Labour Policies and Globalisation

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Deadline: Apr 1, 2024
StudyQA ranking:1691 Duration:

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The "Labour Policies and Globalisation" course is conducted using research oriented learning. The modules strive for an innovative curriculum focusing on student participation. New knowledge in/for the subjects will be jointly developed by both the academic teaching staff and students. Emphasis is placed upon investigating new types of research, new modes of studying, and broadening the interrelation between the academic fields and the trade union practices. Whenever possible an interdisciplinary approach will be developed, which strives to integrate the different cultural backgrounds of the students.
As most of the students have already earned a first academic degree, and have at their disposal extensive knowledge and experience with trade union work or with work in comparable organisations, there is not such a great need to introduce them to academic working. This prior experience challenges the traditional role setting between learner and instructor.
Course modules are:
  • Trade Union Strategies in a Global Economy;
  • International Workers' Rights;
  • Governance of Globalisation;
  • Economic Policy and the Role of Trade Unions;
  • Strategies of Multinational Corporations and Labour;
  • Organisational Development of Trade Unions;
  • International Business Law;
  • Gender and Globalisation;
  • Globalisation and the Welfare State;
  • Political Economy of Privatisation;
  • Development Economics;
  • Workers' Rights in the Informal Economy

Educational organisation

The one-year Master's programme starts in the winter semester at the University of Kassel. The second semester will be taught at the Berlin School of Economics and Law.
Forms of teaching and studying: One World Seminar; Workshops; Internships; Tutorials; Guest Lectures; Excursions
The Master of Arts will be awarded jointly by the Berlin School of Economics and Law and the University of Kassel.

Study abroad unit(s)

Students can choose to study one semester at our partner universities in Campinas, Brazil or Johannesburg, South Africa.


Following the first semester, students will go into a six-week internship in Germany, Geneva, Brussels etc. The internships are an integrated and obligatory part of the Master's programme. They offer unique insight into the work and activities of the ILO, international trade union organisations, labour-related research foundations, German trade unions or workers' councils of German-based transnational companies.
During their internships, students work on specially assigned projects that are part of the global activities of the host organisations. At the end of the internship, students will be requested to write an analytical report to be assessed by the participating universities.
The internship offers the opportunity to identify (together with researchers from the host organisations) topics relevant to the global labour movement that might be further expanded in the students' final Master's thesis.
In addition to the possibilities organised by the programme, students may propose internships of their own choice. Alternative internships will be accepted if the proposed institution is able to provide the necessary supervision and guidance for an equivalent internship.

Forms of assessment

Master's thesis

Course objectives

The programme assists in strengthening the capacity and competence to promote universal respect for basic human rights, workers' rights, social justice and protection, and for representation of weak and disadvantaged members of society. It therefore pursues the following learning and teaching objectives:
  • basics for the understanding of how global economic, political, and social changes open up new oppor­tu­ni­ties and new challenges for trade unions: new approaches to sustainable development, strategies to com­bat poverty and discrimination, and to extend social protection; reforms of policies, laws, and in­sti­tutions, improvement in access to employment, working conditions, labour relations, and human resource development (including capabilities for learning and organisation-building)
  • competence to identify social problems in society and to develop appropriate solutions, to incor­po­rate social analyses and participation into the design and implementation of development projects, to conduct quick and well-founded research, to collect and generate relevant data, to use empirical tools including in­di­cators to assess impact, to monitor performance, and to evaluate the effects of problem solutions and projects
  • ability to transfer knowledge, to identify and disseminate good practice as well as lessons learned from failures, to mobilise and organise workers in the formal and the informal economy in order to ad­vance their own interests, to build up networks with a wide range of actors and groups from trade unions and civil society, to build up pools of expertise, to contribute to successful forms of social dia­logue, to ensure that all segments of society can make their voices heard, to improve and strengthen the work of trade unions, especially in international and transcultural contexts.

Language requirements

English language proficiency (TOEFL 79-80 iBT; IELTS 6.5)

Academic requirements

  • A first degree (Bachelor's or equivalent) in political sciences, sociology, law, or economics
  • Skills and qualifications as well as professional experience equivalent to a Bachelor's degree may be recognised to the extent possible within accreditation requirements and German university regulations. In personal interviews, the board of examiners will assess equivalence and, where needed, advise applicants on how to upgrade their skills. The board may make use of external examiners in the regional offices of the ILO and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) as well as at the partner universities.
  • experience in trade union work or related fields

Enrolment fees

Approx. 300 EUR (subject to change without notice) per semester cover fees for the student services organisation and student parliament groups as well as the cost of a semester ticket which allows students to use the Berlin Public Transport (BVG) for six months.

Costs of living

The cost of living in Berlin is estimated at approx. 850 EUR per month. This includes rent in a student residence hall (private accommodation costs from 350 to 600 EUR per month), living expenses, health insurance, books and material, and incidental expenses.

Job opportunities

There are many job opportunities for students in Berlin.
Non-EU students are permitted to work within specified limits.

Arrival support

The Study Office offers an orientation day to new students and assists with administrative matters such as residence permits, insurance, etc.

Services and support for international students

You will be supported by the Study Office at the Berlin School of Economics and Law.


Student Services ("Studentenwerk") and other institutions currently offer some 15,600 rooms in student residence halls throughout Berlin.
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