Business Studies

The BBS (Hons) (HRM) is a four-year, part-time programme. It provides a comprehensive examination and analysis of the subjects critical to contemporary business life, focusing on Human Resource Management (HRM). It includes two interim awards – at Certificate and Diploma level. 

Bachelor of Business Studies (HONS) – Human Resource Management

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Key Facts

Delivery Method

For the academic year 2021-2022, the programme is delivered through a blended learning model. Students will attend scheduled webinars, access a range of online resources, and study module textbooks. For multi-year programmes, any seminar arrangements will be made in line with public health restrictions. Further details will be provided on registration.

Via the IPA’s online learning portal, students will access comprehensive course material (including bespoke manuals), video lectures that can be viewed on any device, and regular live webinars where lecturers will engage with student questions and enable discussion. Students will also receive hardcopy textbooks for all modules and access to the resources of the IPA Library. They will be able to virtually meet their fellow classmates on forums and exchange experiences and views.

Accessing and using the online content will be a straightforward affair; students will not anything beyond standard ICT skills. The IPA will provide comprehensive guidance and support.

This stream of the BBS (Hons) is only offered when there are sufficient student numbers. 

Entry Requirements

Applicants require a Leaving Certificate with a minimum grade C in two higher level papers and grade D in four other subjects. The papers passed must include Irish, English and a third language. Students applying for the BBS (Hons) must have passed the Mathematics paper.


Mature students (students over 21 on January 1 of the calendar year of entry) may enter a programme without the above qualifications. 


Four years of part-time study

Interim Awards

  • Year One: Certificate in Business Studies.
  • Year Two: Diploma in Business Studies.



Place on NFQ

Level 8 (Honours Bachelor Degree) what is this?


September 2021

Application Deadline

September 2021


The cost of the programme is €3,080 per annum (includes all matriculation and examination fees), payable in one or two instalments.

Note: Fees may increase slightly from year to year. Where this occurs, students will be charged the increased fee.


Students can progress to the MSc in Business and Management and other graduate programmes.

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The Programme

The BBS (Hons) (HRM) is a four-year, part-time programme. It provides a comprehensive examination and analysis of the subjects critical to contemporary business life, focusing on Human Resource Management (HRM). It includes two interim awards – at Certificate and Diploma level. 

Is This Programme for you?

This degree will be of great interest if you work, or would like to work, in the management and development of human resources and would also benefit from a detailed understanding of other key business functions, including accountancy and business policy. 


Year One – Certificate in Business Studies 

The first year is both a stand-alone qualification – Certificate in Business Studies – and part of the four-year degree programme.

Financial Accounting

This course explains the key principles and techniques of financial accounting. Students will learn about different accounting systems, the purpose of accounting records, the preparation and analysis of profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and income and expenditure accounts.

Quantitative Methods

All organisations, whether operating commercially or otherwise, must undertake research and analyse relevant data. This course explains the principles of business research and the mathematical techniques used when examining the results of that research. Among the specific topics addressed are the preparation of surveys, population samples and linear regression and correlation.

Managing IT/Managing Human Resources

This course explores the proper management of two of the most crucial components in an organisation. The first part of the course considers such topics as the role of IT in the workplace and the appraisal of investment in new IT systems. The second part turns to human resources, examining the responsibilities of the HR manager in today’s workplace.

Business Administration and Marketing

This course describes and assesses the proper organisation and control of a business unit and examines one especially vital business function: marketing. It covers, among other things, financial and administrative controls, best-practice in day-to-day operations and marketing strategies.

Year Two – Diploma In Business Studies (HRM)

The second year is both a stand-alone qualification – Diploma in Business Studies – and the second stage of the BBS (Hons) degree.

Organisational Behaviour

Organisations, despite having similar processes and business units, often behave in different ways. A key objective of HRM is to understand and direct organisational behaviour. This course discusses the relevant issues, including communication, organisational culture and group behaviour.

Business and Company Law

All transactions in the State, whether public or private, are governed by commercial law. In this course, students will examine the laws that pertain to the creation, performance and dissolution of contracts, the formation of companies, the acquisition of shares and the liquidation of businesses.

Cost Accounting

Cost accounting helps managers see the cost of business operations and thus make informed decisions. This course explores the main principles and processes of cost accounting, including budgeting, absorption and marginal costing and basic standard costing.


This introductory-level course explains the main theories and principles of economics. It covers both micro and macroeconomics and addresses such topics as the laws of supply and demand, how market prices are reached, monopolies and competition and monetary policy.

Year Three

Human Resource Management

This course covers several specific topics in the HRM field, including manpower planning, performance management, managing change, health and safety, employment legislation and strategic management.

Employee Resourcing, Development and Performance Management

A key requirement of the HRM function in any organisation is to obtain suitable employees and to develop their skills and knowledge. This course examines the elements of this requirement, including recruitment and selection, selection interviewing and the principles of performance management. 

Management Accounting

Management accounting provides vital information to managers within an organisation. This course explores its key components: budgeting, advanced variance analysis, activitybased costing, pricing and divisional performance appraisal.

Financial Management

This course analyses the crucial elements in financial decision-making, including financial mathematics, the sources of organisational finance, financial risk, investment decisions, the proper management of working capital and mergers and acquisitions.

Year Four

Employee Relations and Law 

This course addresses the key topic of employee relations, examining how such relations can determine an organisation’s success or otherwise. It considers the main provisions of employment law, participation and partnership in the workforce, health and safety legislation and managerial strategies for healthy employee relations.

Human Resource Leadership and Strategy

The evolving nature of the modern organisation requires clear leadership to determine objectives and a clear HR strategy to secure those objectives. This course examines, among other things, leadership theories, HR strategies in a globalised world, the strategic management of human capital and HR strategy in the public sector.

Business Policy

The primary aim of this course is to explain the pivotal importance of strategic thinking and policy development to modern management. It considers, among other things, the factors that shape an organisation’s strategy, the business environment, the causes of corporate decline and how to choose between strategy alternatives.

Management Accounting Applications and Control

This course applies quantitative methods to accounting principles and processes. It explores, among other topics, the integration of cost data in management, how to establish operational variances, linear programming, and regression analysis.


The programme is assessed by means of assignments and final examinations.


Programme Delivery and Application Form

For the academic year 2021-2022, programmes will generally be delivered through a blended learning model. Students will access a range of online resources, study textbooks, and attend interactive webinars in all modules.  For multi-year programmes, any seminar arrangements will be made in line with public health restrictions. Further details will be provided on registration.

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