Students participating in a lecture

Program and courses Human Resource Studies

During this one-year Master's program, you become a human resources expert, specialized in the relationship between work, well-being and performance. You find the ideal balance between performance and employee care. With a strong international focus, you learn to combine insights from social sciences and business studies in HR-policies, which improve individual, team, and organizational performance.

Program structure

This one-year Master's program consists of 60 credits (ECTS):

  • 3 core courses (24 ECTS)
  • 2-3 out of 12 elective courses (12 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (24 ECTS)

The program is divided into four blocks and has two intake moments. You can start either at the end of August (first intake moment) or at the end of January (second intake moment). You can find the program content and course catalog for each intake moment below.

Program content

First intake moment - September

You will take the following courses in block 1 (September - October):

  • Seminar Human Resource Studies (Fall)
    You gain practical and scientific insight into HR studies. You learn to assess, discuss and apply research, theory and concepts by investigating practical issues in the field.
  • HR Analytics
    Learn how to understand and apply analytics in an organizational setting, and use the outcomes to support evidence-based management and decision-making processes.

You will take the following courses in block 2 (October - January):

  • HR Analytics
    Learn how to understand and apply analytics in an organizational setting, and use the outcomes to support evidence-based management and decision-making processes.
  • Master's thesis 
  • One elective course

You will take the following courses in block 3 (February - April):

  • Organizational Change
    Gain insights and understanding of the major principles underlying successful change management initiatives. You will be prepared for the challenges of leading organizational change and renewal. 
  • Master's thesis 

You will take the following courses in block 4 (April - August):

  • Organizational Change
    Become familiar with the major principles underlying successful change management initiatives. You will be prepared for the challenges of leading organizational change and renewal. 
  • Master's thesis
  • One or two elective courses
Second intake moment - February

Note: the second intake moment starts with block 3, however, it can be regarded as block 1 and so on. 

You will take the following courses in block 3 (February- April):

  • Seminar Human Resource Studies (Spring)
    You gain practical and scientific insight into HR studies. You learn to assess, discuss and apply research, theory and concepts by investigating practical issues in the field.
  • Organizational Change
    Become familiar with the major principles underlying successful change management initiatives. You will be prepared for the challenges of leading organizational change and renewal. 

You will take the following courses in block 4 (April - August):

  • Organizational Change
    Become familiar with the major principles underlying successful change management initiatives. You will be prepared for the challenges of leading organizational change and renewal. 
  • Master's thesis
  • One or two elective courses

You will take the following courses in block 1 (September - October):

  • HR Analytics
    Learn how to understand and apply analytics in an organizational setting, and use the outcomes to support evidence-based management and decision-making processes.
  • Master's thesis

You will take the following courses in block 2 (October- January):

  • HR Analytics
    Learn how to understand and apply analytics in an organizational setting, and use the outcomes to support evidence-based management and decision-making processes.
  • Master's thesis
  • One elective course
Elective courses

You can choose two or three elective courses (12 ECTS in total):

  • Positive Institutions (6 ECTS)
  • Human Resource Development (6 ECTS)
  • Performance Management (6 ECTS)
  • HRM, Work-design and Technology (6 ECTS)
  • Cultural Diversity Management (6 ECTS)
  • International Labour Law & Globalization* (6 ECTS)
  • Compensation and Benefits  (3 ECTS)
  • International Human Resource Management (3 ECTS)
  • Active Aging at Work (3 ECTS)
  • Inclusive HRM (3 ECTS) 
  • Positive Psychology Interventions in Organizations (3 ECTS)
  • Leadership Perspectives on HRM (3 ECTS)

*This elective is spread over two blocks, starting in block 3 instead of block 4.

Master's thesis

The Human Resource Studies supervisors will present several research topics and themes in a sequence of lectures. You will write an Individual Research Proposal HRS (IRP) based on one of these pre-selected themes. Once your IRP is completed and approved,  you can start writing your Master's thesis (24 ECTS).

You will join a Thesis Circle: a small group of students with similar research themes, supervised by one or more knowledgeable member(s) of the department. In this circle, individual progress and research issues are presented and discussed together.  You will receive feedback from your peers as well as from your supervisor.

Combining Master’s programs Human Resource Studies & Labour Law and Employment Relations 

If you are combining your Master’s program in Human Resource Studies with a Master’s in Labour Law and Employment Relations (Tilburg Law School) an exemption from two electives (maximum 12 ECTS) may be granted. In this way, you can use the obtained results for those elective courses for both the Master's in HRS and the Master's in LLER. To apply for this, please send a request to ma_hrs@tilburguniversity.edu  

Examples of thesis subjects are:

  • Inclusive HRM and transitions on the labor market 
  • Retaining older workers in the workforce 
  • The interplay between involvement and compliance-achieving HR practices on employee performance and well-being 
  • Career development of solo self-employed workers 
  • The impact of HR systems and relational climates on knowledge hiding 

Watch a trial lecture

You will find a detailed description of the courses of the first intake moment in our course catalog.

Go to the course descriptions - start September  

You will find a detailed description of the courses of the second intake moment in our course catalog.

Go to the course descriptions - start February   


Please note: programs are subject to change. We advise you to look up the current program in OSIRIS Student at the start of the year.


Do you want to know more about this Master’s program?

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Extend your Master with an exchange program, professional internship or research internship

You can also apply for an Extended Master's program. An Extended Master's program adds an extra semester (6 months) to your regular Master’s program during which you get the chance to gain relevant work, abroad or research experience and enhance your professional skills or academic knowledge. 

Within the Extended Master's program Human Resource Studies you can choose one of the following options:

  • Exchange program International Comparative HR
  • Professional internship
  • Research internship in HR analytics

Short overview of Human Resource Studies

  • This program was the first of its kind in the field of human resources in the Netherlands (since 1986), and it has the largest department of HR experts in Europe.
  • You will be taught by research experts belonging to one of the leading academic centers in HR studies in Europe. You will learn through blended lectures, assignments, and remote learning.
  • By choosing electives in the field of HRM, you can actively shape your own profile as a graduate and specialize in one central topic within HRM, such as Talent Management, Compensation & Benefits, Inclusive HRM, Strength-based HRM, or HRM & Labor Law.
  • Thanks to the international orientation and practice-oriented approach, you will have a head start on the labor market.

Interested in the MSc Human Resource Studies?

Check your eligibility and the deadlines for application