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Department of Educational Studies

Degrees Offered: Ph.D., Ed.D., M.A., M.Ed.

Program Overview

The Department of Educational Studies is concerned with the study of education in a broad sense. It presents a combination of programs in adult learning and education, higher education, educational administration and leadership, and an interdisciplinary program in society, culture, and politics in education. The department is committed both to meeting traditional program needs and to developing innovative and integrated approaches to emerging issues in education. The master's degree program in Adult Learning and Education, and Higher Education develop scholars and reflective practitioners able to shape society and its institutions in ways that promote lifelong education and learning for all. The master's degree program in Educational Administration and Leadership prepares students for leadership positions in K-12 education administrative and teaching roles. The Society, Culture, and Politics in Education (SCPE) master's degree program offers opportunities for interdisciplinary study of social justice issues through core themes of gender and feminist perspectives, multiculturalism and anti-racism, First Nations Studies and class.

The Department also offers a specialization in First Nations education for students of aboriginal descent who register in the Ts"Kel program. The Department also offers a joint M.Ed. in Curriculum Studies and Educational Administration & Leadership, a joint M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Leadership and Special Education, and an online M.Ed. in Adult Learning and Global Change. The master's programs can be taken on a part- or full-time basis. The online M.Ed. in Adult Learning and Global Change is a full-time Master's program. The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy is designed for experienced educators with leadership or policy responsibilities in a wide variety of educational settings. The Ph.D. in Educational Studies offers the opportunity to study a wide range of educational issues from perspectives represented in the Department's specializations. Graduates of the department are well qualified for leadership positions in their chosen fields. A high proportion of the graduates from the doctoral programs occupy teaching and research positions in post-secondary institutions or other agencies in Canada and elsewhere, or senior positions in school systems.

Students admitted to the Department's programs have a wide range of undergraduate qualifications and often will have some years of professional experience in education or a related field. Applicants are asked to provide (in addition to the forms, references, transcripts, and other material required by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) a statement of their scholarly and professional interests and aspirations. These are considered carefully in admissions decisions.

Coursework in the M.Ed. and M.A. programs is a minimum of 30 credits, consisting of core and elective courses, depending on the specialization chosen. Some of the Department's M.Ed. programs require a graduating paper in which the student explores concepts, previous research, or the application of his or her knowledge to the field of practice. The EDST M.A. program requires a thesis reporting the results of the student's original research. The Ed.D. is designed for working professionals and includes 24 credits of required and elective courses, a comprehensive examination and a thesis. All Ph.D. students are required to take three doctoral seminars, two in the first year and one in the second year, as well as other courses determined in consultation with their faculty advisor and program advisory committee. These courses are tailored to each student's particular interests and to the development of his or her doctoral research. The Ph.D. program also requires that students complete a comprehensive examination and a dissertation.

Master of Education in Adult Learning and Global Change

This is an intercontinental, web-based, coursework-only professional master's degree program focusing on adult learning within the context of global change. This is a collaborative program involving, in addition to UBC, Linkoping University (Sweden), University of the Western Cape (South Africa), and Monash University (Australia). The curriculum covers forms of adult learning found in different cultural contexts and the role of learning in understanding and responding to globalizing forces and their impacts on workplaces, communities, economies, and the environment. Students proceed through the two-year, 30-credit program as a cohort drawn from the four participating institutions.

Admission and other requirements: UBC applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. They must supply a writing sample, letters of reference and a letter of intent, and demonstrate English proficiency. When required, the minimum TOEFL score is 600 (paper based) or 250 (computer based), or the equivalent for other tests of English proficiency. Applicants are reminded that reliable and regular email and Internet access are essential in the program.

Joint Master of Education in Curriculum Studies and Educational Administration and Leadership

This program combines requirements of the M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Leadership and the M.Ed. in Curriculum Studies in equal proportions. Core courses are CUST_V 562 and 566 and EADM_V 581 and 582. Other requirements include 3 credits from curriculum leadership (CUST_V 563, 564 or approved elective), 3 credits from curriculum issues (CUST_V 565, 568, or approved elective) 3 credits from policy (EADM_V 554, EDST_V 500, 531, 570, 576, 577, 578 or approved elective), 3 credits from clinical applications (EADM_V 502, 561 or 598), 3 credits from research (EDUC_V 500, 503, 504, CUST_V 510, 512, EADM_V 501, 508 or EDST_V 513, 514), and 3 credits for a portfolio, graduating paper, or the equivalent for a total of 30 credits.

Applicants are reviewed by the Departments of Curriculum Studies and Educational Studies; both sets of admission criteria apply. If accepted, students are admitted to the department of first contact and application. A co-advisor is appointed from each department to oversee each student; all courses are approved by both co-advisors. The dual designation CUST/EADM appears on students' transcripts.

Ts"kel Graduate Studies in Education

Ts"kel is a Halq'emeylem word for "Golden Eagle". Ts"kel facilitates Indigenous participation and perspectives in UBC masters and doctoral programs through 1) a concentration of courses in Indigenous education, and 2) research supervision from Indigenous faculty. Students must be admitted to a masters or doctoral program at UBC in order to take the Ts"kel concentration. Ts"kel is primarily for Indigenous students enrolled in the Faculty of Education; however, Indigenous students from other faculties may complete the Ts"kel concentration.

Ts"kel offers academic, social, cultural, and emotional support in collaboration with the First Nations House of Learning. Students who complete the Ts"kel concentration receive a silver pin at the Longhouse Graduation Ceremony.

Concentration of Courses

Students complete two core courses and two electives for the Ts"kel concentration. The courses include:

  • Core course, EDST_V 545, Indigenous Inquiry and Research
  • Core course, EDST_V 546, Indigenous Methodology and Epistemology
  • Two elective courses of Indigenous content. These courses are chosen in consultation with the student's supervisory committee.

Research Supervision:
Ts"kel Director, in consultation with faculty members, will assist Indigenous students to find research supervisors. A number of Indigenous faculty are affiliated with Ts"kel and serve on graduate research committees for Ts"kel students.

Satisfactory progress as defined by the Faculty of Graduate Studies for Master's programs must be maintained.

Contact Information

Education Centre at Ponderosa Commons 
6445 University Boulevard 
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2 
Tel: 604.822.5374 (general)
Tel: 604.822.6647 (graduate program assistant)
Fax: 604.822.4244

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