Skip to main content
Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo
COVID-19 information and updates

Find the most recent updates here, as well as FAQs and information for students, faculty and staff.

Labour Studies MA

The MA Programme is an exciting component of the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University.


In the core Labour Studies courses, students will read about and discuss a range of labour topics. Among these these are topics relating to class, gender and racial dynamics of the workplace, the role of unions in the making of social and political policy, the governance of labour relations, the structuring of labour markets, innovations in workplace organization, and labour rights in the global society.

Download Brochure


To complete their course requirements, students will be able to choose from a wide range of complementary courses from the other Social Science departments and other disciplines. Students can follow their interests and deepen their knowledge in the following themes within Work and Society:

  • Work Organization & Restructuring
  • The Political Economy of Globalization
  • Class, Gender & Race at Work & in Society
  • Working in the Service Society
  • Paid and Unpaid Labour in the Home
  • Emotional Labour/Care Giving
  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Labour Market Policy and Labour Markets
  • Trade Unions
  • Movements for Social Justice

Program Details

Core Courses

  • Class, Gender and Race: Theorizing Work, Home and Society
  • Labour Market, the State and Inequality
  • Work, Workers and their Workplaces
  • Work and Democracy in the Global Society
  • Bodies at Work: Politics, Science Law & Occupational Health
  • Methods (mandatory for all Labour Studies graduate students)
  • Selected Topics in Work and Society (e.g., Search for New Labour Movement, Conceptualizing Unfree Labour)
  • Independent Study

Learn more about Labour Studies graduate courses


Each of these courses is interdisciplinary. They represent a coherent programme covering the various areas of the Work and Society field including course and three courses focussing on different levels of social aggregation:

  • the individual and the workplace
  • the state
  • global society

The Selected Topics course gives the MA Programme the flexibility to involve visiting faculty, new faculty, core faculty not resident in Labour Studies, and academics and researchers currently working with trade unions in our programme. The Independent Study course is a way of creating greater flexibility in responding to the diverse interests of our students and faculty.

Learn more about Labour Studies MA program

MA Publications

View our past student Major Research Project Thesis titles.


View past MRP-Thesis Titles

Career Information

Career Possibilities

Upon graduation, our students are well-prepared either to take up employment in related fields or to pursue further studies in PhD programmes. We take particular note of the placement of a number of our graduates in public sector professional positions and in the trade union movement.

Students have been graduating with an MA in Work & Society since the fall of 2000. Since that time, our graduates have found employment working in a wide range of positions including:

  • trade union researchers/educators
  • mediators
  • teachers and professors
  • managers and administrators
  • human resource specialists
  • policy analysts
  • economic development officers

Our part-time students have continued their employment as:

  • mediators
  • union representatives/researchers
  • administrators
  • human resource specialists