Bachelor of Arts Major in Labour Studies

At a glance

  • Credential: degree
  • Credits: 120
  • Next start: monthly

Labour studies is an interdisciplinary program that assesses the place of labour and working people in society.

  • 38

    Average age

  • 89%

    Employment rate

  • $65k

    Median income

  • 95%

    Student satisfaction

Source: 2023 AU institutional data and 2022 Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS)

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About Bachelor of Arts Major in Labour Studies

Start your interdisciplinary journey, exploring topics such as labour history, work organization, and the role of women in unions—all tailored to resonate with trade union leaders and members. With a focus on broadening your perspectives on social and global affairs, our labour studies online program is designed to enrich your critical thinking skills while preparing you for a diverse range of career opportunities.

This program will be of particular interest to trade union leaders and members. Course offerings include:

  • labour history
  • work organization
  • women and unions
  • the theory and practice of trade unions

Athabasca University’s labour studies program is the only program of its kind in Canada that is available entirely via distance education and online.

Admission requirements

There are no formal admission requirements for the 4-year program. All you need is to be 16 or older. You can enrol anytime and start right away, regardless of your previous education.

Program details


The Bachelor of Arts strengthens critical and creative thinking through a broad range of social, political, and cultural studies. The program is designed to:

  • broaden your perspective on local and global affairs
  • encourage community and social involvement
  • prepare you for lifelong learning and occupational diversity

Routes and options

The Bachelor of Arts, Labour Studies Major is an online, 4-year degree program. There are no set start dates – you can enrol at any time and register for courses right away.

Bachelor of Arts, Labour Studies Major (4-year online degree)

  • A 4-year degree fully prepares students for most graduate programs.
  • The 4-year BA program allows you to pursue either a double major or a minor.
    • Double majors must meet the requirements for both majors, which may restrict course selection or require additional credits above the 120 required for the BA.
    • You should talk to an academic advisor about your program and courses if you’re considering a double major.
    • To earn a minor you must complete 30 credits in that subject area.
  • List of minors:
    • Anthropology
    • Canadian Studies
    • English
    • French
    • Global Studies
    • History
    • Humanities
    • Inclusive Education
    • Philosophy
    • Political Economy
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Public Administration
    • Sociology
    • Women's and Gender Studies
Note: AU does not offer an Honours BA.

Completion times

Finish this program in as little as 4 years of full-time study, or work at your own pace and take as long as you need. There is no time limit for completion. The program may be completed faster if transfer credit is applied toward your degree.

How to apply

You can apply to AU online, anytime. Once you’ve completed the online application form and paid the one-time general application fee (and transfer credit evaluation fee, if applicable), you’re officially an AU student and can start registering in courses.

How to enrol in an undergraduate program

Request and send your transcripts if you want us to consider your previous post-secondary education for transfer credit.

Learn more about MyCreds

Transfer and advanced credit

AU grants advanced credit in the labour studies program for some union education programs. For example, if you have completed:

  • a Labour College of Canada Intensive Program, you may be eligible to receive 9 credits
  • the Canadian Auto Workers Paid Educational Leave course, you may be eligible to receive 3 credits
  • the Canadian Postal Workers’ Union Education Program, you may be eligible to receive 6 credits
  • the Alberta Union of Public Employees, you may be eligible to receive 6 credits
  • the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, you may be eligible up to a maximum of 12 credits

We also grant credit for other union education programs and for other forms of prior learning, including life and work experience.

Learn about transfer and advanced credit at AU

If you transfer credit, you must complete a minimum of 30 credits at AU.

Resources and links

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