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Human Resource Management (MSc)

Programme Description


The aim of the MSc in HRM is to develop and equip established HR professionals with the knowledge and skill sets to enable them to operate at a strategic level in the HRM and HRD professions. Upon completion, graduates of this programme can apply for Professional Membership of the internationally recognised Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD).  On commencement of the programme, students will automatically receive student membership of the internationally recognised Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD).  Upon completion, graduates can apply for professional membership of CIPD.

Part One of this programme explores the nature and complexity of the context within which the human resource function operates. A focus is placed on the acquisition of an understanding of people management and development issues pertaining to specialist fields within the HR profession. Current and future developments in employment law and their related consequences are examined facilitating the development of a knowledge base of a broad range of legislation and related practical application skill sets. In the final module of Part One the student is engaged in structured self-assessment and guided in developing personal business leadership skills. 

Part Two is presented through three modules relating to leadership and management development, employee relationship management and preparation for the investigation of a real-life HR issue.  Leadership and management development is examined at three levels – individual staff member, team/unit and organisational level leading to a holistic perspective.  The diversity of approaches in managing the relationship the organisation has with its’ workforce is explored with a critical review of traditional systems and contemporary people centred approaches.  Following this initial exploration the student will be asked to elect to study specialist modules relating to these often opposing approaches. In addressing a real-life HR issue the student will engage with a module on core academic research skills with an emphasis on scientific enquiry and dissemination of outcomes.

Why Choose This Course

Following completion of this programme, graduates can apply for Graduate Membership of the CIPD. With this qualification students may pursue a senior HR management position across a variety of industries and contexts or a more specialised career in Staff Development.

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Learning Outcomes

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

  • Contribute strategically to the management and delivery of the HR function in their organisation through appraising and applying appropriate theoretical perspectives.
  • Provide an in-depth analysis of the impact of context on the formulation and delivery of HR strategy.
  • Provide critical analysis in an advisory capacity to key HR stakeholders on the management and development of staff at all levels.
  • Engage in systematic investigation into HRM/HRD related business issues that demonstrate critical thinking and research skills.
  • Analyse and evaluate the contribution of the HR professional to overall business and employee relationship management objectives.
  • Deploy appropriate HRM and HRD metrics and analytics to make, or support key organisation stakeholders in making, informed decisions to enhance the overall effectiveness of the organisation’s human resource function.
  • Exhibit reasoned ethical and professional standard based behaviour that shows an understanding of the legal and regulatory requirements relevant to human resource management.
  • Engage in critical reflection on the values, purpose and ethics of human resource management from multiple stakeholder’s perspectives
  • Demonstrate a competency based approach to developing oneself through engagement with CPD planning 
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Practicalities & Assessment


The programme is assessed through continuous assessment (comprising of practical assignments/essays) and examinations. There is also a requirement to produce a research report (10,000 – 15,000 words).

Students in Year 2 choose between MG6806 and AD6805.

Full module information is detailed in the section below.



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Year 1

  • Employment Law

    Year 1

    Employment Law (AD6801)

    This module aims to develop the student's knowledge of employment law to the level of organisational advisor on the consequences of current and future developments in employment law. The module therefore equips the student to apply current and emerging le

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  • Learning and Talent Development

    Year 1

    Learning and Talent Development (AD6802)

    Within the specialist field of Human Resource Development (HRD) , the purpose of this module is to develop a specialist knowledge and skill in the area of managing learning and talent development within the organisation with cognisance of contextual facto

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  • Developing Skills for Business Leadership

    Year 1

    Developing Skills for Business Leadership (AD6803)

    This module is primarily concerned with the development of a core set of definable skills considered pivotal to successful management practice and to effective leadership. These include decision-making skills, management of financial information, interper

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  • Human Resource Management in Context

    Year 1

    Human Resource Management in Context (MG6802)

    The focus for learners is on acquiring an in-depth perspective on the environment in which the HR professional operates (internal and external to the organisation). Specific attention will be paid to people management and the business environment with i

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  • Contemporary Debates in International Human Resource Management

    Year 1

    Contemporary Debates in International Human Resource Management (MG6803)

    The purpose of this module is to guide the student to acquiring a depth and breadth of understanding of people management issues pertaining to specialist fields within the HR profession. This module provides the student with grounding in theory and resear

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Year 2

  • Investigating a Business Issue from a Human Resource Perspective

    Year 2

    Investigating a Business Issue from a Human Resource Perspective (AD6804)

    The purpose of this module is to allow the student develop and demonstrate the mastery of core academic research skills in an applied setting. The module requires the student to identify and address a real life HR related issue and investigate it using p

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  • Managing Collective Employment Relations

    Year 2

    Managing Collective Employment Relations (AD6805)

    The purpose of this module is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of employment relations perspectives and debates. Having Irish and global coverage this module equips the student with an ability to analyse and evaluate competing acade

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  • Leadership and Management Development

    Year 2

    Leadership and Management Development (MG6804)

    This module focuses the student on the field of leadership and management development at three levels - individual staff member, team/unit and organisational level. Emphasis is placed on exploring development within the context of organisational change, g

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  • Managing the Employment Relationship

    Year 2

    Managing the Employment Relationship (MG6805)

    This module explores the diversity of approaches in managing the relationship the organisation has with its workforce. The student will gain an in-depth understanding and critical perspective on traditional systems approaches on one hand to contemporary

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  • Employee Engagement

    Year 2

    Employee Engagement (MG6806)

    This optional module explores the concept and practices associated with 'employee engagement'. A relatively new approach within the Irish industrial setting this module examines the related principles of beliefs, values, and management practice. The histo

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Entry Requirements

Applications are invited from:

  • Those with a 2.1 Honours grade in a primary Honours Degree or Higher Diploma at NFQ level 8 in any discipline.
  • Those with a 2.2 Honours grade in a primary Honours Degree or Higher Diploma at NFQ level 8 in any disciple AND two years' professional experience in a HR, Supervisory, Managerial or Training role
  • English language requirement: All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS Level 6.5 or the equivalent TOEFL score with no individual section lower than 6.0

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 Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC 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 forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications in early November of each year.

Questions on how to apply?

EU students contact

International students contact

Applications will re-open in 2019 for the 2019-2020 academic year. TBC

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students.

**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

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. 

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