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Athabasca University

University Certificate in Labour Studies

This program is closed to new admissions, effective April 24, 2018.

The University Certificate in Labour Studies is designed for students who want to know more about the position of labour and working people in society. The program will be of particular interest to trade unionists at both the leadership and general membership levels. Students may obtain either the University Certificate in Labour Studies or the University Certificate in Human Resources and Labour Relations, but not both. Students who have completed the former University Certificate in Labour Relations, or the University Certificate in Industrial Relations and Human Resources, may not enrol in this program.

Students complete the program regulations in effect at the time of their enrolment.

Program Plans

Our online program plans can assist you in selecting the courses needed to fulfill your program requirements.

Counselling Services offers an assessment website, "Mapping Your Future: Your Career and Athabasca University." Athabasca University has also developed program learning outcomes that describe the career options that may be available to you upon graduating.

Program Structure

Total 30
Required credits 12
Elective credits 18
Residency requirement. A minimum of 15 credits must be obtained through Athabasca University 15
Maximum Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) credits* 15
* Approved Labour Studies transfer credits up to a maximum of 15.

General certificate regulations

Required Courses (12 credits)

HIST 336 History of Canadian Labour (6)
LBST 200 Introduction to Labour Studies*

LBST 202 Labour College of Canada: Introduction to Labour Studies*
SOCI 321 Sociology of Work and Industry (3)

* Students are recommended to begin their program with LBST 200 or LBST 202.


Electives (Select 18 credits from the following)

EDUC/HRMT 310 The Canadian Training System (3)
ENGL 306 The Literature of Work (3)
GLST/INTR/POEC 483 International Political Economy: The Politics of Globalization (3)
HIST 470 Pre-Industrial Origins of Labour and Socialist Thought (3)
HIST 486 The Industrial Revolution (3)
IDRL All IDRL courses  
IDRL 309/LGST 310 Human Rights, the Charter and Labour Relations (3)
LBST All LBST courses  
POEC 393 Canada and the Global Political Economy (3)
SOCI/WGST 345 Women and Work in Canada (3)
SOCI 331 Environmental Influences on Development and Aging Across the Life Course (3)
SOCI 348 Sociology of Environment and Health (3)
SOCI 381 The Rich and the Rest: The Sociology of Wealth, Power, and Inequality (3)

Transfer Credits for Union Education and Prior Learning

Athabasca University grants advanced credit in the Labour Studies program for some union education programs. A student who has completed a Labour College of Canada Intensive Program, for example, may be eligible to receive nine credits. Students who have completed the Canadian Auto Workers Paid Educational Leave course may be eligible to receive three credits. Students who have completed the Canadian Postal Workers’ Union Education Program may be eligible to receive six credits.

Credit is also granted for other union education programs and for other forms of prior learning. Contact Athabasca University for details. Many unions, and some employers, will reimburse students for the cost of university tuition fees. Discuss this with your union representative or employer.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018.

Updated May 22 2018 by laurab

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