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Queen Mary Summer School

Business and Society: The Changing World of Work

Crowd of people walking across a London bridge to work


Academic Lead: Dr Chris McLachlan

Syllabus: SUM401A_Business_and_Society:_The_Changing_World_of_Work [PDF 125KB]

What does the future world of work look like? This module critically evaluates contemporary trends in the changing world of work. We focus on these trends with a view to understanding their implications for work, employment and society. Some issues explored in this module are: automation and AI; emotional labour; flexible working; the platform economy; climate change; regulation and the role of the state; globalisation. The extent to which COVID-19 has disrupted, or accelerated, such trends will also be explored throughout.

Course content is subject to change.

Course aims

This course aims to:

  • to provide students with an understanding of social, political, technological, environmental and economic challenges facing modern workplaces
  • to provide students with knowledge as to how external, societal factors are influencing the experience of work
  • to equip students with relevant strategies to navigate the future world of work
  • to develop students' ability to think critically about the consequences of changes to work and employment
  • to offer students an international perspective on the changing world of work

Teaching and learning

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and field trips. 

Learning outcomes

You will gain:

  • subject expertise in the field of work and employment
  • specific concepts and ideas relating to contemporary workplaces
  • an understanding of key debates related to the changing world of work
  • develop strategies for addressing future challenges faced by organisations
  • understand some of the ethical debates related to the changing world of work
  • understand the relationship between societal factors and the experience of work.

You will be able to:

  • think critically and assess the strength of arguments in extant research and literature
  • Be effective oral and verbal communicators
  • learn to support arguments with diverse and relevant primary/secondary source


Additional costs

All reading material will be provided online, so it is not necessary to purchase any books.

For course and housing fees visit our finance webpage

Entry requirements

We welcome Summer School students from around the world. We accept a range of qualifications

How to apply

Have a question? Get in touch - one of the team will be happy to help!

Applications close 24 May 2024

Teaching dates
Session 2: 22 July - 8 August 2024
Course hours
150 hours (of which 45 will be contact hours)
1,500 word essay (80%) In-class group presentation (20%)

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