MA in Labor Studies

MA in Labor Studies

MA Labor Studies ·
2 years

Tribhuvan University launched Masters in Labour Studies program for the first time in Nepal from the academic year 2076/78. Both theoretical and practical exercises have been given equal importance in making the curriculum of labour studies suitable for the current needs. 


Population of all age, sex and ability/disability is consumer of produced goods and services, but only a segment of the population produces it, hence the producers of such goods and services is called the labour. Labour is not confined in production of economic goods and services; it is equally responsible to generate social capital and activities that have no economic price tag. Thus, labour is a dynamic field of study, distinguished by its focus on work and labour relations. Work affects everyone and everything and determines how working people spend many of their waking hours and shapes position in society, it determines ones health and economic well-being, and her/his self-image. It determines the structure of a society and economy.

Dean's Office of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science in Tribhuvan University introduced Master's degree in 'Labour Studies' as an interdisciplinary academic program and get endorsed from the faculty board and academic council in July 2019. The subject is established drawing on history, sociology, economics, population and demography, political economy, women's studies, industrial relations, labour migration and human security, relationship between human rights and labour right; labour justice and labour law; food, nutrition and labour productivity; labour statistics and research methodology; and other fields in assessing the place of labour and working people in society. The course is needed to make students to know more about the position of labour and working people in society. Further, the course will be of particular interest to trade unionists at the leadership, activist, and general membership levels. 

The Master's programme in labour studies and nature of its course deal with conceptual, theoretical and practical issues concerning the functioning and dynamics of work, labour and livelihood. Nature of employment patterns and employment relations are changing due course of time. The employment is characterised by growing informality and various forms of work related insecurities in the developed as well as developing nations. Workers in the developing countries are facing effects of globalisation and international restructuring of the global labour market in forms of sub-contraction, casualisation and contractualisation. Models of social protection make work and employment vulnerable or secure with the market fluctuation across the globe. Therefore, it is imperative to understand how working class, both in the formal and informal sectors is managing their social security needs including benefits from employers, work safety, wages and also state assured benefits need to be prime focus of the labour study. 

In this connection, the course highlights the conceptual/theoretical and practical issues such as globalization and its impact on employment generation; social history and theoretical foundation and labour economics; role of trade union and collective bargaining; labour movement, labour migration and human security; role of human capital formation (health, education) and social structure (caste/ethnicity) in demand and supply of labour; class and gender in labour market; role of corporate governance in labour rights and security; occupational safety and health. The course further covers issues such as research methodology and labour statistics; human rights and labour rights; care economy and informal sector; human resource projection and strategy; social dialogue and negotiation; labour diplomacy and human security; labour movements and social transformation in Nepal; poverty, inequality and employment in Nepal; food, nutrition and labour productivity; labour demography and labour mapping and GIS. The course has also an intense debate surrounding the impact of labour laws and bi-lateral labour agreements on employment generation in the country. 

Salient Features

The two year Master of Labour Studies with a Major (specialisation) provides solid and balanced academic and professional teaching/training in theory and methods relevant to labour studies. The programme in general and its Majors (specialisation) in particular, are designed to endow students with theoretical and methodological capabilities to conduct policy analysis and academic research. Applied theories, techniques and tools are situated within a deeper understanding of their theoretical and methodological settings. Therefore, Master of Labour Studies teaching establishes a balance between academic depth and professional relevance.

Total credits = 60 

Thesis writing is compulsory, which carries weight of Six (6) credits English as medium of instruction 

Class hours: Flexible - morning or evening 


Passed Bachelor level or equivalent from Tribhuvan University or any university recognized by Tribhuvan University. 

Applicants who have passed both written entrance examination and oral interview will be eligible for the admission on the basis of merit.

Admission Criteria

Admission Process and Number of Students 

Admission for each batch of MLS programme will be opened once a year. A candidate shall apply in the prescribed form, obtained from the office of the Programme Coordinator or Dean's Office, following payment of necessary fees. In order to take an admission, Dean's office or the office of the programme coordinator will run an eligibility test/qualifying examination as entrance exam. Name list of students to be admitted will be published on the basis of merit of entrance test. Marks obtained by the student at bachelor level could also be another basis of framing merit for admission. There will be scope of admission of 50 students in one batch. Prospective students of MA in Labour Studies should have passed the bachelor's level in any disciplines recognized by Tribhuvan University. 


Job Prospects

The graduates will be well-prepared to take up employment in the following positions:

  • Trade union researchers/educators
  • Mediators
  • Teachers and professors
  • Managers and administrators
  • Human resource specialists
  • Policy analysts
  • Economic development officers

Curricular Structure

Teaching Hours Total credit of the Master in Labour Studies course is 60. One credit equals 16 hours of teaching. Each paper will be a maximum of 3 credits or 48 hours of teaching (including assignments, project works and internal assessment). Thesis writing carries weights of six (6) credits. The first three semesters, offer five papers of equally three (3) credits. Fourth-semester offer three (3) papers of 3 credits each and a thesis writing of 6 credits. The teaching load of thesis supervision includes three students equals three credits or 48 teaching hours in a semester. In this way, the course offers 18 teaching papers including both compulsory and major streams (equally of 3 credits each = 54 credits) and a thesis of six credits.

The Evaluation Schem

Evaluation schemes differ by the nature of paper. Practical papers like labour mapping and GIS may give more weightage to internal evaluation and less to external exams/evaluation. In general there will be a 40:60 percentage ratio of evaluation scheme i.e. 40% to internal evaluation and 60% to external evaluation/exam. 

Nature and Structure of Course 

The teaching modules of the MLS programme comprises of (a) compulsory/core courses, (b) specialization courses, and (c) options. The core courses are offered in the first and second semesters while the rest - core courses and specialization courses including options - are offered in the third and fourth semesters. The Master of Labour Studies is structured as follows:

Semester I
Course Code Course Title Credits
MLS 551 Introduction to Labour Studies 3
MLS 552 Theoretical Foundations of Labour Studies 3
MLS 553 Society, Culture, and Labour 3
MLS 554 Economics of Labour Market 3
MLS 555 Labour Migration 3
Total   15
Semester II
Course Code Course Title Credits
MLS 556 Labour Standards and Labour Law 3
MLS 557 Globalization and Labour 3
MLS 558 Labour Statistics 3
MLS 559 Human Rights and Labour Rights 3
MLS 560 Gender and Labour 3
Total   15
Semester III
Course Code Course Title Credits
MLS 561 Labour Standards and Labour Law 3
MLS 562 Globalization and Labour 3
MLS 563 Labour Statistics 3
  Optional Papers (One From 564 and 565)  
MLS 564.1 Social Dialogue and Negotiation


MLS 564.2 Labour Movements and Social Transformation in Nepal
MLS 565.1 Human Resource Projection and Strategy


MLS 565.2 Labour Demography
Total   15
Semester IV
Course Code Course Title Credits
MLS 566 Labour Diplomacy and Human Security 3
MLS 567 Poverty, Inequality, and Employment in Nepal 3
MLS 568.1 Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PM & E) of Employment


MLS 568.2 Food Nutrition and Labour Efficiency
MLS 568.3 Labour Mapping and GIS
MLS 569 Thesis 6
Total   15


Master of Labour Studies Full Curricular Details.pdf