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UCD Smurfit School: Human resource management in the 21st century

The gig economy, machine learning and international teams: UCD Smurfit School’s MSc in Human Resource Management prepares graduates to hit the ground running in this high-demand field

MSc in Human Resource Management

The MSc in Human Resource Management draws extensively on UCD’s pioneering research into human resource management and employment relations over some four decades. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Ask any successful CEO, founder, entrepreneur or manager, and they’re likely to tell you the same thing: the secret to any organisation’s success is its people.

Empowering your workforce, unlocking their full potential, ensuring that they are fully connected to your company’s mission, its objectives and values has never been a more critical function of management and organisational strategy.

And in uncertain times, with evolving customer expectations, digital disruption and new players rewriting the rules of the game in every sector across the planet, it is imperative that employees and teams remain agile and engaged, with the right skills and mindset to navigate change.

For professionals working in human resource management today, the challenges and the rewards are manifold.

But what is it that you need to make your mark in this exciting space? How do you get on top of the latest thinking in human resource management and the best practices in people performance? And how do you build the international exposure and understanding to drive change in organisational culture, unlock potential and future-proof any business in any sector, anywhere in the world?

As the nature of work and the workplaces continues to change in business, strategic HRM is becoming an increasingly central factor in organisational strategy

For Colm Godfrey, Human Capital consultant with Deloitte, the answer is simple: the MSc in Human Resource Management at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

“I wanted to work in human resource management because of the exciting opportunities for emerging graduates. As the nature of work and the workplaces continues to change in business, strategic HRM is becoming an increasingly central factor in organisational strategy. The MSc in HRM at UCD Smurfit School combines the practical and conceptual understanding – giving you the hands-on  foundational skills, the knowledge and the network to hit the ground running when you graduate,” says Godfrey. 

Available in a full-time format over 12 months, or part-time over 24 months for greater flexibility, the MSc in Human Resource Management draws extensively on UCD’s pioneering research into human resource management and employment relations over some four decades, offering a learning experience that is at the cutting edge of theory while being deeply rooted in real-world exposure and skills development. It is the top-ranked masters in human resource management in Ireland.

[Learn more about the MSc in Human Resource Management programme]

There’s also a unique international dimension to the programme, says Professor John Geary, that helps students build a “global mindset”.

“The MSc in HRM incorporates an exchange programme with the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University – an Ivy League college and one of the foremost research and teaching institutions in human resource management in the world. We are also partnered with the European Masters in Labour Studies, a network of leading European universities offering postgraduate programmes in work and human resource management studies,” says Geary. 

Within the classroom too, as Dr Majella Fahy (MSc Programme Director) emphasizes, there is an international diversity that enriches the learning experience exponentially, with students from more than 10 different nationalities exchanging perspectives, experience and diverse approaches throughout the programme.

Sofia Viola from Italy graduated from the MSc in 2019. She recently joined Cally, a HR tech start-up in New York that develops machine-learning software to help leaders build high-performing teams.

“I was drawn to the MSc in HRM at UCD Smurfit School because of the school’s reputation for excellence and the international dimension of the learning experience. UCD Smurfit School has a unique network of partnerships with leading universities around the world. Choosing the programme meant I could pursue my studies both at UCD and an exchange semester at an Ivy League school. The knowledge and skills I acquired at both schools has empowered me to work in one of the most exciting spaces in my field. Emerging AI-powered tools like Cally are disrupting people management and the entire employee life-cycle. I am excited to be part of this,” says Viola.

Sreya Chatterjee from New Delhi agrees; “I wanted to switch careers from a background in digital marketing. Making that change, I also wanted the international exposure of coming to a new country to study. UCD Smurfit School and the MSc HRM programme provided me with what I needed: a chance to gain extensive knowledge across the field of human resources, including practical experience, together with support from an immensely helpful and approachable faculty, career fairs and guest presentations by experts. You graduate from the programme with a really broadened mindset, having exchanged countless perspectives with a broad diversity of students, and an incredible international business network to support you as you begin your career in HR.”

Career prospects for graduates are stunning. Currently, some 86 per cent of programme graduates find employment in organisations of their choice within less than six months of finishing the MSc.

“When students join the MSc in HRM at UCD Smurfit School, they are joining a programme that values an evidence-based, critical and reflective approach to the study of HRM, and integrity in professional practice,” says Professor Geary. “Their learning experience combines the latest findings from international research with real-life experience and draws extensively on our international alumni network to enhance students’ career opportunities and help them find really exciting jobs when they graduate.”


The UCD Smurfit School is ranked 23rd in the Financial Times' ranking of leading European Business Schools and is the only business school in Ireland, and one of an elite group of schools worldwide, to hold the "triple crown" of accreditation from three centres of business and academic excellence: EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. UCD Smurfit School’s alumni communities include more than 84,000 professionals around the globe in 35 international chapters.

Places are filling quickly for the MSc in Human Resource Management programme, which begins in September. Prospective students are encouraged to learn more about the programme here.