Get the information you need for academic planning and connect with experiences to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that employers are seeking.

This resource is meant as a guide to provide suggestions throughout your time at university (refer to the Academic Calendar for a complete list of program requirements). Develop a plan and timeline that suits you best. Make intentional choices for your courses and work experiences.

  • Photo of Samantha Tumlos
  • Student Spotlight

    “Whenever possible, keep an eye out for opportunities to apply your knowledge in the real world through work, volunteering and events! Don’t be scared to speak up and share your thoughts and experiences in class - it makes up for a good discussion about real world examples that help you visualize and understand the topics!”

    Samantha Tumlos, labour studies student

Labour Studies at UM

Labour Studies provides a broad interdisciplinary learning experience with real life applications. As a labour studies student in the Faculty of Arts, you will examine the social, economic and political realities of work and explore the past, present and future of the labour movement and the wide-ranging effects of globalization on our daily lives. Labour Studies has many opportunities for you to explore with the option to choose between a degree or diploma program.

Labour Studies will provide you with an understanding of work and society and prepare you for employment in a number of fields. The Labour Studies degree program is also an excellent foundation for graduate study in industrial relations and Labour Studies as well as law school.

Labour Studies has an agreement with the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) Manitoba to apply to waive the CPHR National Knowledge Exam for students who do an advance major or major in Labour Studies. Contact your academic advisor for further details. 

Skills you will gain by studying LABOUR STUDIES

  • An understanding of the political economy of labour, social justice and fundamental rights, and the dynamics of power in the workplace
  • The ability to understand work past, present and future from social, political, and economic perspectives
  • The ability to think critically and use theoretical and practical approaches to develop solutions to problems that affect people’s working lives
  • An in-depth understanding of labour, employment and human rights law, health and safety legislation and labour policy
  • The ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing


Year 1 - 30 credit hours


Course requirements:
LABR 1260 and LABR 1290

To do this year:

  1. Know the requirements for your degree. Meet with an academic advisor in the Faculty of Arts to help you plan your program.
  2. If you need academic support, visit the Academic Learning Centre for workshops or to meet with a learning skills instructor.


Start planning your career:

  1. Meet with a career consultant to generate career ideas based on your interests, values, personality and skills.
  2. Research occupations that match your skills and interests.
  3. Set up a careerCONNECT account to view job postings and register for workshops and events.
  4. Register for the Co-Curricular Record (CCR), an official record of university-approved activities.


Link experiences to your career interests. Options include:

  1. Student groups including the Labour Studies Students’ Association, UMHRA, Arts Student Body Council and UMSU.
  2. Join the University of Manitoba Volunteer Program to volunteer for Open House and other events on campus.
  3. Student work opportunities including Work-StudySTEP Services or Federal Student Work Experience Program.
  4. Experiential education opportunities such as Alternative Reading Week Winnipeg and the Community Action Poverty Simulation.


Considering international opportunities?
Attend International Week in February for information about opportunities around the world.

Explore communities and cultures you want to work with: Visit the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives or learn about local agencies via the 211 Manitoba.

Year 2 - 60 credit hours


Course requirements:
LABR 2100 and LABR 2300, plus additional LABR courses and/or electives*

To do this year:

  1. Declare your major in labour studies and send confirmation to the program coordinator.
  2. Should you follow a 3-or 4- year plan? Meet with an academic advisor and career consultant to map out your options.
  3. Consider choosing a second language for your minor to enhance your employability prospects upon graduation.


Make professional connections:

  1. Join the Career Mentor Program to learn from professionals.
  2. Attend career fairs, such as the annual Labour Studies Career Fair to connect with employers.
  3. Become a student affiliate with a professional organization such as the Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies.
  4. Develop professional connections with professors by applying for an Undergraduate Research Award.

Market your skills: Develop your resumé and cover letter and refine your interview skills.


Explore student research opportunities: Apply for an Undergraduate Research Award and inquire about research assistant positions.

Gain practical experience by volunteering: Check out the Volunteers in Public Service (VIPS) program, Manitoba Legislative and N.E.E.D.S Inc.

Find opportunities to market yourself: Become a Faculty of Arts Student Ambassador.


Develop global career skills and expand intercultural learning: Consider an international student exchange or Travel Study program, Students Without Borders internship, an international service-learning program, My World Abroad or SWAP for a "working holiday".

Staying local? Check out the WUSC Student Refugee ProgramPraxis: Service-Learning for Social Change or participate in Next Up Winnipeg. Consider learning a new language and about a new culture through the Volunteer Language Exchange Program.


Year 3 - 90 credit hours


Course requirements:
6 credit hours of LABR courses at the 3000 level, plus additional LABR courses and/or electives*

To do this year:

  1. Consider taking the Labour Studies Field Placement in Year 4 for an experiential learning opportunity.
    Take the knowledge gained in the classroom and put it into practice.
  2. Confirm eligibility to graduate with an academic advisor and declare intent to graduate in Aurora (3-year option).


Investigate your career options:

  1. Look at sample job postings to ensure you have the qualifications upon graduation.
  2. Develop employability and essential skills sought by employers.
  3. Create a LinkedIn profile to network with professionals.
  4. Explore supports available to entrepreneurs for business planning such as Business Start Program.

Consider continuing your studies: Check out the Faculty of Graduate StudiesExtended Education or other academic institutions.


Continue or start research: Participate in the Undergraduate Research Poster Competition.

Check out student job opportunities with: Safe Work ManitobaYES! Winnipeg, employment agencies or local unions.

Assess your resumé: Identify any gaps in experience and fill them through volunteering, work placements or internships such as Management Internship Program or the Manitoba Legislative Internship Program.


Did you travel abroad? Become an exchange mentor for the International Student Mentorship Program, join the exchange student community at the University of Manitoba or write an article about your experience.

Participate in the multicultural opportunities on campus: Attend International Week, participate in the Intercultural Development and Leadership Program, volunteer for the International Student Mentorship Program or take part in Graduation Pow Wow.

Year 4 - 120 credit hours


Course requirements:
Complete any additional outstanding degree requirements.

To do this year: Confirm eligibility to graduate with an academic advisor and declare intent to graduate in Aurora.


Start job search 9 months in advance:
Contact Career Services to refine your job search and self-marketing strategies. You can visit the office up to 6 months after graduation.

If you are continuing on to graduate school:
Finalize your application materials and required tests. Use the awards database to search for funding and awards to help finance your continuing education. Contact your department to find out how their awards deadlines are advertised.


Ensure you have references in place: Ask your professor for a reference or a letter of recommendation if you're applying for graduate school.

Search for job opportunities online: Check out the Province of Manitoba website, Job BankFind My JobIndeed or other search engines.

Use your networks and connections: Inquire about unadvertised job openings (the "hidden job market").


Prepare to work in a multicultural environment:
Visit Canada's National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation on campus or explore Manitoba Start, which offers events and free workshops for newcomers to assist their job search.

Sample Jobs

Sample jobs with an undergraduate degree and related experience

Options requiring other education


What do employers want?

Industries such as business, government, industrial relations, law and policy development would value a labour studies degree or diploma in combination with the employability skills that are highly sought after by employers. These include:*

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Oral and written communication
  • Numeracy and data use
  • Industry specific knowledge
  • Digital technology
  • Continuous learning

*Information has been adapted from Employability Skills 2000+ and Workplace Education Manitoba – Essential Skills.

Details of that report can be found here.

Get one-on-one help

  • Meet with a career consultant

    Meet with a career consultant for a confidential discussion about your career goals, job search, resumé/CV and interview preparation.

    Contact Career Services at or call 204-474-9456 to make an appointment.

  • Talk to an academic advisor

    Talk to an academic advisor who will guide you to resources to help you make important decisions for your future. Advisors are specialized, often by program, faculty/school or unit.

    Find your advisor

Enhance your education

Continue exploring


Career Compass

Use Career Compass as a guide to develop a strong connection between your studies and your occupational choices. It will provide you with suggestions for academic and career planning specific to your program.

Information for career counsellors

Labour Studies program, Faculty of Arts

218 Isbister Building
183 Dafoe Road
(204) 474-8356,