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Work, Employment and Society

Work, Employment, and Society is an interdisciplinary subject concerned with the world of employment and work in the broadest sense, and the social and economic context in which they take place. Drawing from a number of disciplines students gain an understanding of contemporary issues such as the nature of work, industrial relations, labour market issues, workers' education and training, and international comparisons.

We often think of a job as a way of making a living but work is so much more. The average adult actually spends about a third of their life working. As well as a way of making money, work provides social contact, creates a sense of pride, helps us test our abilities and develops us professionally and personally.

If you are interested in how work shapes people's lives, then Work, Employment and Society is for you. It looks at the social, economic, political and historical foundations of work, from the past to the present.

Work, Employment and Society allows you to explore many areas, including changes in the way work is organised, current employment legislation, and the relevance to us here in New Zealand. You will also discuss how these themes fit in the global context and how our employment relations and labour market conditions relate to other important economies, such as Australia, China, Europe, Pacific, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the USA.

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Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Area of Study:

Study Work, Employment and Society in these qualifications

Career opportunities

  • Employment Relations Advocate
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Journalist
  • Labour Market Researcher
  • Policy Analyst
  • Union Organiser and/or Researcher
  • Local government

Subject requirements

Work, Employment and Society is available as a minor. To complete a minor in Work, Employment and Society students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for Work, Employment and Society, including WKEMP100, WKEMP201, and WKEMP300.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

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Subject links

Sociology and Social Policy Programmes


School of Social Sciences
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4138
Email Enquiries: [email protected]