Human Resource Management

The MSc in Human Resource Management is tailor-made for students with an undergraduate degree in business, or in cognate areas such as social science, psychology, economics, politics or law. The programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the leading professional body for HR managers.

This programme is designed to provide a research-led professional education to students wishing to pursue a career in HRM and employment relations. The Human Resource Management and Employment Relations Group at UCD pioneered research in these fields at University level in Ireland and is now a centre for internationally-renowned research and studies. Students will benefit from learning values based on research, independent inquiry and critical but constructive engagement with major debates and issues. The UCD HRM and ER Group combines professional expertise in practice and policy development with a commitment to research. Engagement with the practical worlds of industrial relations and human resource management is a core programme feature.

A unique feature of the programme is the opportunity to participate in two exchange programmes, with the ILR School, Cornell University and the EMLS (European Masters in Labour Studies), a network of leading European universities offering postgraduate programmes in labour studies. (Places on these exchange programmes are limited and students are invited to apply to apply in mid- September. There is no guarantee that places on these exchange programmes will be available every academic year).

Further details about the ILR School are available at Further details on the EMLS programme can be found at

What will I learn?
Effective HR management is recognised as a key element in an organisation's strategic capability and this programme provides students with conceptual and practical insight into human resource management and employment relations. The programme reflects the changing character of the Irish, European and global context by emphasising the integration of knowledge and approaches in human resource management, employment relations and the behavioural and human sciences.

Upon completion of the programme students will have developed:

1) A capacity to interpret and critically assess the conceptual basis of employment relations and human resource management, plus the ability to apply such theories in practical contexts.

2) The ability to develop and display an understanding of the inter-relationships between human resource management, industrial relations and behavioural and human sciences.

3) A grasp of the social, economic and political factors influencing HR management, its role within the national and international business environment and current developments within the profession.

How will I benefit?
We value an evidence-based, critical and reflective approach to the study of HRM and integrity in professional practice. We encourage our students to develop a capacity for critical engagement and an ethical and evidence-based approach to decision-making. We aim to provide a learning environment that will foster independent thought and give students the opportunity to work independently and as part of a team. Students engage in close dialogue with academic staff, their peers, and practitioners, and are encouraged to actively participate in academic debates, and establish professional priorities, developments and challenges.

The programme adopts a facilitative approach to teaching and self-directed learning is actively encouraged. The curriculum incorporates varied teaching and assessment, including: analysis of academic literature, management and consulting-type reports, case studies and policy developments; debates and role plays; presentations; individual and group-based project work; and engagement with expert practitioners.

CIPD professional accreditation of the programme and exchange programme options offer extra learning opportunities and greatly enhance career trajectories upon graduation.

Subjects taught

The curriculum comprises a blend of core and option modules (2 + 5), and a Research Project in the Summer Term

To qualify for CIPD membership students must complete specific CIPD-accredited modules.

Autumn Trimester
Concepts in Industrial Relations and Human Resources
Human Resource Management

Option modules
Managing Conflict in Organisations
Employment Law

Spring Trimester

Option modules
Employment Relations in Ireland
Reward Management
International HRM
Gender Equality and Diversity
HRM Technology, Analytics and Digital Innovation
Work & Employment in a Global Economy

Summer Trimester

Option modules
Research Project: HRM and Business
Developing Competencies for HR Leadership
Managing Workplace Learning
Cross-Cultural Management
The Science of Teams
Financial Management
Technology & Innovation Strategy
Reputation & Disrepute
Creative Problem Solving
Leadership and Team Management
Innovation: Disruption & Design

Please be advised that option modules listed are indicative of what has been delivered in previous years. What is offered each academic year is subject to change.

Note that on-campus teaching is delivered under prevailing public health guidelines. In the event of a required change to planned delivery, further information about alternative delivery methods (including online delivery) will be confirmed with prospective and incoming students.

Entry requirements

Please review the entry requirements below. The UCD Smurfit Admissions Office staff have expertise in reviewing international qualifications from around the world and will be able to assess your application's comparability to the Irish entry requirement.

A minimum second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in Business/Commerce/Business Administration, Social Science, Psychology, Economics, Law, Accounting or a related area.
A primary degree with a minimum of three years' work experience in Human Resource Management or employment relations.

If English is not your first language, an English language qualification is required for admission to all of our programmes. The exception to this rule is if you have completed your primary degree or an entire third level qualification through English, in an English speaking country.

Some students might have to get a student visa in order to come and study in Ireland. Please check the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services website to see if you require a visa.

Application dates

Step 1: Collating Documentation
The first step is to collate the required documentation needed to assess your application. Please ensure that you have clearly scanned, titled and collated your documents in numerical order.

These can include but are not limited to:


Step 2: The Application Process
Once you have collated the required documentation and reviewed the entry requirements for your programme of interest, you can now apply online.

You must apply online using our dedicated student information portal. You will be required to enter contact details, upload your documents and answer two essay questions (each approximately 300 words). We would ask that you seriously consider both essays and answer these in the context of the programme you are applying to. Try to not replicate your CV and demonstrate what makes you different from other applicants. There are no right or wrong ways to complete these essays.

Application Deadlines:
Applications are assessed on a rolling basis and courses will close once they are filled. We advise you to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Please note certain scholarships may require you to apply before a certain date – please refer to our scholarship page. If you have any questions in relation to deadlines or availability please email

You will then be asked to submit your application and pay the €50 application fee. No application can be assessed until the fee has been paid. You can apply for multiple programmes with the one application fee, but please be sure to mark your preferred course.

Once submitted, it usually takes 2-3 weeks before a decision is made on fully completed applications. This time period can sometimes be longer and can vary at different times in the year and in different regions. We may offer you a conditional place based on the completion of a number of criteria, such as degree, English test, or another qualification. This reserves you a place on the course and once you have fulfilled this criteria we will issue you a full offer.

Acceptance is completed by paying a non-refundable deposit (varies from either €500 or €1000 depending on the programme. Most of our programmes require a €500 deposit). Your offer email will detail the exact deposit amount required. Once you have accepted you will then be supported by the Programme Office who will contact you with further course and start details.

The first step is to collate the required documentation needed to assess your application. Please ensure that you have clearly scanned, titled and collated your documents in numerical order.

These can include but are not limited to:


12 months full-time, 24 months part-time.


Fees Full-Time EU:
€14,460 (academic year 2020/2021)

Full-Time Non-EU:
€19,900 (academic year 2020/2021)

Fees Part-Time EU:
€7,855 per year (academic year 2020/2021)

Part-Time Non-EU:
€9,950 per year (academic year 2020/2021)

Important Note: Tuition fees and other charges are subject to change each year.

Enrolment dates

Starting: September 20220

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
Students of the MSc in Human Resource Management are prepared for a career in private and public sector organisations, employer associations and trade unions and the research, consultancy and teaching professions.

Graduates are traditionally employed in a wide range of sectors (private and public sector organisations, trade unions, research and consultancy) and companies (Google, Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn, Diageo, Accenture, Mercer and PwC, amongst others).

90% of our graduates from this programme were employed after 6 months across a range of industry sectors. (Source: Latest Graduate Outcomes Survey, published in November 2021)

Potential careers for our graduates include:

Recruitment Consultant
Talent Performance Specialist
HR Business Partner
Staffing Associate
Personnel Officer
Client Services

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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