Usually one year full-time, or part-time over two years, and is often broken down into block study periods. Students on the CIPD Postgraduate Diploma course can elect to do a further three months of study to complete a dissertation and gain a Masters award. Whichever way you decide to take the Masters award, it does require high commitment and the full-time course can be particularly intensive.
Universities and colleges usually ask for one or more of the following: a good first degree from a UK university or equivalent, such as a postgraduate diploma; a degree relevant to HRM; significant management or HRM experience. But it is always worth contacting a college direct regarding entry.
Each MA/MSc course will feature slightly different modules but typical subjects covered would be employee resourcing, HR strategy, research methods, comparative HRM, cross-cultural management, organisational behaviour, organisational development, reward management, managing diversity, employment law and industrial relations. Most will require a dissertation on a subject of your choice.
The course is aimed at HR practitioners who want to develop their skills as well as their practical and theoretical knowledge of HRM. Certainly those HR professionals aspiring to be more strategic would benefit from the MA course, but there are no guarantees that it will improve your promotion prospects - this will very much depend on your employer.