Writing and Research Requirement FAQs and Appeals

Below, you can find FAQs about both the Writing Component and the Research Component, as well as guidelines for Writing Component appeals and information about how the appeal process works. If you still have questions about any of these areas, please contact Arts Advising.

FAQ – Writing Component

If you were not successful in your first attempt at satisfying the Writing Component you may take a different course or repeat WRDS 150 or ENGL 100. Please be aware, however, that if you are not successful in two attempts of the Writing Component (any Writing Component course, or combination thereof), you will be permitted to continue in your degree program, but will be placed on a reduced maximum course load of three courses (normally 9 credits) per Winter Session Term and a maximum of 9 credits distributed over both Terms of Summer Session (with no more than 6 credits per Term), until you successfully complete the Writing Component. Once you pass a Writing Component course, your normal maximum course load will be restored.

If you found your first Writing Component course too challenging remember that help is available! Arts Advising can help you develop academic strategies and find resources to improve your writing skills. Be sure to speak to an Advisor before attempting the Writing Component a second time.

Yes. If you enter Arts with transfer credit for WRDS 150 or ENGL 100 you may apply that credit towards the Writing Component. If you did not receive transfer credit for one of these courses but feel that you completed an equivalent course through post-secondary study, please read the Appeals section, below.

If you do not have acceptable Writing Component transfer credit when you enter Arts you must take your Writing Component course at UBC. Note that transfer credit for WRDS 150 or ENGL 100 will not be accepted towards the Writing Component or the degree if you take the course elsewhere while you are a UBC student.

No. UBC Okanagan ENGL 112, ENGL 150 and 153 do not satisfy the Writing Component. Appeals citing these courses will not be considered.

Yes. You must start this component in your first 30 credits. You are encouraged to take one of these courses in your first or second term.

If you do not meet this requirement in your first 54 credits because you have not attempted it or because you were unsuccessful in your first and only attempt your registration will be restricted and you may only be able to register in Writing Component courses.

If you have attempted it once, please see the answer to “Can I retake a Writing Component course?” above. There are some important rules and limitations of which you should be aware.

You should take a Writing Component course in your first Winter session in Arts.
If you have fewer than 54 transfer credits you are encouraged to take the course right away as you must satisfy the Writing Component by the time you reach 54 total credits.

If you already have 54 credits you must satisfy the Writing Component in your first Winter session in Arts, regardless of how many other credits you are taking in that session.

The Writing Component is a 3 credit requirement so you only need one course. Generally, you should only register for or use transfer credit for one of the following:

Arts One, ASTU 100 or ASTU 101 (CAP), WRDS 150, or ENGL 100

If you are registered in any of the above courses you should not register in another.

If you have transfer credit for WRDS 150 or ENGL 100 you should not register in WRDS 150 or ENGL 100.

If you have transfer credit for WRDS 150 or ENGL 100 you are permitted to take Arts One or CAP. You will not be removed from Arts One or CAP.

If the reason you wish to take another Writing Component course is because you were not successful in your first attempt, please see the answer to “Can I retake a Writing Component course?” above. There are some important rules and limitations of which you should be aware.

Yes. However, please consider registering in only one of these high-demand courses per term so that your fellow students may also register.

In many cases you will need to take additional courses to satisfy the other Faculty’s requirement so you should plan carefully with their help. Note, however, that the following Faculties and Schools will accept your Arts Writing Component course towards their requirement:

• Applied Science
• Dentistry
• Education (please consult prior to transfer)
• Environmental Design
• Forestry
• Kinesiology
• Land and Food Systems (please consult prior to transfer)
• Medicine
• Music
• Nursing
• Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Sauder School of Business (Commerce)
• Science
• Social Work

Completing any of the Writing Component courses towards your Bachelor of Arts degree is also acceptable for admission to Graduate programs without specific English course requirements for admission, including (but not limited to) Architecture, Audiology and Speech Sciences, Journalism and Law.

Writing Component Appeals

Post-secondary transfer students to the Faculty of Arts who review the course descriptions of the Writing Component courses and feel that they have completed an equivalent research and scholarly writing course through prior study may appeal to have the transfer credit received for this course applied towards the Writing Component of the Writing and Research requirement.

When determining whether your previously-completed scholarly writing course is likely to be acceptable, ask yourself the following questions about the course:

  • were you required to read a selection of unabridged, peer-reviewed scholarly articles?
  • were differences in research methods, citation practices and distinctive vocabularies identified and discussed in class?
  • were these texts presented as participating in a scholarly conversation with previously published research by assessing the existing knowledge and producing new knowledge?
  • were you given instruction and practice in writing summaries, literature reviews, a proposal for a research project, and a research paper?
  • by the end of the course, were you participating in these scholarly conversations as a novice researcher using written forms that reproduce the ways that scholars write about their research activities?

If the course you completed fits these guidelines, you may choose to submit a written appeal to Arts Academic Advising, requesting that your transfer credit be applied towards the Writing Component of the Writing and Research requirement. Appeals must explain how your course meets the points listed above, and should be accompanied by a syllabus or detailed course description.  Indicate in your appeal exactly which aspects of the course you believe meet the requirements. If available, please also include copies of papers and assignments completed in the course.

If you plan to appeal shortly before registration opens, you are advised to register in a Writing Component course as insurance in case your appeal is rejected. If the appeal is successful, you may at that point drop the Writing Component course from your registration. Note that appeals requesting that courses completed at the secondary school level apply towards the Writing Component will not be considered.

FAQ – Research Component

Most students take their Research Component course in their fourth or final year. In fact, many specializations limit enrollment in these courses to students nearing the end of their studies. This is because, in order to fully engage in the research conversation in your discipline, the Research Component course normally requires you to apply concepts, methodologies and theories you have studied throughout your major. It is wise to allow yourself some time to study in your field before attempting it.

Some specializations permit completion prior to fourth year. In these cases you should take the course as recommended by the department (i.e. in second year for a 200-level course, in third year for a 300-level one).

Only courses listed on the approved Research Component list are accepted towards the requirement. If your course is not on this list you will need to take another that is.

Yes, you may take as many as you’d like. Check Degree Navigator to see how they might fit into your degree.

No. If you are required to satisfy the Writing and Research Requirement you must complete both components.

Yes. Occasionally a course not normally accepted may be applied, or a course normally accepted may not apply. These exceptions are listed in the Updates section below the Research Component list. You can also find newly-accepted courses here.

Exceptions for previous years are as follows:
- PHIL 418, 425, 431, 432, 440, 441, 450, 451, 452, and 460 do not qualify as Research Component courses as of 12W.
- POLI 404A taught in 11W does not qualify as a Research Component course.