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New postgraduate programme trains strategic human resource managers
Author: Daniel Bugan
Published: 11/06/2020

​The Department of Industrial Psychology has announced that it will be launching a new postgraduate programme in human resource (HR) management in January 2021.

The Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Strategic Human Resource Management is the first programme of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences that was designed for a hybrid-learning environment, blending online instruction with contact instruction.

The programme offers a development opportunity to graduates in any field seeking to augment their qualifications with core HR management knowledge and skills, as well as to examine the strategic application of the HR function in organisations.

“Our market analysis has shown that there is a big need in the market for senior HR officers and line managers to develop strategic human resource management competencies to drive the successful execution of business strategy," programme leader Marius Meyer said. “This programme therefore prepares HR managers for senior and top management positions and to gain access to the boards of companies."

The programme has been designed with inputs from top HR directors, business executives and thought leaders, thereby ensuring a cutting-edge approach to HR best practices aligned to the realities and complexities of the new world of work.

According to Meyer the programme differs from those offered by other universities in that it addresses the strategic side of HR Management, culminating in a full qualification.

“In most existing programmes Strategic HR Management is offered as a module of a main qualification in Industrial Psychology or HR Management.  This programme covers the full spectrum of Strategic HR Management practice, thus enabling the HR manager to operate at a strategic level together with the senior or top management at a company."

The qualification will also facilitate the upward career mobility of middle managers in various disciplines requiring people management skills.

“What makes this programme unique, is that all assignments are done working on Strategic HR Management projects within an organisation, thereby assisting companies to refine and improve their HR strategies," said Meyer.

The programme conforms to a modular/blended learning mode of delivery (physical and online contact) at the Stellenbosch University main campus.

Requirements for admission are a first degree in any field, coupled with at least three work years' experience, including responsibility for any aspect of people management in an organisation, as well as access to the internet.

The duration of the programme is one year full time (eight modules) or two year part time (four modules per year).

The eight modules are Strategic HR Management and Ethics; Strategic HR Development and Coaching; Talent Management; Employment Law; Employment Relations; Organisation Behaviour; Compensation Management; and HR Metrics.​

Meyer said the online component of the programme offers two further benefits for students. It can help balance their work, family and study commitments and will also enable HR practitioners to refine their online learning skills to drive online learning in their own companies.

In view of the fact that HR managers play a key role in managing Covid-19 in the workplace, a special section on the management of this pandemic has been included as part of HR Risk Management in the Strategic HR Management module.  Moreover, the Future of Work learning unit covers typical Covid-19 friendly workplace programmes, such as flexible work arrangements and digital HR management. 

“This will ensure that these students are also enabled to manage the 'new normal' as part of their future workplace programmes, in addition to focusing on the health, safety and employee wellbeing imperatives pertaining to the Covid-19 crisis," said Meyer.

The new postgraduate diploma will build on the current undergraduate programmes in HR Management and Industrial Psychology offered by the Department of Industrial Psychology.

    Marius Meyer1.jpg
  • ​For more information, or to be added to the admission waiting list, contact the course administrator, Rahkeenah Peters, on indpsych@sun.ac.za.

  • ​Main photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash. Photo on the right: Mr Marius Meyer