Postgraduate Diploma

Strategic Human Resource Management

The Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Human Resource Management offers a developmental opportunity to graduates (in any field) seeking to augment their qualification(s) with core Human Resource Management (HRM) knowledge and skills as well as to examine the strategic application of the HRM-function.

This postgraduate qualification facilitates the upward career mobility of middle managers in various disciplines requiring people management skills and caters for recent graduates with working experience wanting to further their studies by doing a postgraduate qualification.

Apply at Stellenbosch University

Bookings for 2024 close for international candidates on 1 October 2023 and South African candidates on 30 October 2023.

What can you expect to learn?

Module 1 - Strategic HR Management and Ethics - Dr Jacques Pienaar

Strategic Human Resource Management applies current theories and models of people management practices to South African and global environments to enable practitioners and managers to enhance organisational competitiveness and employee wellbeing within the context of changing markets, technologies, work structures, labour markets and legislation, and customer needs. Topics include:

  • South African Board for People Practices (SABPP) National Human Resource Competency Model
  • Strategic human resource management: Processes & practices
  • Corporate responsibility & governance: Implications for human resource management
  • Performance management
  • Workplace flexibility
  • Electronic human resource management
  • International human resource management
  • HIV/AIDS in the workplace
  • Employee wellbeing
  • Ethics
Module 2 - Talent Management - Dr Shayne Roux

Talent Acquisition is an ongoing long-term strategy of ensuring that an organisation has the human resources, including specialists, leaders and executives, needed for optimal goal achievement. Topics include:

  • Job design
  • Job analysis
  • Human resource planning
  • Recruitment
  • Selection
  • Orientation
Module 3: Compensation - Ms Marizanne Koen

The focus of this module is on the critical role of personnel compensation as a strategic tool in achieving human resource effectiveness. It is designed to equip students with theory and practical skills to critically examine and design a compensation management system. This includes the development of a pay structure using job evaluation and salary surveys; the legal framework for compensation practices and remuneration governance; the design of pay-for-performance plans and benefit programmes; and the application of motivational and equity theories to compensation-related decisions. Topics include:

  • Trends and opportunities in compensation
  • Compensation as a strategic tool
  • Establishing pay levels and pay structure
  • Employee benefits
  • Linking performance measurement with performance improvement
  • Pay perceptions, pay satisfaction and pay fairness
  • Remuneration governance
Module 4: Employment Law - Mr Graham Giles

Employment Law attempts to clarify the legislative parameters of the employment relationship. Relevant employment legislation is used to manage conduct, capacity and operational requirements in the workplace. Appropriate dispute resolution interventions are identified and applied to conflict scenarios. Topics include:

  • The contractual basis of employment
  • Establishing the employment relationship: recruitment and selection
  • Managing discipline and dismissal
  • Managing incapacity (underperformance and ill health)
  • Restructuring and retrenchment
  • Temporary employment
  • Dispute resolution
Module 5: Organisation Behaviour - Dr Shayne Roux

Organisational Behaviour investigates the impact of individual and group behaviour as well as organisational structures and processes on individual, group and organisational well-being and effectiveness within an organisation. Specifically, Organisational Behaviour focuses on how to improve productivity, reduce absenteeism, turnover, and deviant workplace behavior, and increase organisational citizenship behavior, job satisfaction and work motivation. Topics include:

  • Introduction to Organisational Behaviour
  • Personality
  • Perception
  • Attitudes
  • Emotions
  • Motivation at work
  • Work teams & groups
  • Power & political behaviour
  • Leadership
  • Organisational culture
  • Managing change
Module 6: Strategic HR Development and Coaching - Dr Samantha Adams

In this module the development of human resources is approached from a strategic learning perspective, repositioning HRD as strategic partner within the boundaries of legislation and skills development strategy. The emphasis is on the development of innovative systems and use of technology to ensure performance improvement and achievement of business objectives. Topics include:

  • Intergrated and local trends in HRD
  • An integrated framework for HRD
  • HRD legislation
  • Strategic Human Resource Development
  • Learning Needs Analysis
  • Designing Human Resource Development Interventions
  • Planning, organising and management of learning
  • Development of performance improvement strategy
  • Guidelines and standards of mentoring and coaching
Module 7: Employment Relations - Ms Kim Filies

Employment Relations analyses the employment relationship and consider interventions for “good” employment relations. In addition, negotiation is explored and skills developed for the effective management of conflict. Topics include:

  • The employment relationship
  • Formalisation and trust in employment relations
  • Strategic employment relations
  • Employee participation
  • Negotiation
  • Employment Relations and Human Resources Management: some interfaces
  • Contemporary issues in Employment Relations
Module 8: HR Metrics - Dr Mpho Magau

HR metrics as a subject provides analytical skills to managers of human resources –an ability to apply tools of a quantitative or financial nature in order to assess business scenarios in terms of human resource needs and perspectives, thus providing more complete and refined information to facilitate better decisions. Topics include:

  • Human Resource Management and the HR value chain
  • HR data analysis
  • HR variables and regression analyses
  • Impact of an HR programme or event
  • Forecasting HR variables
  • Human resource planning metrics
  • Recruitment and selection metrics
  • Employee absenteeism metrics
  • Employee turnover metrics

“It has been a valuable learning experience. I learned to explore, research and analyse issues critically as if on a strategic level already. I enjoyed all four of the modules covered in the first semester – it has been an eye opener. It is indeed worthwhile, value for money and has already shaped me intellectually.”

Ms Lingani Sibalatani

Manager in the Division for Compensation and Benefits at the Namibia Airports Company, registered for the programme to equip herself with the skills and knowledge most vital for strategic and board-level positions and to empower herself with strategic skills which will enable her to build effective people strategies within her organisation.

“It has been an enriching experience, where I gained far more than I had expected. The dedicated and exceptional group of lecturers and academic support staff possess an outstanding passion in their work and a considerable amount of experience. What an incredible journey. I am humbled, honoured and feel so fortunate to be taught by South Africa’s cream of the crop; these are seasoned experts who know what they are teaching and imparting to students. The level of thoroughness is astounding; it is a very well planned out and executed course.”

Ms Marcia Wilson-Motsa

an HR officer at Family Health International 360, Eswatini, is interested in pursuing a master’s degree in SHRM and hopes this diploma will be a stepping-stone towards achieving this goal.

“The course exceeded even my wildest expectations. I was stretched and challenged but grew my knowledge, competency, and passion for our field. This course is world class and has transformed my approach and enabled me to apply myself to my craft in a practical”

Ms Heilana Cilliers

Human Resource and Development Manager at Hillsong Africa, wants to update her knowledge in strategic HR to remain relevant and to prepare herself for the future.

Dr. Magau is a well-established HR professional with a career spanning over 25 years in numerous organisations where he fulfilled junior to senior management roles.  He served in the Council of the Association of the Mining Industry Human Resources Practitioners (AMIHRP) between 2007 to 2010.  Currently, Mpho is part of a team of experts appointed by the South African Board for People Practices (SABPP) to roll out the National Human Capital Confidence Index (HCCI) which seeks to improve the level of confidence investors have about the contribution of human capital towards business success.

Mpho holds a PhD and MCom in Leadership in Performance and Change (UJ); BCom Hons in Strategic Management (UJ); B-Tech Degrees in Labour Relations Management, Human Resource Development and Human Resource Management (UNISA) and a National Diploma in Human Resource Management (Technikon SA).


Dr Shayne Roux is a registered Industrial & Organisational Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and Master HR Professional with the South African Board for People Practices (SABPP). He has over 30 years of Human Capital experience in the FMCG industry and former Head of Talent and Organisational Effectiveness. He has successfully developed and implemented HR & Talent Strategies in a variety of diverse organisational settings. Shayne holds a BA, BCommHons (cum laude), MComm (cum laude) and PhD in Industrial & Organisational Psychology. He is passionate about facilitating the development of human potential by assisting people to achieve their professional and personal objectives. He also currently supervises and coaches young aspiring intern psychologists on their HPCSA internship programs.


Marizanne Koen is a registered Industrial Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and an experienced Remuneration Specialist. She has been practicing for 15 years in the Human Resource field, primarily focused on the Reward and Recognition function. She has successfully developed and implemented various reward strategies across diverse organizational settings, from small private companies to multi-national corporate environments. Marizanne holds a B.Accounting, BCommHons & MComm in Industrial Psychology.

She is passionate about enabling HR practitioners to turn staff costs into employee investments by utilizing their knowledge of the psychology of the working individual and incorporating good business principals. She also supervises young aspiring intern psychologists on the HPCSA internship program.


Graham Giles still practises as an attorney and notary public and contributes to books on Labour Law and lectures at two South African universities. He has acquired considerable knowledge and experience over more than 50 years of legal practice as an attorney, advocate and in-house legal adviser.  He places a high premium on providing pre-emptive legal advice and support in Employment & Industrial Relations Law in South Africa. In 1982 Graham created a system to keep up to date with labour law developments.  He founded GilesFiles and a hard-copy service was provided until 1996.  Eventually, he created a website that now contains a considerable amount of valuable content.



Dr Samantha Adams is a senior lecturer at the Department of Industrial Psychology at Stellenbosch University. She is a registered Industrial and Organisational Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). She has 10 years academic experience and conducts research on how technology usage and innovative educational/training approaches can be harnessed to develop and support desired outcomes within higher education, corporate learning and training contexts. She aspires to support students and working professionals to optimize their potential and build their competence in the fields of HR and IOP.

Samantha holds a BA Psychology, BA Psychology Hons (NMMU), BCom Hons (SU), MCom (SU) and PhD in Industrial Psychology (SU).


Kim Filies is an entrepreneur at heart. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, she holds a Masters Degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of the Western Cape. She has held various Human Resource Executive positions and has worked at organisations such as South African Breweries and Sun International. She is a contract lecturer at Stellenbosch University, lecturing Employment Relations as part of the University’s Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management. She is the co-chair of the HR Portfolio Committee for the Chamber of Commerce and owns a Human Resource Consulting Practice (Platinum Drops), offering a variety of services to a diverse range of clients.