The Office of Research is dedicated to providing a student-centered environment that enhances the academic experience of each graduate student. In collaboration with Graduate Advisers, we offer guidance related to graduate coursework in research methods and special topics. We are committed to helping you access resources in key areas and in navigating campus-wide systems at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
The Faculty of Education does not have one general admission adviser who can provide advice and expertise on all programs in the Faculty. However, each academic unit has its own Graduate Adviser, Graduate Program Assistant, and graduate student Peer Adviser. For guidance on admission to a specific program, transfer credit from other institutions and specific program requirements, please contact the Graduate Program Assistant in the unit which administers your program.
All graduate students, Master's and Doctoral, are required to maintain their registration status on the Student Service Centre (SSC). Failure to do so can lead to ineligibility to receive awards and other funding. Please see the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Policy and Procedures page.
Graduate students should become familiar with the valuable online tools available through the SSC, including the ability to check current tuition and student fee balances, exam schedules, grades, award assignments and important University announcements. The SSC also allows students to update their registration status, personal contact information and time-tables.
Please also note the following:
UBC will continue to assess fees whether or not graduate students take courses on any given semester. Students who are intending to take time off from their studies are advised to formally request and secure an approved Leave of Absence form (see below section on Leaves and Extensions for more details).
Students thinking they may need to take a leave from their academic program should begin the process well in advance of their actual leave.
Note that the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies has final decision authority on all requests for a Leaves from a program.
Graduate Student Leave of Absence:
Purpose and goals: This policy provides a mechanism for graduate students to temporarily interrupt their course of study and remain registered in the program for reasons including: parental responsibilities; health reasons; professional reasons; personal reasons; or, to pursue a second course of study. The goal is to support students as they balance their academic pursuits and the other demands of life, as well as to ensure consistency of approach.
- A leave of absence will normally begin on the first day of September, January, or May and will be granted for a period of four, eight, or twelve months.
- In most cases, students cannot receive awards while they are on a leave of absence. Students will receive the balance of their awards when they return to full-time registration status.
- The total duration of all leaves of absence granted in a graduate program is normally limited to 24 months for a doctoral student and to 12 months for a master’s student, except for Leave to Pursue a Second Program of Study.
Graduate Student Parental Accommodation
Purpose and goals: This policy aims to promote the success of graduate students who become new parents by providing a mechanism to recognize the challenges of balancing the demands of bearing and/or parenting a new child and working towards academic goals. The policy makes it possible for a student to maintain full-time student status during an eight-week period surrounding the arrival of a new child, with all the benefits of such status, by standardizing a minimum level of academic accommodation during that period. It also entitles eligible students to extended deadlines for meeting standard academic progress targets.
- Requests must be made no later than 30 days before start date.
- Students continue to be registered as a full-time, and tuition and student fees must be paid as usual.
- Academic deadlines and expectations are to be flexible and modified to accommodate the student's new parental responsibilities.
- Time allowed for advancement to candidacy (doctoral students) and degree completion will be extended by four months.
- Graduate programs are expected to extend any internal deadlines for the completion of academic requirements by a minimum of four months.
- Student retains the full value of any fellowship or other award for which the terms and conditions are established by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and will experience no change to funding, payment schedule, total amount granted, or completion date of the scholarship.
- Awards for which the terms and conditions are not established by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will be paid according to the terms conditions established by the donor or granting agency.
Extension to Program
University regulations establish a time limit for graduate degree programs.
- Five-year time limit for the completion of a master’s program
- Six-year time limit for the completion of a doctoral program.
- The time that the student is on approved leave does not count in the determination of the time limit. Extenuating circumstances not of the student’s making may justify allowing the student additional time to complete his or her degree program.
A request for a one year’s extension will be received favorably if it is fully justified and supported by the student's Graduate Program Advisor. A second year’s extension requires a compelling rationale from the Graduate Program and an explanation of the special circumstances that would justify an exception. All extension requests from the Graduate Program must include a schedule showing how the thesis will be completed in the period requested. Extensions will not be granted beyond two years.
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is the body on campus which governs the administrative policies and procedures of graduate studies at UBC. All graduate students are encouraged to review the Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures available at the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies web site.
Doctoral students in particular are advised to learn about the following key components of their graduate program:
- Comprehensive Exams
- Doctoral Oral Exams
- Thesis Preparation / Submission
- Advancement to Candidacy
- External Examiner
Follow the links below to find information such as course titles, instructors and course descriptions of Special Topics courses offered across the Faculty of Education.
Each term, the Office of Research produces a calendar of research methods courses taking place across the Faculty of Education. The goal of this effort is to coordinate research methods offerings across the Faculty and to increase visibility of research methods courses to aid student registration. Students are encouraged to use this resource to explore research methods offerings from across the Faculty.
CCFI 508/EDST 508
Qualitative Research Interviewing
Dr. Deirdre Kelly
Summer 2018 Term 1
This seminar will allow students to examine the methodological, technical, and ethical demands of doing qualitative research interviewing. Qualitative is an umbrella term used to encompass such terms as in-depth, narrative, and ethnographic interviewing. Course readings will draw primarily from anthropological, sociological, feminist and critical educational studies approaches to explore how interviewing is understood and practiced. The seminar is built on the assumption that qualitative interviewers learn best by doing and then reflecting on those experiences. Thus, the course will include practical activities and assignments aimed at helping students to develop or hone their research skills. Topics will include: the epistemological foundations of qualitative interviewing; designing a qualitative interview study; the ethics of doing interviews; strategies for interviewing; planning for fieldwork; the use of observations and field notes in interview projects; positionality and power dynamics; methods for managing, transcribing, and analyzing interview data; researcher reflexivity; and presentation of interview data in written reports. A theme in the course will be the importance of reflecting on choices as one designs, conducts, and communicates one’s research.
Analyzing Discourse and Talk: An Overview of Methods
Dr. Meghan Corella
Summer 2018 Term 1
What is discourse? How is it related to social structures and realities? What methods can researchers use to describe and explain these relationships? What can the close study of discourse tell researchers about language and literacy practices? As a dynamic and interdisciplinary field emerging from anthropology, linguistics, sociology, philosophy, and psychology, discourse analysis offers a broad range of ways of posing and addressing such questions. Discourse analysis is not a single method, but rather a collection of perspectives united by their focus on spoken and written language use in specific contexts. As an introduction to discourse analytic approaches, this course provides a framework for general concepts central to discourse analysis, including agency, narrative, identity, register, genre, text, intertextuality, indexicality, intersubjectivity, contextualization, and, of course, discourse. Multiple methodologies are described, exemplified, and compared as a way of providing an overview of some of the many options and considerations of interest to researchers studying language, discourse, and sociality.
Teacher Inquiry: Living the Research in Everyday Practice
Dr. Tony Clarke
Summer 2018 Term 2b
Shifting the focus from research on teachers to research by teachers, this research genre unites schools and universities in research efforts that genuinely address issues of teacher knowing/knowledge. Given that knowledge is personally constructed, socially mediated, and inherently situated, Teacher Inquiry, as a way of researching one's practice, is uniquely placed to honour each of these characteristics in important ways. This course will examine the various names/approaches by which teacher inquiry is known (and practiced), the differences between each, and appropriateness of each as they pertain to thinking about one's practice. Further, it will provide students with the opportunity to develop proposals that draw on Teacher Inquiry as the central research method.
LLED 565E 951 : Visual Methodologies for Social Change
Dr. Claudia Mitchell
10:00am-12:30pm, M-F, July 27–August 14, 2015 (Summer 2015 Term 2)
This course is based on the significance of the growing use of visual methodologies in social research, as well on as a recognition of the challenges this presents in relation to data analysis and research ethics. Of concern, too, is the absence at times of any critique about the tools and methods of such methodologies, and the false claim made about what the visual can (or cannot do) within social action/social change frameworks. The course is designed for educational researchers (and others addressing social issues) interested in testing out, critiquing, and studying the challenges and successes of this type of work, with the idea of deepening an understanding of research design, including implementation, interpretation and representation, the role of reflexivity, data management, and the role of emerging technologies. A feature of the course is that it will take a workshop/lab approach to exploring the issues. It will focus on several areas of visual research (including participatory work ith photos and video), and will explore how this work might inform ’from the ground up’ policy-making in relation to social action/social change. The course will provide students with a foundation for assessing the suitability of visual methods for a range of research questions.
This is an eligible Research Methods course.
Looking at showing: On the politics and pedagogy of exhibiting in order to engage communities and policy makers
1:00 - 2:00pm, Scarfe 310, August 5, 2015
This presentation responds most directly to projects of visual art-making (digital stories, participatory videos, cellphilms, photography) where either virtual or physical exhibitions are seen to be central to reaching audiences, particularly community leaders and other policy makers, as part of the process of social change. For social science researchers working in the area of participatory visual research, the idea of the exhibition has increasingly come to be regarded as an essential component of such projects. But should it, and under what circumstances? Who should decide on which images? What are the ethical issues in relation to the question typically posed to participants, ‘who should see this exhibition?’ How can exhibiting be seen as central to the work and not just an after thought? At the same time, how can we ensure that the idea of exhibiting does not drive the project or study? Drawing on a series of cases of exhibiting, particularly in school and community settings, the presentation addresses the politics, procedures and pedagogy of exhibiting and curation in educational research.
About Dr. Claudia Mitchell
Claudia Mitchell is a James McGill Professor in the Department of Integrated studies in the Faculty of Education, McGill University, Canada and an Honorary Professor in the School of Education, University if KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa where she established the Centre for Visual Methodologies for Social Change. She is currently the Interim Director of the Institute of Human Development and Well-Being in the Faculty of Education of McGill University. Her research interests span work in schools with teachers and young people, particularly in the context of gender and HIV&AIDS, studies in Higher Education in the study of mainstreaming issues of gender and HIV&AIDS in South Africa and Ethiopia, and girlhood studies and in particular work related to gender based violence, and to participatory visual methodologies and community-based research in health education, housing and agriculture).
In 2008 she was given an award by the Canadian Bureau of International Education for her innovative work with young people in development contexts. She is involved in a number of research projects. These include studies funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada on the uses of digital technology with teachers, and research on ‘what difference does this make?’ in relation to arts-based methodologies for addressing HIV&AIDS in rural communities in South Africa; the Canadian Institute for Health Research in relation to the uses of participatory methodologies for working with aboriginal youth in addressing HIV&AIDS; and the National Research Foundation (South Africa) focusing on two key areas (gender and sanitation; indigenous knowledge and women teachers in the age of AIDS).
Founder of YAHAnet and the Participatory Cultures Lab at McGill, Claudia is also an editor of the academic journal, Girlhood Studies.
The Faculty of Education recognizes that graduate students also require scholarly, career, spiritual and counseling support while attending UBC. Numerous units on campus aim to provide services that fulfill these needs.
Student Accommodation Services
- Student Housing and Hospitality services provides accommodation for almost 7,000 single students, student families, faculty and staff. The goal is to provide an environment that helps students to succeed, both academically and socially.
- Child Care Services operates licensed group care for children infants to school age as well as a preschool program and independent kindergarten.
- UBC Career Services assist students in translating their UBC experience into a successful and rewarding career. They also help employers connect with UBC students and graduates. Register online using your Campus-wide Login (CWL) and you gain access to a myriad of services and job postings.
- Graduate Pathways to Success (GPS) program offers a wide range of personal and professional development topics to support students throughout their degree.