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.

ENGL 100 is recommended for students intending to specialize in English. It is a writing-intensive course that focuses on academic writing for literary disciplines. This course explores texts in their critical and theoretical contexts, while providing a solid foundation for students to continue studies in English or literature.

WRDS 350 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 WRDS 350 as an advanced writing elective. Students with second year standing, can request to be registered in WRDS 350 by emailing the instructor teaching the section that the student wishes to be registered in.

Questions? Have a look at our FAQs or speak to an Arts Advisor.

Failed the Writing Component? If you fail the Component twice, but otherwise meet continuation requirements, you may continue your studies but are restricted to a reduced credit load of 9 credits maximum per term (Winter session) and 9 credits over the entire Summer session with no more than 6 credits per term. These credit restrictions remain until the Writing Component is successfully completed.

Think you 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)

Course exceptions not listed in the UBC Calendar

Qualifies as a research-intensive course:

  • Asian Studies (ASIA) 407 “North Korea in Historical Context”
  • Asian Studies (ASIA) 445 “Japanese Crime Fiction”
  • Asian Studies (ASIA) 447 “Korean Women’s Literature”
  • Asian Studies (ASIA) 490A 001 “Asian Classics: Partition of India in Film and Narrative” taught in 18W
  • Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies (CENS) 303D “Representations of the Holocaust”, taken as part of the “Witnessing Auschwitz” Global Seminar (other sections of CENS 303 do not qualify)
  • Computer Science (CPSC) 436 “Topics in Computer Science – Video Game Programming” taught in 17W and 18W
  • Haida Gwaii Semesters (HGSE) 350 “Case Studies in Haida Gwaii”
  • NEST 401 (NEST) “Literature of Ancient Egypt or the Ancient Near East”

Does not qualify as a research-intensive course:

  • Asian Studies (ASIA) 478
  • Linguistics (LING) 447H “Topics in Linguistics – American Sign Language” taught in 17W and 18W
  • JAPN 452 taught in 16W
  • 400-level Political Science (POLI) courses taught as Student-Directed Seminars

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