BA (Hons) Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management at USW is rated top in the UK for learning opportunities, academic support and learning resources NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY 2023

Human resource management (HRM) plays a vital part at every level of all organisations. An organisation will only succeed if its people are well managed, motivated, committed and engaged. Our Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) approved BA (Hons) Human Resource Management responds to current and future demands placed on the HR profession; exposing students to the rhetoric’s and realities of people management - past, present and future.

The course is developed in line with the 2018 CIPD Professional Standards and in consultation with CIPD members, business leaders, industry experts and partner organisations from around the world. Therefore, the very skills, behaviours and core knowledge demanded by the HR profession are those which you will develop during your studies, making you desirable to future employers.

This course is also available through Network75, a combined work and study route.

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For students enrolling on to this course in January, please note that you will be required to enrol for the second year of the course in September (of the same calendar year), subject to successful completion of year 1.

Year one: Contemporary Management Challenges

People, Work and Society
This module introduces students to the sociology of work in the contemporary economy, the links between people’s experiences and perceptions of work and the impact that it has on them as individuals and the wider society.

Economics, Law and the Business Environment
This module will enable students to develop an understanding of the business environment (externally and internally) and its analysis with particular reference to economic and legal factors and business frameworks used for environmental analysis.

Becoming a Professional; Critical Enquiry
During this module students will develop their critical thinking skills which will underpin the rest of their academic journeys. Students will develop their ability to find and interrogate relevant information and how to present their interpretation of research in meaningful ways.

Principles of Supply Chain Management
Provides a broad introduction to the principles and practice of logistics, procurement operations and supply chain management.

Marketing and Consumer Behaviour
Introduces students to a range of core marketing and consumer behaviour concepts that will enable them to perform key marketing functions and processes.

Becoming a Professional; Enterprise Project
The aim of this module is to increase students’ awareness and appreciation of the subject of entrepreneurship, and the  entrepreneurial mind-set which has been identified as a key attribute for the future-proof graduate.

Year 2: HRM in Practice

HRM in the Workplace; Policy, Practice & Law
Delivered in the first term of the specialised HRM year, this module introduces students to the fundamental legal imperatives which inform HR policy and practice and sets the scene for the legal dimension of other modules which follow.

Resource and Talent Development
This module provides a holistic view of the employment lifecycle and introduces the key operational tools, techniques and practices that organisations use to resource their organisations effectively and the strategic approaches that organisations (of different sizes) take to position themselves as employers in the labour market with an ability to meet current and anticipated skills needs

Business Analytics for Management and Financial Decision-Making
The module will support students in developing business analytics, financial interpretation and numeracy skills for business in readiness for a career in their chosen field, placements, and develop skills required when collecting, interpreting and analysing their primary data in their final year research projects/dissertations.

HRM context and challenges
Examines HR’s role in strategy formation and implementation in both national and international contexts; enabling students to explore and understand institutional differences across domestic and international settings, and of internal and external differences.

Developing HR Professional Practice
The module lays down the underpinnings of the requirements for achieving and maintaining membership of the CIPD, by setting HR theory firmly within the realms of HR practice and delivery, drawing on the CIPD Professional Standards.

This module is designed to enable the student to develop a sound understanding of the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by Human Resources professionals, whether in a generalist or specialist role, drawing from the CIPD Profession Map (2018), and reflect upon their own skill-sets and development needs. Students will gain workplace experience, in an environment where they can explore their current levels of competence in regards to the required professional skills and behaviours identified within the new CIPD professional standards. 

Organisational Behaviour and Work
Organisational Behaviour (OB) is an interdisciplinary field examining individual, group, and organisational conduct. This module provides a managerial and critical perspective, utilising international research and case studies. The managerial aspect aims for effective, ethical management, while the critical view considers employees' experiences and the influence of peers. Besides the psychological focus, the module addresses organisational misbehaviour and subversion in various settings. Emphasising applied OB, work realities, and societal connections, the module integrates with HRM, building on HR1SX1 People, Work, and Society. Students are challenged to navigate ambiguity in this fascinating, complex field.

Year 3: Critical perspectives and emerging themes

HRM 4.0 and the future of work
n this module, students build upon their HR knowledge, examining disruptive technologies' impacts, demographic issues, and employment patterns on the evolving profession. They will explore technological advancements' implications for HR at operational, strategic, and policy levels. By engaging critically in debates surrounding current and future changes, students will encounter both digital dystopian and utopian perspectives. These viewpoints cover potential job loss and economic distress or increased productivity, improved living standards, and job abundance, along with intermediate scenarios.

Developments in Employee Relations
This module aims to develop a critical understanding and appreciation of the nature and context of employment relations in contemporary settings.  Students will be required to make informed and effective judgements about existing and emerging models, processes, and practices of employment relations in local and international jurisdictions.

Employee Engagement: Rhetoric's and Realities
This module provides students with a broad understanding of what is meant by employee engagement and draws attention to the relationship between this and other HR concepts and theories from a critical perspective covered in other modules on the course.

Strategic Management
Provides students with a holistic (strategic) understanding of organisations and their interaction with their environments. Students will analyse information and environmental factors in the context of the HR Function to enhance abilities of informed decision-making.

HRM Critical Enquiry Project
The module will provide the opportunity for students to showcase the ability to investigate and diagnose a (potentially) live or complex business issue from an HRM perspective during a self-directed, supervised research project.


Our human resources degree is taught by a team of experts, who bring the latest developments straight to the classroom. This is reinforced by guest lectures, where you will hear directly from professionals working in the field.

There are plenty of opportunities to gain practical experience, where you can apply business theories in the real world.

You will learn through lectures, tutorials, directed learning, independent study and workplace engagement. Lectures will be used to introduce key HRM and business concepts and theories.

Your human resource management course will be supported through your student handbook and module guides, online supporting educational materials including those from CIPD, networked information services including the University’s Unilearn website and Business Research Report supervisors.

Studying through the medium of Welsh

Over a third of this course can be studied through the medium of Welsh, and specific scholarships, including the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Scholarships are available to students who choose to do so.


Your studies will be underpinned by the latest research undertaken by the South Wales Business School Research Group. This means you will be taught by academics who are at the forefront of their specialist field.


A range of assessment tools are utilised to prepare students for the external world of employment including business reports, preparation of podcasts, infographics and consultancy projects etc.


CIPD membership recognises professionalism at all levels. Your human resources degree allows you to apply for the Associate Member category and obtain Associate CIPD status upon successful completion of the degree.


A year out on work placement, undertaking an internship as part of your human resource management course, or studying abroad is another great boost to your CV which can help you stand out from the crowd.

Whether it’s studying abroad or gaining work experience, our experienced team will help you find a placement, in an area that interests you.

You can spend up to a year in one of a range of local, national or international organisations or join a number of partner institutions across the world that provide access to study opportunities.

Obtaining specialist HR work or management experience either on a placement or on a part-time basis enhances your employment prospects following graduation.

The BA (Hons) HRM also offers all students a minimum of 10-weeks in industry as a core part of their study where they will be embedded in the HR function during the second year of study with a range of fantastic employers in the region, maximising their employability.

Student Support

Centre for Academic Success

Specialised and personalised academic support is provided on a weekly basis appropriate for the level of student through the South Wales Business School’s Centre for Academic Success. In order to effectively support the principles of each level already introduced, all students will be expected to complete the timetabled programme of academic development. This has three progressive (Level 4, 5, 6; zero credit) modules to equip students with the fundamental interpersonal, academic and technical skills necessary to support core learning and enhance undergraduate study. This continuous professional development supports and compliments subject discipline within an academic context to enable and empower undergraduate business students. It combines various learning methodologies; seminars, training workshops, events, e-learning, live simulations, immersive learning, gamification and best practice techniques, all focused for student improvement and effective professional development.

Featured Lecturer:
Dr Hazel Mawdsley

Dr Hazel Mawdsley

Dr Hazel Mawdsley teaches on a range of Human Resource Management (HRM), Leadership and Management courses. She specialises in human resources research and has specialist interests in workplace bullying and harassment; employment relations; conflict management; and gender and equality issues in the workplace.

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

Contextual offers

We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.  

Other qualifications and experience

We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.

To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.

If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here

Typical A-Level Offer

CCC (this is equivalent to 96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C in the Skills Challenge Certificate and CC at A Level (this is equivalent to 96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Merit Merit Merit (this is equivalent to 96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma and obtain a minimum of 96 UCAS tariff points.

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances. 

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
CIPD Professional Activities: Region/Branch Networking £0 - £100
Students have the opportunity to attend various branch and regional CIPD events as well as occasional seminars and conferences. It is recommended that all students fully engage with the CIPD and their events to maximise their advantages of their professional membership.
Placement expenses: Work placement £0 - £300
Students are encouraged to undertake a period of work placement during their second year of study. Students undertaking a placement may incur costs associated with travel and expected workplace attire and this will vary according to the placement.
Placement expenses: Relevant Work Experience or Equivalent (RWE) £0 - £300
Students are encouraged to engage in any and all work experience opportunities, however, some of these may be unpaid and would require students to fund the subsistence costs associated with these. Additionally, in Year 3 only, students may opt to take the Employment Practice and Employability module whereby 70 hours of RWE is required. Students choosing this option may incur costs associated with travel and expected workplace attire and this will vary according to the placement.
Placement expenses: Internship £0 - £200
Students are offered the opportunity to complete an internship during their second year of study. Students undertaking an internship may incur costs associated with travel and expected workplace attire and this will vary according to the placement.
Placement expenses: Sandwich year £0 - £100
Costs may be incurred while completing sandwich year if chosen . Costs associated with travel and expected workplace attire will vary according to the placement. Year 3 only.
Placement expenses: Study Abroad £0 - £1000
Variable costs may be incurred while completing a "study abroad option"
Other: Text books £300 - £400
Text books are provided via the USW library but students may wish to purchase their own private copies.
Other : Sitting Examinations Abroad £50 - £300
Should students choose to sit exams abroad (in their home country for example) there will be a £50 admin fee and a cost of £20 per exam. Students are also responsible for any additional charges made by an overseas exam venue.


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

Welsh Medium Scholarships

The University offers scholarships between £250 - £1000 to students studying part of their course through the medium of Welsh. The University is also part of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol's scholarship scheme, which offer scholarships up to £3000. More information here: Welsh-Medium Scholarships | University of South Wales

UK students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International and UE students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK. 

Admissions statement

The BA (Hons) HRM is underpinned by the CIPD professional standards 2018, developed and designed in order to create ‘job ready’ ‘future-proof’ graduates.

Students will benefit from engagement with the established practitioner relationships South Wales Business School has developed over the past decade. These relationships have provided excellent opportunities for direct student engagement with practice via practitioner-led guest lectures, field visits, career development events, observational and practical research, student short-term and long-term placements and scenario-led assessment.

All students will undertake a minimum of 10 weeks in industry as a core part of their study where they will be embedded in the HR function during the second year of study with a range of fantastic employers in the region and maximising their employability.

Through ‘The Business Clinic’: personal development opportunities are offered to students across all three years through engagement with the South Wales Business Clinic where students can become trainee business analysts engaging with a range of businesses in the region to provide evidence-based responses to contemporary business challenges. The Clinic aims to create triadic business relationships that encourages students, academics and organisations to collaborate.

These opportunities further underpin the employability prospects of our students and provides them with a safe environment to develop key skills in decision making, leading projects and taking risks.

Currently 98% of our HRM Graduates are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduation (DHLE 2016/17).

Some examples of possible careers include:

  • Human resources officer
  • Recruitment consultant
  • Employee relations adviser
  • Training and development officer
  • Management consultant
  • Occupational psychologist

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.