Elective Courses

Master of Industrial Relations (MIR)


Elective choices may include some combination of:

a. Elective courses b. Three (3) skills seminars, equal to one (1) elective course; and c. A Master's Research Project (MIR-898) equal to two (2) courses. 

Skills Seminars are normally four (4) three-hour sessions focusing on a specific topic, often related to professional IR practice.  

Elective Courses

Elective courses will vary from year to year depending on instructor availability.


MIR 819 – Labour Arbitration

This skills seminar examines the process of grievance, arbitration and dispute settlement under collective agreements as well as the central role of arbitration in the collective bargaining relationship under Canadian labour statutes. Students will participate in mock arbitration hearings. The areas to be explored include, but are not limited to, pre-arbitration procedures, the arbitration tribunal, the jurisdiction of the arbitrator, the arbitration hearing, and selected issues in grievance determination.


MIR 825 - Human Rights Law

The focus of this course is to provide students with the tools required to create and maintain a culture of human rights in the workplace. Through the use of case studies, students will learn how to apply legal principles and law to develop practical solutions to the challenges they are sure to face.


MIR 841 - Labour Policy

This course provides a basic overview of the major purposes and elements of current Canadian labour policy and emerging challenges in the context of changing external and internal environments. The three major areas of labour policy studied include regulations related to labour relations, labour standards, and labour markets in both the public and the private sectors. Among key areas studied include legislation and programs related to labour relations, pay equity, occupational health and safety, employment standards, worker compensation, unemployment insurance, as well as broader policy programs such as the federal sectoral councils program for skills development and adjustment. Although the main focus of the course is on Canada, aspects of North American or global developments relevant to Canadian labour policy will also be reviewed.


MIR 851 - Relationships in Organizations

The purpose of this course is to create better understanding of the importance of relationships in organizations.  Using a socio-psychological approach, the course will focus on topics central to relationship formation including social perception and cognition, attitudes and persuasion as well as inter-personal attraction and influence.  Among the topics to be covered include attachment theory, social identity, social networks, organizational compassion, emotions, politics and influence tactics, diversity, harassment.

MIR 852 - Leadership

This course examines theories and research findings from the behavioral sciences that are relevant to leadership and the influence process in groups and organizations. Topics may include personality, situational factors, intergroup processes, interpersonal perception as well as the motivation to both lead and follow.  The course also explores the implications of leadership training, organization development, and action research.


MIR 885 - Industrial Relations in the Global Economy

This course develops a critical appreciation of the role of industrial relations in a global economic environment. The emphasis is on providing an understanding of the nature and scope of adjustments and adaptations in labour-management institutions and relationships required to deal with international competitive pressures, focusing on strategic links between HR/LR and competitiveness, the Japanese challenge, evolving management approaches and strategies, union responses and the labour agenda, and restructuring experience in key Canadian industries.


MIR 886 - Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

The object of this course is to develop industrial relations and human resource expertise including negotiation, conflict resolution and facilitation skills for those who will be employed in line, staff, or union positions in the public or private sectors. The course deals specifically with negotiation strategy and behaviour, labour and management attitudes and relationships, conflict and cooperation, methods of conflict resolution and facilitation, workplace innovations, strategic choice in IR/HR policy, new directions in IR/HR, and in the new roles of staff and line management in the high performance workplace.

MIR 888 - Advanced Topics in Labour Relations

The course is an advanced topics seminar providing contemporary perspectives on labour relations. The course is intended to explore specific aspects of labour relations in depth. Private and public sector labour relations issues may be explored. Specific topics may vary from year to year, as issues change and different instructors are involved.

MIR 891 - Directed Special Studies

The purpose of the directed special studies/reading course is to provide additional flexibility in the MIR program to enable students to pursue in-depth study of a topic/subject relating to industrial relations and human resources management that is not covered by existing course offerings. The scope of this course will be arranged by the student in consultation with the instructor. Although the exact course format and requirements will depend on the nature of the subject area and on the discretion of the instructor, the following guidelines may be helpful: the minimum workload for the course is the same as required for a normal course; the student is normally required to undertake a review of the literature, including an annotated bibliography of the subject covered by the course; the student is normally required to write at least one major paper (minimum 20 typed pages or 5000 words in length) as a requirement for the course. The course is available only under special circumstances and with the permission of the Director. This course may be taken in any one of the three terms, but it can only be taken once during the MIR program. 


MIR 895 - Analytical Methods for HR MIR

This course focuses on the methods used to collect, assess, and evaluate industrial relations related qualitative and quantitative data and information in a variety of contexts. Example topics covered include designing and administering workforce surveys (including interviews and focus groups), compiling, analyzing, and presenting organizational data, and analyzing labour market survey data. 


MIR 898 - Master's Research Project

Written under the direction of a faculty supervisor and normally about 50 pages in length, the research essay provides students with the opportunity to undertake independent research of an IR/HR issue or a case study of an organization and to develop the ability to express their ideas in an organized and literate form. Preliminary work is normally completed in the winter term and research and writing conducted during the spring/summer term. Counselling for the research essay (choice of an appropriate topic, selection of a supervisor, etc.) is provided by the School. Every effort is made to inform students about the research interests and activities of faculty members and associates and to encourage them to undertake topics related to these. The written essay will be examined by a committee composed of the supervisor, and one other member of the faculty of the School or a related department.

Skills Seminars

These seminars are designed to provide students with critical analytical, research, and interpersonal skills required of Human Resources and Labour Relations professionals in the workplace. Each seminar usually meets over four closely scheduled classes, and students are required to take three seminars which together will be considered a half-course. Students also have the option of taking three additional seminars, which may be counted as an elective credit. Students will not be permitted to take more than six seminars. Students who wish to drop a seminar must do so before the second scheduled class or with the permission of the instructor.

Not all seminars are offered each year, but may include: