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Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management

Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management at Waikato prepares you to play the important role of managing people's work and their environment. You'll be ready for a career in employment relations, human resources, workplace change and education and training.

Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management (IR&HRM) builds your skills through papers in Education Studies, Human Resource Management, Labour Studies and Psychology. This interdisciplinary approach gives you a multi-perspective understanding of how legislation frames IR&HRM, the relationship between education and training and employability in a globalised environment.

We gear programme content and learning experiences to prepare for employment as well as for those who want to further their studies. You'll benefit from combined learning with the Labour Studies and Social Policy programmes, as well as a multitude of other programmes in Economics, Education Studies, Geography, Psychology, Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Labour Studies, Education Studies and Psychology are particularly advantageous to combine with IR&HRM due to their strong focus on disciplinary fields. While subjects such as Geography, Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies have a more theoretical perspective and interdisciplinary focus. You are also encouraged to explore second majors or supporting subjects relevant to your long term career aspirations such as Economics.

During your IR&HRM studies at Waikato, you'll learn how to increase organisations' productivity through how its employees interact and relate with each another.

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Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.

Career opportunities

  • Employment Court Official
  • Human Capital Development Strategist
  • Human Resource Manager, Adviser or Officer
  • Industrial Relations Mediator or Facilitator
  • Payroll Manager or Administrator

Prescriptions for the GradCert(IR&HRM) and GradDip(IR&HRM)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management at an advanced level in their first degree. Each programme of study for the Graduate Certificate must include WKEMP201 and HRMGT306. Each programme of study for the Graduate Diploma must include WKEMP201, EDSOC202, HRMGT306 and WKEMP300.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Office.

Graduate Study

To complete the IR&HRM specialisation within the PGCert(LabSt), PGDip(LabSt) or BSSocSc(Hons), students must complete 120 points at 500 level comprising SOCPY531, SOCPY532 and SOCPY591, 30 points from HRMGT543, HRMGT544, HRMGT545 or HRMGT574 and 30 points from LBST541, LBST542, ADLNG500, PSYCH571, PSYCH572, PSYCH573, PSYCH579 and PSYCH585.

To complete the IR&HRM specialisation within the MSocSc in Labour Studies, students must complete 180 points at 500 level comprising SOCPY531, SOCPY532, SOCPY592, SSRP503, SSRP504, 30 points from HRMGT543, HRMGT544, HRMGT545 or HRMGT574 and 30 points from LBST541, LBST542, ADLNG500, PSYCH571, PSYCH572, PSYCH573, PSYCH579 and PSYCH585.

Students wishing to specialise in IR&HRM at graduate level may enrol in the IR&HRM specialisation within the PGCert(LabSt), PGDip(LabSt) or BSocSc(Hons) in Labour Studies. The requirements for the specialisation are prescribed in the FASS Graduate Handbook or may be obtained from the Programme Convenor for IR&HRM.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
STMGT101Introduction to Management20A (Hamilton), 20B (Hamilton), 20B (Tauranga) & 20X (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
Explores the world of management in organisations, the roles of managers and how they strategise, plan, organise, and motivate staff to achieve goals.
WKEMP100Work, Employment and Society20B (Hamilton)
The purpose of this paper is to focus on the interdisciplinary account of the changing forms and social contexts of work from ancient times to the present and beyond.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EDSOC202Planning Learning Opportunities for Adults20A (Hamilton)
This paper investigates fundamental concepts of adult learning and then studies some adult learning theorists whose work is relevant to programme development. Major bottom-up and top-down approaches are taken to understand the dynamics of programme development. Students develop and apply their own approach to development, implement...
HRMGT202Human Resource Management20A (Hamilton)
Employees can be challenging. This paper uses latest HRM research and practice to examine how employees are acquired, managed, accommodated, trained and developed to improve individual and organisational performance.
HRMGT203Remuneration and Reward20B (Hamilton)
This paper provides students an understanding of a range of pay practices and how and when each of these can influence employee behaviour and human capital to affect organisational performance.
WKEMP201Employment Relations in New Zealand20A (Hamilton)
This paper examines the employment relations legislation and its impact on employers, unions and workers. Other issues considered include occupational health and safety, industrial training and practice of employment relations

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EDSOC302Adults Learning for Life20B (Hamilton)
This paper explores the character of adult learning including analysis of social issues in the field. It focusses on areas within lifelong learning where social inequalities are most prevalent.
HRMGT300Women and Management20G (Hamilton)
This paper analyses: 1) women's different employment experiences and career outcomes, 2) the implications of gendered employment outcomes, and 3) government and organisation initiatives designed to redress gendered employment outcomes.
HRMGT302Human Resource Management in Legal Context20A (Hamilton)
This paper addresses the role of employment law in human resource management. A case-oriented approach is taken to equip management practitioners with practical skills.
HRMGT303Strategic Human Resource Management20B (Hamilton)
This paper teaches students how HR practices can be combined to influence human capital and/or employee behaviour to improve an organisation's performance and implement its strategy.
HRMGT304Human Resource Management of Diversity and Inclusion20B (Hamilton)
New Zealand's workforce demographic profile has changed significantly due to an ageing workforce, women entering paid employment, and immigration. This paper analyses the HRM implications of this diversity.
PSYCH317Organisational Psychology20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This course offers a general introduction to the psychology of work and organisational behaviour.
SOCIO302Globalisation and International Development20B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the impact of globalisation on both developed and developing countries. Special focus is placed on the labour-capital relation. Applied methods of comparative analysis are also introduced.
WKEMP300Education, Skill and Employment20A (Hamilton), 20A (Online), 20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Online)
The purpose of this paper is to focus on policy and practice in the field of paid work, education and training. This encapsulates tertiary education a field that includes: adult and community education; higher education; vocational education and training; human resource development; and workplace learning.

400 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LEGAL420Employment Law20B (Hamilton)
This course is a practical survey of employment law in New Zealand. It examines the formation, operation, and termination of the employment relationship as well as personal grievances, remedies and the employment institutions.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

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Subject links

Social Sciences Programme

IR&HRM is available as a major for the BSocSc. IR&HRM may also be taken as a second major or as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

To complete a major in IR&HRM, students must gain 120 points above 100 level in IR&HRM, comprising HRMG241, LBST201, PCSS231, HRMG342, LBST331, and one of HRMG343, HRMG374, LBST301, PCSS330 or PSYC317. It is recommended that students intending to major in IR&HRM include LBST101, SOCY101 and STMG191 in the first year of their programme of study in order to meet prerequisites for study at 200 and 300 levels. It is also recommended that students complete a supporting subject in Education Studies, Labour Studies or Psychology, or a second major in another social science subject.

To complete a supporting subject in IR&HRM, students must include LBST201 and HRMG342.


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4138
General and Undergraduate Email Enquiries: