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MA in International Labour & Trade Union Studies (ILTUS) Ruskin College, Oxford An Outline for Prospective Students of the 2014-16 Programme The MA Outlined Trade unions and labour movements exist to promote the social and economic well-being of workers globally, but the context in which The current MA cohort (2012they operate is changing rapidly. The 14) campaign against the Ruskin College MA will enable you to illegal detention of trade locate and critically analyse these unionists in Bahrain external threats. Correspondingly, your developing skills and knowledge as a post-graduate research student will enable to authentically interpret the capacity of trade unions and labour movements to respond to these challenges, and you will undertake original research as an aspect of this response. The course philosophy and approach is centred on the role and place of labour movements internationally in the ongoing debate about labour movement crisis and renewal. The Ruskin MA offers practitioners and scholars of such change, the conceptual, analytical and critical framework for understanding and explaining this trend and comparing and contrasting their own and fellow and sister students’ depth and breadth of labour movement experience.

“This is a highly distinctive MA, which demonstrates a range of outstanding practice on the part of those delivering it, and clear successes and progression on the part of students. I would congratulate all concerned with the maintenance of such high standards.” Professor Carole Thornley Keele Management School Keele University External Examiner to MA ILTUS Reporting on the progress of students of the 2012-14 cohort.

We aim to encourage students to think creatively and critically about new and thoughtful strategies of labour movement renewal and transformation and their own MA students role and identity in this. So there is a reflecting on their strong emphasis on leadership teaching development, strategic thinking and practice, and on inclusivity in relation to issues of diversity, national identity and on cross cultural analysis. In addition, the MA is about student selfdevelopment and as the course progresses students are expected to become increasingly independent as learners. The educational approach is based on Ruskin’s ethos of inclusivity, fairness and social justice. The MA was conceived around the principle of praxis, of theory into practice. Our goal at Ruskin is to work with those who have a profound and deep interest in the future of labour movements globally; to enable them to provide a contribution to the longevity and vitality of trade unions and labour movements. If you want to make that contribution, then the MA programme is for you.

The MA in International Labour & Trade Union Studies (ILTUS): An Outline

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MA Workshop March 2011

Overall MA Programme Aims 

The education and development of individuals as practitioners, leaders and specialists in the field of international labour and trade unions, and thus improve the quality of leadership and innovative and strategic thinking in labour movement, and allied, organisations.

Adding value to both first degrees and to equivalent levels of study, professional and practitioner work, by developing in individuals an integrated and critically aware understanding of leadership, organisation and strategic management of international labour and allied organisations.

Preparing graduates for both career development and the taking on of effective and leadership roles in labour and allied organisations, and for research and further academic study. An example of the MA’s knowledge and understanding learning outcomes: Demonstrate critical awareness of the impact of contextual forces on labour organisations and understanding of organisational theories and power relations amongst and within other movements and institutions. An example of the MA’s cognitive skills learning outcomes:

MA students enjoyed the hospitality of the Cyprus public sector worker’s federation SEK who hosted the June 2011 residential workshop

Critically evaluate the uses and limitations of a range of research methods and techniques, qualitative, quantitative and an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in fluid and uncertain environments.

The Modules of the MA Programme Module 1: International Labour Relations and globalisation of labour The module will enable students to compare and contrast models and concepts of cross-cultural and international industrial relations systems with a focus on the development of a critical awareness of the industrial relations actors and their relationships.

Module 2: Crisis and renewal: Labour movement organisational change and internationalism. Internal contexts This module introduces students to the critical global challenges of organised labour within the context of crisis and renewal. To achieve this students use a prior development of a critical understanding of industrial relations models to construct a perspective of these challenges.

“I think we can sometimes be quite dour about academia because as trade unionists we know that our struggle takes place in the real world. Except we need to better understand that world if we are going to challenge the dominant forces and views within it. That's what makes this course so exciting: it gives us the knowledge, based on hard evidence and research regarding issues at work.

Module 3: Engaged Research and Praxis: Theory into Practice This module introduces students to the primary social science methodological, philosophical and theoretical approaches to research. In particular students are introduced to the key concepts of methodology, positionality, ontology and epistemology

The Modules of the MA Programme: Reflexive Analysis & Dissertation The MA in International Labour & Trade Union Studies (ILTUS): An Outline

Jon Bigger PCS Activist, Chair of SERTUC International Committee Part-Time MA student 12-14 Page 2

MA students complete an assessed assignment under each module above. In addition they will submit: 1.

An assignment of reflexive analysis of their MA experience. The assignment provides specificity to the actual stages in the MA where learning has enabled students to demonstrate evidence of critical evaluation, conceptual and systematic understanding and of originality in the application of knowledge.


A dissertation of approximately 20,000 words. The dissertation will be work, employment and/or trade union related and/or related to a current issue around labour movement renewal and change, and will have a strong international and/or comparative perspective. Examples of dissertation topics of the 2010-12 MA cohorts: •

A comparative analysis of the trade union experience of undocumented migrants in the UK and Italy

A comparative analysis (UK, France, Germany) of the ability of trade unions to organise sex workers

Are organising models transferrable? A case study examining UNISON’s work with SEIU on the Three Companies Project

The dissertations of prior MA cohorts are available for inspection in the Ruskin College library. MA Programme Delivery Profile Full-Time Mode As a full-time MA student you will be taught weekly during one, fullday session. Weekly taught sessions will also incorporate tutorial sessions. Full-time students also have the opportunity of an attachment (duration negotiable) with a British or European-based trade union organisation, NGO or allied body.

MA ILTUS staff join fellow and sister academics and students of the Global Labour University (GLU) at their Summer School in Berlin in 2010. MA students are eligible to attend the summer school.

Part-Time Mode Part-time MA students attend 6, 3-day workshops (Fri-Sun) in Year 1 of the MA, and 3 in Year 2. Workshops provide formal teaching, tutorial sessions and student seminars. Workshops also benefit from eminent guest speakers and visiting teachers. Study visit to Brussels In addition to formal programme delivery students have the option of a study visit to Brussels where the key focus is the work of global union federations (GUFs) and of the European Commission in developing labour, employment and social policy.

The MA in International Labour & Trade Union Studies (ILTUS): An Outline

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The Core MA Staff Team The programme leader of the MA at Ruskin is Ian Manborde. His research interests include the impact of trade union and labour education on the work of activists and officers. As well as running the MA programme he provides research, technical assistance, and training to trade union activists and officials in the UK and internationally. He also works part-time for the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) where he provides educational and organising assistance to the staff unions of a number of UN agencies and manages transnational educational projects funded by the European Commission. Ian is also currently advising the TUC’s Organising Academy on aspects of its advanced training programme. He is currently completing his doctorate which takes as its focus an analysis of the experience of MA ILTUS experience from the perspective of pedagogy and curriculum. He lives in Coventry and is married with two young daughters.

Tracy Walsh is co-ordinator of the BA ILTUS programme at Ruskin and makes a valuable contribution to the MA in the curriculum areas of gender, leadership and research methods. Her research interests are gender, migrant workers and leadership for civil society activists. She is currently working closely with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) on the development and delivery in the Middle East of education for women trade union activists on leadership. She is a trade union activist and is involved in anti-racist and migrant rights campaigns in the local community. Tracy lives in Oxford and is married with two young sons.

Peter Dwyer is Ruskin’s tutor in radical economics. He has been involved as a researcher and campaigner in a variety of social movement campaigns in both the UK and South Africa. He has worked with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) together with other labour, social movement and non-governmental organisations in Southern Africa. His research interests include the political economy of development, South African civil society and collective responses to neo-liberalism in Africa. Peter is a Research Associate at the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit (CPSU) part of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Pete lives in Oxford and is married.

Sue Ledwith is a Leverhulme Emeritus Scholar and an academic co-ordinator for the Global Labour University (GLU). Sue is a highly distinguished academic in the field of women and gender politics in trades unions. She conceived and managed the ILTUS MA and women’s studies MA at Ruskin College for a number of years before ‘retiring’. She contributes to the MA in a number of curriculum areas including research methods, gender and leadership. She lives in Oxford and is married with several grown up children

The MA in International Labour & Trade Union Studies (ILTUS): An Outline

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Visiting Teachers and Guest Lecturers (A Sample) Professor Gregor Gall (University of Hetfordshire) Gregor’s research and writing is central to labour movement understanding of the key challenges of organising and mobilisation within the context of trade union renewal and revitalisation. His publications include: Sex worker union organizing: an international study (2006), The Future of Union Organising (2009), Union Revitalisation in Advanced Economies. Joanna Cain, Head of Learning & Organising Services (UNISON) Jo regularly contributes to the MA programme and has taught on issues around leadership within trade union organisations and also around research methods. From 2013 Jo’s input will also include a focus on trade union organising strategy. As a regular contributor to the MA Jo also acts as MA dissertation supervisor. Professor Miguel Martinez Lucio (University of Manchester) Miguel’s main focus in his research and writing during the past twenty years as an academic has been concerned with the changing patterns of rights and regulation within employment relations and human resource management. Much of this work has a comparative and international perspective. His publications include: HRM in Public Services (2011), Employment Relations in a Changing Society (2006), Organising and Union Modernisation (2009). Daniel Blackburn, Director of the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR) Dan is a barrister and has worked at ICTUR for ten years. He currently also serves as editor of International Union Rights journal. Daniel has lectured on international law to lawyers and their organisations around the world and has provided technical and consultancy services to national and international organisations. He has designed, developed and implemented trade union and legal projects in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Eric Lee, Founder of LabourStart and UnionBook Eric’s writing has provided a major contribution to the analysis of the relevance of web technology for trade union activity. Eric is also the driving force behind the internationally recognised web sites LabourStart and UnionBook. Eric is the author of The Labour Movement and the Internet: A New Labour Internationalism (1997).

The MA in International Labour & Trade Union Studies (ILTUS): An Outline

“It is true to say that I cannot recall a time in my life when I developed so rapidly, and gained such a breadth and depth of knowledge. It is more vital than ever for the global community of trade unionists that we equip ourselves with the skills to support us in the struggle for improvements in conditions for workers the world over” Anthony Foster Branch Secretary PROSPECT Part-Time MA Student 08-10

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The current MA cohorts visit the offices of Education International during the Brussels study visit.

The first MA cohort (06-08) outside Stoke House – the MA’s base.

Tracy Walsh teaching research methods during the workshop hosted in Cyprus – June 2011.

MA ILTUS OPEN DAYS 2013-14 Saturday 16th Nov 13, 8th Feb, 22nd Mar and 7th June 12.00am – 3.00pm on all dates Ruskin College, Ruskin Hall, Headington, Oxford OX3 9BX •

Attend a formal presentation on the MA curriculum and programme • Meet current students and teaching staff • See examples of student work and course literature • Lunch & refreshments provided

The open day provides one of the most valuable methods to gain establish a strong grasp of the MA’s overall content and value. You will have the opportunity to meet current MA students over lunch following a formal presentation on the MA curriculum. You will also have the opportunity to review examples of student’s written work and examples of the range of literature that students are expected to read, critically analyse an embed in their writing and presentations. “The MA has broadened my understanding of union revitalisation and examples from unions in various parts of the world that have embarked on strategies and actions to confront and arrest union decline and crisis”. Ariel Castro International Labour Organisation (ILO) Sub-Regional Office New Delhi, India Full-Time MA Student 08-09

The standard Open Day Programme 12.00 Presentation of the MA Programme Ian Manborde (MA Programme Co-ordinator) 1.00 2.00

Lunch with current part-time student cohort Opportunity to review a sample of written work of MA alumni and of course reading material

Listen to what alumni and current students say about the MA:

Please confirm your attendance at an open day by contacting Ian Manborde (Programme Co-ordinator) by e-mail: or on 01865 759653 or 07900 325 379. Fees and Scholarships

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For the academic period 2014-16 the MA fee will remain the same as that charged for the period 2012-14.

Tuition fees frozen at 2012 level

Full-Time Fee The tuition fee for the MA ILTUS from 2012 will be £6,800.00. Part-Time Fees If you choose to study the MA part-time the tuition fee will be £3,400.00 per year for two years. If you wish to be a resident as a full time student at Ruskin College please enquire as to the termly fee. Please contact Ian Manborde ( As the part-time programme is delivered via residential workshops please note that, should you wish to be resident at Ruskin College, for these workshops the approximate residential cost per workshop is £50 per night. Each workshop is 3 days, 2 nights. A cafe is available at additional, separate cost for meals. Student accommodation provides access to a kitchen to prepare meals. The Headington campus is close to a wide variety of shops e.g. Iceland, Morrisons, Co-op, Waitrose, restaurants and pubs. Additional Costs The only additional costs relate to the following: 1. A non-mandatory 4-day study visit to Brussels (see p.3). The approximate cost was £400 in 2010 and is a (rough) guide to costs of Eurostar travel and the hotel stay. Students are very welcome to attend scheduled events during the Brussels visit but make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. 2. There are only two books that we suggest you should have a copy of during your study on the MA. Please investigate options to buy second-hand copies: Social Research Methods by Alan Bryman Industrial Relations: Theory & Practice by Trevor Collinge and Mike Terry Scholarships A number of trade unions and the GFTU and TUC provide scholarships and grants to study the MA at Ruskin. These range in value from £50 to £1,000.00. Please contact Ian Manborde to identify whether you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship. Details can be seen at:

New scholarships for 2014 Two new scholarships are available for women trade unionists outside the UK, one from South Africa. Contact Ian Manborde for more details.

The MA in International Labour & Trade Union Studies (ILTUS): An Outline

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Your Reading on the MA During your study on the MA programme your reading will draw on a wide range of theoretical and practical topics which intersect with labour and trade union studies: economic, politics, gender, human geography, new technologies, identity, race, mobilisation, social movements, globalisation, neoliberalism, human rights etc. Here is a (very small) sample: Journals British Journal of Industrial Relations European Journal of Industrial Relations Gender, Work and Organisation Global Labour Journal Industrial Relations Journal Social Movement Studies Work Employment & Society Books New Trade Union Activism: Class Consciousness or Social Identity? by Sian Moore Global Unions: Challenging Trans-National Capital through Cross-Border Campaigns by Kate Bronfenbrenner The Future of Organised Labour: Global Perspectives by Craig Phelan (link to the chapter on China) Gendering and Diversifying Trade Union Leadership by Sue Ledwith and Lise Lotte Hansen The Future of Union Organising by Gregor Gall Guest Workers & Resistance to US Corporate Despotism by Immanuel Ness Power in Coalition: Strategies for Strong Unions &S Social Change by Amanda Tattersall The Precariat: The New, Dangerous Class by Guy Standing Ramparts of Resistance: Why Workers Lost Their Power & How to get it back by Sheila Cohen

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Academic Achievement & Teaching Standards The strengths of this MA programme are derived from the calibre of students, their research output and the acknowledged high standards of teaching and support. MA ILTUS students are consistently identified as producing research which is considered as outstanding in the field of labour and trade union studies. This is a selection of judgements made by Professor Carole Thornley, external examiner to the MA of the work (assessed essays and dissertations) produced by MA ILTUS students during 2013. Some of the best work reflects a genuine contribution to original theory and/or empirical academic work – two of the dissertations were outstanding. Even the weaker pieces have strong elements of originality, which is unusual at this level of award. The work by the outstanding students, as well as those marked at lower grades, indicated a very high quality of teaching and learning. Comments by Professor Thornley on teaching standards and the MA overall. The work by the outstanding students, as well as those marked at lower grades, indicated a very high quality of teaching and learning. This is a highly distinctive MA, which demonstrates a range of outstanding practice on the part of those delivering it, and clear successes and progression on the part of students. I would congratulate all concerned with the maintenance of such high standards. Student feedback on the MA consistently rates the following as good: • • • •

Teaching (including that of visiting teachers and guest speakers) Tutorial sessions and dissertation supervision Feedback on formative and summative assignments and dissertation drafts The respect shown for the prior experience and knowledge of students

Evidence of Success In 2011 full-time MA students Caroline Raine (UNISON) and Simon Brears (COMMUNITY) graduated from the MA and were awarded their MA degrees with distinction. In recognition of their achievements throughout the MA they were also awarded academic prizes. Caroline gained the Margaret Marsh Memorial Prize and Simon the Mark Young Prize. Caroline came to the MA as a UNISON regional officer who had gained a year’s sabbatical leave. Her dissertation research focused on the transferability of organising philosophy and practice from the US to the UK. Key strengths of her research rested on the methodology adopted and the extent to which her research findings contributed original knowledge in the field of trade union organising theory and practice. Simon enrolled on the MA with a strong political and trade union activist background. His dissertation research compared trade union political strategy in campaigning against austerity measures in the UK and Finland. His dissertation rigorously embedded a research methodology utilising grounded theory and has brought new insight to the basis and nature of trade union campaigning activity.

The MA in International Labour & Trade Union Studies (ILTUS): An Outline

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The Global Labour University Ruskin College is an associate member of the Global Labour University (GLU) an innovative network of leading labour studies institutions in Germany, South Africa, Brazil and India. The GLU is core-funded by the ILO. Each institution offers its own unique MA programme although with dominant themes exploring the common, dominant themes of the impact of globalisation on organised labour and the economy. Similarly, these programmes are predicated are specific outputs designed to support the growth of labour movements globally: It is a new approach to strengthen the intellectual and strategic capacity of workers organisations and to establish much stronger working relationships between trade unions, the ILO, and the scientific community. It will strengthen trade union capacity and competence to promote the values of the ILO's "Decent Work" agenda and enable workers organisations to engage more effectively in social dialogue on social and economic policy issues like employment, social protection, and the implementation of international labour standards. Full details of the GLU’s operation can be seen here: As a Ruskin MA ILTUS you will be able to engage with the GLU MA programmes in several ways: •

Each year the GLU holds a summer school and conference which brings together GLU students, alumni and some of the most prestigious scholars of labour studies and its related disciplines. Full details of prior schools can be seen here:

MA students of the differing GLU institutions will be afforded opportunities to collaborate in areas of their dissertation research.

• As well as the GLU MA programmes there are other, allied study opportunities: For ENGAGE go here: For PhD’s go here: Global Unions Research Network (GURN) The GLU produces a high volume of research and academic literature in the field of labour studies and this can be found on the web-site. You should also review the material produced by and held on the web-site of the Global Unions Research Network (GURN): The GURN is a sister-organisation of the GLU. Both the GLU and GURN are highly positive examples of the collaboration between the global labour movement and the ILO and from which Ruskin students can draw resources. The GLU-ILO collaboration has recently produced the new publication (Trade Unions & the Global Crisis) which showcases the labour movement perspective of the challenges of the global crisis. A free copy is available for download here:

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The Critical Labour Studies Network (CLS) Ruskin College is a member of many networks and organisations which share and foster praxis in the field of labour and trade union studies. The CLS network is a particularly important example of the strength of our external relationships and the way in which this supports the academic achievement of MA students.

James Cavalluzzo (full-time MA student) and Ian Manborde present a joint paper at CLS 2013 symposium

The CLS network brings together researchers and activists to discuss key features of work and employment from a radical and labour-focused perspective. It recognise that while left academic researchers participate in the usual round of mainstream conferences, the scope for focused radical debate around these themes is actually quite limited. Through CLS it has developed an open working group and discussion forum that engages with many of the challenges facing researchers and trade unionists within the current environment of work and employment. Each year the CLS network hosts a symposium and in 2013 this was held at Ruskin. For the first time CLS provided a slot specifically for MA students to present papers based on the proposed dissertation research and seek feedback on their proposals. As CLS brings together eminent scholars in the field of labour and trade union studies this with a really important opportunity to stimulate discussion around student research ideas. The 2014 symposium (7-9 March) is being held at Ruskin again and you are invited to attend. More information and the call for papers is here: The CLS network has also provided MA students with direct opportunities to engage with leading academics in the field of their own research, and on many occasions these academics have agreed to become dissertation supervisors. Below are some further photos from CLS 2013.

L-R Jane Holgate (Leeds Univ), Heather Connolly (Leic Univ), Alex Gordon (RMT President) and Martin Upchurch (Mddx Univ discuss radical political unionism

L-R Jason Russell (Empire State College, New York), Miguel Martinez-Lucio (Manchester Univ), Sian Moore (UWE) and Roger McKenzie (AGS UNION) discuss the implications of organising precarious workers

L-R John Stirling (Bradford Univ) and Carol Stephenson (Northumbria Univ) lead a discussion on the role and place of working class students in higher education

L-R Martin Upchurch (Mddx Univ), Andy Danforth (Mddx Univ) and Paul Stewart (Stirling Univ) discuss their research on an international comparison on lean production in the automotive industry.

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Ruskin 2012: A New Era Ruskin College was established in 1899 to provide working class men and women with a unique opportunity to study and gain a qualification. The College was located in Oxford as a political motive to indicate that education was not just for an elite but a right for all. Over a hundred years later and Ruskin College is preparing itself for a new era in the provision of high quality education for adult learners and particularly for those engaged in trade union and political activity in the UK and internationally. From October 2012 Ruskin College will be situated on one, single site in Headington, Oxford. We will move from our historical headquarters in Oxford but move from the old central Oxford to a new, unified base for the College’s operations. From 2012 Ruskin students will benefit from: •

Access to the purpose-built, wi-fi enabled Callaghan Library. From here MA ILTUS students will start their study and discover how they can progress utilising also the resources provided by the Oxford University library service of which they will be members.

New purpose-built study bedrooms providing en-suite facilities with the space to study and relax.

New teaching rooms incorporating state-of-the-art technology designed to support and enhance your learning experience. “It has provided me with a depth and width of knowledge and skills that will prove invaluable in my role as a trade union educator. I found the content of the course directly relevant to the challenges facing the global trade union movement” Gus Grubb Stow College, Glasgow Part-Time MA Student 10-12

Studying in Oxford The new site will still be in comfortable reach of the historic city of Oxford and MA ILTUS students will still benefit from access to selected lectures provided by Colleges of the University and the University library service. Full details of the opportunities afforded to you whilst on the MA programme will be provided during your induction. Please also ask questions when you attend an MA Open Day or contact Ian Manborde (MA Programme Co-ordinator) to arrange an opportunity to meet informally at Ruskin to discuss your interest in the MA.

The MA in International Labour & Trade Union Studies (ILTUS): An Outline

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MA ILTUS 2014-16 Prospectus  

This prospectus provides trade union activists and officials who are interested in applying for a place on the MA ILTUS with a detailed insi...

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