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International Human Resource Management

This course is designed for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in management either in Human Resources or a related area. It will provides you with a rigorous and critical approach to international human resource management strategies and practices, which you will assess from a range of theoretical and analytical perspectives, explain them in terms of their social and economic context, and consider their implications and impact for a range of stakeholders and interest groups.

This programme will provide you with a rigorous analytical approach to the subject, with a broad overview of the major areas of international human resources and employment relations policy within multinational companies.  You will gain an understanding of the unique managerial challenges which exist between and within, countries and the effect this has for companies operating in multiple countries.  You will examine how organisations learn, create and utilise knowledge and respond to the competitive pressures in a globalising knowledge-based economy.  The course will equip you with the skills and competences to conduct advanced research into a wide range of management and organisational issues and enable you to improve your social, communications and presentational skills to operate in an effective and enlightened way as leaders and managers.

The programme builds on the School of Management’s extensive expertise in the area, both in teaching and research.  You will join an intellectually stimulating, friendly and supportive research environment and, through working closely with our expert and experienced academic staff, you will be in a viable position to realise your full potential.  

  • Strong career prospects in management either within human resources or a related field by gaining a deep understanding of international human resources management, coupled with a practical set of skills.
  • Outstanding research; Royal Holloway sits in the top 25 per cent of UK universities for research which is rated as ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’.  
  • Inspiring international community; 60% of our Management students come from overseas and the 8,500 students at Royal Holloway, University of London are from 130 countries.  

Entry requirements

UK Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1) or equivalent.

Professional qualifications related to the field of International Human Resource Management and work experience in an associated area will be considered.

This is a research-focused course and is appropriate for those who have prior knowledge or experience in management. Those who have studied alternative disciplines should take the ‘Foundations of Modern Management’ unit during Induction Week to obtain the background knowledge required for this course.

English language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other subscores. For equivalencies, please see here

If you require Royal Holloway to sponsor your study in the UK, your IELTS must be a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT).

Course modules

Pre-course preparation

  • Foundations of Modern Management

This module, taught during your induction week, will introduce you to the key elements of organisational management for commercial successs. Through analysis of historical roots, you will develop an understanding of the current practices for managing customers, shareholders, and employees, and discuss how numbers and technology influence management decision-making.

Core modules

  • Organisational Learning, Knowledge and Innovation

In this module you will develop an understanding how knowledge creation and innovation are the foundations of social and economic progress. You will examine how organisations learn, create and utilise knowledge, and respond to the competitive pressures of a globalising knowledge-based economy. You will focus on the relationships between societal institutions and the micro-dynamics of organisational learning and innovation, developing a critical understanding of the theories and perspectives of organisational change and innovation, and their implications for change management practice. You will look at the issues facing firms in the knowledge-based economy and concepts of organisational learning and knowledge creation. You will consider the nature and process of organisational change, the role of change agents, and the complex dynamics of change management.

  • Managing Across Borders - Contemporary Challenges

In this module you will develop an understanding of the unique managerial challenges created by differences between, and within, countries for business operations. You will see how even within regions which have removed formal barriers to the flow of goods, finance, labour, and knowledge, a variety of differences (institutional, legal, cultural, identity, and so forth) remain. You will look at how these multi-level, multi-dimensional differences shape the contexts of ongoing transnational operations, and consider the nature of reorganisational programmes in tackling the issues faced when operating across borders.

  • Globalisation and Employment Relations

This module will provide you with a broad overview of some of the major areas of international human resource management and employment relations policy within multinational companies. You will consider these policy areas within the context of frameworks for understanding multinational companies' strategies and structures, as well as competing arguments surrounding the impact of national and regional differences on international human resource management. You will look at how multinational companies transfer human resources and employment practices across borders, the role of international and expatriate managers in this process, and the implications of international mergers and joint ventures on human resources. You will also develop an understanding of how and why employee voice and representation practices vary across countries, as well as the human resource implications of international corporate social responsibility policies and the varying ways in which employment conditions in global supply chains might be addressed.

  • International and Comparative Employment Law

In this module you will critically evaluate national and regional differences in the regulation of labour, and their implications for international human resource management practitioners. You will look at the nature of the employment contract, as well as specific areas such as discrimination, recruitment and termination law. You will also consider the transnational regulation of business practices, and adopt a broader conception of the ‘human resource’ by considering issues such as the regulation of economic migration, international labour standards, and human rights law.

  • Strategic International Human Resource Management

In this module you will develop an understanding of theory, policy and practice in the field of strategic international human resource management. You will look at the major current themes and debates in the field, going beyond operational approaches to managing people, focussing on core international human resource issues and functions at the strategic level. You will consider the integration of organisational strategy and international human resources management, exploring how the issues and problems in managing a global workforce can be conceived strategically and operationalised through organisation practice.

  • European Employment Relations

In this module you will develop an understanding of the role of the European Union (and other regional groupings) in the development of employment relations across member states. You will examine the nature of regional associations, such as free trade areas, common markets and currency unions, focussing on the historical evolution of the EU, and how the process of economic integration has shaped its institutional development. You will analyse the extent to which economic integration has been achieved, and how it has harmonised employment policy - for example, its attempts to reduce social dumping, involve employers and unions in decision-making at EU-level, and influence multinational human resource practice through legislation. You will look at the nature of individual EU employment policies, such as equal opportunities, health and safety, employee participation and corporate social responsibility, and assess whether these function in the interests of business competitiveness, or not, in relation to the rest of the world.

  • Dissertation Preparation and Research Methods

This module will help you to prepare for your dissertation with useful theoretical and practical lessons in research methods. You will develop your analytical and technical research skills, reflecting critically upon the theoretical and philosophical assumptions of the underlying research methodologies. You will develop an undertanding of the ethical considerations when conducting research, and will learn how to write a structured research proposal that will form the basis of your dissertation.

  • Dissertation

The dissertation provides you with an opportunity to learn and practise researching and writing skills for your future career. You will apply the analytical and problem-solving techniques you have acquired throughout your studies to explore a specialist interest in greater depth. You will critically evaluate academic literature, collect data systematically, organise your findings, and present your research results in a clear and logical and manner. To help, your research proposal will be read by the programme director, who will select an appropriate member of staff to act as your dissertation supervisor. Your final submission will be between 12,000 and 15,000 words in length.

Assessment methods

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Fee status Fee Study period Duration
MSc Full-time Home/EU £ 10,050 Whole course 1 years
MSc Full-time International £ 17,000 Whole course 1 years

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