MSc Human Resource Management online – An inspiring experience

RGU alumna Therese Dharmakan-Pistilli shares her experience studying online to obtain a master’s degree in Human Resource Management while living in Italy. With the support from lecturers and through her involvement in engaging modules, Therese gained enough knowledge of the industry to start a new role as a Life, Health and Business Coach.

Why I chose the MSc Human Resource Management course

I come from a background of nutritional therapeutics centred on people and well-being. I have also worked several years as a freelance medical translator (Italian – English) interacting with agencies and organisations daily. The next step in my process of ongoing learning and career improvement had to converge the two. It had to mix people and organisations together.

I considered several options, including psychology, business management and HR, until I found the online MSc in Human Resource Management that the Aberdeen Business School at RGU offered.

I was instantly fascinated by the practical approach to exploring organisational settings and business strategies underpinned by the study of motivational theories that drive human actions. It was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to learn about how organisations are run by acquiring a deep understanding of what moves people, the main asset of companies and key to their success.

Moreover, the course also offered Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) membership, which is essential in the HR framework.

My online course experience at RGU

The course delivered what it had promised both in terms of theoretical learning and practical application to case studies. A key feature was the consistency between theory and practice even on the part of lecturers. They were always available to help clear a doubt and overcome study-related challenges with humane understanding. They did this via email or by organising an online one-to-one session. In short, I appreciated the fact that they applied the HR theories they taught to their interaction with students.

The online study experience was engaging, and I felt part of the university throughout my master’s, not just a working adult living in another country and spending my evenings studying alone for an online course. Here are some of the highlights of the MSc Human Resource Management course:

  • A mentor accompanied me throughout the two years, becoming a friend.
  • Career advice was provided with assistance on drawing up a CV.
  • Lessons often involved useful group discussions moderated by the lecturer in a friendly and engaging atmosphere.
  • Online course students had a Facebook and WhatsApp group for updates and to stay connected.
  • The CIPD book club motivated me to read at least one HR-related book a month.

I also remember not finding an organisation that would allow me to interview its people for the Management Research Report (MRR). I felt lost as it was a crucial part of the course. However, when I spoke to the Team Lead she offered me a solution that enabled me to complete the examination.

Graduating with a Master’s in Human Resource Management

The course provided me with the necessary background for a career in business coaching. Today, I have combined my HR and nutritional, people-centred expertise to start a new venture as Life, Health and Business Coach with my firm The Empathic Listener. I’ve just completed my certification with the Italian Association of Professional Coaches, and I am now working towards the International Coaching Federation (ICF) certification.


Looking back, I would choose RGU and the Aberdeen Business School all over again. And this will be my first choice for ongoing learning.

Therese Dharmakan-Pistilli

RGU’s MSc Human Resource Management course is currently accredited by CIPD*, giving you the dual benefit of academic study at postgraduate level as well as acquiring professional credentials. Our Master’s degree now includes elective modules allowing you to personalise your learnings in line with your current and future career aspirations. Visit the course page for more information.

*Reaccreditation with the CIPD is currently being undertaken to reflect changes that have been made to the course curriculum.

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