The Certificate in Labour Studies offers a specific focus on the role of workers, unions, and labour policy. You will learn the practical skills you can use as you enter the world of work, which includes practical understanding of collective bargaining, labour law, labour policy, and the economics of work in Saskatchewan, Canada, and internationally.

Quick facts
  • Two-year certificate
  • Full- or part-time program
  • You can enter this program directly from high school

What you will learn

As an interdisciplinary program that has offerings in political studies, sociology, history and economics, the Certificate in Labour Studies will help you learn multiple theories of work, unionization, collective bargaining, and labour market issues.

COMM 381.3: Industrial Relations

Examines the Canadian employment relationship in unionized settings. Organized labour is explored as a response to the assumed inherent imbalance of power between an individual worker and an employer. While functional topics such as collective bargaining , strikes and lock-outs, and the grievance processes are studied, so too are theoretical and historical conditions. Finally, union responses to globalization, such as international outsourcing, are reviewed.

CPSJ 205.3: Introduction to Labour Studies

This course is designed to provide you with an introduction to the dynamic field of labour studies. In addition to being a capstone course in St. Thomas More College and the University of Saskatchewan's labour studies certificate, the class also offers students a foundation to the question of work, unions, and labour relations in Canada. It will introduce you to the role of workers' organizations in society, examining the way unions have been formed, how they originate, what they do and how they are organized, and the role of workers organizations in the 21st Century.

POLS 302.3: The Politics of Work

This course will examine the politics and social reproduction of work in Canada. It will begin by examining how working people have responded to workplace conditions, beginning in the 19th century and moving to the present day. Here we will examine work broadly, focusing on how both paid and unpaid labour is shaped by class, gender, race and other forms of social inequity. The course will then look at how governments regulate work in the 21st century, examining how employment is structured as a strict legal relationship between those who sell their labour for a wage and those who purchase that labour in order to create additional value through profit. Examining these intersections, the class will then examine the numerous legal structures that shape the modern workplace, focusing on rules of unionization, individual employment relations, and occupational health and safety.

SOC 216.3: The Challenges and Promises of the Changing World of Work

This survey course examines both classic and newly emerging perspectives in the sociology of work, with an emphasis on the Canadian context. We will focus on the changes in the organizational structures, meaning, and experience of work, paying special attention to differences and inequalities associated with gender, class, and race. The readings include an introductory text, academic journal articles, and an auto-ethnography from the popular literature. The course is divided into three sections. In the first section, the course will cover the nature, distribution, and experience of work in the new 'knowledge' globalized economy. The second section focuses on the inside of workplaces. The final section will apply the concepts from the first two sections to contemporary debates about the role of technology, foreign workers, the self-employed, and unions. Throughout the course, students will be invited to draw parallels and contrasts between the course content and their experiences in the workplace.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

Gaining understanding

This certificate will help you in your future profession by providing you a comprehensive knowledge in collective bargaining, labour law, labour policy, and the economics of work in Canada and abroad.

Solving problems

Labour studies can help you apply critical and creative thinking to problems, including analysis,
synthesis, and evaluation.

Developing ethics

By taking this certificate, you will be able to recognize and think through moral and ethical issues in a variety of contexts.


If you pair this certificate with additional studies, you could have access to many career opportunities:

  • Career Counselor
  • Community Developer
  • Corporate Recruiter/Trainer
  • Diplomat
  • Entrepreneur
  • Foreign Service Worker
  • Human Rights Advocate
  • Immigration Officer
  • Industrial Relations Manager
  • Journalist
  • Labour Market Researcher
  • Lawyer
  • Legal Aide
  • Lobbyist
  • Mediator
  • Non-Profit Organization Director
  • Political Consultant
  • Politician
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Public Policy Advisor
  • Social Service Worker
  • Sociologist
  • Speech Writer
  • Teacher
  • Union Representative

Tuition estimates

Canadian students International students
Tuition $746 per 3 credit unit class $3,611 per 3 credit unit class
Student fees $1,121 per year $1,121 per year

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay per class (2024-2025 Canadian dollar rates).
Student fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access. This estimate reflects the price you would pay if you are a full-time student.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $1,500-$2,500 for this program.

Program options

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The Certificate in Labour Studies is offered by the University of Saskatchewan's College of Arts and Science. You may earn the certificate on its own, concurrently with a degree, or after having already received a degree from here or another institution.

If you are already enrolled at USask, consult your academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

Admission requirements and deadlines


Start term Application DeadlineInternational Deadline
January 2024
Dec 1, 2023
Documents due: Dec 15, 2023
Sep 1, 2023
Documents due: Oct 1, 2023
May 2024
Apr 1, 2024
Documents due: May 1, 2024
Feb 1, 2024
Documents due: Mar 1, 2024
July 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
Mar 1, 2024
Documents due: Apr 1, 2024
September 2024
Aug 15, 2024
Documents due: Aug 15, 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
January 2025
Dec 1, 2024
Documents due: Dec 15, 2024
Sep 1, 2024
Documents due: Oct 1, 2024

Ready to apply?

If you are a current USask student, consult your academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

To apply to this program as a new student, please apply for admission to any undergraduate program in the College of Arts and Science and after you are admitted, declare your plans to the college.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.

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If you are interested in more information about this certificate, please contact student-advice@artsandscience.usask.ca