Does it matter which University you obtain your Masters in HR?

I am planning on embarking on a Masters in HR this year.

I have been given unconditional offers from London Metropolitan University MA Human Resource & Employment Management and Greenwich University MA Personnel Development.

I am undecided between the two.  

Greenwich: I like the mixture of theory with practical e.g. Arranging a trip to observe employment tribunal during the employment law module.  On the other hand, although may sound pedantic, I think the name sounds quite old fashioned (using the word Personnel) and might give the wrong impression to potential employers.

London Metropolitan: Early start in February 2013, so I could get qualified quicker. However I have heard mainly negative reviews about the course or university although I can see it is a popular choice for students living and working in London.

 There lies my quandry.  I would really appreciate some advice to help me decide.  If you were recruiting for Head of HR/HR Manager/HR Business Partner roles - which Masters would you find more appealing? Or is the university not as important as the obtainment of MCIPD?

 Would really appreciate views/input/advice.... 

  • Emma

    | 306 Posts


    16 Jan, 2013 22:19

    Hi Jennifer

     I think you should pick the course which you like the sound of most. Trying to complete a course you don't particularly enjoy would be demotivating.

    Ultimately employers looking for HR staff do not care where your degree is from (although may be mildly impressed if  it's from Oxbridge).

    Also at the senior levels roles it's not really about the Masters degree, it's about your experience and where you've worked before 



  • David

    | 20073 Posts

    Chartered Member

    17 Jan, 2013 04:47

    Hi Jennifer

    Somewhat puzzled at 'Personnel Development' , which to me at least, implies training and development - a far narrower specialism than generalist 'hr'. Yet they have an employment law module - since when did staff development have anything to do with workplace disputes and disciplinaries ? I'm moved to ask.

    However, maybe I'm behind the times as regards the latest hr terminology, and of course the content of the Masters can be entirely apposite and effective, despite the unusual title. And you don't or won't need to use it, if it looks misleading on CVs etc - just broaden the description as you feel appropriate, should you go that route - a decision which perhaps should or ought not to be influenced too much by a mere name.
  • Keith

    | 9893 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    17 Jan, 2013 08:28

    I would support Emmas view that you should pick the course that you feel has the best contents.

    Personally if a recruiter was going to be influenced by the University that  a Masters came from I think neither of those two would be much different in status.

    If you don't already have the experience in HR then a Masters is less important in my view  

  • James

    | 16 Posts


    18 Jan, 2013 13:19

    David: I imagine it is actually MA Personnel & Development and it's just a slight typo.

    Emma: From a quick survey of most Postgraduate HRM qualifications the main one does seem to be MA Personnel & Development. I'd suggest the University doesn't really matter - the practical aspects of the course in particular I imagine would be really helpful to you. If you are reading good things about the teaching and learning experience then I'd strongly consider it as it's what you get from the course and you being able to convey and demonstrate this confidently at selection which will matter.

  • Wayne

    | 187 Posts

    Chartered Member

    22 Jan, 2013 10:07

    Are they both recognised for CIPD purposes?

    A former colleague did a Masters in HR from a local university only to find that they had to do a conversion to achieve their Chartered MCIPD whereas others of us had our qualifications recognised as CIPD had already accredited the course as being equivalent

  • James

    | 16 Posts


    3 Feb, 2013 21:33

    You would have to check with the University with regards to this. Some like LJMU map the criteria for CIPD into their academic programmes.
  • I am doing my MSc at London South Bank University having done Leadership and Management at Greenwich which would have then enabled me to go on to the MA in Personnel and Development. I decided not the name of the course put me off and my aim was always to go to London South Bank where I was exempt from 50% of the first year, but also I live 15 minutes away on foot!

    I am doing the MSc in Human Resource Development and its wonderful!!! I am thoroughly enjoying it. I seriously would suggest you look at LSBU also because the choice of modules they have there are much more reflective of the HR of today.

    Greenwich was good and staff were friendly but I found the whole experience of the management of the course to be seriously unorganised which was a shame. I too had doubts about LMU but glad I have made the right choice in the end.

    I wish you luck in your course whatever your decision!



More Content