MSc Human Resources Management Timetable and Modules

Note: Modules offered each academic year are subject to change. Listed below are the modules and timetable for 2023/2024.


Michaelmas Term

Hilary Term

Trinity Term 

  • Strategic Human Resource Management

  • Learning and Organisation Development

  • Resourcing and Talent Management

  • Researching Human Resource Management

  • Human Resource Digitalisation and Analytics

  • Performance and Rewards Management
  • Work Design and Health

  • International Human Resource Management

  • Managing Employment Relations

  • Developing Skills for Business Leadership and Coaching

  • Employment Law and  Business Ethics
  • Dissertation or Company Research Project

    This project allows students to showcase the knowledge they have gained and enhance their career potential by specialising in a particular area

 Michaelmas Term (September to December)

Hilary Term (January to April)

Trinity Term 

  • Dissertation 
    • This project allows students to showcase the knowledge they have gained and enhance their career potential by specialising in a particular area

Module Descriptions

Strategic Human Resource Management (5 ECTS)

“HR is for a-holes!” This is a famous quote from a Dirty Harry movie and – unfortunately – it does not only exist as a quote. For some people this is a persistent concern or stereotype indicating that it is not clear how HR adds value to the bottom-line (Why we Hate HR, Keith Hammonds, HBR).
The counterargument is that the effective management of people in organizations is a complex objective that cannot be attained by solely relying on “intuition” or “people skills”. This alternative perspective advocates for the role of evidence-based management to highlight how HR can be a key driver of sustained competitiveness, particularly in an ever-changing working world.

Having successfully completed this module, the student should be able to:

  • Have an understanding of the core HR practices and how they can add strategic value to organizations.
  • Know about the changing managerial and business environment within which HR professionals work and its people-related challenges.
  • Use updated HRM language to have meaningful discussions about the management of work and people.
  • Be able to analyze specific HR-related challenges within a case organisation and provide evidence-based recommendations for managers.
  • Search for and identify reliable, appropriate and high-quality HR research, and evaluate its relevance to real-world HR practice.
  • Be able and willing to reflect upon on one’s own approach to HRM leadership.

  [Back to Top]

Learning and Organisational Development (5 ECTS)

This module is intended to develop the professional knowledge and skills required to perform effectively in specialist roles associated with the design, delivery and evaluation of learning and development. It requires learners to reflect critically on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint and provides opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development.

Having successfully completed this module, the student should be able to:

  • Explain, evaluate, and critically analyse the internal and external contextual factors impacting the design, delivery, and assessment of organisational learning plans and interventions.
  • Evaluate, select and apply a range of approaches and processes for establishing learning and development needs at organisational, group/team, occupational and individual levels in collaboration with relevant stakeholders
  • Critically evaluate various learning and instructional design theories and principles and apply them to select and justify appropriate learning and development methods.
  • Demonstrate skills of delivery and facilitation of learning through a range of methods and for employees at a range of organisational levels and a range of occupational groups
  • Design and implement appropriate evaluation methods to assess the success and effectiveness of learning plans and interventions
  • Describe, analyse, and critically evaluate the methods and procedures of organisation development, and critically evaluate possible change management approaches and activities, through the application of organisation development strategies
  • Describe, analyse, and critically evaluate organisation culture, norms, and behaviours.

  [Back to Top]

Performance and Rewards Management (5 ECTS)

Reward management is the art of aligning the interests of employees with those of the employer to deliver a high performing organisation. It is an integral part of a talent management strategy, but often characterised simply as an analytical process focused on pay market benchmarking. This module aims to explore the ways in which reward can influence behaviour and how the best organisations communicate their values and encourage performance through reward strategies that are tailored to their business needs. 

Having successfully completed this module, the student should be able to:

  • Systematically decide and communicate strategic performance aims, objectives, priorities and targets;
  • Plan effective performance management policies and practices to improve organisational and employee performance;
  • Devise and sustain arguments for using appropriate performance management techniques, rewards and sanctions to improve performance;
  • Demonstrate the communication skills required when managing achievement and underachievement;
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness and key issues in performance and reward management;
  • Analyse the relationship between the environment, strategy and systems of reward management;
  • Explore the conceptual apparatus and theoretical debates informing reward management;
  • Critically discuss traditional, contingent and knowledge bases for transactional and relational rewards;
  • Design internally consistent reward structures that recognise labour market and equity constraints;
  • Analyse executive and expatriate rewards in an international context.

[Back to Top]

Resourcing and Talent Management (5 ECTS)

This module focuses on resourcing and talent management. Answering why organizations need talent management for securing human resources, the module introduces talent management with a special focus on job analysis and workforce planning. Following this strategic perspective on talent management, the module will cover talent management along the employee experience. Key topics will be recruiting and selection processes, performance management, training, and retention. Across all of these human resource practices, the module will highlight how diversity can be addressed for creating and implementing inclusive talent management systems in organizations.
The module covers current practices in organizations and discusses the theories within human resource management that guide these practices. Given the current changes in the world of work, the module will not only shed light on the advantages but also the limitations of current practices to foster students’ critical thinking and discussion of future improvements.

Having successfully completed this module, the student should be able to:

  • Understand how key contemporary labour market trends influence talent management.
  • Identify and explain the key activities involved in talent management.
  • Know how to undertake core talent planning activities.
  • Understand the HR resourcing process and critically evaluate the key personnel selection methods that are used to hire talent in contemporary organisations.
  • Understand the key challenges associated with performance management.
  • Understand how to maximise employee retention.
  • Be able to promote and contribute to inclusive talent management strategies in contemporary organisations.

 [Back to Top]

Researching Human Resource Management (5 ECTS)

This module is focused on developing skills and knowledge useful for conceiving of,
planning, and implementing an empirical social science research project, along with an
appreciation of the relevant principles, practices, and expectations for responsible
research in the field of HRM. To achieve this the module will cover a wide range of topics
that include the philosophical underpinnings of research, the key elements of social
science research, different types of research contributions, the role of theory, how to
review and use extant literature, different methodological approaches, considerations for
planning data collection and analysis, as well as pragmatic considerations such finding
appropriate samples.

Having successfully completed this module, the student should be able to:

  • Acquire the knowledge and appreciation for the principles and practices
    of responsible research in the field of HRM.
  • Be able to debate and evaluate major theories relating to research design
    and methods for collecting and analysing data.
  • Recognise the contribution research makes to HRM theory and practice.
  • Identify a research question and justify the research design.
  • Recognise appropriate data collection techniques and data analysis methods,
    evaluate same and justify decisions.
  • Enhance their decision-making skills, and the ability to influence others through
    their communication and presentation of problems/scenarios or solutions/responses.
  • Increase their confidence and ability to conduct a research project in HRM.

  [Back to Top]

Employment Law and Business Ethics (5 ECTS)

This course addresses a range of employment legislation which affects employer and employee rights and obligations during the course of employment. The course is aimed at exploring legal issues faced by HR practitioners and begins by analysing key features of the employment law system and the role of tribunals. Students will learn about contracts of employment, employment status and a range of individual employment rights. Protection through Employment Equality law: protecting against discrimination on grounds of sex/gender, race/ethnicity including, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, and belief will also be examined. Importantly, the module will also critically assess the legal principles governing, termination of the employment relationship.

Having successfully completed this module, the student should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the core principles that underpin employment law in Ireland.
  • Analyse and advise colleagues about significant legal implications of decisions, plans and proposals in the area of employment law.
  • Take a leading role in determining an appropriate response when legal action is anticipated, threatened or taken.
  • Demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of developments in employment law, and be able to critically analyse the implications of these developments.
  • Evaluate the fairness, effectiveness and efficiency of employment law on the basis of academic and practitioner commentary.

[Back to Top]

Work Design and Health (5 ECTS)

In this course, we will cover topics, which will contribute to your understanding of the key principles of design of work environments, ergonomics and the importance of health and safety. The content of this course draws on contemporary research and practice of work environments, ergonomics and the importance of health and safety and focuses on the following topics:

Having successfully completed this module, the student should be able to:

  • Key principles of work design for developing effective work environments
  • Stress at work. Understanding how an organisation can tackle stress at work, and causes and consequences of stress at work
  • Improving Psychological Health and Well-Being: Work Design and Job Crafting
  • Positive Psychology
  • The principles of psychological, psycho-social and physiological factors in process, organisational and environmental design.

  [Back to Top]

Human Resource Digitalisation & Analytics (10 ECTS)

HR digitalisation and analytics, also known as digital transformation and people/workforce analytics, is rising up the agenda for organisations globally. With technology providing businesses more and more ways to collect people data, using this information to gain workforce insight, drive business performance and enhance employee experience is expected to grow. HR analytics enables HR practitioners and employers to gain insights into their workforce, HR policies and practices, with a focus on the human capital element of the workforce, and can ultimately inform more evidence-based decision making. This module is intended to advance students’ knowledge in human resource management by building up their analytical capability and adding practice experiences to their study. Students will be led to a deep dive in HR analytics. Meantime, valuable opportunities will be provided to students to learn how real organizations manage their valuable human resources via company visits and workshops in the companies. The aim is to enhance student’s understanding of HR analytics and real HRM and how they are operated in a range of industries and how organizational culture influences the application of HRM and how HRM is aligned with organizational strategy.

Having successfully completed this module, the student should be able to:

  • Understand HR digitalisation and analytics and describe the key steps in an effective HR analytics programme from framing the questions for analysis to reporting the results of the analysis;
  • Describe how leading organisations have successfully implemented HR digitalisation and analytics;
  • Critically review the role and responsibilities of the HR function and HRM process in the contemporary organizations;
  • Critically evaluate the use of HR practices in specific organisations in terms of: (1) their alignment with the organisation’s strategy and context, and (2) their contribution to organisational performance;
  • Identify organisational challenges in HR and provide best available evidence to address these challenges.

  [Back to Top]

Managing Employment Relations (5 ECTS)

Employment relations is in essence the study of employment in that, how it is shaped by institutional and political factors in the society within which the employment occurs. However in a neo-liberal, globalised world, the factors that shape employment can occur far from ‘home’. In this module, we explore how employment is shaped and experienced at the individual level.
This module will provide an overview of the legal, social economic and psychological exchange inherent in employment relations. The broad aim is to review the nature and evolution of Employment Relations up to and including contemporary challenges and developments in the international domain.

Having successfully completed the module, students should be able to understand:

  • Understand the different theoretical perspectives in employment relations.
  • Engage with roles and functions of different parties to control and manage the employment relationship.
  • Appreciate government policy and legal regulation and how these shape and impact on organisational and HR strategies and HR practices.
  • Appraise psychological processes at individual level and how they are shaped by organisational policies and practices.
  • Critically appraise integration of employment relations processes and how they impact on policy, practice and organisational outcomes such as performance and employee engagement.

[Back to Top]

Developing Skills for Leadership and Coaching (5 ECTS)

In this module, we will cover topics, which will contribute to your understanding of effective and responsible leadership and develop your leadership skills. The content of this module draws on contemporary research and practice of leadership and focuses on the following topics:

  • The Essence of Leadership
  • Leader Behaviours
  • Leadership and Ethics
  • Servant Leadership
  • The Leadership Situation
  • The Leader as a Coach - Leadership Development

Having successfully completed this module, students should be able to:

  • Gained a comprehensive understanding of a variety of leadership approaches.
  • Learned how to apply different leadership and coaching skills contingent on situational considerations to facilitate their team’s effectiveness.
  • Demonstrated and trained their leadership skills in individual and group exercises as well as simulations.
  • Considered ethical practices of leadership to facilitate team effectiveness in a human and sustainable way

  [Back to Top]

Dissertation (30 ECTS)

The dissertation is an in-depth individual research study of a particular issue within the field of human resource management. The Company Project and Research Dissertation are two options for students to conduct an in-depth individual research study of a particular issue within the field of HRM. Both options require that students demonstrate their capabilities to engage with academic literatures and both an understanding of and an ability to apply HR related theory and concepts to solve HR related problems. The difference is that in the Company Project, students need to solve a real HR issue/challenge faced within a current business context while for the research dissertation, students need to identify a research topic arising from important themes within the academic literature. Both options require students to analyse their research issue using the concepts, techniques and tools introduced to them in the Researching HRM Module. They will be expected to demonstrate a good understanding of the applicability of these techniques (statistical, numerical, qualitative), and an ability to communicate their work to a broad audience effectively and efficiently. This flexible approach allows students to select a company/industry sector or an academic topic that is relevant to the next stage of their career.

Having successfully completed this module, the student should be able to:

  • Identify and justify a HR issue that is of strategic relevance to the theory and practice;
  • Critically analyse and discuss existing literature, contemporary HR policy and practice relevant to the chosen issue;
  • Compare and contrast the relative merits of different research methods and their relevance to different situations;
  • Undertake a systematic analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative information and present the results in a clear and consistent format;
  • Draw realistic and appropriate conclusions and make recommendations based on costed options;
  • Present arguments in a coherent manner written in a clear style and a coherent conclusion that follows correctly from the analysis;
  • Write a reflective account of what has been learned during the project and how this can be applied in the future.

 [Back to Top