Writing and Research Requirement

1. Writing Component

You must attempt this requirement within your first 30 credits and complete it within your first 54 credits.

Being able to read, write and research at the university level is fundamental to your future academic success. Satisfying the Writing Component early in your university career will help you reach these goals.

To satisfy the Writing Component, you must complete ONE of the following:

Successfully completing one of ASTU 100 or ASTU 101, included in your CAP stream, satisfies the Writing Component.

Successfully completing the Arts One program satisfies the Writing Component.

WRDS 150 is academic research and writing course appropriate for students interested in the social sciences, humanities, and creative and performing arts. It introduces students to the research culture of the university and to disciplinarity by examining scholarly writings focused around a central topic but drawn from a variety of Arts disciplines. Students learn the distinctive characteristics of scholarly prose and the styles of expression used by the different disciplines, and apply scholarly style in their own writing as they begin to participate in the academic conversations of their future area of specialization. No LPI (Language Proficiency Index) is required. WRDS 150 was formerly taught as ASTU 150.

ENGL 100 is recommended (but not mandatory) for students intending to specialize in English. It requires an LPI (Language Proficiency Index) result of 5 or an exemption from the LPI. ENGL 100 is a writing-intensive course that focuses specifically on academic writing for English and other literary disciplines. This course explores texts in their critical and theoretical contexts, and provides a solid foundation for students who wish to continue their studies in English or literature.

ASTU 400A is appropriate for students with Year 3 or 4 standing who have not yet satisfied the Writing Component of the Writing and Research Requirement. In this advanced scholarly research and writing course, students will draw on theories and methods for analyzing the genres of scholarly communication and will have opportunities to practice these genres. As newcomers to a particular disciplinary community, they will examine closely the discursive practices of their own major in preparation for active participation in the discipline’s research culture. Students who have chosen an interdisciplinary program will engage with the discursive complexities of communication across disciplines.

Note: This advanced course is only suitable for students who have previously completed a college- or university-level research and scholarly writing course. Students who have not taken such a course or those who may be concerned about their proficiency in standard written English regardless of previous course completion are advised to register in WRDS 150 instead. All students who have successfully completed WRDS 150 are also permitted to register in ASTU 400A as an advanced writing elective. Students with second-year standing will need to request that Kate Power register them in the course.

Questions? Have a look at our FAQs or speak to an Arts Advisor. Please note that the Writing Component may only be attempted twice, and students who fail two Writing Component courses will be required to withdraw from the Faculty of Arts. If you are struggling in your course, please review the FAQs and speak with your professor or Arts Advising immediately.

Feel that you have already completed an equivalent course through post-secondary study? If your course was not awarded transfer credit that has already been applied to the Writing Component of the Writing and Research requirement, you may wish to review the guidelines for appeal.

2. Research Component

You must successfully complete 3 credits in a research-intensive course between 30 and 120 credits of your Arts degree. Typically, you will register in a research-intensive course specified for your major.

Your Research Component course is your opportunity to contribute to knowledge in your field and to engage with the scholarly community you have chosen to join.

Research-intensive courses often have prerequisites and some will be restricted to majors in the discipline. Be sure to investigate your options early so you can ensure you will be prepared.

List of Research-Intensive Courses by Department/Major

Please visit the UBC Calendar page for your degree:

Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

Updates (newly approved / yet to be updated in Calendar)


– Anthropology (ANTH) 428 “Medicine, Technology, Culture, and Society” qualifies as a Research Component course.

– Anthropology (ANTH) 449 “Honours Tutorial” qualifies as a Research Component course.

– Anthropology (ANTH) 452 “Conservation of Inorganic Materials” qualifies as a Research Component course.

– Anthropological Archaeology (ARCL) 419 “The Archaeology of Death” qualifies as a Research Component course.

– Asian Studies (ASIA) 395 “Folk Cultures in the Asian Diaspora” qualifies as a Research Component course.

– Asian Studies (ASIA) 447 “Korean Women’s Literature” qualifies as a Research Component course.

– Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies (CENS) 303D “Representations of the Holocaust”, taken as part of the “Witnessing Auschwitz” Global Seminar, qualifies as a Research Component course. Other sections of CENS 303 do not qualify.

– Computer Science (CPSC) 410 “Advanced Software Engineering” qualifies as a Research Component course.

– Computer Science (CPSC) 436 “Topics in Computer Science – Game Programming” taught in 17W qualifies as a Research Component course.

– Haida Gwaii Semesters (HGSE) 350 “Case Studies in Haida Gwaii” qualifies as a Research Component course.

– Philosophy (PHIL) 418 “Topics in Twentieth-Century Philosophy: Quines” taught in 17W qualifies as a Research Component course.

– Philosophy (PHIL) 432 “Topics in Ethical Theory: Metaethics” taught in 17W qualifies as a Research Component course.

– JAPN 408 = JAPN 453

– JAPN 452 (prior to 16W) = JAPN 462

– JAPN 452 taught in 16W does not qualify as a Research Component course. Note that JAPN 462 taught in 16W or later does qualify.

– 400-level Political Science (POLI) courses taught as Student-Directed Seminars do not qualify as Research Component courses.

Exceptions to the Writing and Research Requirement

Students who:

• began their studies at Arts UBC in Winter Session 2008/09 or earlier;
• transferred into Arts from college/university or another UBC faculty with more than 6 credits in Winter Session 2009/10; or
• transferred into Arts from college/university or another UBC faculty with more than 53 credits in Winter Session 2010/11;

are eligible to complete the former English Requirement instead of the current Writing and Research requirement. Please see the archived 2008/09 Calendar for more details.

Contact Arts Advising if you need help clarifying which requirement applies to you.

View FAQs and Appeals Information