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Work & Labour Studies

Bachelor of Arts (BA) - Honours

Understand the rapidly changing world of work–and its impact on workers.

Join the only program of its kind and focus on how work and labour are changing in our global society. Discover how work influences how we live and think about the world, while exploring the complex nature of work and employment, the impact of globalization and the role of trade unions. 

In dynamic courses with many hands-on opportunities for learning, you’ll critically examine public policy, parliamentary process, automation, robotization, government programs and how they impact labour and work. Dive into critical ideas about occupational health and safety, and how climate change is impacting employment. 

Many of our faculty are on the front lines of key public policy. As a graduate, you’ll be well-prepared for employment in the labour movement, private industry, government service, journalism, public or private administration, social work, law or teaching. 

What you’ll learn


  • Understand fields related to work and labour, and the core pillars of economic, social and political theory.
  • Gain exposure to the intricacies of worker relations and questions about inequality, rights, workplace conditions requirements and ethics.
  • Understand key legal questions surrounding work and labour relations in Canada and abroad.

Hands-on experiences


  • Gain practical experience through co-op placements, including advocacy work with NGOs. 
  • Interactive courses present experts from the field, role-playing activities, such as a mock parliament, and field trips to meet union and economic leaders. 
  • Get involved with the Global Labour Research Centre which sponsors conferences and workshops.

The Work & Labour Studies program at York was a great experience. It taught me how to think critically about work and the labour movement. One of the strengths of the program is that there is a global perspective on work. There are great courses on labour at a global level and the instructors often have international research and teaching experience themselves. Combine that with cutting edge research into work and global warming and a placement course that gives you great new experiences, York's Work & Labour Studies program can prepare you for so many different elements of the world of work and labour.

— Gerard Di Trolio
Alumnus, Work & Labour Studies

Read more testimonials from our alumni

students taking a selfie on campus