience across the business and not-for-profit sectors. Their unique experience informs teaching and learning throughout the course.

Additional qualification Apply direct Saturday delivery Part time option Flexible learning

A flexible study approach allows students to study around their job, with six classroom-based sessions held on Saturdays.

What does this course lead to?

Course tutors have extensive HR and industry experience, supporting students in translating knowledge into practical skills and real-life scenarios. Our students can choose from a range of dissertation topics best suited to their professional interests.

This course is designed to help graduates fast track their career by aiding with promotions and also preparing them for future senior positions in HR.

Who is this course for?

This master’s degree is aimed at HR professionals who wish to further their career and gain a higher-level academic qualification.

The course content is well-suited to those who are new to management or who are current managers looking to progress into senior management positions.

Facts & figures

Fees icon

Fees and Costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2017/2018 academic year are:
UK and EU total course fee: £7,750
International total course fee: Please contact us for more information.

Other costs

The 2017/18 other costs are not yet available but for guidance the 2016/17 costs were:

Optional: CIPD professional body accreditation - £130

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton 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.

Graduation costs

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2016, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

An honours degree at 2:2 or higher; equivalent qualifications/professional management experience will be considered

  • A Postgraduate Diploma in Personnel and Development (or equivalent) and a good overall level of performance in all diploma-level units permits entry into the final year of the MA
  • An appropriate range and level of organisational experience is also desirable.
  • As a part-time course, overseas students requiring a student visa are not eligible to apply.

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details provided.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.5 overall with minimum of 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in reading, listening and speaking
  • TOEFL IBT 92 with minimum of 22 in writing and a minimum of 19 in reading, listening and speaking - TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.


Solent Alumni with a First will be offered a 50% discount to study at postgraduate level

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?
Contact our Ask Solent team:



023 8201 3039

How to apply

Applications for 2017 will open soon. For any enquiries, please contact

Solent alumni could be eligible for up to a 50% reduction of tuition fees if returning to study a postgraduate course. The discount applied will be dependent on your undergraduate degree classification as follows:

Solent Alumni with a:

  • First (1.1) will be offered a 50% discount to study at PG level
  • 2.1 or 2.2 will be offered a 20% discount to study at PG level

The discount applied will be based on the most recently completed course.

If you are currently a student at Southampton Solent University and are continuing on without a break in your studies, your discount will be automatically applied on your return.

If are not following directly on from a course at Southampton Solent University, but have studied with us in previous years, you will need to register for the alumni discount.

Click here to register or to find out more. 

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one: Postgraduate Certificate in Personnel and Development (PgC)

Leading, Managing and Developing People 
At the end of this unit you will be able to critically assess how people are managed and developed within contemporary organisations. We will consider the role of HR specialists in helping to equip colleagues to manage the key issues of leadership, flexibility and change in ways which elicit employee engagement, commitment and performance. We’ll also explore the significance of ethical and professional practice and the pivotal role of continuous professional development (CPD).

Human Resource Management in Context 
An understanding of the business environment continues to be of vital importance for all businesses. We will look at up-to-date information on crucial political, economic and legal areas, including the European Union and regulatory developments, alongside some contemporary issues facing practitioners of human resource management (HRM).

Developing Skills for Business Leadership 
During this unit you will develop a strong sense of self-awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses as managers and colleagues. You will develop a range of skills including thinking and decision-making, the management of financial information, managing budgets, a range of teamwork and interpersonal skills, and others associated with developing personal effectiveness and credibility at work.

Year two: Postgraduate Diploma in Personnel and Development (PgD)

Employment Law 
This unit will provide you with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to brief organisations on the consequences of current and future developments in employment law, and to give up-to-date, timely and accurate advice concerning the practical application of legal principles at work in different jurisdictions.

Managing Employment Relations 
The aim of this unit is to provide personnel and development professionals with an understanding of employment relations perspectives and debates, both national and international, from a theoretical and behavioural competency perspective.

Investigating a Business Issue 
This unit will develop your strategic awareness and a business orientation, and enable you to write reports that will persuade key stakeholders in the organisation to change or adopt a particular policy and practice using a live, complex business issue.

One option unit from:

  • Resourcing and Talent Management
  • Employee Engagement
  • Understanding and Implementing Coaching and Mentoring
  • Reward Management
  • Leadership and Management Development.

Note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run.

Year three: MA Personnel and Development

Research Methods and Dissertation 
The purpose of this unit is to enable students to critically reflect upon alternative theoretical and practical approaches to research and to design and implement a HRM research project.


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

Graham Benmore academic profile Graham Benmore Senior Lecturer View profile
Christine Fountain academic profile Christine Fountain Principal 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.


We provide a stimulating learning environment and access to state-of-the-art resources to help you make the most of your time with us. Flexible spaces, Wi-Fi facilities and learning zones all contribute to our lively and contemporary study environment at Solent.

A flexible study approach allows students to study around their job, with six classroom-based sessions held on Saturdays.

Your future

This master’s course will enhance your career prospects and broaden your opportunities in the HR field. The course has helped many of our graduates to progress to senior HR positions.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • HR
  • Management
  • Personnel
  • Trade union official

Industry connections

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

You will have opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills to real-world scenarios from your workplace.

We invite former students to come in and talk about their study experience and research, which current students learn a lot from.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

Visit us

Our next open day is Sunday 13 November 2016

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