University of Hertfordshire Business School Focus: Human Resource Management

After finishing the core modules. IBSA students will chose their specialization at the second university. The University of Hertfordshire Business School qualifies students in the field of Human Resource Management.

Specialization Modules at University of Hertfordshire

This specialization instructs the students in the compulsory courses – People Resourcing, Business Research in People and Practice, Postgraduate Research Methodology, and Dissertation / Project. Furthermore, students will choose from two more courses out of five:

People Management Across Cultures, Strategic Reward, Contemporary Issues in Work Psychology,
Strategic Learning and Development, and Ethics in Business: A Global Perspective

Your specialization courses will also be worth 30 ECTS.


The module aims to develop a critical knowledge and understanding of key talent resourcing strategies within the wider national and international employment market. It covers attraction and selection of talent and the alternative interventions that can be utilised to suit the needs of the organisation. Current resourcing issues such as flexibility, measurement and assessment, work life balance, legal compliance in resourcing, global mobility strategies and technological advancements such as the use of artificial intelligence in recruitment and selection. Contemporary HR developments in the field of resourcing in a global context will be the basis of much of the debate within the module. The module also enables students to develop a range of skills to perform effectively in a professional resourcing or line managerial role and to provide opportunities for related continuous personal and professional development.


The module content will provide an understanding of the importance of information in the context of HR analytics, research approaches and how to evaluate the role of HR analytics. Content will reflect current practice, techniques and debates including data mining, modelling, forecasting and data visualisation; business simulated dataset analysis (big data) e.g. MV and SEM analysis; environmental scanning; HR matrices and
benchmarking; practical discussion of business cases; the changing role of HR managers and response to those changes; and HR analytics and business strategy.


This module prepares students for an individual research dissertation in their chosen field. The aim of the dissertation is to provide the opportunity for students to develop and apply postgraduate level skills of independent research, analysis, evaluation, writing and presentation; and to deepen students' knowledge and understanding of a specific subject and its location within their academic discipline as a whole.


The dissertation is an independent and original piece of work incorporating research, study and evaluation. It is the culmination of a successful Masters program, demonstrating your ability to work independently. It is underpinned by a formal teaching program of Research Methods offered at the Business School level that
includes contributions from research specialists and LIS.

The dissertation may focus on any aspect of the MSc International Business program. Each student will be allocated a supervisor, who must finally approve the topic. In all cases, the research must demonstrate critical and independent thought.

A dissertation handbook will be available to all students to act as a focus and guide for the dissertation process. Each student will also be allocated an individual dissertation supervisor, whose role will be to offer guidance and support during the dissertation process to ensure the learning objectives are achieved in each
individual case.


This module is designed to provide an in-depth and theoretically informed consideration of the complexities of managing across cultures within the context of people management practices. The module 'Managing Across Cultures' explores the link between national, regional, industry and organisational cultures. It draws upon cultural theorists in order to explore cultural dimensions related to time, space and change; cross-cultural communication; co-operation in multicultural teams. It allows for an exploration and understanding of how cultural differences are, and can be, addressed by individuals involved in managing across cultures. The module also enables students to develop a range of skills to perform effectively in a cross-cultural team setting.


The module is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of perspectives and approaches to reward. Key topics include principles of strategic reward, return on reward investment and the impact on attraction, motivation and retention; the centrality of conceptual and theoretical frameworks in informing reward design and efficacy; grading and base pay structures; pay setting, composition and progression; performance and reward; variable/contingent pay; employee benefits; non-financial reward; and international reward.


The module will apply relevant work psychology literature to both current and future organisational themes with a view to inform and develop contemporary human resource management practices. Contemporary business issues will be identified and explored, and work psychology theories which could potentially aid understanding
of the resulting human behaviour in the workplace will be evaluated. Relevant work psychology theories will be discussed in terms of their efficacy of explaining current business themes. The role of work psychology theory in human resource management will be appraised and key debates as to how work psychology theories can be applied to human resource problems will be discussed. Conceptual frameworks, case discussions, and skilloriented activities will be applied to each topic. Content could include: stress, well-being, work-life balance and burnout; job analysis and job crafting; globalisation and the virtual workplace; the design and use of work
technologies; Business Agility and Innovation in Work; fairness, justice and diversity in the workplace.


The module seeks to explore experientially how learning and development theories can be applied in the workplace. The module will explore facilitating a culture and environment for individuals and organisations to learn and grow, and to understand the current and future capability needs of an organisation, as well as how to
develop a learning culture that drives engagement and continuous development can be shaped and developed.

Module content may include theories and research around learning, training design and delivery, a blend of learning approaches, which may include face-to-face, digital, social collaborative and coaching, as well as the application of motivational and behavioural science theories and interventions to ensure effective training and
learning. Systematic training cycle and ID approaches such as ADDIE, social learning theories, social collaborative learning, use of digital technology and media in learning, situated learning and community of practice, coaching and mentoring, and facilitation of learning.


The module will cover issues related to ethics in business, sustainable organisational development and behaviour, and corporate social responsibility in a global context. Content includes: ethical theory, corporate social responsibility, sustainability (economic, social and environmental), global and national inequalities. These issues will be examined in the context of globalisation and across the supply chains of multinational companies.

Master‘s Thesis

Your third term (between June and September) will consist entirely of the all-important thesis dissertation (worth 30 ECTS). This period is typically completed at the university where you attended your specialization courses. At the University of Hertfordshire you will be prepared for your dissertation project from February on. The university allocates a supervisor to each student. Throughout term two, students attend an online research method module, together with a weekly tutorial support.

IBSA students can also consider an alternative approach to the standard route: it is always possible to write your master’s thesis based on a company, or companies, or a sector. This will require identifying and contacting a potential target company.

By completing this detailed research and writing work, you will delve deeper into your specialization area from the second semester, learn to cultivate critical reasoning skills, develop a scientific approach to empirical data, and develop skills in literature review based on investigative reasoning (examination of a hypothesis).