MSc Strategic Human Resource Management

Strategic Human Resource Management



Study level
Full time
1 year
Part time
1 year+
Berlin or Online
Faculty of Business

What makes Arden University special?

Education for everyone, everywhere
Whether you're constrained by location, cost, time, or other life commitments, we're passionate about giving you access to higher education that fits into your busy, modern life.
Where to study
You decide how and where to study
We offer a wide range of flexible undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in both our online and blended study modes.
Full support both online and on-site
We're also proud to offer non-standard entry, meaning your work experience and previous qualifications are taken into account when assessing your application.
Strong focus on employability
You will gain in-depth subject knowledge and transferable skills that employers from a huge range of industries will value. Many of our courses at Arden are also accredited by leading professional bodies in the UK.

Course Overview

The new MSc Strategic Human Resource Management has been devised to prepare business professionals like you for today’s rapidly evolving human resource management sector, helping you take on your future senior-level role with confidence.

This is the only UK-based university course recognised by three global HR professional bodies.

This course offers dual accreditation from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Upon graduation, you'll gain Foundation Chartered Manager Status from CMI and the Assoc CIPD designation, enhancing your professional profile. The course is also aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). Additionally, we are a member of the Australian HR Institute (AHRI).

Your course materials will cover all the essential emerging topics that are moving the human resources (HR) industry forward, including people analytics, globalisation, and disruptive technologies, providing you with the most up-to-date knowledge of contemporary HR operations and innovations, and the ability to apply this to leverage strategic people management. This critical application of your learning will help you develop the skills you need to respond creatively and effectively to the dynamic and global HR world of tomorrow, and to advance to the very highest levels of your profession.

The course has a ‘real world’ focus, using live case studies and practical scenarios to ensure you graduate with the experience and knowledge employers need right now. We also work closely with expert industry partners so that your modules are all current and future-focused, covering the latest advancements, opportunities, and challenges in the field.

That means that by the end of the course, you’ll have developed the real-world skills needed to strategically lead and manage in today’s agile HR environment. This, combined with your knowledge of how to utilise people, data analytics, and new technologies to create organisational value will give you a powerful, modern skillset sought after by leading employers in a range of exciting industries.   

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Career development resources
You'll have online access to a huge range of career development tools from the day you start studying.
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Professional accreditation
This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, giving you a brighter career outlook and aligned with The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

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Course details and modules

Your course modules have been designed to advance your knowledge and skills in strategic people and business management. You’ll cover a broad range of in-demand HR topics, such as people analytics, resourcing, well-being, and development, as well as the strategic and ethical utilisation of people to create lasting value for your organisation - helping you graduate with the specialised skills to excel in the future of HR and beyond. 

Arden’s online platform is very easy to navigate and my tutors are very quick and supportive when responding to any of my queries. The extra support provided at Arden has gone above and beyond my undergrad experience, I have attended many of the study skills support sessions which are very helpful when trying to get back into the style of academic writing.

Lydia Carney
MSc Strategic Human Resource Management (Online learning)
  • Strategic Planning and Ethical Decision Making (20 credits)
  • People Analytics and Value Creation (20 credits)
  • Strategic Employment Relations and Employment Law (20 credits)
  • Organisational Development, Culture and Change (20 credits)
  • People Development, Well-being and Performance (20 credits)
  • Resourcing and Rewarding Talent (20 credits)
  • Research Project (60 credits)

How do we assess you?


Assessments on the MSc Strategic Human Resource Management have been designed to help you apply your learning to real-world scenarios in the modern HR environment. That means you’ll have the opportunity to align your studies to how you’ll help transform your current or future organisation’s operations and functions once you have completed the course. 

Practice-driven - No exams in sight!

You won’t take a single exam on this course. Your course assessments will be practice-driven, drawing from live case studies so that you can apply your learning in real time. This innovative, modern approach will provide you with the unique opportunity to engage in industry relevant consultations and respond to real-world organisational challenges within a range of local and global contexts. 

Research Project

The MSc Strategic Human Resource Management course culminates with an independent research project pertaining to an issue or question within Human Resource Management. You’ll be expected to identify and examine a relevant topic of your choice and make robust recommendations based on your findings, helping you gain transferable skills for your future.

Other assessment methods

Throughout the course you’ll have the opportunity to apply your learning through additional assessments. Designed with industry feedback to meet the needs of today’s employers, each assessment will impart both subject knowledge and desirable workplace skills. These include: 

  • Case based problem solving exercises
  • Formal reports in response to client live case studies
  • Presentations
  • Skills-based exercises
  • Consultancy case studies
  • Dioramas
  • Autoethnography
  • Research project

Study options

This course is available to study full time through our blended learning study mode at our campus in Berlin, Germany.

The course is also available to students via online learning. This gives you the convenience of being able to study from anywhere in the UK or worldwide, providing you with the same high standards of teaching but with lower tuition fees. 

Olivia Law

Continuing my studies at Arden has been the best decision I made. I’m very grateful for Arden University and feel that I have progressed not only professionally, but also personally.

Olivia Law
MA Human Resource Management

Part-time online learning

How does it work?

Studying the MSc Strategic Human Resource Management online gives you the ultimate in convenience. You can enrol with Arden from anywhere in the world and study your degree from the comfort of home, without the requirement to attend classes in a physical location. 

Our online students study their degree through ilearn, Arden’s university campus in the cloud.  ilearn provides everything you need to study at University. It offers an integrated virtual learning experience, including your virtual classroom, lecture theatre, and access to our Library Portal. The portal includes an extensive digital library including thousands of journal titles, eBooks, and academic and industry databases which you can use to research your assignments and projects. All of these materials are provided to you free of charge, and contain all the research information you’ll need to complete your degree with us.

Studying online doesn’t mean studying alone. As well as receiving regular feedback and guidance from your course tutor, you’ll be studying with like-minded students who you can meet with through our Unitu community, and you’ll have access to community message boards to discuss your course and the topics being raised within it. We’ve even set up community boards embedded into each of the course modules so you can have discussions with your tutor and classmates on the topics you’re currently learning. 

Distance learning students resident in the UK can apply for a Maintenance Loan if they cannot attend their course in person because of a disability. Please find more information on our fees and funding page. If you're a student from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you can find information on Living Cost Loans from your student finance body.

Learn more about online learning

Full time, blended learning in Berlin

How does it work?

This course is available to study full time through our blended learning study mode at our campus in Berlin, Germany. When you choose our blended learning study mode, you’ll have eight hours of timetabled classes spread over two days at our centrally located Berlin campus. This is combined with around 25 hours of independent study, which takes place through ilearn, our university campus in the cloud. ilearn contains all the resources you need to study successfully. As a blended learning student you’ll also have access to our Library Portal, an extensive digital library with thousands of journal titles, eBooks, and a range of academic and industry databases that you can use to research and gain in-depth information on your area of study. At Arden, all of your course materials are provided free of charge, removing the need for you to buy expensive textbooks to study your degree successfully.
Full time study in Berlin is the best option for students who prefer the structure of regular face to face classes with their tutor and fellow classmates, and is particularly suited to students who are attracted by the opportunity to move to Germany to study, where you can take advantage of the employment opportunities available for overseas students.

Introducing your Digital Backpack

Once you’ve enrolled on your Strategic Human Resource Management degree with Arden you’ll get access to your Digital Backpack, a toolkit of digital resources we’ve put together to help you succeed during your time studying with us.
Here are some of the digital resources you’ll have available throughout your course:

  • Office 365 subscription
  • Integrated zoom video conferencing
  • Careers support in-person and online available through Arden Futures, your careers platform, to help you throughout your career journey whether you are a Career Starter, Changer or Developer
  • Free online access to our Library Portal, which includes thousands of eBooks and journals, as well as industry databases which we’ve carefully hand-picked to support your studies – all yours for free while you study with us.
  • Subscription to Togetherall for an abundance of mental health support
Reinier Kasper

After conducting extensive research and comparing various options, I chose Arden for several reasons: the degree is CIPD-accredited, I could study online, and the application/onboarding process was very structured and smooth.

The training and guidance provided were excellent and helped me quickly establish a routine that worked well for me. The platform and modules are easy to understand and work with, and the support from teachers and other Arden staff was always prompt and professional.

Reinier Kasper
MSc Strategic Human Resource Management (Online Learning)

Entry requirements

At Arden University we consider applications on a case by case basis. If you have significant work experience, have qualifications you have gained elsewhere, or a degree or qualification that isn't a clear pathway to this degree - we are more than happy to discuss your application.

What do you need to study with us?

Our aim is to make learning as accessible as possible by ensuring that you can join us, wherever you are.

That's why we keep our requirements simple. All you need is a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection. With this one tool, you'll be able to access information, advice, support, learning materials and our online library, as well as create assignments, keep notes, and collaborate with other students effectively. 

We’ll also support you with getting access to the resources you need, wherever you study from, including assistance with obtaining any software you need to successfully complete the course.


To be eligible for our MSc Strategic Human Resource Management, you should normally have:

  • A UK Honours Degree at a minimum of second class (2.2) or equivalent.
  • We will also consider applications from students who lack formal qualifications but can demonstrate their motivation to study the course and possess relevant work experience.

English proficiency

  • IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element); or TOEFL iBT 90; or equivalent.
  • Alternatively, evidence you have previously studied in English, such as a letter to show that the Medium of Instruction was in English can be accepted.

We also offer an internal English test for applicants who are unable to provide the above evidence of English proficiency. More information can be found here.

Before you start studying

Whilst you can read your study materials on your smart phone or tablet, to make the most of your learning experience, you will need access to a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection.

Course fees and funding

Funding and Scholarships

The Arden University Postgraduate Merit Scholarship offers UK Online Learning students with a 2.1 undergraduate degree or higher £2,000 off our postgraduate tuition fees. You can also apply for up to £12,167 funding from Student Finance England fund your studies. 

If you’re an international student, we have a number of Regional Offers that can help you save money on your tuition fees.

Refer a Friend

When you help a friend or family member to study with Arden through our Refer a Friend programme, both you and the person you refer will receive a £500 Amazon e-voucher or £500 tuition fee credit.

Find your country

Use the dropdown above to find course fees and funding information for your country. If you can’t find information for your country in the dropdown, visit our International support page.

Meet the faculty

Dr Aaron Taylor

Dr Aaron Taylor has been involved in teaching and training for over 20 years, both in the UK and internationally. During this time, he has built up expertise in teaching and learning specifically across postgraduate HRM programmes. Prior to his role as Head of School of Human Resource Management at Arden University, Aaron was a Principal Lecturer at the University of Sunderland and a Principal Lecturer in HRM at Coventry University London. Aaron is an External Examiner for HRM programmes at the University of Suffolk and the University of Sussex. He is a CIPD academic member, a Senior Fellow of the HEA and a certified management and business educator (CMBE).

Dr Aaron Taylor
Head of the School of Human Resource Management

Career prospects

The course will help you develop your existing skills and knowledge in the area of people and business management, alongside the newest theoretical, practical, and technological advancements in the field. By immersing you in the HR world of tomorrow, the course will prepare you for senior HR management roles in practically any industry.

What will the MSc Strategic Human Resource Management do for me?

You’ll graduate from the course with the hands-on strategic HR, leadership, and technical skills required to effectively manage people and excel in today’s evolving HR sector. You’ll also have expanded your knowledge of contemporary HR operations, all within a real-world context. Because the course prioritises a future-focused, practical application of your syllabus, you’ll gain pertinent, advanced expertise that will help you become a future HR leader.

This course provides you with the valuable opportunity to:

  • Develop in-depth knowledge of contemporary HR practices, including people analytics and technological advancements.
  • Respond effectively to increasingly complex, dynamic, and diverse external business environments.
  • Critically evaluate and apply strategic people management ‘next’ practice in a range of contexts.
  • Acquire the real-world skills needed to transition to a more senior level role. 

What can I do after Arden University?

The MSc Strategic Human Resource Management will help you develop the latest knowledge and skills you need to accelerate your career to a senior-level role in HR. Some of the positions you may want to consider after graduation include: 

  • Human Resource Manager
  • General Manager
  • Pay and Reward Specialist
  • Human Resource Business Partner
  • Organisation Development
  • Director of HR
  • Chief People Officer
  • People Consultant

Industry skills

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

This course awards a CMI Level 7 certificate in Strategic Management & Leadership Practice and offers CMI Foundation Chartered Manager Status*

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) promotes excellence in UK management and leadership. As the CMI possesses a Royal Charter, they are the only organisation in the UK that can award Chartered Manager status to their members – the gold standard in management. With 140,000 members, the institute aims to boost career development across the management sector and connect like-minded professionals.

As an Arden student, you’ll have free CMI Membership throughout your studies, giving you access to a range of additional resources including a mentoring service and invitations to networking events both online and offline.

Upon completion of this CMI-accredited course, you will be awarded CMI Level 7 certificate in Strategic Management & Leadership Practice and gain CMI Foundation Chartered Manager Status. This recognises you have the skills needed to be an effective manager, helping you stand out from the competition and start your management career journey - with a CMI qualification and a fast-tracked pathway to full Chartered Manager status.

*Upon completion of your course, the CMI award and level of chartered status awarded will depend on your level and length of study, whether you entered your course with Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) or if any compensation is applied on your modules throughout the duration of study. If this criteria applies to you, you may receive one of the 2 different levels; an Award or Certificate.

Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD)

Our MSc Strategic Human Resource Management is accredited by the CIPD at level 7.

The Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD), the leading professional body for HR professionals in the UK, and the second largest globally. This course is accredited by the CIPD, which sets the industry standards for human resource management and people development.

For Arden students, the cost of your CIPD membership is also included during your studies, giving you access to a range of additional resources and networking events. We are one of only a few universities that pay this for students.

Arden graduates will also have the chance to upgrade their membership and become a prestigious Chartered Member (Chartered MCIPD), a mark of your pursuit of continuous professional development in the field of human resource management.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Australian HR Institute (AHRI), and the HR Certification Institute (HRCI)

This course aligns with SHRM, the world’s largest HR association with over 300,000 members in 165 countries, ensuring your degree is globally recognised. It is also aligned with HRCI, a leading HR certification provider in the US.

Your course modules have been mapped to SHRM and HRCI membership requirements. That means upon completing your degree, you will be eligible for SHRM and HRCI certifications, valued globally by employers. We are also an organisational member of AHRI, allowing students to benefit from member-only products and services.

Arden is the only UK university offering CIPD accreditation alongside these alignments and memberships.

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) membership

Arden University is a member of the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). AACSB International is a global association of leaders in education and business dedicated to supporting and advancing quality business education worldwide.

This membership reflects the fact that Arden University has successfully matched the high standards required by the AACSB, and enables the sharing of ideas and the exchange best practises between global business schools. Membership also gives our faculty members access to in-depth data and research to support the development of our courses and teaching methods, ensuring that we are able to provide you with the best possible university experience.

Business Graduates Association

The BGA is a membership and quality assurance body. As a member, Arden University have signed up to the BGA Charter, committing their institution to responsible management practices and lifelong learning, positively impacting their students, communities, and the economy. This shows our students that we are demonstrating responsible management ourselves, as well as it being a central theme that runs through our own courses.

As Arden University is a member of the Business Graduates Association (BGA), students will receive complementary BGA student and graduate membership. Through this membership, current students will have access to the BGA Career Development Centre, packed with interactive tools, e-learning content, partner discounts and the latest job opportunities. This is a lifetime access, which means students will continue to have access to these services even after they graduate.

LinkedIn Learning

All Arden students will have free access to LinkedIn Learning through the Library Portal. LinkedIn Learning is a video-based online learning platform offering over 16,500 expert-led courses across a wide range of subjects including business, technology, and creative skills.

With LinkedIn Learning, you can:

  • Pursue curated learning pathways aligned with our curriculum and your career goals.
  • Add value to your LinkedIn profile by showcasing your newly acquired skills.
  • Personalise content based on skills relevant to your chosen career path, interests and prior learning.