Labour History

  • FREE
  • English
  • Interdisciplinary, Political Science, Social Sciences & Humanities
  • with certificate upgrade option

What is the course about?

An online course on the history of the labour movement to understand the challenges of our times and sharpen our analysis, visions and strategies for the future.

By analysing historical examples of labour's response to questions of democracy, dictatorships, authoritarianism, migration, capitalist crises and others, the online course creates spaces for open debates about the labour movement today.

Check our trailer here

The course start in Autumn, 2024. 

Key concepts

organising, democracy, authoritarianism, dictatorship,  anti-colonialism, migration, social movements, capitalist crisis.

Course materials and workload

This course has 4 content chapters. The chapter contains a series of units; each unit is composed of one video lecture, two quiz questions, one exercise, one key reading as well as additional readings. All the course materials, including video scripts, can be downloaded and used offline. Zoom workshops with the course experts are recorded and added to the course content for those interested in going deeper into the issues discussed in each video lecture. 

The estimated workload for each chapter is 10 hours.

Course certificates

Certificates are available for purchase from iversity.

If you meet the course requirements, you can obtain a scholarship from the Global Labour University. For details on the requirements, read carefully the information in Chapter 1, Unit 2.

Localised workshops

The Global Labour University Online Academy will also organise a series of blended interventions through its network of nearly 150 local trainers in 45 countries, namely: 

Austria, Bangladesh, Argentina, Belgium, Benin, Brazi, Bolivia, Cameroon, China, Chile, Cambodia, Colombia, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Vietnam, Germany, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Liberia, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Serbia, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United States, Uganda, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

Let us know if you want to join a localised workshop by sending an email to online@global-labour-university.org detailing your country, city and organisation. For more details, check Chapter 1 of our online course. 

What will you learn?

Upon completing this online course, the course participants will be able to: 

  • recall dates of key events in the history of the labour movement;
  • understand key concepts relevant to the discussion on labour history, explain those in their own words, interpret the information and summarise the main take-aways;
  • demonstrate how the learnings from course can be applied to current events with which they are most familiar with;
  • compare the knowledge from different case studies to determine patterns of similarities and differences in the labour history, establish underlying structures and question existing labour's strategies;
  • critique existing labour strategies and argue for a different path informed by the learnings of history;  and
  • formulate ideas for new debates in the labour movement.

What is the target audience?

workers, trade unionists, labour and other activists, labour researchers and practitioners, NGOs, students, media and others.

What prior knowledge is required?

This is a multi-disciplinary course drawing on the fields of social, political and economic sciences. It is at the level of a Masters’ programme, but the concepts are explained in an accessible language and illustrated through examples. Therefore, it is also possible to participate in the course using the skills and knowledge acquired. The course requires a working level of English.