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Master of Arts in Work & Society

The prime objective of this unique graduate programme 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, gender and race relations, politics and state regulation.

M.A.Master of Arts in Work & Society

The prime objective of this unique graduate programme 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, gender and race relations, 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 Work & Society courses as well as from the disciplines such as Sociology, Political Science, Geography, Social Work, History, etc.

Labour Studies Graduate Handbook

  • 2-page Statement of Interest
  • Resume
  • 2 references
  • Current Transcript
  • Writing sample from 4th year course or higher

Core Courses in Work and Society

Core courses will be selected from the following menu:

  • 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
  • Selected Topics in Work and Society
  • Independent Study

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.

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 ; Work & Society 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
Program Type:
Thesis and Course based
Program Options:
Full-time, Part-time
Typical Entry:
September
Current Deadline:
February 15th