Global Labour University

The University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil

Master's Programme: Social Economy and Labour

The University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and the Institute of Economics have been partners of the Global Labour University (GLU) since 2003, through the Centre for Labour Economics and Trade Unionism (CESIT).

The next step in this partnership was the implementation of the GLU Master's course "Social Economy and Labour" at UNICAMP in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Using a comparative perspective, this course focuses on economic development, inequality, poverty, strategies of trade unionism and multinational corporations and labour.

It is taught by professors of the Institute of Economics and guest lecturers from other Brazilian universities and research institutes, as well as from the GLU partner universities. 

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

Note that the application deadline for 2023 is open until October 31. 



The Master’s programme will enable participants to assist workers and their organizations to challenge the current global context and engage more effectively in social dialogue, public debate and policy implementation. This includes economic development, macroeconomics, employment creation, strategies of multinational companies, inequality, poverty, social structure, gender equality, workers’ rights, social justice, labour relations, labour regulation and trade unionism perspectives; all of which are key to enhancing labour movement capacities.

Location, Language and Duration

The Master’s Programme is offered by the UNICAMP, Institute of Economics, in the city of Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil. The course starts in March and the language is English. This is a 14-month programme and students will be required to attend the courses from March until December and defend their master thesis by April of the next year.


The expected number of foreign students is 6 to 10 with the rest of the class made up of Brazilian students and students already taking GLU Masters courses in Germany, South Africa or India. Brazilian students accepted into the programme will be encouraged to do their internship abroad.

Students Support

All students are required to contribute a fee of € 1.500 to the Global Labour University (GLU) which will be responsible for flights and other expenses. The GLU and its Brazilian partners will provide scholarships compatible with a regular (Brazilian) master scholarship (about R$1500,00), per month for students to cover housing, food and other expenses.

Foreign students will have access to the state public health system which covers regular medical consultations and emergency cases. The additional cost of internships should be covered by one extra scholarship, by a special grant or by the host institutions. UNICAMP provides library facilities, study rooms and access to computers, the internet and databases. A local restaurant with subsidized prices is also available on campus.

Academic Board and Staff

The course is taught by professors of the Institute of Economics, with guest teachers from other Brazilian universities and research institutes and from the GLU partners through the ongoing guest teaching exchange programme. Brazilian guest lecturers are invited to the special seminars.

Programme Structure

The students need to complete 36-course credits in 9 courses. They will also be required to write a Masters’s thesis and complete a one-month internship (12 credits).

1st Semester (March to June): four compulsory courses:

  • Macroeconomics and development
  • Microeconomics: prices formation and firms in the world economy
  • Quantitative methods applied to socioeconomics
  • Thesis seminar

A basic Portuguese course is offered, and attending it is strongly recommended.

In July students should participate in a four-week internship in a trade union, a labour confederation, a research institute or another institution related to their studies in Brazil.

2nd Semester (August to December): five more courses:

  • Economic Development and Labour
  • Social Structures, Inequality and Poverty
  • Trade Union Strategies in a Global Economy
  • Law and Social Regulation of Labour
  • Thesis seminar: presentation of at least one chapter of the final dissertation
  • Intercultural Workshop, Visit Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT – Brazilian most important workers confederation), Workers and prejudice, guest lectures and other extracurricular activities. (compulsory)

Students who complete two relevant disciplines in a related Master’s programme – either before or after their stay in Brazil – may have these credits recognised by the University of Campinas, provided they are from a recognised university. Students must complete eight disciplines in Brazil.


Call for applications:

The call for applications is currently open (the deadline is October 31, 2023).

Step 1: Required documents

Please make sure your application contains the following:

  • 01 authenticated photocopy of your official bachelor’s degree
  • 01 authenticated photocopy of your University transcript of examination results
  • 01 authenticated photocopy of your Birth Certificate
  • 01 authenticated photocopy of your Passport (pages with passport number and photo)
  • Officially authenticated photocopies of all certificates proving the required command of the English language and/or copy of your English language proficiency
  • 01 detailed CV (in English)
  • 01 recommendation letter from a trade union or an institution related to trade unionism certifying the candidate’s practical experience in labour issues. The trade union or institution should indicate their willingness to pay the 1,500 Euro contribution to the GLU programme (in English). Candidates whose supporting institution is unable to contribute may use their own resources
  • 02 letters (in English) recommending the candidate, written by trade union leaders, professors or any superior who knows the candidate’s abilities and is able to give further information about him/her if necessary. Letters should be signed and stamped by the relevant institution, and also contain contact information such as email addresses and phone numbers
  • 01 completed application form (in English)

Please do not send original documents. Only submit officially authenticated photocopies of all certificates, as application packages will not be returned.

Please fill in the required complete information and additional information you wish to provide, using a computer or a typewriter. It is important to hand in your application as early as possible, so as to ensure sufficient time for processing and to contact you in case we require further clarification or proof of your qualifications (e.g. photocopies of certificates). Please sign your application.

Step 2: Send the application both by mail and digitally:

  • Please send the application package to the following address:

Universidade Estadual de Campinas
Instituto de Economia/ CESIT / Global Labour University
Rua Pitágoras, 353, Cidade Universitária “Zeferino Vaz” – Distrito de Barão Geraldo. CEP: 13083-857
Campinas/São Paulo – Brasil

Step 3: Process the application

Professors of the Institute of Economics, with the support of the GLU partners, will be responsible for the selection process. Selected students will be contacted in due time to confirm their participation. If you receive an offer we will send you details about the conditions. If you do not receive an offer we will inform you about the decision by e-mail. Unfortunately, we are not able to keep unsuccessful applications, so they shall be disposed of shortly after the start of the academic year.

Please make sure that the notification of admission can be delivered to the address you entered on the form. It is very important to make sure your e-mail account is valid during the application process.

Step 4: Required process in case the candidate is selected:

The candidate should take the documents stated below to the Brazilian Embassy in her/his country and certify (“stamp”) them:

  • Birth Certificate;
  • University Diploma;
  • University academic transcript

The candidate should send these certified documents via email AND regular mail (courier) to us on a date set by the GLU Brazil coordinators, together with a photocopy of her/his passport.

Such documents will have to be translated to Portuguese by an official translator, either in the candidate’s home country or in Brazil. The cost should be covered by the candidate.


A limited number of scholarships will be awarded to students.

If the candidate is approved and awarded a scholarship it will cover:

  • One round ticket from the country’s capital of residence to São Paulo (Brazil) and return (or two single tickets depending on the prices)
  • 18 months of scholarship
  • Allowance for internship

Applications for a scholarship can be indicated in the application form. A support letter from a trade union organisation is an application requirement. Please also note that the scholarship is a matching grant. It will only be awarded if a trade union, another institution or the student him/herself is co-sponsoring the programme with 1500 EUR. The potential co-sponsor has to be indicated on the application form and his/her contribution has to be used to buy the ticket and the difference should be handed to the coordination team in Brazil.

In the case students receiving scholarships decide to abandon the GLU Brazil programme for any reason, they must refund the total amount of money received from the programme until that date to the GLU Brazil Programme. Furthermore, the contribution of 1,500 EUR will not be refunded.

The ILO department for South-South cooperation is sponsoring two scholarships dedicated to further strengthening South-South cooperation. Applicants are requested to submit an outline for a research proposal focussing in particular on experiences, challenges and opportunities of South-South cooperation between trade unions and other workers’ organisations. Within the programme, they will have the opportunity to look at the role of developing countries in the global supply chain, the role of labour standards in South-South relations, best practices in information exchange, policy coordination and solidarity among developing countries.

Explore more

Contact us

For additional information please contact our programme coordinator:

» Prof. Hugo Dias 

To learn more about the study programme and experiences please contact our alumni:

» Monicah Gachuki

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