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Human Resource Management (HDip)

Programme Description

The Higher Diploma in HRM provides a structured educational opportunity for early career human resource professionals or to assist those seeking to enter into the HR Profession.  It provides comprehensive coverage of the main role span of the HR professional in today’s organisation and is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Students gain a broad understanding of the factors to be considered when implementing and evaluating inclusive learning and development, employee legislation, employee relations and reward activities within varying organisational contexts.

Enhances the student’s ability to secure and embed current and critical perspectives through research-led academic content and practically applied programme.

Develops an in-depth understanding of the core functions in the area of HRM and provides insights into the latest developments in HRM.

Achieves a balance between applied business skills and academic scholarship.

Structured self-assessment and interaction with experienced guest speakers and industry peers.

Opportunity to investigate a workplace problem of interest and relevance to the student with the support of an academic mentor.

Students take the following modules:  

  • MG5806 Performance and Rewards Management (5 credits)
  • MG5817 Human Resource Development (5 credits)
  • MG5838 Investigating a Business Issue from a Human Resource Perspective (10 credits)
  • MG5841 Engaging in Professional Human Resource Practice (5 credits)
  • MG5842 Managing the Human Resource Function (10 credits)
  • MG5843 Employment Relations (10 credits)
  • LW5844 Labour Law (5 credits)
  • MG5845 Recruiting and Selecting Talent (5 credits)
  • MG5846 Business Issues and the Context of Human Resource Management (5 credits)

Why Choose This Course

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

  • Critically discuss the spectrum of HR activity and the role of the HR function in organisations today;
  • Demonstrate a broad understanding of the factors to be considered when implementing and evaluating selection, development, performance and rewards activities within varying organisational contexts;
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by HR professionals, whether in a generalist or specialist role; 
  • Identify and review the business and external contextual factors affecting organisations and to assess the impact of these factors on the HR function;
  • Explain the major areas of employment legislation and the employment law system, focusing in particular on ways in which day-to-day HR activities are subject to regulation;
  • Engage in research and enquiry in order to identify appropriate data sources;
  • Support an investigation into an area of HR practice demonstrating analytical and problem-solving skills.

Skills and Careers Information

12-month programme providing comprehensive coverage of the main role span of the HR professional in today’s organisations.

On commencement of the programme, students receive student membership of the internationally recognised CIPD.  Upon completion, graduates can apply for professional membership of the CIPD.

A mix of research-led academics and senior HR professionals teach on the programme.

Strong focus on personal and career development, and the application of theory to the practice of HRM

Graduates of this programme have gone onto work in HR roles nationally and internationally across domestic and multinational companies, as well as in the public sector.

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Additional Information


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Practicalities & Assessment

Programme runs from September through to submission of a final management research report in August.

Modules are timetabled on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm along with a small number of Saturdays. Online tutorials and activities are also encompassed in the programme.


Full module information is detailed in the section below.


A hybrid approach to assessment is used in this programme.

Majority of assessment is by continuous assessment with a small number of formal examinations.

Assessments methods include online discussion forums, presentations, research proposal, essays, case studies, management research report, learning reflections, continuous professional development plan and exams.

During the programme, students will work individually and in groups.

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Year 1

  • Engaging in Professional Human Resource Practice

    Year 1

    Engaging in Professional Human Resource Practice (MG5841)

    Designed to enable the learner to develop a sound understanding of the HR profession as a professional career path, this module focuses on the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by HR professionals in today's work environment. This module covers the competencies needed by the HR professional when collaborating and working with others, and when functioning efficiently and effectively in an organisational context. A key aspect of this module is providing a structured opportunity to assess their own strengths.

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  • Managing the HR Function

    Year 1

    Managing the HR Function (MG5842)

    The purpose of this module is to guide the student in appreciating the longstanding evolution of the HR functional remit and its current day span. The module focuses on evaluating HR'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. Professionalism, competing values and ethics in the delivery of HR's remit is examined to ensure the student gains a realistic perspective of the often-conflicting situation the HR professional can find him/herself in when delivering their role.

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  • Employment Relations

    Year 1

    Employment Relations (MG5843)

    The purpose of this module is to enable the student to gain an understanding of the key developments in the theory and practice of employment relations in Ireland. The module aims to build the student's knowledge and experience to make informed and effective judgements about existing and emerging models, processes and practices of employment relations in local and international jurisdictions. The module is designed to encourage the student to assess and understand broader developments in this field that influence the effective management of the employment relationship in indigenous and multinational organisations in Ireland.

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  • Human Resource Development

    Year 1

    Human Resource Development (MG5817)

    This module is designed to provide students with a conceptual appreciation and practical understanding of Human Resource Development (HRD) in organisations. There is a strong focus on integrating HRD activities with the range of HR policies and systems enacted by organisations and on perceiving HRD as a strategic organisational activity. The lectures are designed to provide students with a framework for evaluating the contribution that HRD can make to organisational functioning and for reflecting on the role that the HR practitioner plays in this scenario.

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  • Performance and Rewards Management

    Year 1

    Performance and Rewards Management (MG5806)

    This module guides students in exploring how organisations can drive sustained organisational performance by creating a high performance work organisation and involving line managers in the performance management process. The unit assesses the different conceptual frameworks of high performance working and examines the link between performance and rewards strategies. Students will examine the contextual drivers of rewards strategies and policies with reference to industry, sector, and regional trends. Traditional and modern approaches to rewards management are examined and the students will study the range of rewards data available that underpin business decision making.

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  • Investigating a Business Issue from a HR Perspective

    Year 1

    Investigating a Business Issue from a HR Perspective (MG5838)

    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 HR 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 organisation impact. A main part of this module is the student's investigation into an area of HR practice, applying the data to the formulation of an improved direction or applying this information to a case for business improvement.

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  • Recruiting and Selecting Talent

    Year 1

    Recruiting and Selecting Talent (MG5845)

    This module introduces the student to the strategic approaches that organisations take to position themselves as employers in the labour market and to plan effectively so that they are able to meet their current and anticipated organisational skills needs. The student will examine key operational tools, techniques and practices that organisations use to resource their organisations effectively.

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  • Business Issues and the Context of Human Resource Management

    Year 1

    Business Issues and the Context of Human Resource Management (MG5846)

    The focus of this module is on understanding the foundation of organisational structure, environment and its related systems. Students will explore key developments in the business and external contexts within which HR operate through a process of identification and review of critical contextual factors affecting the HR function and the environment in which that function delivers its component roles. This module provides the student with an introduction to strategy formulation and implementation.

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  • Labour Law

    Year 1

    Labour Law (LW5844)

    The aim of this module is to provide the student with an understanding of the historical context of the employment relationship in Ireland and the EU i.e. how it is regulated through employment legislation. Students will be given an overview of the legal requirements in different jurisdictions relevant to carrying out many central aspects of their role. The module also builds understanding of the HR professional's responsibility for the defence and settlement of claims lodged with employment tribunals by aggrieved employees or former employees. To achieve this, major areas of employment legislation and the employment law system are introduced to the student, focusing in particular on ways in which day-to-day HR activities are subjected to some form of regulation.

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Entry Requirements

Applicants must have:

  • At least an NFQ Level 7 qualification in any discipline AND
  • At least 2 years professional work experience

Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may be given to applicants who do not fully meet the above criteria but who have significant professional experience in a related field such as human resource management, training and development, employment relations, coaching, supervisory and management roles AND at least an NFQ Level 6 qualification. In these circumstances, an interview may form part of the application decision.

View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

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Application Process

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

5. Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following question:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

Non-EU Applications

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

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