Information regarding our 2022/23 admissions cycle

Our updated course listings for the 2022/23 postgraduate admissions cycle will be published at the beginning of October. Applications for 2022 entry will be available shortly after this. Check our how to apply pages for updates.

MSc Human Resource Management and Development (International Development) by Distance Learning / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Course description

MSc Human Resource Management and Development (International Development) offers a practical and critical introduction to the philosophy, values, policies and practices of human resource management and development in an international context.

It is an ideal choice if you are involved in HR at an organisation in a developing or transitional country.

The course makes available core elements and insights of the Global Development Institute's (GDI) existing taught master's courses in Human Resource Management and Human Resource Development , enabling participants to obtain a master's degree by distance learning over up to five years without leaving home or interrupting their careers.

Applicants who do not fulfil all the entry requirements for the master's degree may be registered as Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate students.

Such students whose performance has met the standard required at master's level at the end of the fourth course unit proceed to the remaining course units and dissertation.

Students whose performance has met only the standard required at Diploma level proceed to the remaining course units. On satisfactory completion of all the course units, they are awarded the Postgraduate Diploma.

Special features

  • We're Europe's largest dedicated development research and teaching institute and have been at the forefront of development studies for over 60 years .
  • We're ranked 7th in the UK and 11th in the world for development studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021).
  • Our research was ranked first in the UK for impact and second in the UK for quality in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).
  • We are proud to tackle global inequalities and rank first in the UK for our impact on the Sustainable Development Goals ( THE Impact Rankings 2020 ).
  • We bring cutting-edge insights from our research into all our postgraduate teaching. Our courses bring different development perspectives and voices to Manchester, from activists from the Global South to the leaders of multinational companies.
  • We are home to the internationally-recognised Effective States and Inclusive Development and FutureDAMS research centres.
  • Students are part of our vibrant research community this includes our public lecture series which brings world experts, former heads of state, and leading development thinkers, to discuss current issues in development.
  • We have numerous scholarship opportunities for outstanding applicants.

Teaching and learning

The distance learning course starts annually every January.

Participants study on the distance learning degree without leaving home or interrupting their careers.  A typical study route would involve completion of four compulsory course units in the first year of study, and completion of the remaining four course units in the second year. 

A dissertation is undertaken in the first half of the third year. 

Using this route, participants complete the full master's course in two-and-a-half years. 

However, the programme is flexible and can accommodate faster or slower study and completion speeds in order to take account of work, family or other personal commitments.

For example, after completing teaching period one, students can accelerate their study by spending a twelve-week semester in Manchester, studying alongside students on our face-to-face master's courses.

Students can also slow down, perhaps taking only one course unit rather than two in a particular teaching period, or taking a complete break of a teaching period during which no course units are studied.

Different study plans are possible as long as students complete the course within four and a half years.

Study is undertaken via the University's e-learning system, which provides study materials, online resources, and interactive online tutorial discussions with the module tutor and other course participants.

You benefit from access to the University's library, with more than 25,000 electronic journals and 400,000 electronic books.

Coursework and assessment

The taught element of the course, carrying 120 credits overall, is continuously assessed by a variety of methods (eg project-based reports, essays), involving largely individual submissions, but also elements of group work.

You must also complete a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice approved by the Programme Directors. You are encouraged to base your dissertation on topics of direct professional concern.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit rating
Organisational Behaviour MGDI70040 15
Organisation Development and Change MGDI70050 15
Human Resource Practice MGDI70060 15
Research Methods Module MGDI71000 15
Core Issues in Human Resource Management MGDI71010 15
Human Resource Development MGDI71020 15
International Management MGDI71030 15
Learning, Training and Development MGDI71070 15

Scholarships and bursaries

There are many internal and external funding opportunities for postgraduate study.

We offer several postgraduate taught scholarships to outstanding applicants.

The Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class bachelor's degree and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

Many of our students have gained British Chevening, British Council or Commonwealth scholarships, as well as country-specific awards.

For more information, see f ees and funding  or  search the University's postgraduate funding database .

What our students say

'The University of Manchester is one of the most respected universities in the world. Its pedigree and academic rigour are well known globally. There are also some high-profile Ugandan alumni of the University like Winnie Byanyima the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa, former Deputy Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund where I worked. Louis Kasekende former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Uganda amongst others. So I was convinced it was the right place for me to get my master's degree.

I chose a Master's in Human Resources Management and Development (International Development) because I was already practicing HR and the course would go a long way to build my competencies and skills and put me at a level to practice strategic HR and add the most value to my employers, clients and partners. Undoubtedly, I have experienced tremendous growth in my skills, networks and career.

The respect that a qualification from Manchester gives is global. It has been a door opener for me, allowing me to become a much sought after learning navigator and coach, not just in several African countries but also on other continents.'

Joseph Ajal, MSc Human Resource Management (International Development)

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

For more information, email