The full-time course can be completed in a year although students can also opt for a part-time option, which takes two years. The part-time courses are delivered via distance learning with eight periods of residential study on campus.
A second-class honours degree is required for entry to the MA, although applicants with professional qualifications or equivalent experience can enrol onto the postgraduate diploma and transfer to the MA upon completion.
There are three core modules for the MA course - the employment relationship, workers and their organisations, and collective bargaining and the state - plus three modules specifically covering industrial relations and employment law. These are individual law, collective labour law and European employment law. The final module is optional and could include globalisation, IR & HRM in the public sector, equality at work or health & safety. A dissertation is also required, connected with the student's previous or current HRM or industrial relations experience.
Students on the MA course are drawn from a wide range of institutions such as Acas, trade unions, public and private sector organisations, and other educational establishments. Many have used this MA to progress their careers within unions or, for example, in developing equal opportunity programmes.