Why study a master’s in human resource management?

A Master’s in Human Resource Management is one of the most popular specialized business master’s degrees. To learn more about the ingredients of a program like this, we heard from Patricia Czarny, a master’s student at the University of Edinburgh.

In short

The aim of a Master’s in Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management is all about managing people within an organization. It is based on the idea that getting the most out of your company’s (human) resources will benefit both employer and employee. Nowadays, the responsibilities of the role are greater than ever before, covering areas such as corporate social responsibility (CSR), work-life balance, and the mental health of employees.

It means that graduate programs need to adapt to the modern challenges of an HR professional. One such program is the MSc in Human Resource Management at the University of Edinburgh.

MSc in Human Resource Management at the University of Edinburgh

The Master’s in Human Resources Management at the University of Edinburgh is a year-long program divided into two semesters. In Semester 1, students will learn the core principles of HR management during the program’s compulsory modules. These include Core Competencies for HR Professionals, Organizational Behavior, and Reward Management.

Semester 2 gives students the chance to specialize in an area of their choice. They can, for example, learn to manage workforce diversity, and how companies can use it to their advantage. Meanwhile, the Employment Law module provides students with practical knowledge of current employment law, as well as potential future changes to it.

After a final dissertation bringing together the year’s work, students are armed with the skills to make a real impact in the world of HR – not just now, but in the future, too.

Patricia Czarny is an international student from Germany who completed the Master’s in Human Resource Management at Edinburgh. She says that the intimate nature of the program is a real selling point.

“The program is basically based on lectures. However, we also have group projects,” she explains. “It’s a very personal course as we are only about 30 people studying together. It feels every day like actually studying with friends.” (00:08)

Life in Edinburgh

As one of the top-ranked universities in the world, the University of Edinburgh is an enduringly popular choice for students. Life in the city itself is just as attractive. Edinburgh was named as the best place to live in the UK and one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Patricia reckons it is the city’s cultural offering which really makes it a great place to study.

“Edinburgh as a city has such a vibrant nightlife,” she says. “I enjoy going out with my friends and we love to go to a pub just to listen to some live music. Edinburgh also has a really vibrant art culture. There are loads of different galleries: the main galleries, the independent ones. It’s just very interesting to me to see all this different artwork.” (00:40)

Why study a specialized master’s program?

In contrast to an MBA or MIM, specialized business programs focus on one niche area. One example is human resources, but other specialized master’s focus on topics such as marketing, data analytics, and finance.

They may appeal to students who are focused on a certain career path but need the practical skills to break into that industry. They may also have had a taste of a certain area of business – be it through a bachelor’s, MBA, or similar – and want to expand their knowledge of it.

Whatever your reason is for studying a specialized program, it’s important to consider how it will help you achieve your career goals. There’s no use studying a program like this if you’re not 100% committed to it. After all, they lead into very specific areas of work, so you will likely be limited to a specific field when you graduate. But make the right choice, and you’ll be perfectly placed to kickstart your career.

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