School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Industrial Relations

Director, MIR Program
Chaykowski, R.P.

Chaykowski, R.P.

Associate Professor
Fisk, G.M., Hickey, R.S.,  Lilius, J.M.

Assistant Professor
Weinberg, B.

Professor Emeritus
Kumar, P.

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Leighton, D.


The Master of Industrial Relations program is located on the second floor of Robert Sutherland Hall, in close proximity to the Mackintosh-Corry Social Science Complex, the Faculty of Law, Goodes Hall, the School of Business, the Law Library, the main Arts and Humanities Library, Stauffer Library, and the Industrial Relations Centre. Most classes are held on the first floor in classrooms; a student lounge and study space is available to students on the second floor.

Purpose and Philosophy

Queen's University offers a Master of Industrial Relations (MIR) degree program aimed at developing the human resource management and labour relations knowledge and competencies that employment relations professionals need to fulfill their professional roles. The MIR provides students with:

  • a thorough grounding in labour relations and human resource practice;
  • an understanding of the fundamentals of the laws governing the individual employment and collective bargaining relationship;
  • the capacity to collect and analyze data on current workplace issues and interpret research in the field;
  • an understanding of evolving employment relationships and of organizational dynamics;
  • essential skill sets for HR/LR professionals (e.g., consulting, facilitation, leadership, coaching, team building and communication).

The purpose of the MIR program is to prepare students for a variety of career opportunities in labour relations, human resources managment, and line management which requires industrial relations and human resource knowledge and skills. Some graduates also establish careers in applied and policy oriented research, non-university teaching and consulting in industrial relations. The program attracts new graduates as well as career employees wishing to renew or upgrade their qualifications.

The philosophical orientation of the program is multi-disciplinary, stressing the application of knowledge and analysis to the employment relationship and workplace. The curriculum consists of both required courses and electives. The required courses provide a thorough grounding in industrial relations and human resources theory and practice. Opportunities for greater specialization are provided through electives and skills seminars. Electives can be selected from within the school or across the range of university graduate offerings with the permission of the MIR Program Director. An elective can also be made up of three analytical and research skills seminars - each of which focuses on a specialized topic and consists of twelve instructional class hours. The program's unique design attracts students with diverse academic and career backgrounds, from across Canada and abroad.

Financial Assistance

Special awards available include the Clarence J. Hicks Fellowship in Industrial Relations, Don Wood Fellowships, Cameron-Wood Prize,the Goldenberg Scholar's Award, the Robert Grant Fellowship and the Lia Dower Memorial Award.

Admission and Residence Requirements

This twelve-month Master's Program in Industrial Relations requires three terms of full-time study on campus. Admission requirements are a four-year bachelor's degree with upper second-class standing from a recognized university and demonstrated evidence of strong academic potential. The School encourages mature students with work experience in human resources, labour relations and other related fields who meet the admission criteria to apply. An applicant whose native languages do not include English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Michigan University English Language test with a required score of at least 623 to be admitted to the program. Applicants are not required to write the GRE or GMAT.

Programs of Study

Master of Industrial Relations (M.I.R.)

The MIR degree requires that students take courses with a total combined weight of 33 credit hours. This total includes seven required core courses (totalling 21 credit hours), together with electives totalling 12 credit hours).

The course load is normally distributed over the fall, winter and summer terms of study and the curriculum is focused to provide a challenging standard of excellence in the field.

Required Courses

  • MIR-810* - Unions and Collective Bargaining
  • MIR-823* - IR and Labour Law I
  • MIR-824* - IR and Labour Law II
  • MIR-830* - Human Resource Management
  • MIR-840* - Labour Economics and Industrial Relations
  • MIR-850* - Organizational  Behavior
  • MIR-897* - Analytical Methods in Industrial Relations

Professional  Master of Industrial Relations (P.M.I.R)

This part-time graduate program is for experienced professionals working in labour relations or human resources management who wish to significantly enhance and upgrade their academic qualifications. The PMIR degree also requires that students take courses with a total combined weight of 33 credit hours, but the program is spread out over a 3 year period. This total includes the same seven required courses (totaling 21 credit hours), together with electives totaling 12 credit hours).

The course load is normally distributed over the one weekend per month during the fall and winter periods, and 2 full weeks in the summer term of study and the curriculum is focused to provide a challenging standard of excellence in the field.

Required Courses are the same 7 courses, but offered in a different delivery structure.

  • MIR-810 Unions and Collective Bargaining
  • MIR-823 IR and Labour Law I
  • MIR-824 IR and Labour Law II
  • MIR-830 Human Resource Management
  • MIR-840 Labour Economics and Industrial Relations
  • MIR-850 Organizational Behavior
  • MIR-897 Analytical Methods in Industrial Relations

Note: Where a student demonstrates a sufficiently adequate background in the subject matter of one or more required courses, the student may be permitted to take a substitute course with the permission of the Director, MIR Program. In such cases, the student may be required (i) to take an advanced course in the same disciplinary field as the required course; or (ii) take a substitute course selected from related graduate courses offered by other departments through the School of Graduate Studies or the Faculty of Law.

Elective Courses

Elective courses for both programs include some combination of: (i) elective courses, each with a weight of 3 credit hours; and (ii) skills seminars, each equal to one credit hour, or on the rare occasion (iii) a research essay, which is equivalent to 6 credit hours.

The elective course component of the programs is designed to permit in-depth study in one or more areas and to provide flexibility to meet diverse student interests and career goals.  MIR students select their optional courses from those offered by the MIR program or related graduate courses offered by other departments through the School of Graduate Studies, and by the Faculty of Law.  Optional courses are subject to approval by the course instructor and the MIR Program Director.

Recent elective offerings are as follows (not all courses are offered each year):

  • MIR-860* - Advanced Topics in Employment
  • MIR-870* - Contract Administration
  • MIR-875* - Finance and Accounting for Hr/LR Specialists
  • MIR-880* - Compensation
  • MIR-885* - Industrial Relations in the Global Economy
  • MIR-886* - Negotiations, Conflict Resolution and Workplace Behaviour
  • MIR-887* - Management of Change 
  • MIR-889* - Advanced Topics in Human Resources
  • MIR-891* - Directed Special Studies
  • MIR-898 - Master's Research Paper (MRP)

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 meets over a four-week period, 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. The seminars are:

  • MIR-801* - Business Skills
  • MIR-802* - Change Management Skills
  • MIR-803* - Quantitative Skills
  • MIR-805* - Labour Relations Skills
  • MIR-806* - Human Resource Management Skills
  • MIR-807* - Strategic Bargaining and Workplace Change
  • MIR-808* - Team Skills
  • MIR-809* - Mediation Skills
  • MIR-811* - Occupational Health and Safety Skills
  • MIR-814* - Finance Skills
  • MIR-816* - eHR Skills
  • MIR-817* - Talent Management Skills

Joint M.I.R/J.D. Cooperative Degree Program

The M.I.R./J.D. program is a four-year combined degree program. The program is intended for students who wish to combine graduate training in industrial relations with a degree in law to meet the increasing demand for industrial relations specialists with legal backgrounds. In the first year of the program, students complete the M.I.R. degree. In the second, third and fourth years, students complete the law degree and participate in two cooperative placements, earning their full articling credit. Candidates must meet the admission requirements for both programs including writing the LSAT for law. A maximum of five candidates will be admitted each year. Those wishing to apply for the joint M.I.R./J.D. should complete the application forms for both the M.I.R. and J.D. programs simultaneously. Acceptance into both the M.I.R. program and the J.D. program is a prerequisite to admission into the joint M.I.R./J.D. program. For further information students should contact the admissions committee of the M.I.R. program and the Faculty of Law.

The program is structured as follows:

  1. MIR year (12 months) - students are required to take as their MIR required courses of MIR-810, MIR-830, MIR-840, MIR-850 and MIR-897. As well, students must take Introduction to Legal Skills, Public Law, Contracts and Constitutional Law, through the Faculty of Law. This combination of courses equates to the total required 33 credits in order to achieve the MIR degree.

  2. J.D. year (8 months) - students are required to take Property, Torts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Labour Law, Employment Law and Collective Agreement.

  3. A four month paid cooperative placement follows the second year.

  4. J.D. year (8 months) - students are required to undertake a standard course load of upper year law electives that will include the compulsory moot.

  5. An eight month paid cooperative placement follows the third year.

  6. J.D. term (4 months) - students are required to undertake a standard course load of upper year law electives, and as part of the term, must complete a supervised writing course involving a topic related to their cooperative placement.