Human Resource Development - Learning & Development

‌The Higher Diploma in Human Resource Development (Learning and Development) aims to provide a structured professional development opportunity for mid-career learning and development professionals who are moving to or aim to move to a management position. This intensive 12 month programme comprehensively covers the role of the HRD professional in today's world. It provides a solid grounding on which you can progress your career in this field and support the delivery of your current role.

The programme has been developed in partnership with the Irish Institute of Training and Development (IITD) and upon completion, graduates of this programme can apply for professional membership of the IITD.

The Higher Diploma in Human Resource Development (Learning and Development) has developed its course content in line with professional practice. The course provides the skills needed to understand organisational trends, and learning and organisational development in response to change.

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

1. Critically analyse the interplay between internal and external contextual factors and their role in the strategic pathway choices for HRD.

2. Evaluate the knowledge, skills and behaviours required of today's HRD professionals and deploy a competency based approach to developing oneself through engagement with CPD planning.

3. Critically apply appropriate theoretical frameworks to understand the HRD function in their own organisations in terms of formation, delivery and evaluation

4. Critically assess the extent to which 'learning' is embedded in their own organisations

5. Deploy appropriate HRD metrics and analytics to support key organisation stakeholders in making, informed decisions to enhance the overall effectiveness of the organisation's human resources function

6. Engage in academic-based research and enquiry into a specific domain area of HRD considered to be of strategic importance to their own organisations.

This course combines theory and practice helping you to secure and embed current and critical perspectives in the HRD profession. It delivers a rare opportunity to engage at a postgraduate level in structured self-assessment and interaction with guest speakers and industry peers. The course has been developed in partnership with the Irish Institute of Training and Development (IITD) and is also jointly accredited by the IITD.

Entry requirements

Candidates must:

Be at least 21 years of age by 1 January of the year of application

Hold a QQI level 7 qualification in a relevant discipline or equivalent professional qualification

Have a minimum of two years' HR, L&D, managerial, training or comparable experience. Non-graduates who hold a Leaving Certificate/QQI level 5 qualification or equivalent with at least four years' professional experience in a relevant HR, L&D, managerial, or training role will also be considered for admission.

Assessment Info

Continuous assessment (consisting of practical assignments and essays) and examinations. students are also required to write a dissertation (c 8,000 words).

Subjects taught

Students take 60 credits as follows:

Developing and Delivering HRD Activities (10 Credits)
The focus of this module is on providing the learner with practical skills in developing and delivering learning and development activities. The student will gain an understanding of the process of learning and will examine key theories of learning, including learning styles and approaches to lifelong learning. The module will explore various methods and styles of HRD delivery, as well as the assessment of HRD delivery costs and training providers. This module will also explore how HRD processes are evaluated in terms of impact across individuals, teams and the organisation itself. Students will also examine how to create a positive learning environment and will analyse the impact of motivation on the effectiveness of learning.

Research Methods and Developing Business Cases for HRD: Research Proposal (5 Credits) The objective of this module is to provide the student with a theoretical and practical grounding in evidence based presentation of research and related data for supporting direction and investment of the HRD function and/or organisation's time and resources. This module aims to provide students with a sound understanding of the research process by exploring best practice in terms of developing a research question, conducting literature review, methodological approaches, data analysis, and write-up.

Talent Management in Organisational Strategy (5 Credits)
This module aims to enhance the capability of the HRD practitioner necessary for developing talent management strategies and enabling organisational capacity. The module will explore contemporary debates around the topic of talent management and organisational capacity, illuminating current conversations likely to influence future direction. Specifically, the module seeks to explore why HRD should be a strategic concern for contemporary organisations.

Business Issues in the Context of Human Resource Development (10 Credits)
This module is designed to develop an understanding of the foundation of organisational structure, environment and its related systems. Students will explore key developments in the business and external contexts within which HR operates. This module provides the student with an introduction to strategy formulation and implementation from the HRD professional's perspective. A main objective of this module is to elicit critical levels of student thinking in relation to HR contexts, issues and potential organisational and personal solutions.

Managing the HRD Function (5 Credits)
The purpose of this module is to guide the student in appreciating the longstanding evolution of the HRD functional remit and its current day span. The module focuses on evaluating HRD's contribution and influence on organisational performance. An emphasis is placed on aiding the student in exploring published research which evaluates evidence of the link to organisation outcome even in hard to measure functional areas. The student will also explore the facilitation and promoting of effective changes management.

Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning (5 Credits)
This module aims to provide the student with an understanding of the central role of organisational learning in developing human resources. Specifically, it explores the concept of 'knowledge' in organisations and seeks to analyse the contribution of knowledge management in organisational learning.

The Role of HRD in Talent Development (5 Credits)
This module aims to explore how HRD interventions contribute to the 'talent' challenge in contemporary organisations. Specifically, it seeks to assess how organisations identify, attract, recruit, manage, develop and retain talented employees.

Engaging in Professional HRD Practice (5 Credits)
This module is designed to enable the learner to develop a sound understanding of the HRD profession as a professional career path. The module focuses on the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by HRD professionals in today's work environment. A key aspect of this module is providing a structured opportunity for the student to assess their own strengths and development needs for a HRD career resulting in a continuing professional development (CPD) plan.

Research Methods and Dev. Business Cases for HRD: Dissertation (10Credits)
The objective of this module is provide the student with a theoretical and practical grounding in evidence based presentation of research and related data for supporting direction and investment of the HRD function and/or organisation's time and resources. Students will develop their skills as a researcher applying best practice approaches to enquiry for problem identification/definition, data source harvesting to presentation of results for organisational impact. A main part of this module is the student's investigation into an area of HRD practice, applying the data to the formulation of an improved direction or applying this information to a case for business improvements.


1 year part-time

This course takes place 2 evenings per week 6.30-9.30 and occasional Saturdays 9.30-4.30.


€4,195 per academic year (First instalment of €2195 includes membership fee of IITD)

Enrolment dates

September 2019 - TBC

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

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