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Human resources degree: study contents, requirements and professions


Discover talents and study HR

HR expertise is essential for companies who want to discover the most talented employees. Skilled employees are the basis for success in any company. But good employees won’t want to work for a company unless that company hires qualified HR managers. HR managers recruit suitable employees for open positions. In addition, good HR management nurtures employees so that each individual can reach their full potential. Recruitment and worker development are key parts of a human resources management degree. Organizing appropriate training measures for employees is a must in this regard. At the same time, technological progress in terms of digitalization is constantly advancing. Good HR management supports this progress through the development and evolution of innovative work processes. Strong HR management is the cornerstone for company success. Developing employees and finding the correct leadership team are essential. Your human resources degree will give you the knowledge and skills to meet these requirements.

What is HR management?

HR management is a subfield of business administration that focuses on the areas of work and personnel. Ultimately, HR about strategies, measures, and fields of action that are intended to support the company development. HR management is divided into five sub-areas. These are personnel management, strategy, planning and organization, personnel control, and personnel development. Since every employee contributes to the success of a company, the employees of a company are an important capital resource. Protecting that resource is crucial.

Why study human resources courses?

Job prospects in the field of HR management are steadily improving. This is partly related to demographic change. Demographic change presents a major challenge for all companies. More employees are retiring than new young professionals are entering the job market to fill the gaps. The shortage of skilled workers is also a factor. A company needs highly qualified HR management personnel who are able to find and retain the best employees. In your HR studies, you will learn all the skills you need to work in the HR field after you graduate.

What can you expect in an HR management degree, and does it suit you?

Your human resources degree will prepare you for a diverse and demanding professional future. For example, as an HR manager, you combine economic topics with working with people. Your area of responsibility includes the provision, development, and optimal use of employees. Perfect HR management is a key factor in the success of a company. Studying human resource management will make you a sought-after worker on the market. During your studies, you will deal with recruiting, employer branding, and employee motivation. And you will also develop practical business knowledge to help you in these tasks. In addition, the human resources degree includes specific subjects such as business mathematics, personnel development, project management, business and work psychology, and personnel management.

  • Recognize the potential of personnel

  • Determine and exploit employee potential

  • Apply analysis methods for employee behavior

  • Apply labor and social law principles

  • Recognize employee motivation options

  • Individually promote and actively motivate employees 

  • Optimize company communication

Below are some important criteria that will help you quickly determine whether a human resources degree is suitable for you. To succeed during a human resources degree you should have:

  • A good understanding of numbers

  • Interest in mathematics

  • Enjoyment of foreign languages

  • Enjoyment of interacting with people

  • Social competence

  • Very good understanding of people

  • Sense of responsibility

  • Communication and persuasion skills

  • Empathy

  • Determination

  • Conflict management skills

  • Stress tolerance

  • Organizational talent

  • Flexibility

Human Resources study programmes at CBS




Type of Study:




What are the contents of an human resource management degree? What do you learn in a human resources degree? 

The content of the human resources degree depends on whether you want to pursue a bachelor's or a master's degree. For this reason, human resources degree requirements are presented separately.


The first section of the HR degree teaches general business administration subjects. This consists of the following components:

  • Foundations of Business Administration

  • Business Operation

  • Commercial Law

  • Mathematics

  • Statistics

  • Financial Accounting

  • Applied Financial Accounting

  • Investment & Financing

  • Microeconomics


Programme-specific teaching content in your bachelor's degree includes:

  • Corporate Management & Organization

  • Procurement & Logistics

  • Talent Acquistions

  • Reward Management

  • Training & Development

  • Bonding Management and Employer Branding Strategies

  • Human Resource Management

  • Change Management


In addition to cross-disciplinary competencies:

  • Foreign Language

  • Business English

  • Personal Skills

  • Leadership behavior & methods

  • Diversity Management

  • Negotiation techniques


In the Human Resource Management Master's degree, you will deepen your knowledge. First, you will be taught general business administration subjects in depth.

This part of the Masters HR degree consists of the following components:

  • Business Economics

  • Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Empirical Research Methods

  • Strategic Analysis & Management

  • Digital Management


The programme-specific teaching content in your HR management degree for a Master's degree includes:

  • Intercultural HR & Diversity Management

  • International Labor Law & Business Ethics

  • HR Development & Coaching

  • HR Research Techniques & Metrics

  • Digital Leadership

  • New Work &  Personal 4.0


In addition to cross-disciplinary competencies:

  • International Project Management

  • Language & Communication Skills

  • Team & Self-Management

  • Creative Thinking & Innovation

  • Leadership behavior


Course structure and duration

The structure and duration of your HR degree depend on whether you complete a bachelor's or a masters in human resource management. The characteristics are therefore presented separately below:


The bachelor's human resources degree takes 6 or 7 semesters. Lectures are available in German or English and you will complete your bachelor's degree with a bachelor's thesis for the Bachelor of Arts. You can choose to study full-time at CBS or study part-time while working. This will also determine the practical phases of your studies. An internship and an optional semester abroad are part of the full-time degree programme. CBS places a lot of emphasis on practical relevance in the degree programmes.

Therefore, depending on the human resources degree programme and study model, students have the opportunity to directly apply the knowledge acquired in their studies. Students put their skills into practice through business projects with our partners and business simulation games.


The Master's degree programme takes 4 or 5 semesters. The lectures are available in German or English. You will complete your Master's degree with your Master's thesis for the Master of Arts. You can choose to complete your HR Master's degree full-time at CBS or study part-time while working.

Since CBS places a great emphasis on the practical relevance of theoretical knowledge, you should also plan practical phases of your studies. An internship and an optional semester abroad are planned for the full-time human resources degree programme. These components let you put your theoretically acquired knowledge into practice. Students carry out business projects with practice partners and business simulation games. This is a great way to find out how well you can apply your knowledge in practice.

What are the requirements for studying HR?

The requirements for studying HR depend on whether you want to enroll in a bachelor's or master's programme. The requirements are presented separately.


To be eligible for a bachelor's degree in HR, you should have a general higher education entrance qualification or a full vocational college qualification. Degrees from foreign schools, such as the Matura, A-Levels, General Certificate of Education or IB Diploma, are also recognized. For the English language proficiency requirement, you will need to present a valid certificate, which must not be more than two years old. Alternatively, you can participate in the CBS's free online English test.


To be eligible for a master's degree in HR at the CBS, you must have a first academic degree (bachelor's, diploma, master's) from a recognized German or international university, university of applied sciences, or vocational academy with a minimum grade of "good." If you did not achieve this grade in your first degree, you will have to go through a separate admission process. Your first degree should be in a business-related field and have a total credit volume of at least 180 ECTS points.


The HR program can be studied without a Numerus Clausus (NC). An NC is not required.

For more information on the application process and requirements at the CBS, please visit this link.

Types of Studies: Alternatives to Full-Time On-Campus Studies

It is common for studies in the field of Human Resource Management to be conducted as full-time on-campus studies. This allows you to fully focus on the subject matter and requirements of the studies, which is important and takes time. However, other alternatives are also available when obtaining a degree in Human Resource Management.

You can also study Human Resource Management part-time at CBS. The HR studies programme will then be a form of qualification to advance in your career or even change jobs completely following graduation. To give you sufficient time during the week for your job, lectures for the part-time programme at CBS take place on weekends. The CBS programme is fully tailored to the needs of a part-time study programme, allowing you to achieve all your goals.

Additionally, you can choose to study Human Resource Management at CBS as a dual program. In this HR studies format, you will learn the theory of Human Resource Management at the university, while also working in your dream job and gaining practical experience. Dual programs are often funded by the employer. In addition, you will receive a monthly salary that allows you to support yourself.

A dual program at CBS is very popular and is gaining increasing significance. At CBS, you will acquire the knowledge of a renowned business school while also gaining work experience with employers. Companies support the form of a dual program because they are interested in specialized and leadership personnel who can start working in the job without a training period after graduation. For you, the dual program has the advantage that you will be prepared for your first job right after graduation and enjoy financial security during your study period.

A full-time HR degree at CBS requires a time commitment similar to a full-time job. During your semester weekly hours, you will participate in lectures, courses, or seminars. The material must also be prepared by you before and after the lectures. The lectures are usually from Monday to Friday. In addition, block events are also held, which take place on weekends. You will also need to learn at home, as giving presentations, writing papers, or preparing for exams will become part of your daily routine.

Human resources careers: What can you do with a human resources management degree?

With a degree in human resources management, numerous opportunities will be open to you. HR skills are greatly needed in various business sectors. For example, you can work as a human resources specialist, human resources developer, personnel cost planner, coach, personnel coordinator, HR business partner, or human resources consultant.

Human resource management salary

Salaries in human resources management vary. Entry-level professionals in HR management jobs can expect an annual gross salary of around $32,000. With the right human resource degree and experience, annual gross salaries in the range of $45,000 are possible. The annual average salary in human resource management jobs is around $38,000 gross.

You can find more information in our blog post.

Where can I study human resources management? 

The study locations for the Bachelor of Human Resources Management degree at CBS are Cologne, Mainz, Berlin/Potsdam, Neuss, Brühl, Solingen, and Aachen. You can pursue your Masters in HR at CBS in Cologne, Mainz, Aachen, Brühl, and Berlin/Potsdam.


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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

"Many professors shared their professional business experience with us in class and were able to illustrate dry theory with practical examples. I also enjoyed the international atmosphere on campus."

Patrick Stein
Head of Human Resources
Boston Consulting Group

"The strongly practice-oriented studies and the international orientation of the CBS, as well as the lectures held in English, were an absolutely necessary basis for starting a career with a renowned, international company."

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Would you like to learn more about our Bachelor's and Master's programmes at home in peace? Download the CBS brochure for an in-depth look at our business study programmes.  

We hope that you enjoy getting to know more about our school, study programmes and what we stand for. Follow us on Instagram & Facebook, get to know us at one of our Information Events, or Contact our student advisors to get more info.

Mirjam Zimmermann

Mirjam Zimmermann

Study advisory: Campus Mainz
Got any questions? We are happy to help!

Phone: +49 (0) 6131 88055 31
WhatsApp: Reach us on WhatsApp
Giulia Balzan

Giulia Balzan

Study advisory 
Got any questions? We are happy to help!

Phone: +49 (0) 221 931809 31
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