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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.

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.

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.  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

The program consists of course work plus either a Major Research Paper (MRP) or a Thesis. Students complete either five courses and a Thesis or six courses and an MRP. Courses are chosen from a list of core Labour Studies graduate courses as well as from the disciplines such as Sociology, Political Science, Geography, Social Work, History, etc.

Labour Studies MA Handbook: click here

  • Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent in any discipline with a minimum B+ average (78% from last 10 upper level half-courses) from accredited university
  • Two-page Statement of Research Interest
  • Resume or CV
  • Two (2) academic references from former university professors
  • Official up-to-date Transcript(s) showing degrees completed (unofficial student-generated records will not be accepted). In-process BA must be completed before September to meet 'conditional acceptance'
  • Writing sample from 4th year course that received good grade
  • International applicants whose education was not received in English must provide proof of English equivalent to McMaster's School of Graduate Studies acceptance levels:  https://future.mcmaster.ca/admission/language-2/
  • Complete applications will be reviewed after the January 31st deadline.

All incoming full-time MA students are offered some funding to assist with their studies from a variety of sources including Teaching Assistantship, scholarships and bursaries and Research Assistantship.

We recommend that incoming students with an average of A- or above apply for a Canada Graduate Scholarship. http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/PG-CS/CGSM-BESCM_eng.asp

Each fall the School of Labour Studies provides a workshop to assist applicants. Please contact the department for further information.

Information about other scholarships is available here: http://sfas.mcmaster.ca/category/scholarships/

Tips for successful applications:

  • Ensure that all pieces of your application arrive prior to the deadline date.
  • Write an effective research statement. An effective research statement includes:
    • A clear statement of your research interests
    • How your background (including education and work/volunteer experience) prepares you to do the research.
    • Why the School of Labour Studies at McMaster is the right place for you to pursue the above research question.
    • If you need further advice, seek advice from a mentor from your previous school/program.

Core Courses

Core courses will be selected from the following menu:

  • METHODS - mandatory for all Labour Studies graduate students
  • 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
  • Selected Topics in Work and Society
  • Independent Study

 

the School of Graduate Studies Awards and Funding Labour Studies Graduate Handbook MRP Thesis List by Year Graduate FAQ’s Apply Now
For more information:
Sharon Molnar, School of Labour Studies ; Graduate Program
KTH-717
905-525-9140 ext. 24692
molnars@mcmaster.ca
Length:
1 year full-time. Up to 5 years allowed for part-time studies.
Required Credential:
Honours Bachelor's degree or equivalent from any discipline with minimum 78% from last 10 upper level courses (i.e. 3rd & 4th year)
Program Type:
Thesis and Course based
Program Options:
Full-time, Part-time
Typical Entry:
September
Current Deadline:
January 31