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Faculty of Social Sciences

Postgraduate Programmes


About the Programme

The programme examines relations between management and workers. This is an important discipline engaging the analysis of the powerful neo-liberal and global capitalism which is continually shaping the world of work and employment, and which has profound implications for work relationships. This programme examines strategic responses which can inform and lend positive support to the public sector and private sector decision-making systems with regard to national, regional and international forces which impact on or have implications for employment policy, industrial/labour relations and labour legislation. This programme in labour and employment relations will therefore seek to provide a broad understanding of a myriad of social, economic and political agendas in the Caribbean and closely examine how labour and employment issues are linked to the broad development trends in the region which are increasingly being shaped by a combination of international forces and impending arrangements for hemispheric integration. Changes at national, regional and international levels have had a major impact on policies and practices within organizations and the wider work community, with consequential challenges especially in the area of labour and employment relations.

Consequently, the M.Sc. Labour and Employment Relations degree programme has been designed to respond to these challenges by equipping persons pursuing careers in human resource management, labour and industrial relations, labour economics, trade unionism and labour research within the region, with the requisite body of knowledge and skills that enhances their capacities for coping with a broad range of challenges. Labour and employment relations is often associated with practices within unionised organizations but it is also concerned with non-unionised organizations. Relationships in both types of organizations are to a large extent increasingly dictated by government and the various regulations implemented in regard to the treatment of employees by employers. As a result of the multi-disciplinary nature required in the practice of labour and employment relations, the M.Sc. Labour and Employment Relations degree programme encompasses specializations in specifically defined categories so as to provide objectivity and an extensive array of formal training to match the practical functions of labour relations systems.

What Will I Study?

Graduates of this programme will:
  • Develop a high level and comprehensive understanding of labour history, labour relations, and employment issues confronted in the workplace
  • Develop advanced abilities in analysis and independent work that would equip them to deal skilfully with new circumstances and issues arising in the workplace.
  • Acquire the necessary knowledge and skills that would serve as tools for acquiring a greater degree of understanding and management of labour and employment relations.

Career Opportunities

This degree is geared towards shaping the workplace of the future. It is specifically designed to build upon and advance participants´ knowledge and practical experience. It prepares you for the enhancement of a career in human resource management, labour and employment relations, labour economics and trade union or labour research.

At a Glance

  • Degree Level:Postgraduate
  • Qualification: MSc
  • Duration: This programme will span twelve months of full-time study. However, students may wish to manage their programme of study over a longer period of time.


Programme Details

The programme will include core courses, electives and a practicum or dissertation. The teaching of ten courses will span two successive semesters, inclusive of coursework assignments and end of semester examinations. Work on the dissertation commences in semester two enabling participants to incorporate their educational and practical experiences into their research paper.

Students are expected to gain thirty-nine (39) overall credits consisting of 10 courses (3 credits per course), and the practicum or dissertation (9 credits). In semester one, students will complete four of the five core courses and a workshop in Research Methods which is equivalent to a half course. Another workshop in Research Methods will be held in the second semester, equivalent to an additional half course. In semester two, students will take the remaining core course, plus three electives and the second half course in Research Methods.



Core Courses

HRNM 6109 Compensation Management
LAER 6000 Labour History
LAER 6001 Employment Relations in a Global Environment
LAER 6002 International Labour Law
LAER 6003 Collective Bargaining and Disputes Resolution
LAER 6007 Occupational Safety, Health and the Environment
LAER 6008 Labour Economics
MGMT6901 Research Methods for Business & Social Sciences
LAER 6900 Research Paper OR
LAER 6990 Practicum


Electives: Select 2 courses from:
INGR 6030 CARICOM & the CARICOM Single Market & Economy
LAER6009 Human Resources Information Systems
LAER 6010 Contemporary Issues in Employment Policy
LAER 6011 Human Resources Management Strategy
LAER 6012 Issues in Labour Migration
LAER 6015 Public Sector Employment Relations
MGMT 6139 Leadership and Organizational Behaviour

This programme is a self-financed programme. For further information go to the Graduate Studies Finance Page

Candidates should normally possess an honours degree in Labour Studies, Human Resource Management, the Social Sciences or related fields from internationally accredited universities. Applicants from varied academic backgrounds will be assessed on the basis of transcripts of grades from prior undergraduate or graduate experiences, letters of reference and prior work experience. Initiative, willingness to work independently and overall interest in Labour and Employment issues will be important characteristics of successful candidates. The Faculty Sub-Committee will seek evidence of these characteristics in the applications. Applicants who do not meet the entry requirements but possess significant relevant professional or practical experience in the subject area may be considered on an individual basis. All successful entrants will be subject to the relevant regulations of the UWI Board for Graduate Studies and Research.