1.5 years full time or longer for part time
Delivery mode: 
Face to Face
Application due dates:
Applications are not being taken at this time.


Become a leader in human-resource and industrial-relation management. This program is designed for people with relevant experience – letting you complete a masters degree in a shorter timeframe.

If you are passionate about supporting people in their work environment and want to progress to a challenging leadership role, this course will put you on track.

Our specialised masters teaches the latest theory in modern industrial-relations (IR) and human-resource (HR) management. These are highly sought-after skills, making this area an excellent career choice.

You’ll graduate with skills that include:

  • mediation for workplace negotiations
  • managing human resources for performance
  • expertise on labour law, markets and institutions
  • IR conflict resolution.

This masters program is 1.5 years full time. We also offer a two-year Master of Business (Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management) for those without the experience needed for advanced standing.

Employment for HR managers is expected to grow strongly in the next four years (JobOutlook).

Industrial relations is an area that few HR professionals are drawn to, so there is high demand for professionals with this expertise. Project consultants, advisers, and IR and employee-relations specialists top the list of in-demand roles in Australia’s HR sector.

With this qualification, tasks you may get to perform include:

  • working on HR management strategies to meet business needs
  • overseeing performance-management systems
  • negotiating with unions and employees
  • overseeing redundancies
  • monitoring employment costs and productivity levels.

Our masters has a research component, in which you’ll gain high-level research and reporting skills. You can undertake an industry research project, or an academic research thesis.

Each project will teach you to envisage and plan for business innovations and development. For your thesis, you will apply theory and analysis to a relevant organisation in a socially responsible manner.

We have a strong research focus for all our graduate students. An important part of this is industry partnerships, which give you real-world contacts and experience.

VU gives you the opportunity to associate with peers from all around the world. The Victoria Graduate School of Business (VGSB) offers a truly international educational experience.

We have built an extensive international network – with partners in China, Singapore, Malaysia, India and France.

Many of our post-graduate students are currently working. Our campus is accessible and convenient if you are juggling work and study.

The Victoria Graduate School of Business has its campus directly opposite Flinders Street Station, right in the centre of the city. We have strong ties with the nearby business community – which we use to give you practical experience during your studies.

As a postgraduate student you might want to take up one of many opportunities to further develop your academic language and study skills. VU’s Learning Hubs are welcoming spaces where you can improve your study and employability skills.

We offer maths, writing, careers and English-language advice, and show you effective ways to study and manage your time.

Our programs include:

  • workshops
  • drop-in sessions
  • peer mentoring
  • maths and writing resources
  • resume and career guidance.

We also have accessibility support services and counselling services available for all students.

Careers in industrial relations and HR management

This course could lead to a career as one of the following:

  • human resource executive
  • employee relations manager
  • industrial relations manager
  • union official or representative.

You could find work in one of the following areas:

  • small or large businesses
  • banks
  • consultancies
  • local and national government.


Use Job Outlook to find the average salary for human resource managers in Australia.

Course structure

To attain the Master of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management, students will be required to complete 144 credit points (equivalent to 12 units) consisting of:

  • 24 credit points (equivalent to 2 units) core units:
  • 84 credit points (equivalent to 7 units) professional core units

Plus either / or
12 credit points (equivalent to 1 unit) capstone unit; and,
24 credit points (equivalent to 2 units) elective units. Students to select from any postgraduate units across the University (subject to availability).
12 credit points (equivalent to 1 unit) research proposal unit; and,
24 credit points (equivalent to 2 units) minor thesis unit.

Year 1, Semester 1

Year 1, Semester 2



12 credit points (equivalent to 1 unit) elective unit. Students to select from any postgraduate units across the University (subject to availability).



Year 2, Semester 1



12 credit points elective unit. Students to select from any postgraduate units across the University (subject to availability).



On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Critically reflect upon theoretical approaches and analyse their application to achieve effective IR/HR strategies.  
  2. Justify and interpret theoretical propositions and related bodies of knowledge to critically evaluate the resolution of business problems and recommend actions relevant to IR/HR in contemporary business, industry and community settings.  
  3. Critically apply cross disciplinary knowledge to IR/HR-related decision making with creativity for emerging contexts.  
  4. Exhibit accountability in autonomous and collaborative judgements and innovative strategic thinking in response to contemporary and future professional IR/HR challenges.  
  5. Work as a reflective practitioner to formulate, implement and evaluate industry-specific investigations to resolve complex professional problems and inform IR/HR decision making.  
  6. Communicate effectively with specialist and non- specialist audiences including multi-disciplinary teams, diverse cultural communities and business and other professional organisations.  
  7. Exemplify initiative and inspirational leadership in a dynamic 21st century work environment, acting consistently, ethically and socially responsibly.  
  8. Plan and execute a substantial research based project or evidence-based capstone experience linked to contemporary sustainable, socially responsible and ethical IR/HR practices to generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts at abstract and practical levels.  

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.


Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.

Fees & scholarships

Fee type definitions

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) or a full fee-paying place.

Students who enrol in a:

In addition to your tuition fees, you may also be charged a Student Services & Amenities Fee (SSAF).

Scholarships & assistance

Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.

We can help with fee assistance and advice.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Entry requirements

Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in a similar discipline
Completion of an Australian Graduate Certificate (or equivalent) in a similar discipline
Applicants without an undergraduate qualification may be admitted to the Graduate Certificate (in the same discipline) based on approved work experience. Upon completion of the Graduate Certificate, graduates will be eligible for admission to this course with credit granted for completed units.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course coordinator or academic adviser.

How to apply

Applications for this course are not being taken at this time.

Browse our other Business administration courses or send us an enquiry to be notified of updates relating to this course.

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