Experiential Learning

Make the most of your Sociology degree by participating in opportunities that apply your growing academic knowledge to the real-world.

From for-credit coursework to editing our undergraduate journal, students have many opportunities to take advantage of in Sociology.


Develop professional skills and experiences


Test possible career paths


Build your professional network and resume


Participate in local or international programs

Advanced Opportunities
in Sociology

Work closely with a faculty member on research topics of shared interest in your third or fourth year through the Directed Studies course (up to six-credits).
The final product of this course is a polished paper which you can use while applying to graduate schools or jobs in the labour market.

Directed studies involve reading in a topic area and/or conducting a piece of original research under the supervision of a full-time Sociology faculty member. Students must find a faculty member willing to supervise the student prior to the start of the term and design their own independent study. Forms must be completed in partnership with a faculty member and submitted to the department for approval.

Students who wish to register for a directed studies course should submit the appropriate application form to soci.ugrad@ubc.ca before the end of the first week of the term.

Interested? Watch for notice of a workshop in February that will help students interested in designing an independent study.

Delve deeper into a specific topic in a smaller group setting and gain a rewarding learning experience through Student Directed Seminars.
The Student Directed Seminars program provides upper-year undergraduate students the opportunity to coordinate and lead a small three-credit seminar on a topic not currently offered at UBC.

Interested? Watch for notice of a workshop in February that will help students interested in proposing a SDS. For immediate questions, contact Prof. Neil Armitage in Sociology.

Outstanding students registered in the third year of the Sociology major program may apply for admission to the Honours program (6 credits) for their fourth year.
In preparation for the fourth year of study in the Honours program, students are encouraged to arrange for an Honours thesis supervisor by the end of the third year or during the summer preceding the fourth year.

This six-week, six-credit, intensive field school is co-taught by faculty in Sociology and Anthropology and teaches advanced methods while helping students gain professional experience.

Students spend 12 hours a week in the classroom learning ethnographic methods, and 8-10 hours a week at a community-based organization working.

Applications to the course open on January 25 and close March 1.

This 3-credit summer course, Community Based Participatory Research International Applications gives students the opportunity to gain experience in community-based research projects at an international site.
Students will spend 12-weeks at an organization selected by UBC’s Office of Regional and International Community Engagement where they will participate in a community-based research project.

Preparations for this experience include having completed the term 2 course on CBPR Approaches, 33-hours of coursework in May at UBC, and a 3-day workshop while abroad.

While abroad, students will prepare a series of short papers that will help them reflect on their experience, and upon returning will complete a longer paper that details their experience. This is due in the early fall and students also are asked to attend an ORICE event in October where they may present their work. This course is not offered every year.

Community Based Participatory Research: Local Applications is a three-credit course taught during the summer.
Working with community partners during the CBPR Approaches course, students will collaborate with partners to identify a project and a method of inquiry, develop a research proposal and spend the month of May working with faculty and partners to fine-tune their approach.

Starting in June, students will spend 12-weeks engaged in a project with community partners while completing a series of writing projects that outline their challenge they are addressing, how they are actively navigating the research field, and what they are accomplishing.

After completing their fieldwork, students will complete a paper that reports outlining their understanding of the research process and reflect on their contribution and experience in the field.

This six-credit group study Global Seminar, taught on location in Guatemala in coordination with PHIL 335A: Power and Oppression, examines major ideas concerning the nature and role of civil society in an era when there has been great optimism about its potential to oppose the oppressive power of states and markets.
Drawing on experiential learning participant observations of a society heavily dependent on transnational nongovernmental organizations, the course aims to provide students with knowledge of sociological methods and theories for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of civil society organizations and the challenges of social transformation. This course is not offered every year.

Students who have completed their 300-level advanced research methods training (i.e. SOCI 380) can apply to participate in a small-groups research project under the direction of Professor Kerry Greer.
In small groups (4-6), students partner with a local community organization and complete a community-based research project.

Past student groups have applied for small grants from the Centre of Community Engaged Learning to pay costs associated with the research.

This Community-Based Participatory Research is student directed, with Professor Greer providing ongoing support and oversight.

Interested students should contact Professor Greer by October 10 (term 1) or January 31 (term 2) at kerry.greer@ubc.ca. Most research projects require 6-8 months to initiate and complete. Please note: this is an unpaid research experience.

Arts Co-op

Graduate with more than a degree and explore your career options with Arts Co-Op.

As an Arts Co-op student, you’ll gain 12 months of paid work experience and a network of professional contacts through a variety of opportunities in the public, private and non-profit sectors. During the course of your degree, you’ll alternate between study terms and three paid, full-time work terms.

Arts Co-op partners with a diverse range of employers to provide transformative workplace learning experiences for your personal, academic and professional growth while helping you prepare for your future career.


Intake for the program occurs every September and is open to students in second or third year. Visit artscoop.ubc.ca in August for application deadlines and information session dates.

80% of employers consider co-op students as potential future employees


Co-op graduates earn 15% higher starting salaries than non-co-op grads

Master your job search

Enhance your job search skills through extensive and specialized pre-employment training, including resume and cover letter writing, interview preparation, personalized career coaching and ongoing workplace support.

Expand your skill set

Diversify your degree and stand out to employers by gaining transferable skills and experiences in a broad range of roles.

Some professional skills that you can develop include:

  • Critical thinking and creative problem solving
  • Research, analysis and project management
  • Communications and writing
  • Digital media and technology
  • Leadership and teamwork

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In order to set yourself ahead of the pack, you will not only need to have experience and ambition, but the connection to potential future career opportunities – something you can only achieve through programs such as Co-op.

Maryn Wallace
BA ‘06, Sociology, Work terms: BC Lung Association, Law Courts Education Society of BC, Richmond Society for Community Living

Centre for Community Engaged Learning

Apply your academic knowledge to real-world issues with the Centre for Community Engaged Learning. Many Sociology students participate in the Trek Program or Reading Week.

Go Global

Participate in numerous international learning opportunities while gaining new perspectives, skills and networks through Go Global and other international programs.

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