Programme structure

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The Masters' program Labour Policies and Globalisation is part of the Global Labour University (GLU). In this academic network, trade unionists study, research and debate together in a global environment. It is a unique opportunity to think about ways towards greater solidarity, freedom and social justice in a deeply unfair and divided world.

This informs the didactic concept of the research-oriented Masters' program Labour Policies and Globalisation. The program promotes a resource-based learning model and curriculum by offering modules that combine high-level academic input and student participation. Emphasis is placed on innovative research methods and theories, new modes of studying, and the interaction between academic fields and trade union practices. Teaching is profoundly shaped by an interdisciplinary approach that strives to integrate the different cultural backgrounds of the students.

Since students have already obtained a first academic degree, and come with elaborate knowledge and experience with trade union work or with work in comparable organizations, there is lesser need to focus on professional orientation. This prior experience challenges the traditional positions of learner and instructor, allowing for an informed, applied and truly international learning experience.


Semester 1 - University of Kassel

Semester 2 - HWR Berlin

Module 1: Processes of Globalisation

9 credits

Module 3: Global Challenges to Labour

8 credits

Module 2: Research Methods


8 credits

Module 4: Economic and Legal Responses to Globalisation

9 credits


8 credits

Master's Thesis

16 credits


Oral Examination

2 credits


25 credits

35 Credits

Following the first term students will do a six-week internship. The internships are an integrated and mandatory part of the Masters' program. They offer unique insights into the work and activities of the ILO, international trade union organizations, labor related research foundations, German trade unions or works councils of German based transnational companies.

During the internship, students work on specially assigned projects, that are part of the global activities of the hosting organizations. At the end of the internship, they are requested to write an analytical report that will be assessed by the universities.

Detailed information on how to organize and secure an internship placement is provided by the coordination of the Masters program during welcome week.

Excursions at the University of Kassel (winter term)

"Globalise Solidarity" weekend seminar with the International Working Group of the DGB Youth

During this weekend, students have the possibility to get to know youth secretaries of the different trade unions within the DGB and union activists - some of them in the Working Group for International Affairs within the DGB Youth (German Trade Union Confederation).

During this weekend, all participants discuss and develop ideas of international solidarity. In the time of financial and economic crises and the implementation of austerity-packages, it is more important than ever fortrade unions to discuss the challenges of globalisation and think about concepts and strategies for an international solidarity.

Visit to the Works Council in the Volkswagen plant in Baunatal

The students visit an automobile plant with approx. 16,000 workers and learn about its structure and organization. Additionally, they meet with members of the works council to learn about the German Codetermination System and discuss specific aspects of it with regards to the labor movement.

Visit to the IG Metall headquarters in Frankfurt

The students discuss with union representatives strategies concerning transnational corporations, and learn about the functions of a headquarters, particularly the international department.


Excursions at the HWR (summer semester)

The schedule will be announced by the HWR Berlin.