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Evidence-Based Human Resource Management

MRes/Professional Doctorate

Course Overview

This unique doctoral programme, Evidence-Based Human Resource Management (MRes/Professional Doctorate), provides you with training in evidence-based practice (EBP). This well-established approach to practice emphasises making better-informed decisions about problems (or opportunities) and potential solutions or interventions through use of the best available evidence from multiple sources. The programme is relevant to practitioners working across all areas relevant to human resource practice and scholarship, including management, learning and development, and internal and external consultancy.

Throughout the Professional Doctorate you will undertake work-based learning, including:

  • expert briefings and masterclasses from leading academics and practitioners around each of the four key practice areas in HRM
  • seminars and workshops on evidence-based practice
  • research methods training to extend your knowledge and skills and develop reflective practice
  • peer-learning and group supervision as well as self-learning as appropriate to a research-focused degree.

You will also be allocated a personal supervisor and have access to a wide range of taught courses, professional training courses and networking opportunities offered by the Department of Organizational Psychology. You will have access to a virtual learning environment too, providing you with supplementary materials. It is assumed that you will be able to gain experience and practise and investigate evidence-based Human Resource Management at your workplace.

The first part of the programme constitutes the MRes. In the first year, you take two fundamental evidence modules and a content module focused on assessment and selection. In the second year, which runs from January to December, you take a further three modules to work through the employee life cycle. Each of these modules is assessed by a case study which together will form an evidence-based practice portfolio.

If you pass the first part, you then undertake research methods training and develop proposals for, and undertake, a systematic review and major study, which form your final doctoral thesis, assessed through a viva voce.

Year 1 Modules

Spring term: Evidence-Based Professional Practice Portfolio: The Foundations of Evidence-Based HRM

Summer term: Evidence-Based Professional Practice Portfolio: Critical Appraisal of Scientific and Other Evidence

Autumn term: Evidence-Based Professional Practice Portfolio: Selection and Assessment

Year 2 modules

Spring term: Evidence-Based Professional Practice Portfolio: Learning and Development

Summer term: Evidence-Based Professional Practice Portfolio: Performance, Talent and Reward Management

Autumn term: Evidence-Based Professional Practice Portfolio: Job Satisfaction, Well-being, and Engagement

Key Information

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  • Entry Requirements Entry Requirements

    Entry Requirements

    A master’s degree in human resource management, or a related field, and relevant in-depth professional experience with merit or distinction. You must be in relevant employment to apply your learning to the workplace.

    You must be highly competent in your use of written and spoken English and have good social and communication skills.

    English Language Requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the UK and you do not already have residency here, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration: Student visa
    • Courses of less than six months' duration: Standard Visitor visa

    International students who require a Student visa should apply for our full-time courses as these qualify for Student visa sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Student visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    Please also visit the international section of our website to find out more about relevant requirements by country.

  • Fees Fees


    Evidence-Based Human Resource Management MRes/Professional Doctorate: 5 years part-time, on campus, Starting in academic year 2023–24

    Academic year 2023–24, starting January 2024

    To be confirmed

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

    Fees and finance

    PhD students resident in England can apply for government loans of over £26,000 to cover the cost of tuition fees, maintenance and other study-related costs.

    Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

    Named in memory of Birkbeck’s former President, and one of the greatest historians of the twentieth century, the Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarship fund offers financial assistance for research expenses (including travel, accommodation, conference fees and particular training needs) to doctoral students in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, subject to availability.

    The School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers ofthe highest standard can pursue their research with us. Find out more about research funding opportunities at Birkbeck.

    Discover the financial support available to you to help with your studies at Birkbeck.

    International Scholarships

    We provide a range of scholarships for eligible international students, including our Global Future Scholarship. Discover if you are eligible for a scholarship.

  • Our research culture Our research culture

    Our research culture

    Birkbeck's Department of Organizational Psychology is the only specialist department of its kind in the UK and has a long-standing reputation. It engages in significant collaborative research and has excellent contacts with many public and private sector organisations, professional bodies and researchers at other academic institutions.

    As a research student, you will receive training in theory and research methodology, provided partly by the department and partly by other University of London institutions. You will also complete an annual report on your progress. You will be invited to attend research student seminars held four or five times each term at Birkbeck in the evenings. We offer a wide range of student support and study facilities.

    Read more about our vibrant research culture and watch interviews with our Organizational Psychology staff.

  • How to apply How to apply

    How to apply

    Follow these steps to apply for the MRes/Professional Doctorate at Birkbeck:

    1. Check that you meet the entry requirements, including English language requirements, as described on this page.

    2. Apply directly to Birkbeck, using the online application link on this page. All research students are initially registered on the MRes and then upgrade to the Professional Doctorate after making sufficient progress.

    You will be asked to fill out a supplementary application form which includes the following questions:

    • How do you currently ensure that your practice is evidence-based? In what ways do you engage with advancements in research and practice? (250 words max)
    • What is your strategy for how you will combine work and study whilst enrolled on this programme? In particular, how will you prioritise and deal with potentially conflicting demands and ensure that you engage in supervision? (250 words max)
    • If applying for the full Professional Doctorate only: How do you anticipate being able to gather evidence across all five areas of organisational psychology? Ensure that you cover all areas in your answer.

    We will ask you to critically evaluate an academic paper and attend a face-to-face or telephone interview with the programme team.

    Apply for your course

    Apply for your course using the apply now button in the key information section.

  • Finding a supervisor Finding a supervisor

    Finding a supervisor

    A critical factor when applying for postgraduate study in organisational psychology is the correlation between the applicant’s intellectual and research interests and those of one or more potential supervisors within the department. A supervisor will be allocated to you from the project team.