Human Resources

By Aedín Dunne - Last update

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Are you a people person? Do you have strong interpersonal skills and want to help companies to have strong employee relations? Do you think you can enhance relations and morale within businesses or organisations? Apply this in a business context and you could have just found your next move.

What is human resource?

Human Resources is the division of a business that is responsible for finding, screening, recruiting and training job applicants as well as administering employee-benefit programmes. 

What third level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Business (Human Resource Management)
  • Business Studies (Human Resource Management)
  • Accountancy Payroll and Human Resources (PLC)
  • Business Studies and Human Resources (PLC)
  • Business Studies Marketing and Human Resources (PLC)
  • Human Resource Management and Supervision (PLC)
  • Business with Human Resource Management (PLC)

Studying Human Resources in college

There are a large number of courses available in HR, both undergraduate courses and PLC courses as seen from the examples listed above. PLC courses will generally be 1 year in length and give you a strong foundation in the area of human resources and HR management. Undergraduate courses will be 3-4 years long, depending on the course.

Your first year of an undergraduate course is like a foundation year. You will learn the basics of HR and get a grounding in different areas within HR as well as gain an understanding of what the course will entail in the years to come. Areas you might cover in your first year include financial accounting, quantitative techniques, business applications, economics and management. 

Your second and third year will introduce you to or in depth and complex areas. Examples of modules are management accounting, business law, marketing, strategic human resource management, organisational behaviour and business finance, for example. 

In your final year, depending on your course, you may have the opportunity to take work experience as an elective module or in some cases, it may be mandatory. This will give you the opportunity to gain experience in the field and become aware of the working environment in the area of HR. Many courses will offer elective modules from enterprise, international business and supply to chain management to economics or a language of you choice. 

Career options

The area of business is quite broad and offers the opportunity for roles in different places and of different types. Being a HR manager is one of the more obvious choices you may choose. Other job options that are also relevant are listed below to give you an idea of the direction you may like to go in. 

In particular, the business industry recommends and desires postgraduate courses. Many people continue on from their undergraduate course to a postgraduate course to specialise in a particular area. This can help you to become more desirable to employers and allow you to gain more opportunities. There is also the option throughout your career to go down the education route and lecture/ teach in universities and college or into the research area.

Skills and qualities important in this area include strong communication skills, strong writing skills, a friendly manner, good people skills, a problem solving attitude, a critical thinker, time management skills, organisation skills, strong employee relations and good decision making skills. 

Related Jobs

  • HRe Manager
  • HR advisor
  • HR Analyst 
  • HR Generalist
  • HR Business Partner
  • Recruitment
  • Talent Manager
  • Recruitment consultant 
  • Career Advisor 

Further Study

Visit for more information.


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should

include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

THe highest points required for a course in Human Resource Management was 395 points to study in TU Dublin. The lowest points required were 224 points to study Business (Human Resource Management) in IT Carlow last year. 

Points typically ranged from 200-400 points in 2020.

Where can I study?

For other courses in the area you would like to explore, you can do so here.

Did you know?

  • 57% of organizations view employee relations as a problem in the US
  • 70% of companies analyze employee data
  •  HR plays both a huge and important role in the development, reinforcing and change in an organisation or company.


Student Grant Scheme 

Human Resource Management job description

Course examples

Aedín Dunne

Film Studies Courses


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