2022 JANUARY | BA (Hons) Human Resource Management

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.


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2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

What you will study?

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 in light of their experiences during the employment experience module (see below)

Employment experience
This module aims to provide students with a substantial workplace experience, in an environment where they can explore their current levels of competence in regards of the required professional skills and behaviours identified within the new CIPD professional standards.

Year 3: Critical perspectives and emerging themes

HRM 4.0 and the future of work
During this module students will critically engage with and develop opinions around the future of work, exploring issues such as:

Will robots replace HR jobs?
It so, will HR ‘invent’ enough new ones?
Does the rise of the robot present an opportunity to liberate society from the drudgery of work?
is HR on the cusp of catastrophic job losses and economic misery for the masses (digital dystopias), or will these new technologies supercharge productivity, leading to a rise in living standards and an abundance of good quality jobs (digital utopians)

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 reseach 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.


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.

Course details


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.

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