Global Labour University

University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa

Honour's & Master's Programme: Labour Policy and Globalisation

The GLU Wits Programme is an innovative postgraduate programme designed to equip and engage trade unionists and labour activists more effectively to tackle the challenges of globalisation. It is housed in the School of Social Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The postgraduate programme offers unionists and labour activists formal Honours and Masters (MA) degree qualifications titled Labour, Policy and Globalisation. It is a full-time coursework and research study programme located in Gauteng, South Africa.

Below you can find more information. 

Overview

About the programme:

The GLU Wits offers coursework Honour’s and Master’s (MA) degree programmes in the field of Labour Policy and Globalisation and are available for full-time and part-time study. Since 2013, GLU has offered the very popular Engage short course – a certificate course for international trade unionists and activists – to provide University-level academic training to activists. In 2017, GLU created the Social Theory for South African Trade Unionists short course designed for South African based trade unionists and labour activists (this course came out of requests for such a course from trade unions in South Africa).

Teaching methods/objectives:

All courses are coordinated and taught by senior Wits University academics and experienced labour activists via interactive class-based teaching, seminars and research projects. Courses are designed to equip workers and organised labour with the tools to actively engage in internal trade union rebuilding and revitalisation and national and international socio-economic policy debate and formulation.

GLU is the only programme of its kind in Africa and is open to all unionists and labour activists regardless of their affiliations. It is run by a committee of Wits academics and administered by the Committee Chairperson, the Administrative Coordinator and the Programme Coordinator. GLU South Africa is partnered by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) South Africa Office, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Trade Union Competence Centre for Sub-Saharan Africa (TUCC) and the Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland (SASK).

Programme Structure

All applications not suitable for the one year Masters Programme will be considered for the two year Honours and Masters Programme.

No applicant will be permitted to work full-time and study full-time. Those who cannot be released from their positions during their studies must register part-time, taking the degree in question over 2 years. This is a condition of registration, and non-negotiable.

Honour’s Programme (Labour Policy and Globalisation)

Students must complete five courses to qualify with Bachelor of Arts, with Honours in the field of Labour, Policy & Globalisation.

Three courses are compulsory with an additional two elective courses.

  • Full-time study:
    • Three courses in the first semester
    • Two courses in the second semester
  • Part-time study:
    • Two courses in the first semester of the first year
    • One course in the second semester of the first year
    • One course in the first semester of the second year
    • One course in the second semester of the second year

Alternatively, the student may elect to move the elective courses around. The compulsory courses are taken in the first year.

Master’s Programme (Labour Policy and Globalisation)

Students must complete three courses and a research report to qualify with a Master of Arts in the field of Labour, Policy & Globalisation. The courses are compulsory.

  • Full-time study:
    • Three courses
    • One Research Report
  • Part-time study:
    • For students based in Gauteng (a province in South Africa) and continuing to work, full-time studies are only available to you with strong motivation.
    • Should you wish to take part-time studies, PLEASE NOTE that you are required to take the Advanced Research Methods course in the first year and at least one other course. We also highly recommend that you take all three courses in the first year so that you can spend the second year focusing on the Research Report.

Admission

Call for applications:

Apply for 2023 admission for both Honour’s and Master’s programmes between 1 April 2022 and 31 August 2022.

Application procedures:

Step 1:
Initiate application
Once you have completed the electronic postgraduate application form you will receive a notification informing you that your application has been submitted and that you will receive an acknowledgement letter from the University of the Witwatersrand in the next few days.

Step 2:
Acknowledgement letter.
On receipt of the above acknowledgement letter indicating your Person No. please follow all instructions in the letter to upload supporting documents via the Student Self-Service Portal.

Requirements for the Honour’s Programme (Labour Policy and Globalisation)

To qualify for the Honours programme, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Completed Online application
  • BA or undergraduate Degree
  • At least three years of union/labour support organisation (LSO) experience
  • Official letter of support from the union/LSO
  • Personal Motivation Letter from applicant
  • Formal, written commitment to return to union/LSO for at least two years after completing the GLU programme
  • Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Sample of written academic work 60% and above average for previous studies

Requirements for the Master’s Programme (Labour Policy and Globalisation)

To qualify for the MA programme, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Completed Online application
  • BA Honours degree or equivalent
  • At least seven years of union/labour support organisation (LSO) experience
  • Research or Policy experience in union/LSO
  • Official letter of support from union/LSO
  • Personal Motivation Letter from applicant
  • Formal, written commitment to return to union/LSO for at least two years after completing the GLU programme
  • Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • 65% and above average for previous studies
  • Sample of written academic work
  • Concept Note of proposed MA research project (5 pages max.)

To learn more about the programme structure, course offerings and application process, please visit the respective programme websites provided by the Wits:

Scholarships

The GLU South Africa programme has funding to assist with partial scholarships for postgraduate students.

The funding is based on a competitive basis.

Over the years, the programme has received funding for partial postgraduate scholarships from the International Labour Organization (ILO), Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA – this is for South Africa students), the International Centre for Development and Decent Work (ICDD), the Open Society, private donations, and various global and national union federations and unions.

We are grateful to all the organisations that have contributed funds to support GLU postgraduate students.

Please indicate on the online application form if you require funding. If funding is available, you will be considered.

Explore more

Contact us

For more information please contact the GLU Administrative Coordinator at Wits:

» Yurisha Pillay

Tel: +27 11 717 4443
Fax: +27 86 765 540

Contact details for the evaluation of foreign applications (SAQA):

» saqainfo@saqa.org.za

Tel No: +27(0)12 431 5000

Website:
» www.saqa.org.za

To learn more about study experiences, please do not hesitate to contact our alumni:

» Sisanda Mbokotho

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