Industrial Relations (IDRL) 320

Labour Law in Canada (Revision 5)

IDRL 320 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies (Business and Administrative Studies). IDRL 320 can also be used to fulfill the Social Science area of study (credential students only).

Prerequisite: None. IDRL 215 is strongly recommended.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Science

Human Resources & Labour Relations home page

IDRL 320 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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**Note: Students registering in grouped study mode are advised that there may be some differences in the evaluation and course materials information indicated below. To obtain the most up-to-date information, contact the Faculty of Business Student Support Centre at 1-800-468-6531.


IDRL 320 is a senior-level introductory course that examines the legal framework of labour relations and collective agreements, introducing such topics as:

  • the background and definitions of labour law
  • the history and present position of the Canadian labour movement
  • the role of government institutions in the shaping and administration of the law and industrial relations policy
  • the sources of labour law
  • the law relating to collective relations, which includes trade unions and their organizations
  • the right to organize
  • the collective bargaining process
  • industrial conflict
  • the nature and administration of collective agreements

This course is written primarily for non-lawyer practitioners, trade unionists and their representatives, managers, employers, and employees who are involved in collective bargaining in their workplaces. It is intended for those whose work requires a detailed understanding of the law governing labour relations, including collective bargaining, as well as those who just want to further their understanding of this important area of study.


  • Unit 1: The Background of Labour Law
  • Unit 2: Collective Labour Relations: Trade Unions
  • Unit 3: The Right to Organize
  • Unit 4: Certification and Collective Bargaining Rights
  • Unit 5: The Collective Bargaining Process
  • Unit 6: Industrial Conflict
  • Unit 7: Collective Agreements and International Law


To receive credit for IDRL 320, you must obtain a mark of at least “D” (50 percent) on the final examination and a composite course grade of at least “D” (50 percent). The weighting of the composite course grade is as follows.

Assignment 1 15%
Assignment 2 15%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 20%
Online Discussions 10%
Final Examination 30%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Note: Examinations for this course must be taken online at an invigilated location. It is your responsibility to ensure that a computer with an Internet connection and Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher browser is available for your use at the invigilation centre.

Course Materials

All materials are available online at the course website and in the Digital Reading Room. In addition to your online materials, your course package also includes the following resources:


Carter, D.D., England, G., Etherington, B., & Trudeau, G. (2002). Labour law in Canada (5th ed.). Toronto: Butterworths. ISBN 0-433-43012-5

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the IDRL 320 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the examination.

Online Examination

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 5, November 14, 2013.

View previous syllabus

Updated July 04 2017 by Student & Academic Services