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Human Resource Management

The MA – Human Resource Management is a two-year part-time programme that explores the key issues in human resource management. An informed appreciation of the theories, debates and legislation that dominate HR practice is a huge advantage to any manager. This programme seeks to raise the level of analysis in public sector human resource management and to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for the effective management of people.

On completing the first year of the programme, students receive the interim award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management. The second year of the course is divided into two semesters. In the first of these, students study three key topics in human resource management. In the second, students write a dissertation on a specific human resource management issue. Year two will normally only commence in the autumn of each year. Students that do not wish to take all three subjects in any particular semester may choose to study one or two on a phased basis.

This programme will be of particular interest to those who want to gain some expertise in the management of people and in the development of human resources. As with the other MA programmes, students study through a blend of distance education and intensive weekend seminars at the IPA. Students can, therefore, pursue this programme no matter where they live and can remain in full-time employment.

Entry requirements

Applicants for Postgraduate Diplomas, Postgraduate Certificates, MA, MEconSc and MSc programmes must have a primary degree or equivalent qualification.

This programme will be of particular interest to those who want to obtain some real expertise in the management of people and in the development of the human resources (HR) function.


2 years

The MA is delivered through distance education, so students can remain in full-time employment. Students attend some weekend seminars at the IPA in Dublin.

Further enquiries

Postgraduate Office,
Whitaker School of Government and Management,
Institute of Public Administration,
57 - 61 Lansdowne Road,
Dublin 4,

Tel +353 (0) 1 240 3600
LoCall 1890 20 26 26
Fax +353 (0) 1 668 9135

Subjects taught

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management
Interim Award
The first year of the MA programme is divided into two semesters and each semester is devoted to the study of three key subjects in public management. (See pages 10-11 for more details on the subjects).

Semester One
yy Economics
yy Managing Human Resources
yy Finance
Semester Two
yy Organisation and Strategy
yy Research Methods
yy Managing Service Delivery/Managing in Europe

Semester One
Human Resource Strategy
Strategic human resource management (HRM) frameworks, HRM and organisational strategies, HRM strategies in the public sector, recruitment and selection, training and development, performance and competencies appraisal, industrial and employee relations, reward management, evolving organisational environment, contemporary employment trends in the Irish context, strategic change management, negotiation and strategic partnerships.

Managing People
Individual diversity, attitudes and behaviour, perceptions, values and ethics, managing motivation and rewards, leadership and group dynamics, inter-group effectiveness, politics and authority influence, stress and conflict management, work-life balance, work patterns and performance management, discipline and performance control.

Employment Law
Institutions of employment law, the contract of employment, individual protection, discrimination and harassments, health and safety, unfair and wrongful dismissal, redundancies, trade union legislation, arbitration and tribunals.

Semester Two
In the second semester of year two students write a dissertation on a particular human resource management issue.



The IPA is a recognised college of University College Dublin (UCD). From 2012, any student entering an accredited IPA Programme will graduate with a UCD award. The IPA and UCD are part of the wider National University of Ireland (NUI) network. The MA (Human Resource Management) is at Level 9 (Major Award) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management

Assessment method

This programme is assessed through assignments and final examinations.

Application date

Please complete the application form at the end of the prospectus (or view link below) and return it to the IPA, together with:
- One copy of your degree or relevant qualification
- One passport-type photograph
- The semester fee
- A letter from your employer confirming that fees will be paid directly to the IPA

Places on the programmes are limited and demand for places is likely to exceed the number available. Consequently, you are strongly advised to apply as early as possible. Successful applicants will receive further details prior to the commencement of the programmes.

Course fee

The cost of the programme is €5,000 per annum (includes all matriculation and examination fees, all seminars, textbooks and course material), payable in two instalments.

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