Work & Labour Studies
York has Canada’s largest and most renowned team of scholars in labour relations, work and global political economy.
Work and Labour Studies explores the complex nature of work and employment, the impact of globalization and the role of trade unions. Work occupies much of our lives and it informs how we live and how we think about the world. Work & Labour Studies explores what work is, who decides who does what, how workers respond to the conditions of the workplace, and the relationship of capital, the state and labour.
Key factors include:
- the economy
- the changing nature of work and the workplace
- industrial relations
- how labour is portrayed by the media
- how politics is shaped by mass media and how workers' culture both informs and diverts class struggle
Our program's strengths include labour law and labour policy, the future of work and employment, women and work, globalization and its impact on work and workers, and our unique fourth year placement course. Labour Studies also offers courses in collective bargaining that will prepare you for contemporary and relevant workplace situations.
You will be well prepared for employment in the labour movement, private industry, government service, journalism, public or private administration, social work, law or teaching. Many students go on to graduate work in political science, industrial relations and labour law.
- Students are strongly encouraged to enrol in a Work Placement in their final year. Applications can be made in the spring advising period (March-April) for placements in the fall-winter term.
- Join the Labour Studies Student Association. The association organizes events at York University, and advises the Program Coordinator about student interests and needs.
- Volunteer at the Working Student Centre. The Centre is run by student volunteers who offer advice to working students on workplace issues such as wages, vacation time and discrimination.
- Get involved with the Centre for Research on Work and Society. The Centre is a York research unit whose governing bodies consist of academics and trade unionists. Along with research and publication activities, the Centre sponsors conferences, workshops and publishes working papers of interest to labour studies students.
Sample First-year Schedule
- The Future of Work
- Humanities General Education course
- Social Science General Education course
- Natural Science General Education course
- Course outside the major
Possible Career PathsExplore what you can do with your degree
- Career counsellor
- Industrial relations manager
- Labour market researcher
- Occupational health and safety officer
- Labour policy analyst
You are required to provide official evidence of academic achievement in secondary education. This can be demonstrated through:
- Final grades under the Ontario curriculum (obtained through correspondence, night school or through TVO)
- Credentials through other curricula, such as results from Advanced Placement (AP) or Advanced-level courses in the General Certificate of Education (Gene). (Students may register to sit for the AP and GCE examinations as private candidates.)
In the absence of final grades in courses:
- You must submit the results of standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a minimum of 550 (Reading) and 550 (Math) or a composite American College Testing (ACT) score of 24.
- Your application will be reviewed by an admissions sub-committee. If admitted, you will not be eligible for entrance scholarships. You will be considered for continuing student scholarships at the end of your first year of study, if you satisfy those criteria.
You may also be required to provide proof of language proficiency. You will be considered for entrance scholarships on the basis of your overall averages in the six 4U/4M (Ontario curriculum) or equivalent courses.
We are adding to our database of admission requirements by country. Please check back in October for additional admission requirements by country. General requirements are currently available by country — note that program-specific requirements may apply in addition to general requirements.