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Part-Time Masters in HR Management & Business Leadership

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Part-Time Master's Degree in HRM & Leadership (M.A.) in Germany


Start a career in Human Resources with the part-time HR master's

A company is only as good as its employees. HR managers take on the crucial task of recruiting the best minds for their company in times of a shortage of skilled workers. In the part-time master’s degree “ HRM & Business Leadership” you will learn the latest specialist and leadership knowledge with which you can successfully face the challenges of human resources management.

What will you learn in the part-time HRM degree?

This part-time Master's in HR Management offers you insight into personnel management in a globalised world from the very first semester. In addition to general business knowledge, you will be introduced to strategic management and the topics of diversity and business ethics, amongst others.

In the third semester, a focus is placed on strategic human resources management, corporate development, and business transformation. As part of the integrated practical module "Business Project", you will then advise a real customer by working on the problem of a CBS cooperation partner in a team and deriving recommendations for action. You can then put your entrepreneurial skills to the test together with fellow students in the Business Simulation Game. In this virtual business game you make complex business decisions on which the profit or loss of "your company" depends.

You will learn how to convince investors, partners and managing directors in the Innovation Lab - Business Plan Writing and Pitching and advance skills in the Capstone Simulation Game. In this digital business game, you take business decisions with your team and put your business know-how into practice.

In the last semester, you will then concentrate on writing your master's thesis, which you can of course base thematically on a current project of your employer.

Part-time HRM degree - holistic view on HR Management

During this part-time human resources master's degree, you will take a holistic look at human resources management. You will learn how to motivate employees and to what extent globalization affects human resources management. In addition, you will deal with the following questions, among others:

  • How can training and further education be optimally implemented through personnel development?

  • Under which aspects do I select new employees?

  • What role do culture-specific characteristics play in team composition?

  • In which cases does a decentralized personnel organization pay off?

  • What legal aspects need to be taken into account in personnel planning?

  • How do I mediate in crisis situations in human resources?

  • ECTS 120
  • Semester 5
  • Language English
  • Type of Study Part-time
  • Degree Master of Arts
  • Campus Cologne
  • Start of Studies Winter Cologne
  • Study Fee* 3.210 €

Study Course Plan

Some information about the study plan for the study programme Masters in Human Resources and Leadership:

General business teaching units

Business Economics3 ECTS ? !
  • Analysis of demand, supply, and market equilibrium

  • Theory of consumer choice

  • Theory of the firm, production and cost analysis

  • Market structures: perfect competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, contestable markets

  • Game theory

  • Pricing strategies

  • Factor markets, labor economics

  • Economics of information

  • Industrial organization

  • Limitations of markets and interventions by the government

  • Econometric techniques related to these topics

Empirical Research Methods3 ECTS ? !
  • Development of a research question

  • Primary vs. secondary data

  • Steps of research process

  • Research designs

  • Quantitative and qualitative data

  • Structured methods of data collection: questionnaire and structured interview

  • Un- and semi-structured methods: qualitative interview and focus group

  • Quantitative and qualitative content analysis

  • Ethical considerations of data collection

  • Sampling

  • Data analysis using statistical software programs (SPSS)

  • Univariate analysis, bivariate analysis (crosstab and correlation), multiple linear regression

  • Writing a research report – structural and other formal requirements

Strategic Analysis & Management3 ECTS ? !
  •  Strategy making process and strategic reasoning: cognitive process of strategy 
    creation through the prism of logic and intuition

  • Setting strategic purpose in the context of responsible stakeholder management

  • Advanced external environment analysis: markets, industries and competitive 
    landscapes in static and dynamic perspective in the domestic and international 

  • Diagnosing and managing strategic capability through national borders over time

  • Cultural and institutional context of strategic management: concepts, frameworks 
    and analytical tools

  • Generic and interactive business strategies, inside-out and outside-in perspective on 
    achieving and sustaining competitive advantage internationally

  • Network-level strategies

  • Corporate development and configuration: strategic options and portfolio matrices

  • Strategy formation

  • Strategic change and corporate restructuring

  • Strategic renewal

  • Strategy evaluation and strategic controls: tools and methods

  • Organizing for success

Innovation Management & Digital Transformation3 ECTS ? !
  • Diagnosing the change context: diffusion and dynamics of innovation 

  • Sources & types of innovation

  • Product/service, process & business model innovation

  • Individual and corporate creativity

  • Strategic innovation management & the innovation process incl. New Product Development (NPD)

  • Introduction to digitalization, digital age & digital divide

  • Digital drivers & disruptive forces

  • Technological drivers of digital transformation

  • Socio-technological change associated with the adoption of the mentioned drivers

  • Introduction to the digital organization & digital business models

  • Impact of digitalization on the value chain (Industry 4.0)

  • Digitalization-related innovation theories & technology management

  • Digitalization leadership & organisational transformation concepts

  • Change management & transformational leadership

  • Agility and VUCA world

  • SCRUM and Design Thinking

Programme specific teaching units

Intercultural HR & Diversity Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Introduction to Intercultural HRM, International HRM and Comparative HRM

  • Meaning of Culture & Cultural Transmission

  • Models of Culture: Traditional Models

  • Models of Culture: Developments & Debates

  • Intercultural Communication and Negotiation

  • Leadership & Multicultural Teams

  • Motivation and Exchange in a Cross-Cultural Context

  • Theoretical Foundation on Diversity Management

  • Intercultural Diversity Management Concepts

  • The Social Identity Perspective on Diversity

  • Privilege and power in the workplace

  • The Ethics or Workplace Diversity

  • Conducting a Diversity Audit

International Labour Law & Business Ethics3 ECTS ? !
  • Introduction to International Labour Law and Business Ethics

  • Key facts – labour costs as an economic key factor, labour as a basis of a stable income, dissimilar working conditions

  • Labour law in the EU – different models in different member states

  • The concept of free movement of workers in the EU

  • EU wide principles of non-discrimination, safety, working-time

  • Posted workers in the EU – responsibilities of the host states

  • International Labour Organization

  • ILO’s key objectives and principles

  • Focus: Safety and security at work

  • Focus: Forced Labour - ILO’s objectives and companies’ responsibilities

  • Focus: Child Labour – ILO’s objectives and companies’ responsibilities

  • Focus: Non-discrimination

  • Focus: Maritime Labour – seafarer wages

  • Current challenges

Interdisciplinary competencies

International Project Management2 ECTS ? !
  • Social competence: Communication, motivation, groups and team structures, leadership, conflict management

  • Methodological competence: Structural aspects, time management, cost management, human resource management, creativity and problem solving

  • Organisational competence: Quality management, documentation, risk management, project start and closure

Language & Communication Skills2 ECTS ? !

The “Scholarly Writing and Analysis” course is offered for German native speakers. German as a foreign language is offered as an obligatory course for Non-native German speakers.

General business teaching units

Corporate Social Responsibility3 ECTS ? !
  • Cornerstones of sustainable management

  • CSR as management approach

  • Practical approaches of organizational effectiveness

  • Tools for CSR implementation

  • CSR and financial performance

  • Life cycle assessment

Corporate Governance3 ECTS ? !
  • Historical developments around the world

  • Directors and board structures in different parts of the world

  • Family business governance

  • Role of institutional investors

  • Corporate governance in mergers and acquisitions

  • Socially responsible investments

  • Corporate governance in different regions

Value Based Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Value maximization and corporate objectives, shareholder value and stakeholder value approach

  • Financial measurement of corporate strategies and competitive advantage: the principles

  • Shortcomings of traditional profitability ratios for a value-based management

  • Economic Value Added, Cash Value Added

  • Identifying the drivers of value creation and investment decision-making

  • Management compensation and incentives for value creation

Sustainable Supply Chain Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Defining the state of a sustainable supply chain based on actual trends

  • Discussion of various theoretical concepts (e.g. Stakeholder Theory, Slack Resource Theory) and their implications for sustainable supply chain management

  • Defining a “New Normal” of how to do business (e.g. circular economy, regenerative business models, carbon literacy training)

  • Sustainable Marketing (definition, Green Marketing Strategy Mix, Green Washing and Sustainable Consumer Buying Behaviour)

  • Sustainable Procurement (definition, Sustainable Procurement Process Model with a focus on sustainable supplier relationship management; new trends like circular procurement)

  • Sustainable Logistics

  • Sustainable Design

  • Carbon Emission / Human Rights in global supply chains

Programme specific teaching units

HR Development & Coaching3 ECTS ? !
  • Introduction to HR training & development

  • Needs analysis and various forms of further training and personnel development

  • Instruments and planning of HR development

  • Transfer and evaluation of personnel development measures

  • Performance & Staff appraisals and agreement on objectives

  • The psychology of potential and competence

  • Customer orientation

  • Social competences

  • Group and team dynamics

  • Counselling formats

  • Development of coaching

  • Evaluation and effectiveness of coaching

  • Development phases and intervention methods of coaching

  • E-coaching

  • Anamnesis in the initial interview

  • Typical coaching occasions

  • Dramaturgy of a coaching session and a coaching process

  • Social interactions in the coaching process

  • Methods of coaching

HR Research Techniques & Metrics 3 ECTS ? !
  • HR research objectives

  • Planning the HR research process

  • Types of research and information sources

  • HR research quality evaluation criteria

  • HR metrics

  • Predictive HR analytics

  • Benchmarking studies

  • Collecting, recording and analysing qualitative HR-related data

  • Collecting, recording and analysing quantitative HR-related data

  • HR surveys

  • HR information systems and software for statistical analysis

  • HR Balanced Scorecard

  • Summarizing and communicating research findings and making recommendations

Elective area

Business Elective3 ECTS ? !

A business elective is a business or management-related elective course.By choosing Business Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge.

Interdisciplinary competencies

Emotional Intelligence 2 ECTS ? !
  • Different Inteligencies – IQ vs EQ

  • The role of emotions – daily and work life

  • The construct of Emotional intelligence

  • Emotionally intelligent competencies & skills

  • Skills acquisition – Experiential/action learning

  • Reflection & reflexion

  • Encouraging engagement

  • Developing trust

Programme specific teaching units

HR Consulting & Project Management Techniques3 ECTS ? !

The course “HR Consulting and Project Management Techniques” introduce students to the main challenges of the modern HR management consulting profession and includes e.g. key problem solving as well as decision making techniques, constituting the main elements of the “advanced toolkit”, commonly used by HR consultants in diverse contexts.

  • HR Management consulting as a management activity

  • Controversies and ethics of HR management consulting

  • HR Consulting engagement as problem solving exercise

  • Analytical and interactive data processing and forecasting methods

  • Analytical problem solving approaches and techniques

  • Creative approaches to problem solving and decision making

  • Evidence-based decision making methods

  • Structured and logical report writing techniques

  • Effective communication techniques

  • Application of different instruments and methods of agile HR work and instruments

Experience Lab: HR Innovation Café3 ECTS ? !
  • Introduction to HR innovations and the philosophy of “New Generation HR”

  • Overview of Contemporary and future HRM

  • Implementation innovative HR approaches, tools, and techniques

  • Best Practices discussions (topics depending on the involved HR practitioners)

  • Impact analysis of selected HR innovations on the company's performance

  • Conditions for a successful implementation (culture, acceptance, etc.)

  • Ethical considerations & sustainability of HR innovations

  • Creating own and new ideas of innovative HR approaches, tools, etc.

Strategic Human Resource Management & Leadership3 ECTS ? !
  • Theory of strategic HRM

  • Strategic HRM and business strategy

  • Strategic HRM and organisational performance

  • Strategic HRM in a complex and uncertain environment

  • Strategic HRM in MNEs vs. SMEs

  • Strategic Staffing

  • Strategic Training and Develop Management

  • Strategic Compensation and Rewards

  • Strategic HRM and Sustainability

  • Leadership Theories / Models and Leadership Traits

  • Leadership Styles

  • Cognitive, Behavioural, and Emotional Explanation for Human Motivation

  • Performance Management and Controlling

  • Leadership Tools

Corporate Development & Business Transformation3 ECTS ? !
  • Organisations and Organisational Effectiveness

  • Organisational Theory

  • Basic Challenges of Organisational Planning and Development

  • Organisational Design

  • Management in Organisational and Ethical Culture

  • Organisational Life Cycle

  • Organisational Decision Making

  • Organisational Development and Change

  • Change Management in Mergers and Acquisitions

Business Project6 ECTS ? !

The overall objective of this course is to provide students with possibility of applying their business knowledge on concrete business situation, related to the field of their specialization.

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Define project goals for the “client”.

  • Work under the set timeframe and agreed project scope.

  • Cooperate in the international project teams.

  • Evaluate markets/ industries/ competitive landscapes.

  • Develop possible strategic directions for the “client” business.

  • Formulate recommendations.

Elective area

Business Elective3 ECTS ? !

A business elective is a business or management-related elective course.By choosing Business Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge.

Interdisciplinary Elective3 ECTS ? !

By choosing Interdisciplinary Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge. An interdisciplinary elective is an elective from another discipline than your own specialization.

Programme specific teaching units

Sustainable Leadership & Employee Relationship Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Main Concepts in Employment Relations

  • Leadership construct and different perspectives

  • Leadership relationships (leader, led)

  • Interactional, personal and situational aspects of leadership

  • Leadership effectiveness

  • Theoretical explanations of the development of the leadership relationship (e.g. leader-member exchange theory)

  • Selected fields of leadership

  • Work-life balance

  • Different approaches to leadership styles & different leadership tools

  • Significant and current developments in organizational practice and corresponding consequences for leadership in organizations

  • Strategies of Employee Relationship Management (ERM), employees as internal customers

  • Importance of emotional intelligence in employee relationship management (ERM)

  • International and comparative employment relations

  • Employee relations and CSR

New Work & Digital HRM3 ECTS ? !
  • Image of humanity

  • Changing (social) values

  • Forms of New Work

  • Self-direction, Self-control, Self-Guidance

  • Holacracy

  • Big Data and HR Analytics

  • Digital competences

  • Digital technologies and their significance for HR

  • Active Sourcing & Social Media Recruiting

  • Use of software and mobile applications in further selected HR functions (HR training & development; HR compensation & benefits, HR service)

Venture Lab4 ECTS ? !
  • Discovering and evaluating entrepreneurial opportunities

  • Developing business ideas from opportunities (e.g. based on using Design Thinking, Personas and User Stories).

  • Feasibility analysis of business ideas

  • Transferring the idea into a Business Model

  • Business Model and its building blocks (value proposition, customers segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue model, key partners, key activities, key resources, cost structure)

  • Business Plan: Introduction, Sample Case and General Outline

  • Developing the details of the business plan

  • Finding sources of financing: Business angels; Private equity; Start up financing; Venture capital investors

  • Preparing a pitch deck for successfully presenting the new venture business plan

Integrative Case Studies3 ECTS ? !
  • Focused review of the curriculum content

  • Pre-assessment quiz/ content area assessment as benchmark for students’ status quo

  • Guide and Strategic Plan to Case Study Analysis

  • Writing a proper Case Study Analysis report

  • Developing proper answers to Case questions, applying the relevant theoretical knowledge and frameworks

  • In-depth Case Study Analysis with focus all subject areas of the curriculum

  • In-depth Case Study Analysis with special focus on Strategic Management

Business Simulation Game3 ECTS ? !

In a business simulation game participants have to manage their own virtual company which operates in the same market as other participant-operated competitors. This involves making typical management decisions in realistic environments. Beside the deepening and active examination of subject-specific knowledge the simulation games also include the team environment, where interaction, communication and prioritization are of paramount importance. Participants learn how to manage risk and uncertainty while time is limited and information constrained. Group-reflections help to take over different perspectives and to discuss pros and cons of content- as well as behavior-related actions.

Master Thesis Tutorial2 ECTS ? !

During the Master Thesis Tutorial you will learn the fundamentals for your Master thesis: Defining the topic as well as structuring the thesis and you will learn the theoretical knowledge for scientific working.

Elective area

Interdisciplinary Elective3 ECTS ? !

By choosing Interdisciplinary Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge. An interdisciplinary elective is an elective from another discipline than your own specialization.

Programme specific teaching units

Master Thesis28 ECTS ? !

During your 5th semester you are working on your Master thesis, the subject is freely selectable. A supervisor from CBS will support you and you can write the thesis in collaboration with a company as well. Or you can write your thesis in connection with a stay abroad.

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Business management know-how as a basis in the part-time HRM & Business Leadership master's

The part-time master’s degree “HRM & Leadership” is based on sound business education. You will acquire all the skills and abilities of a master’s degree in business administration, supplemented by specialized courses in human resources and elective subjects. You will attend seminars on “Business Economics”, “Corporate Governance” and “Sustainable Supply Chain Management”.

Master Thesis with our partners

In the part-time master’s programme “HRM & Leadership” you will write your thesis in the last semester, if you wish, as part of a company project.

Your path to becoming an HR specialist

After completing the part-time master’s programme “HRM & Leadership” you can take on new positions within the personnel management of national and international companies. Self-employment and the admission to a doctorate also offer further career prospects.







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This is What Our Students Say

Philip Kollmann
Project Manager
Wayne´s Coffee

"Especially the soft skill courses have been of great help for my performance in job interviews. Through my work in the Finance and Business Club I have built up a broad network and acquired project management skills that have enabled me to score points with companies."

Katrin Rieger
Bereichsdirektorin Reisevertrieb Deutschland / Vice President Sales
HanseMerkur Krankenversicherung

"The practical learning in small groups prepared me optimally for today's project and team work. The CBS provided me with the decisive soft skills and current knowledge from the world of business."

Christopher Rosenbaum
Ernst & Young GmbH

"The Management Studies programme prepares you thoroughly for the tasks of a consultant. In particular, the development of presentation techniques as well as analytical thinking is of enormous importance in the everyday life of a consultant."

Oliver Kiderle
EMEA Regional Product Expert
Google Inc.

"The focus on internationality and practical skills have had a very positive influence on my development at Google. Especially the structured and very versatile project work, which is often found at a private school, was extremely helpful."

Kalle Kenkel
Commercial Excellence Manager
GE Healthcare

"My studies at CBS prepared me for a career in today's dynamic, global work environment. As one's origin and physical location become less and less decisive, it has become increasingly important to have a multinational network and adapt quickly to various cultures and environments."

Neil Jordaan
Global Digital Content Manager

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Patrick Stein
Head of Human Resources
Boston Consulting Group

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