Please note: This Master's programme stops. You can no longer apply.

Please have a look at the Dutch Master's in SHRM: Strategisch Human Resource Management.

If you are a current student of Strategic Human Resource Management, please visit the students website.

What does an organisation need to do in order to perform well? And what qualifies ‘good performance’ of public and private organisations? How can you employ human capital in your organisation to excel, is that recruiting the best employees, investing in training and development, applying a supportive leadership style, giving employees autonomy, providing suitable remuneration - or a smart combination of all these elements? And who is responsible for putting these personnel policies into practice? How can you encourage effective implementation? Besides, such questions can only fully be answered by taking into account the external environment of an organisation: how do organisations engage with their social environment, and how do they fulfil their social responsibility? What is the ‘public dimension’ of strategic human resource management? What impact do developments such as internationalization, digitalization and individualization have on Human Resource Management? If these questions spark your interest, then we invite you to learn more about this MSc at Utrecht University. 

Watch the video to see Programme Director Jasmijn van Harten together with a student and alumna elaborate about this programme.

Strategic HRM: working in a changing environment

This Master’s programme focuses on Human Resource Management (HRM), and its effects on organisational goals (good performance), employee well-being (for example, health and motivation) and social legitimacy. We study HRM in the context of societal developments such as an ageing population, internationalisation, and technological change. This means that we do not regard HR policy as a stand-alone policy domain, but rather as a domain in which developments in organisations and society as a whole are incorporated and integrated into management. What makes HR policies strategic in its coherence, its alignment with the organisations strategic goals, and with internal and external developments.

Organisations have to deal with government regulations in the area of labour and personnel. Public and private sector organisations have to take into account economic and social policies at both national and EU level. There is also social diversity, individualisation, internationalisation, the declining numbers of young people and an ageing population. So organisations need to work on issues such as sustainable employability, diversity management, and an age-conscious personnel policy. 

This programme involves gaining a profound understanding of SHRM-theory and research and you will learn how to apply this knowledge when analysing policy issues that organisations have to deal with in their environment.

Distinctive features of the programme

In Utrecht, Strategic Human Resource Management is a broad programme focusing on Human Resource Management issues that are important to an organisation’s strategy. The programmes other distinctive features include: 

What we look for in a student

The Public Administration and Organisation Science Master’s programmes are based on the assumption that you will already have acquired a considerable amount of expertise. Our aim is to activate and supplement that expertise. Accordingly, an inquisitive, engaged attitude to study is important here.
Utrecht University sets high standards for its Master’s programmes. You can count on small-scale and challenging educational programmes, effective supervision, and inspiring experts who would want nothing more than to share their expertise with you. Utrecht University also expects you to be involved, dedicated, and determined to do your very best. In fact, everything revolves around mutual commitment.

After you graduate

On completing this Master’s programme, you will know how to establish effective Strategic HRM. This involves aligning HRM policy with organisational goals, coordinating HRM activities, and effective implementation. You will have an understanding of the relevant functional areas (such as training and development), of the relevant theories, models and of the methods and techniques involved in designing and conducting research. You will also possess the HRM skills needed to give presentations, to operate in teams with people from a wide range of backgrounds, to persuade others, and to draw up a policy framework based on a contextual analysis. Finally, you will acquire HRM competences that specifically focus on personal leadership (in areas such as planning, providing guidance in the context of teamwork, dealing with adversity, etc.). Read more about your possible Career Prospects.

Key facts

Public Administration and Organisation Science
Language of instruction: 
Mode of study: 
Tuition fees: 
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2024-2025: € 2,530

Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2024-2025: € 20,043

More information about fees
Croho code: 
Accredited by the NVAO
Law, Economics and Governance