PgDip in HRM - can I balance it?


| 55 Posts

Chartered Member

5 Nov, 2013 12:47


I am after some advice, particularly from those who have undertaken or are undertaking the PgDip in HRM, whilst working and having a young family at home.

I am in a stand alone HR role in a contract logistics company (74 employees) which wishes to implement a people strategy to support the business plan of growing turnover over the next 2-4 years. I am to lead this strategy.

I am currently level 3 qualified, completing my CPP in 2006 (after that I got married and had 2 children) and feel that it is now a prime opportunity to continue with my professional development and move onto the PgDip, missing out the level 5 as I have 9 years experience in HR, albeit within a small organisation, but I have implemented plenty of policies and procedures, dealt with redundancies, recruitment and selection, disciplinaries etc. 

I feel that this qualification will really support the business plan for growth and broaden my knowledge and confidence in my role to have a positive impact on the organisation.

My question really is, having 2 small children (2 and 5) am I being realistic in signing up for a 2 year course and will I be able to give it the attention whilst balancing life at home? I have a good support network around me and work part time so could study on my day off with childcare taken care of, but is the 10-12 hours a week personal study accurate or should I expect it to be much more? I know there are workshops I have to attend which will take me away from family but can deal with that.

I'd be really interested to hear from anyone who has done or is doing this course with their experiences of what it is like in reality! Particularly from people balancing work and a family.

I know I have the ability to do it from an intelligence perspective (or at least I hope I do!) but it is such a big commitment and I am seeking funding from my employer so I need to be totally sure about it before I sign up!

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom


  • Hi Jane

    I undertook the qualification around 4 years ago now, I had a family and was working part-time.  It was tough, particularly balancing the study time with dedicating time to children (my daughter and step-sons were a bit older than your children, and were able to understand that I had 'homework' to do), my partner and generally running a home. I was very lucky in that my partner was very supportive and did more than his fair share of housework,cooking etc whilst I was studying.  In relation to the number of personal study hours per week - I guess this depends on how quickly you a) absorb information and b) are able to translate that into assignments etc.  I did my qualification through a local university, so attended there once a week from 1pm-9pm which was a long day, plus the additional study time at home. In reality I spent most week-day afternoons (I worked mornings) plus time during the weekend studying; I rarely got to go to the gym which I used to do 3/4 afternoons a week. Having said all that, I am so glad that I did it as I wouldn't be in the job I have now.  It increased my confidence massively, my ability to think beyond the 'norm', to question and challenge perspective.

    If you love a challenge and are prepared to put in the hours of study it is well worth it!

    Best wishes


  • Jane

    | 55 Posts

    Chartered Member

    5 Nov, 2013 15:08

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply Sharon; the more I think about it, the more the thought of it excites me as I can see the opportunities for translating my knowledge into real business scenarios.

    I will be doing distance learning as my husband works shifts so I will not be able to do a weekly class due to childcare issues, but the workshops are supposed to replace this so I will still get dedicated study time there as well as my day off and I will have to do some in the evenings as well.

    My husband is very supportive generally and has said he will support me through this, after all what is 2 years hard work when I will hopefully increase my career opportunities 10 fold!

    Jane :) 

  • Hi Jane

    I started this course in July with MOL - blended learning. I work full time and I also have a family. As long as you're prepared in your mind that it is hard work and you get yourself organised then you will do it. The course is challenging but I have made sure i have set study time and plan my assignments. The 8-10 hours is a guide and is really down to how you study and how you retain the information and can then apply it to the assignments/exams. My tutor advises 'however much you can commit to'.

    I am finding the course extremely worthwhile so far, its very interesting and the good thing about flexible study is that i can miss out the things i already know or have experience of at work which is far better than sitting in college once a week going over things I have already done before.

    Other than that....leave the housework...make beans on toast a regular feature on your meal menus....and get hubby to pick up the other stuff...lol.

    I would really recommend it though seriously...its helping me immensely at work!

    Good luck with whatever you decide!!!!

    Lynette :)

  • Jane

    | 55 Posts

    Chartered Member

    12 Nov, 2013 16:13

    Thank you Lynette!

     I have made my decision to go for it, I am just waiting for confirmation of support and funding from my company but am very hopeful they will support me.

    I am really excited about the challenge even though it is a year away.. be interested to find out how your exams go as I am quite nervous about doing an exam for the first time in 23 years!

    Good luck with your course, I'm glad its proving beneficial in your role, I have the same high hopes for my role as our business is growing and I need to upskill to help support it.

    Jane x 

  • Hi Jane

     great news! I am sure you will be fine. I have my first exam at the end of January and its my first exam in 28 years so absolutely scared stiff. I will let you know how I go and good luck with everything 

    Lynette xxx

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