Undergraduate Program

University College Dublin

The ILR/UCD Semester in Dublin Program is unique in that credits awarded at UCD will be actual ILR credits, courses will have ILR numbers, and all grades at UCD will count to your student's GPA.  These will not be transfer credits as is typical of most study abroad programs. 

Because these credits will count toward your student’s GPA, it is important that you have a frank discussion with your child about their preparedness and seriousness before committing to the program.  The focus of this study abroad program is, in fact, STUDY!  Students should not view this as a vacation, a tour of Europe, or a great way to get away from Ithaca! 

We expect students to attend class, meet all course requirements, take exams, and work hard!


In addition to a course on Irish history and culture, which is designed to provide a frame of reference for understanding the modern and dynamic country that Ireland is today, students will take two courses especially developed by Quinn School faculty to help them understand those issues of work and workplace relations that the nations of the European Union are endeavoring to resolve in the cause of a more complete social, economic and political integration.

Students will choose one other course from a list of elective courses addressing various aspects of human resource management and industrial and labor relations.

Under special circumstances, ILR students may also be eligible to choose their elective course from the curriculum of the Smurfit School, the renowned graduate business school of University College Dublin.

Students earn a minimum of 12 hours of ILR elective credit for their semester in Dublin. In most cases, the additional three credits earned for the course in Irish history and culture taken in Dublin may be counted in satisfaction of the ILR School’s Western Intellectual Tradition distribution requirement.

All Quinn courses are taught with a series of formal lectures together with a strong emphasis on course work outside the classroom including project work, computer and library research, and class presentations.  The Quinn School strongly emphasizes small classes with a cap of 50 students in upper-level classes.  Each course meets for three hours with a three-hour formal examination at the end of the semester.

Required Courses

Irish History & Culture

Throughout the course themes such as Irish nationalism, identity and the use of history in the present will be explored.   Several field trips are included (and compulsory) in this course.  Trips include outings to the Dáil and Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin and Stormont in Belfast.

European Industrial Relations & Human Resource Management

The course has two main objectives:

  • to provide an understanding of industrial relations and human resource management (IR and HRM) practices in four Western European countries - Britain, Germany, Spain and Ireland. An introductory overview of IR and HRM practices in Eastern Europe is also provided.
  • to develop a comparative analysis around a number of key issues: employers' organizations and the structure of collective bargaining; trade union growth, structure and policy; the role of the state; labour market regulation; European social policy; industrial relations regimes and regime competition; and finally, whether national systems of IR and HRM are converging or diverging.

Developments in the new accession states and in Eastern Europe more generally will also be examined, particularly where they are seen to have consequences for the shape of IR systems in Western Europe.

Multinationals in the Global Economy:  Managing People

The course on Multinationals has been designed specifically for our program and offers ILR students a unique experience by combining traditional classroom work with hands-on practical training with leading multinationals headquartered in Dublin. This course will be team taught and consist of a significant field work component.  Topics to be discussed include: 

  • Globalization, Multinationals and the Irish Economy
  • Strategy, Structure and HRM in Multinationals
  • Performance Management & Pay
  • Voice & Work Organization

Field work projects may include visits to the Irish Development Agency (IDA), the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), the Irish Business & Employers Confederation, and the American Chamber of Commerce.