Global Labour University

Kassel University/ Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany

Master's Programme: Labour
Policies and Globalisation

The GLU Master's programme “Labour Policies and Globalisation” (LPG) started as a pilot course in Germany in October 2004. The one-year programme is part of a wider project to promote cooperation between trade unions and the research community and to strengthen the analytical and policy development capacity of trade unions.

The curriculum was jointly developed by universities and trade unions from around the world with a focus on Global Challenges to Labour, International Labour Rights, Processes of Globalisation and Economic Responses to Globalisation.

Below you can find the detailed information about this Master's programme.


About the programme:

The course in Germany takes place at the University of Kassel (1st semester) and the Berlin School of Economics and Law (2nd semester) and is taught in English. 

Students have also the possibility to study one term of the programme in Germany and one term at one of our partner universities in Brazil, India, or South Africa (however, applicants should indicate this already on their application).

Academic Board:

The Academic Board of the Programme “Labour Policies and Globalisation” in Germany consists of Prof. Dr. Christoph Scherrer (Kassel University) and Prof. Dr. Martina Sproll (Berlin School of Economics and Law).

Teaching methods/objectives:

The didactic concept of the modules within the course Labour Policies and Globalisation is research-oriented learning. This objective strives toward promoting an innovative curriculum by offering modules that focus on student participation. New knowledge for the subjects will be jointly developed by both academic teaching staff and students. Emphasis is placed on investigating new types of research, new modes of studying, and broadening the interaction between academic fields and trade union practices. Wherever possible, an interdisciplinary approach will be developed that strives to integrate the different cultural backgrounds of the students.

Since all of the students have already obtained a first academic degree, and also since they have elaborate knowledge and experience with trade union work or with work in comparable organisations, there is a lesser need to introduce them to academic structures. This prior experience challenges the traditional positions of learner and instructor.

The programme helps strengthen the capacity and competence to promote universal respect for basic human rights, workers’ rights, social justice and protection, and for the representation of weak and disadvantaged members of society.

It, therefore, pursues the following learning and teaching objectives:

  1. Basics for the understanding of 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, improvements in employment access, working conditions, labour relations, and human resource development (including capabilities for learning and organisation-building);
  2. Competences to identify social problems in society and to develop appropriate solutions, to in­cor­po­rate social analyses and participate in the design and implementation of development projects, to do quick and robust research, to collect and generate relevant data, to use empirical tools including in­di­cators used to assess impacts, to monitor performances, and to evaluate the effects of problem solutions and projects;
  3. Abilities to transfer knowledge, to identify and disseminate good practices as well as lessons learned from failures, to mobilise and organise workers in the formal and the informal economy in order to ad­vance their 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 trans-cultural contexts.

In achieving these objectives both universities place special emphasis on:

  • considering gender equality in opportunities and rights;
  • a multidisciplinary approach;
  • internships in particular with trade union organisations at the company, local, national or international level;
  • the integration of the team approach and research workshops with individual advice.

Programme Structure

All seminars mentioned here are subject to possible alterations.

  • 1st Semester (Winter): University of Kassel 
    • Trade Union Strategies in a Global Economy
    • Governance of the World Market
    • Advanced Research Methods and Writing Skills
    • One World Seminar
    • Various electives in the field of global political economy, development studies, gender, migration, and political theory
  • 2nd Semester (Summer): Berlin School of Economics and Law 
    • Global Workers’ Rights
    • Decent Work in Global Value Chains
    • Economic Policy and the Role of the Trade Unions
    • Various electives in the field of global political economy, development studies, gender, migration, and political theory

The Universities will organise several excursions to trade unions and economic and political institutions in Germany. All excursions will be accompanied by faculty members. Guided Tours will be held in English as will the talks and discussions.

Application for the Programme 2022/2023

Application with a degree earned in Germany:

Apply from 01.06.2022 – 01.09.2022

Deadline for preliminary assessment:


Application with a degree earned outside Germany:

Apply from 01.05.2022 – 15.07.2022



  • BA degree in Social Science, Law, Education or Economics with a minimum of
    240 credits
  • English language proficiency level B2 Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), Toefl 550, IBT: 80, IELTS 6.0
  • Trade-union experience or engagement with labour-related issues
  • Research proposal
  • A strong motivation letter (maximum 3 pages long) covering the following
    • How are your previous qualifications and your prospective professional aims and aspirations related to the Labour Policies and Globalization programme?
    • What is your experience and knowledge in the field of labour
    • Which challenges do you see for trade union work in the context of a
      globalised economy?


A limited number of scholarships will be awarded to students.

The scholarship includes travel costs and a monthly grant to cover living expenses.

Applications for a scholarship can be indicated in the application form. A support letter from a trade union organization is an application requirement. Please also note that the scholarship is a matching grant. It will only be awarded if a trade union or another institution is co-sponsoring the program with 1500 EUR. The potential co-sponsor has to be indicated on the application form and his/her contribution has to be paid before the start of the program to the University of Kassel.

Applicants from EU member states can apply for a scholarship from the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (HBS)

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Contact us

For further information, please contact:

Aleksandra Draganic
Program Coordinator
ICDD - University of Kassel
Department of Social Sciences
(Faculty 5)
Kleine Rosenstraße 1-3
34109 Kassel

» glu.germany(at)

Phone: +49 561 804-7789

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