Master in Labour Studies - Masteratul Studii de Muncă SNSPA

Form: onsite campus learning
Duration: 2 years (120 ECTS)

Contact: Bd. Expoziției 30A, Bucharest 012104, Romania. Tel/fax: 0372.249.776; 021.310.1042
E-mail: muntean [at] politice {.} ro


Information documents for download: poster - pdf format ; flyer - pdf format


The Master degree in Labour Studies is a 2 years (4 semesters) graduate program at the Department of Political Science, the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration – SNSPA, Bucharest, recognized by ARACIS (The Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education).  The program aims to provide top notch researchers and practitioners with expertise in the field of labour relations / industrial relations.

The Master program in Labour Studies has joined in 2016 the European Master in Labour Studies Network, a joint master program allowing the students to take part in Erasmus+ exchange programs and spend one semester at one of the other 13 members of the MEST/EMLS consortium:

London School of Economics (UK)
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain)
ISCTE Lisabona - Instituto Universitario de Lisboa (Portugal)
Universität Bremen (Germany)
University College Dublin (Ireland)
Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
Univerza v Ljubljani (Slovenia)
Università degli Studi di Firenze (Italy)
Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy)
Universität Trier (Germany)
Warwick University (UK)
Université Toulouse 1 (France)
Universiteit van Amsterdam (Netherlands).

The graduate students from the Labour Studies program can apply for an Erasmus mobility at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany), in accordance with the general mobility conditions for the Erasmus program in the Faculty of Political Science.

The curriculum of the Master in Labour Studies includes the following courses:

  • Stratification and social mobility (Prof. Cătălin Augustin Stoica) (1st Semester, 7 ECTS)
  • Leadership and development of human capital in organizations (Assist. Prof. Bogdan Oprea) (1st Semester, 7 ECTS)
  • Data analysis methods (Assoc. Prof. Aurelian Muntean) (1st Semester, 7 ECTS)
  • Civic dialogue and social representation (Assoc. Prof. Cristian Pîrvulescu / Assist. Prof. Măriuca Constantin) (1st Semester, 6 ECTS)
  • Research seminar (Assoc. Prof. Cătălin Partenie) (1st Semester, 3 ECTS)
  • Comparative labour relations and social dialogue (Assoc. Prof. Aurelian Muntean) (2nd Semester, 6 ECTS)
  • Varieties of capitalism and economic development (Assoc. Prof. Aurelian Muntean) (2nd Semester, 7 ECTS)
  • Anthropology and sociology of labour (Assist. Prof. Bogdan Iancu / PhD. Elena Trifan) (2nd Semester, 6 ECTS)
  • Management of human resources (Assist. Prof. Bogdan Oprea) (2nd Semester, 6 ECTS)
  • Migration and labour (Prof. Remus Anghel) (3rd Semester, 6 ECTS)
  • Optional open course (3rd Semester, 6 ECTS)
  • Sociology of interest groups (Assoc. Prof. Aurelian Muntean) (3rd Semester, 6 ECTS)
  • Comparative European and international labour law (Assist. Prof. Măriuca Constantin) (3rd Semester, 6 ECTS)
  • Project management (Assoc. Prof. Mihai Ungureanu) (3rd Semester, 6 ECTS)
  • Technology and AI in training and work (Assoc. Prof. Aurelian Muntean) (4th Semester, 7 ECTS)
  • Optional open course (4th Semester, 6 ECTS)
  • Optional open course (4th Semester, 4 ECTS)
  • Dissertation writing and academic ethics seminar (4th Semester, 6 ECTS)

This program is designed for:

  • Undergraduate and graduate students interested in analysing labour relations / industrial relations, labour market, social dialogue, relations between unions, firms and government, varieties of social and economic institutions, interest groups, social concertation, human resources, recruiting and training of employees, wage policies, corporate governance, innovation and team work, lifelong learning of adults, producing predictive analyses and strategies.
  • Employees in trade unions, employers’ associations, private companies (human resources and strategic analysis departments), governmental agencies, local institutions, chambers of commerce. They will gain theoretical and practical knowledge about topics like social, fiscal and labour market policies, social dialogue, human resource management and workforce recruitment, wage policies, collective bargaining, corporate governance, predictive strategies and analysis, innovation and team work, lifelong learning, relationship between state institutions, unions, employers’ associations and private companies, drafting and negotiating collective agreements, producing predictive analyses and strategies.

The program is based on an intra- and trans-disciplinary approach, combining empirical, theoretical, critical and analytical skills and knowledge from Political Science, Sociology, Economy, Anthropology, Legal Studies, International Relations, Education Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Public Administration, Journalism and Communications Studies, thus being a unique program in Romania.

Graduate students will acquire new skills in contextualizing knowledge, identifying the best explanations and suggesting solutions for practical issues regarding the functioning of the economy and of social institutions. As well, they will gain advanced skills in using instruments of critical argumentation, data collection, data analysis using qualitative and quantitative methods, and in formulating scientific-based predictions based on empirical research.

The program combines practical training (internship in organizations like firms, chambers of commerce, consulting companies, research institutes, union federations and confederations, employers’ associations, field research under the coordination of a professor in the master’s program) with comparative methodological, theoretical and empirical training throughout the courses.

You will acquire solid competences, skills and knowledge that will make you attractive candidates for employers in the job market such as ministries and governmental institutions, international organizations, parliamentary committees, human resources and consultancy firms, NGOs, trade unions, employers’ associations. You will be guided and referred by our professors from the Political Science department and from the Sociology Department, having a vast expertise in teaching and research.

The graduates of the Master in Labour Studies work in private companies, public and private universities, trade unions, employers’ associations, local and central public administration, or continue their educational program at PhD level.

The quality and relevance of the Master in Labour Studies are certified by The Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS) starting with the academic year of 2013-2014. This is the list of programs accredited in the ARACIS board of directors meeting from 27.06.2013 (document in Romanian). The full ARACIS report can be downloaded from here (document in Romanian).


Short description of courses:

Comparative Labour Relations and Social Dialogue

This course will help the students to answer questions like: what are labour relations, what is the role of institutions and interest groups in labour relations, which are the main models in analysing the labour relations. We will analyse several paradigmatic cases like Germany, UK, Nordic countries, East Central European countries, USA and China. We will discuss how the politics of labour relations, the practices of labour market regulations are influenced by economic development policies and political institutions. Throughout the classes we will build, discuss and analyse several case studies developed by the students enrolled in this course. At the end of this course the students will have acquired theoretical and empirical skills like: better knowledge of the main paradigms for analysis of labour relations, critical analysis of theories of labour relations, ability to explain the evolution of labour relations and to connect them with the economic, social, and political issues worldwide, capacity to explain the role of collect bargaining and collective interest aggregation in the labour relations, development of skills for comparative empirical research, and how to make use of key concepts for producing scientific analysis of labour relations. There is no formal difference between lecture and seminar meetings, concerning the organization, discussions and activities pursued for this course.


Varieties of Capitalism and Economic Development

The main objective of this course is to provide students with a deeper understanding of issues of economic and social institutions in advanced capitalist economies. The course will help student answer questions like: What are the differences between liberal market and coordinated market economies? Can we talk of within-model differences? If so, what are their characteristics? Do these models and their variants explain other economies, like transition ones (like the ones from Eastern Europe)? What are the influences of economic integration and globalization on the cross-national differences? In order to answer these questions we will explore institutional and policy differences in the following areas: (a) training and skill formation; (b) financial institutions and corporate governance, (c) the welfare state, (d) systems of industrial relations. These institutions affect a variety of economic and political outcomes among advanced industrialized societies, including levels of economic inequality, levels of employment. There is no formal separation (date, time, organization) between lecture and seminar meetings, concerning the organization, discussions and activities pursued for this course. Thus, it is important for the students to actively get involve in the discussions and activities based on preliminary weekly readings. The students are encouraged to initiate discussions on the issues identified each week, based on the readings.


Migration and Labour

The course is based on a continuous interaction between the professor and the students, both during and outside class meetings (via email). Each course starts with a brief recapitulation (10-15 minutes) of the fundamental issues from the previous course, all the students will be involved in the discussions. The courses will generally be based on lectures. However, the professor will involve students, introducing the lessons learned at previous meetings in student presentations. Every student will be considered an active participant in the discussions and will be asked to take active part, whether or not he or she has the intention to answer a question / express an opinion. Students may choose to make short presentations of up to 15 minutes on topics / texts from the compulsory or supplementary bibliography, following a prior discussion with the teacher. For most topics, a mandatory bibliography list (used as a basis for lectures and discussions) will be presented to students and a supplementary bibliography list, prepared for those who want to deepen a theme, depending on their specific interests. Seminars are based on the idea of ​​applying the knowledge acquired in the courses to situations relevant to students. For some topics, students will be asked to access databases or information available on the Internet. During the seminars students will prepare two topics to test their skills from seminar on the issue of use / presentation and interpretation of migration data.


Anthropology and Sociology of Labour

The course aims at familiarizing with the social and cultural significance of the work from the anthropological perspective, but also exploring the theories and the constitutive themes of the discipline. Starting from the dynamics specific to the various historical stages of the industrial revolution, passing through Fordism, post-Fordism, flexible accumulation (Harvey 1990), deindustrialisation and ending with the neoliberal regime of flexibility, the themes of the course will examine and interrogate political and institutional factors which had an impact on the work and workers (in agriculture, crafts, industry and the tertiary sector) globally and locally. Starting with ethnographic and theoretical texts, we will address the relationship between class, gender, ethnicity and work with an emphasis on post-socialist transformations in Eastern European countries (e.g. the recent emergence of "atypical work" forms). For the in-depth understanding of the significance of the themes approached, we will benefit from the expertise of expert guests (professionals and researchers) who will participate in some of the debates we will organize during the course. Topics we will cover: From agriculture to factory: time and routines in the process of industrial revolution; Fordism: the scientific organization of labour; Industrialization and mobilization of the labour force during the socialist period; Domestication of the industry and the appearance of the peasant-worker; Communities and professional cultures: prerequisites for solidarity; Postmodernity and flexible accumulation: relocation of production and emergence of caravan capitalism; Privatization, joys and failures of post socialism: labour ethics and the political economy of deindustrialisation and guarding and protection services; Small capitalists, family work and self-exploitation; Installers, bone and work away from home; Post-industrial landscapes and service economy; Time management and organizational cultures: teambuilding, downshifting and personal development


Data Analysis Methods

The main objective of this course is to provide students with a deeper understanding of the basic concepts and techniques that are used for data analysis in social science research. The course will cover some general principles of the research designs used in the social sciences and specific techniques for analyzing quantitative and qualitative data. During the quantitative data analysis we will focus both on descriptive statistics (frequencies, measurements of central tendency, visual data representation) and inferential statistics (statistical assumptions, correlation, regression, t-test and analysis of variance). Microsoft Excel and R will be used as software for data management and data analysis for this component of the course. The qualitative component will try to cover both some general guidelines for collecting qualitative data through interviews and focus-groups and a discussion of the main strategies and methods used in analyzing qualitative data. During each seminar meeting we will apply and discuss about statistics in R. We will use Datacamp, an online tool which will allow us to make use of custom-tailored tests under R.


Sociology of Interest Groups

The course aims at answering several questions: what are interest groups and which organizations or group associations are not interest groups?, how do interest groups organize?, what is the role of interest groups in a democratic society?, what is the link between interest groups and the political and economic actors? Understanding interest groups as formal or non-formal organizations and / or associations, based on members and elected or non-elected leadership, with an aim on influencing the policy-making process, we will analyze, based on several case studies of, the interest groups’ agenda, decisions and actions, the importance of membership and other resources they employ for fulfilling their aims. We will discuss theories that explain the way interest groups build the collective interest based on the individual and leadership’s interests. At the end of this class students are expected to have accumulated the theoretical and empirical skills in understanding and analyzing interest groups. Students are expected to participate in class discussions having read the compulsory materials for that class.


Management of Human Resources

The course aims to address key aspects of human resources management. This course will provide a conceptual and operational understanding of all the key aspects of human resources functions, such as work analysis, training needs analysis, career planning and development, performance management. Furthermore, it aims to understand the human capital tendencies, strategies and politics of the labor market by measuring the impact of human resources initiatives. The course consists of lectures / presentations and has an interactive character. The seminars will integrate an interactive approach, including case studies, small group activities and plenary lectures and presentations, role play, quizzes.