Labour Studies (LBST) 200

Introduction to Labour Studies (Revision 4)

LBST 200 Course
**Note: Students can either take LBST 200 or LBST 202 but not both.

Introduction to Labour Studies is offered in two designations: LBST 200 and LBST 202. LBST 200 is open to all Athabasca University students (and other students who wish to take the course for transfer credit elsewhere) who are interested in the subject matter. LBST 202 is offered with the same content as LBST 200 and is the designation used for students who register through the Labour College of Canada. Athabasca University’s Labour Studies Program and the Labour College, which is hosted by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), have established a collaboration that allows members of any of the unions affiliated with the CLC to register in LBST 202 at a discounted tuition rate. However, since the content is the same in both courses, there is just one set of course materials and one website for both of them.

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Precluded course: LBST 202. (LBST 200 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for LBST 202.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Labour Studies Home Page

LBST 200 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course examines the field of labour studies and the place of working people and the labour movement in society. It provides an overview of Canadian labour history, the ways unions are organized, why they matter, and which challenges they are facing today. The course then takes a closer look at unions in the public sector, where the majority of unionized workers in Canada are employed, and concludes with a look at labour experiences in India, China, and South Africa to see whether these experiences contain lessons that might be useful to the labour movement in Canada or other countries of the Global North.


  • Unit 1: What Is Labour? Why Study It and How?
  • Unit 2: The Canadian Labour Movement: Past, Present, and Perspectives
  • Unit 3: Unions in the Public Sector
  • Unit 4: Work in Progress: A Global Labour Movement


To receive credit for LBST 200, you must complete three written assignments, contribute to four discussion forums, and achieve an overall grade of D (50 percent) or better for the entire course. Your final grade is determined by a weighted average of the grades you receive on these assignments for credit. The weightings of each assignment are as indicated below.

Activity Weight
Assignment 1: Book Review 20% of final grade
Assignment 2: Essay 25% of final grade
Assignment 3: Essay 35% of final grade
Assignment 4: Discussion Forum 1 5% of final grade
Assignment 5: Discussion Forum 2 5% of final grade
Assignment 6: Discussion Forum 3 5% of final grade
Assignment 7: Discussion Forum 4 5% of final grade
Total 100%

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

Course Materials


Ross, S., Savage, L., Black, E., & Silver, J. (2015). Building a better world: An introduction to the labour movement in Canada (3rd ed.). Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing.

Ross, S., & Savage, L. (Eds.). (2013). Public sector unions in the age of austerity. Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing.

Ness, I. (2016). Southern insurgency: The coming of the global working class. London, UK: Pluto Press.

Other Materials

Other course materials include an AU Student Manual, Course Information, and a Study Guide, which are all available online through the course home page.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you 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 about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the LBST 200 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the 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 4, March 15, 2017

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