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The School of Labour Studies conducts cutting-edge research on domestic and international labour issues. We are leaders in community-engaged scholarship, collaborating with unions, community organizations and policy-makers. Our research helps make work better for everyone.

Certificate Programs

The world of labour is constantly changing. That's why the School of Labour Studies has partnered with both the Hamilton District Labour Council and Unifor to offer two unique labour studies certificates designed to provide the most current labour education.

Graduate Programs

Canada's leading program studying contemporary work, workers and social justice movements. We offer both an exceptional master's program as well as North America's on PhD in Labour Studies.

Undergraduate Programs

An interdisciplinary program where work is studied as one component of a larger life experience that includes family life, community relations, gender relations, and state policy.

Latest News & Events

It’s a long, long game: Judy Fudge on improving workers’ rights

Who’s going to say, “Well, I oppose those laws against modern slavery!” Labour scholar Judy Fudge warns that laws targeting "modern slavery" often draw attention away from deeper labour problems that put workers at risk.

Aug 12, 2019

Mapping the Void: Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ Experiences in Hamilton

Members of Hamilton's Two Spirit and LGBTQ+ Communities are invited to a free event to launch the final report from the Hamilton LGBTQ+ Needs Assessment Research! Tuesday, June 11, 7 to 9 p.m. at Mills Hardware.

Jun 10, 2019

Suzanne Mills named University Scholar

Labour Studies professor Suzanne Mills is one of six McMaster professors that have been named 2019 University Scholars, an award that recognizes the achievements of mid-career researchers.

May 14, 2019

Social Sciences students recognized with 100 individual awards and scholarships

On behalf of the Faculty of Social Sciences, we wish to extend our warmest congratulations to all of the recipients in our Faculty of Social Sciences academic awards. You, your family and friends should be proud of your accomplishments.

Apr 04, 2019

Social Sciences Career Crawl: February 25 – March 22

A series of career events featuring alumni, profs, workshops, panels & more! Open to all Social Sciences students.

Mar 18, 2019

Level I students invited to Social Sciences Faculty Showcase

The Faculty of Social Sciences will host its annual Level II Showcase for Level I students on Thursday, March 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the L.R. Wilson Hall Lobby.

Feb 26, 2019

B.A. Bachelor of Arts in Labour Studies

Our BA program is innovative and interdisciplinary in nature. The McMaster School of Labour Studies is widely recognized as among the best in the world. In their classes our students engage with the many and varied issues that animate our contemporary worlds of work.

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Hons.B.A. Honours BA Labour Studies

Our Honours BA graduates have high rates of success in securing careers in labour law, community development, Industrial relations, health & safety, lawyer, mediator,  disability case worker, civil servant, community development, policy analysis, teaching, occupational health and safety, labour research and labour organizing. Honours students are required to complete either an honours thesis or a field experience. Field experience allows them to sharpen their research skills while gaining practical experience working for a union, government agency or private employer.

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Hons.B.A. Combined Honours BA in Labour Studies

Students graduate with a double major in Labour Studies and another subject.

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Minor Minor in Labour Studies

Work is central to our health (physical and mental), our economic well-being, our society and our economy. In short work affects everyone. The minor in Labour Studies is a strong complement to almost any undergraduate degree program. It provides an interdisciplinary and well rounded view of our contemporary worlds of work.

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M.A. Master of Arts in Labour Studies

The prime objective of this unique graduate program is to introduce students to a variety of theoretical approaches and practical policy debates that relate to working in contemporary societies around the world, as well as Canada. Courses focus on a broad range of work activities, from working for wages in primary, industrial and service settings, to the paid and unpaid work that goes on in the home and elsewhere. Regardless of the particular focus, work is to be studied as one component of life experience that includes family life, community relations, the effects of racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism, politics and state regulation.

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Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy in Labour Studies

The only such degree in North America, the PhD program engages closely and critically with the issues of work and labour in contemporary and historical perspective. The program aims to develop a new generation of scholars prepared to contribute to research leadership in the academy, the community, policy arenas and organizations representing working people. As a small interdisciplinary program, students will enjoy strong mentorship from leading scholars in the field and benefit from the strong union and community connections of faculty.

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U.Cert. The Labour Studies Joint Certificate with the Hamilton & Brantford District Labour Councils

The McMaster School of Labour Studies offered its first certificate courses in 1976. We currently offer a Certificate in Labour Studies as well as two joint certificates in partnership with the Brantford and Hamilton and District Labour Councils.

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U.Cert. Unifor-McMaster Labour Studies Certificate

Unifor-McMaster Labour Studies courses are designed specifically for Unifor members. Education has an important role in building a knowledgeable membership and workplace leadership. The Unifor-McMaster program is designed on a learning approach that is built upon a commitment to participants that translates into respect for prior experience, skill and activism

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