MBA in HR: Syllabus, Subjects and Books

  • By Kirti Yadav
  • 8 April 2022
mba in hr

MBA in HR is one of the most sought-after courses in India today. It is also one of the core courses in the field. This teaches you organisational relations and people management. It helps you develop skills for discovering talents, hiring employees, appraisal systems, training and development, company regulations, et al.

Moreover, the other aspects of business such as Finance, Marketing and Operations are also parts of its syllabus. If you want to pursue an MBA in Human Resource Management, it is recommended that you also stay updated about the syllabus and the subjects taught in the field. 

Semester-Wise MBA in HR Syllabus

The MBA in HR syllabus is arranged in a simplistic manner. It is also quite comprehensive and encompasses aspects of Finance, Marketing and Operations. This course is distributed among 4 semesters and each semester lasts for 6 months. 

The following table contains the specific courses that you will study if you pursue an MBA in HR:

SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2
Management Process and Organisation Theory Strategic Management
Individual Behaviour in Organisation Entrepreneurship Development
Managerial Economics Human Resource Information System
Accounting and Finance Human Resource Planning and Development
Marketing Management Training and Development
Production and Operations Management Performance Management and Competency Mapping
Human Resource Management Quantitative Techniques in Human Resource Management
Fundamentals of Industrial Relations Research Methodology for Business
Cross Culture and International Human Resource Management
SEMESTER 3  SEMESTER 4 
Economics of Human Resources Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics
Managing Interpersonal and Group Processes Managerial Communication and Skill Development
Strategic Human Resource and Management Compensation and Reward Management
Labour Laws, Compliance and Regulations Contemporary Employment Relations
Organisational Change and Development Human Capital Management and HR Audit

List of Subjects for MBA in HR

Human Resources is vital to every organisation's stability and compliance. While pursuing an MBA in HR, you will have to study a wide range of subjects such as Strategic Management, Career Development, Fundamentals of Industrial Relations, among others. 

The following list contains all the specific subjects you will study if you pursue an MBA in HR and the corresponding books that can help you understand the coursework:

Subjects Book Name & Author About the Book
Management Process and Organisation Theory, Individual Behaviour in Organisation, Organisational Change and Development Management Process and Organisational Behaviour 
Karam Pal
This book comprehensively covers 2 core subjects in the field of MBA in HR. It is easy to read and tailor-made for a global business and management scenario. It covers organisational practices and behaviour, management theory, et al.
Managerial Economics Managerial EconomicsWilliam Samuelson This book outlines the basics of managerial economics. It is written for undergraduates and beginners in the field of managerial economics. 
Accounting and Finance Management Financial and Management Accounting  Pauline Weetman  This book comprehensively covers the fundamentals of finance in business and account management. It is written for business undergraduates. 
Marketing Management Marketing Management  Rajan Saxena This book covers all the essentials that are required to have a basic understanding of marketing. 
Production and Operations Management Production and Operations Management Paperback Kanishka Bedi  This is a beginner-friendly book that covers all basic concepts in production and operations management. 
Human Resource Management, Cross Culture and International Human Resource Management, Strategic Human Resource Management Human Resource Management Gary Dessler, Biju Varkkey This book is easy-to-read, beginner-friendly and offers an overview of the Human Resource Management discipline at large. You can consult this book before opting for HRM.
Fundamentals of Industrial Relations, Labour Laws, Compliance and Regulations, Contemporary Employment Relations Industrial Relations and Labour laws. C. Srivastava This is an easy to read book that covers all the specific aspects of industrial relations and labour laws in business. It also contains updated information about the regulations and contemporary employee relations best practices.
Strategic Management Strategic Management: A Competitive Advantage Approach, Concepts Fred R. David This book covers all the various details that entail strategic management in today’s business operations. It is quite analytical
Entrepreneurship Development Entrepreneurship Development  Abha Mathur This book helps you learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. It covers all the useful information you need to start your own business or franchise. 
Human Resource Planning and Development, Human Resource Information System, Human Capital Management and HR Audit, Economics of Human Resources Human Resource Management for MBA StudentsIan Henderson This book provides a holistic understanding of the core subjects in the HRM courses. It is quite beginner-friendly and is highly recommended if you’re looking for an insight into MBA in HR. 
Training and Development Employee Training and DevelopmentRaymond A. Noe This is one of the best books that contain in-depth chapters about training and development. 
Performance Management and Competency Mapping The Handbook Of Competency Mapping: Understanding, Designing And Implementing Competency Models In Organisations  Seema Sanghi  This book covers various performance management techniques in use today and includes solutions to designing and implementing competency models. It is a beginner-friendly book. 
Quantitative Techniques in Human Resource Management, Research Methodology for Businesses Quantitative Techniques for Management Levine / Render This book is perfect to learn research tools and methods to perform business or corporate research of any kind. 
Managing Interpersonal and Group Processes Group Work: Theories And Practices  Siddiqui H.Y. This book provides apt explanations on the current practices and theories in organisational group processes and managing interpersonal relations at the office.
Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility  Nina Seppala, Paul Griseri This book teaches you about ethical practices in business today. It includes guides to maintaining a holistic corporate social responsibility as well. 
Managerial Communication and Skill Development Managerial Communication for Professional Development  Reginald L. Bell,  Jeanette S. Martin This book contains essential guides about corporate and managerial communications. It also includes chapters on professional development and skill development.
Compensation and Reward Management Compensation Management  Dipak Kumar Bhattacharyya This book provides an in-depth understanding of the basics of compensation management and reward systems. 

The exact course structure and the subjects taught may slightly vary depending on the institution of your choice however, most of the fundamental subjects are often taught in the first two semesters. The focus is more towards an in-depth specialisation towards the latter semesters. 

Subjects in MBA HR First Year

The courses for an MBA in HR in the first year are similar to the structure of other courses. Most of the fundamentals in operations, finances and human resources are covered during this time. The following is the list of subjects taught in the first year of pursuing an MBA in HR:

Semester 1
Management Process and Organisation Theory
Individual Behaviour in Organisation
Managerial Economics
Accounting and Finance
Marketing Management
Production and Operations Management
Human Resource Management
Fundamentals of Industrial Relations
Cross Culture and International Human Resource Management
Semester 2
Strategic Management
Entrepreneurship Development
Human Resource Information System
Human Resource Planning and Development
Training and Development
Performance Management and Competency Mapping
Quantitative Techniques in Human Resource Management
Research Methodology

As stated before, most of these subjects are core subjects. In other words, most conventional MBA degrees cover these subjects as a part of the fundamentals of business management in the early days of the course itself. These form the basic backbone for the MBA degree in Human Resource Management

Subjects in MBA HR Second Year

In the 2nd year of an MBA degree, most of the specialised courses are taught. If you are pursuing an MBA in HR, this is when most of the specialised subjects will be taught. In this respect, the following are a few of the specialised subjects that will be taught: 

Semester 3
Economics of Human Resources
Managing Interpersonal and Group Processes
Strategic Human Resource and Management
Labour Laws, Compliance and Regulations
Organisational Change and Development
Semester 4
Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics
Managerial Communication and Skill Development
Compensation and Reward Management
Contemporary Employment Relations
Human Capital Management and HR Audit

The exact distribution of the subjects depends on the faculty of the institution you are applying to. Most of the course is distributed in a manner to simplify business processes and organisation understanding. 

Elective Subjects for MBA in HR

In human resources, there are several unique electives you must learn to understand the discipline at large. The following are a few of the subjects you will have to take up if you plan to specialise in human resources:

Human Resource Information System
Human Resource Planning and Development
Training and Development
Performance Management and Competency Mapping
Quantitative Techniques in Human Resource Management
Compensation and Reward Management
Contemporary Employment Relations
Human Capital Management and HR Audit
Economics of Human Resources
Managing Interpersonal and Group Processes
Strategic Human Resource and Management

These courses, however, differ from college to college. Moreover, more than one of them may be clubbed together in certain cases. For instance, a few reputed B-schools provide a specialisation instead of an elective. These specialisations can be in training and development, staffing, talent acquisition, compliance and regulations, to name a few. 

MBA in HR Syllabus of Top Management Colleges in India

In India, most of the top B-schools have a similar curriculum for all the core MBA disciplines. These disciplines include human resources, finance and operations. Moreover, if you are looking to pursue an MBA degree in HR, you must always look up the syllabus and courses taught. 

The data about most of the top B-school courses is available online. You can visit the website of top colleges like IIM Calcutta, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bengaluru, among others to find out more about the course structure and syllabus of the MBA course with a specialisation in Human Resource Management.  

Best Books for MBA in HR

There is a wide range of books to follow in the discipline of Human Resource Management. However, a few of them have been listed below for your understanding of the discipline better:

Sl No Name of Book Author/Publisher
1. Human Resource Management for MBA Students Ian Henderson
2. Human Resource Management  Gary Dessler, Biju Varkkey
Pearson Publications 
3. HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources David Ulrich, Jon Younger, Mike Ulrich,
McGraw Hill Publications
4. Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead Lazlo Bock
5. 10 Must Reads on Reinventing HR (with bonus article "People Before Strategy") Harvard Business Review
6. Design Thinking for Training and Development: Creating Learning Journeys That Get Results Laura Fletcher, Sharon Boller
7. Training & Development For Dummies Elaine Blech
8. Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility  Nina Seppala, Paul Griseri
9. Managerial Communication for Professional Development  Reginald L. Bell,  Jeanette S. Martin
10. Compensation Management  Dipak Kumar Bhattacharyya
11. Employee Training and Development Raymond A. Noe
12. The Handbook Of Competency Mapping: Understanding, Designing And Implementing Competency Models In Organisations  Seema Sanghi 
13. Quantitative Techniques for Management Levine / Render
14. Group Work: Theories And Practices  Siddiqui H.Y.
15. Industrial Relations and Labour Laws S. C. Srivastava
16. Strategic Management: A Competitive Advantage Approach, Concepts Fred R. David
17. Entrepreneurship Development  Abha Mathur
18. Bring Your Human to Work: 10 Surefire Ways to Design a Workplace That Is Good for People, Great for Business, and Just Might Change the World Erica Keswin
19. The Essential HR Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager Or HR Professional Barbara Mitchell, Sharon Armstrong
20. Strategic Human Resource Management: An HR Professional's Toolkit Karen Beaven

There are many other books that you can choose to follow. Besides, you should at least know the syllabus and the subjects that you will be learning throughout the 2 years of pursuing a Master of Business Administration with a specialisation in Human Resource Management. 

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