The Strategic Human Resource Management course aims to develop Human Resource (HR) professionals to take a strategic approach in championing the people agenda, future-proof the workforce, develop inclusive cultures and an engaging employee experience journey while creating high-performing work environments where employees flourish in their work and wellbeing.

This course enables you to develop a theory-informed and evidence-based approach to HR practice with a focus on real-world application across different organisational contexts and industries. Students develop critical thinking, an ethical mindset and practical HR skills, putting humans at the heart of organisations and their HR professional practice.


  • Start date21 October 2024
  • DurationApproximately 24 months
  • DeliveryBlended learning format combining immersive in-person workshops, live online seminars and self-paced online learning.
  • QualificationMSc
  • Study typePart-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

This course is specifically designed for experienced HR professionals who are currently in a strategic position or have aspirations for similar roles. Specific job roles relevant for this course may include Chief People Officer, Head of HR, People Director, Director of People Experience and Culture, HR Manager, Senior HR Business Partner, HR Business Partner, Talent Acquisition Manager, Employee Relations Manager, HR Officer/Advisor as well as a range of professionals operating in the HRM field.

This course is suitable for:

  • HR leaders and Strategic HR Business Partners currently in role who want to upskill in contemporary and future-proof approaches to strategic people management, or experienced HR professionals who want to develop a strategic HR skill set.
  • Senior people professionals who want to develop as internal HR consultants and leverage the people agenda to add value to the business, organisations and society.
  • Senior people professionals looking to understand the wider business and how HR contributes to making an impact on organisational strategic priorities and the impact of HR across organisational boundaries, supply chains, business ecosystems and industries.
  • HR professionals involved in the design, implementation or evaluation of people policies and strategies.
  • Experienced people professionals looking to step up to more strategic and senior roles in HRM.
  • HR professionals who are part of a talent pipeline or fast-track talent programme to become future strategic people leaders.

Your career

Drawing on expert faculty and cutting-edge research in the Changing World of Work Group at Cranfield University, this course equips Senior People Professionals to manage effectively across the employee lifecycle, covering focal areas such as:

  • Strategic workforce planning
  • Talent acquisition and employee resourcing
  • Talent management and development
  • Performance management
  • Reward management
  • Organisational behaviour
  • HR professional ethics
  • People analytics
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Employee engagement and employee wellbeing
  • Employment relations
  • Employment law
  • Sustainability and green Human Resource Management (HRM)
  • Agile HR
  • Designing and implementing a people strategy
  • Employee experience across the employee lifecycle.

The key skills required by HR leaders and Strategic HR Business Partners are embedded as core components of this course such as HR consulting, leadership, change management, project management, influencing stakeholders with impact, developing actionable insight with HR data analytics and research methods, coaching and mentoring, business acumen, commercial insight and understanding how external trends and internal drivers influence organisational strategy, business models and the people strategy.

This course is designed to align with the latest professional standards of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

How you will learn

Learning is delivered using a blended learning format combining immersive in-person workshops at the Cranfield Campus with live online seminars and self-paced online learning supported by a virtual learning environment and online learning resources.

Participation on each module involves attending engaging in-person workshops that span over 2-3 consecutive days, accompanied by interactive live online seminars lasting 1-3 days.

Students not funded by the Apprenticeship Levy

Students who are not funded by the Apprenticeship Levy via their employer may enrol on the Strategic Human Resource Management MSc. Successful participants (non-levy funded) will be awarded the Associate Membership status of the CIPD (subject to CIPD accreditation of the course) and will be eligible to apply to upgrade to Chartered Membership status of the CIPD (subject to meeting the requirements of the CIPD membership upgrade process).

Students not funded by the apprenticeship levy will be responsible for ensuring they have a valid registration as Student Members of the CIPD while studying for the MSc which is a requirement to qualify for Associate Membership on completion of the course.

Students funded by the Apprenticeship Levy

Students who are funded by the Apprenticeship Levy via their employer may enrol on the Level 7 Senior People Professional Apprenticeship Standard  and will be eligible for Chartered Membership Status of the CIPD on successful completion of the end point assessment.

* Information subject to change. Cranfield University reserves the right to change the course design, dates and information.

How to apply

Our students do not always fit traditional academic or career paths. We consider this to be a positive aspect of diversity, not a hurdle. We are looking for a body of professional learners who have a wide range of experiences to share. If you are unsure of your suitability for our Strategic Human Resource Management MSc, we are happy to review your details and give you feedback before you make a formal application. You can also contact Dr Chibuzo Ejiogu, Course Director, for more information about the course and your application:

To apply you will need to register to use our online system. Once you have set up an account you will be able to create, save and amend your application form before submitting it.

Once your online application has been submitted together with your supporting documentation, it will be processed by our admissions team. You will then be advised by email if you are successful, unsuccessful, or whether the course director would like to interview you before a decision is made. Applicants based outside of the UK may be interviewed either by telephone or video conference.

Read our Application Guide for a step-by-step explanation of the application process from pre-application through to joining us at Cranfield.

Apprenticeship route

Applications for the apprenticeship route – Senior People Professional Apprenticeship – have to come via the Expression of Interest form.  Apprenticeship applications received via the application button on this page will not be processed.

Self-funded route 

Application deadline: 23 September 2024