Work & Labour Studies

Work & Labour Studies

Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Work & Labour Studies is an interdisciplinary program focused on the rapidly changing world of work and its impact on workers. Placing contemporary developments into historical perspective, Work & Labour Studies critically examines the organization and experience of paid and unpaid labour, labour markets, education and training, labour and employment law, collective bargaining, public policies on work and the economy, occupational health and safety, workplace equity, working class culture and communities, and the labour movement.

In this program, you'll learn about

  • Labour law, power and policy
  • Creative labour, culture and the digital workplace
  • Climate crisis, migration and the future of work
  • Inequality, global labour movements and workplace democracy
  • Globalization and the economy
  • Labour market restructuring
  • Diversity, justice and solidarity at work

Our program's strengths include labour law and labour policy, the future of work and employment, globalization and its impact on work and workers, and unique cooperative placements and work-integrated learning. Students will also gain exposure to the intricacies of worker relations and questions about inequality, rights, workplace conditions requirements and ethics, including the core pillars of economic, social and political theory.

You will be well prepared for employment in the public and private sectors, labour movement, community and advocacy groups, legal sector, research and public policy, human resources and labour relations, recruitment and training. Many students go on to graduate work in labour studies or a variety of professional fields and disciplines such as law, industrial relations, occupational health and safety, public policy, global studies, human resource management, political science, sociology, history, environment studies, gender and women's studies, business and economics.

Join the Work & Labour Studies Student Association (WLSSA). WLSSA organizes events at York University, and advises the program coordinator about student interests and needs, including the annual Work & Labour Studies Student Retreat.

Get involved with the Global Labour Research Centre. The centre is a York research unit whose governing bodies consist of academics, trade unionists, lawyers and representatives from the public and private sectors. Along with research and publication activities, the centre sponsors conferences, workshops, and publishes working papers of interest to work and labour studies students.


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Program Details

Offered by

Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Degrees offered


Ways to study

Full-Time, Part-Time

Fall entry


Winter entry


Summer entry



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