MEd in Educational Studies – Education for Sustainability

in partnership with:         CityStudio_logo_2015

EDST This program is offered by the Department of Educational Studies. Learn more about EDST programs.

This innovative M.Ed. cohort program will engage participants in real-world projects enmeshed in questions of learning and scholarship.

This partnership program features an Adaptive Education model, which builds a pedagogical bridge that ties the project and classroom to the community. Participants will consult on, experiment with, and co-create solutions that address problems which come to light in the course of working with the City of Vancouver on sustainability priorities.

The unique structure of this program includes a body of advisers and experts that support classroom-based research projects and instructors who act as research designers to facilitate group projects with real-world outcomes. Participants will:

  • develop a critical awareness of the concepts of education and sustainability, how they relate, and their implications;
  • demonstrate their learning throughout the program, thereby increasing their employability;
  • build their abilities to work with governments and other partners by collaborating with city staff on sustainability policies;
  • embody the knowledge and skills associated with community building, political engagement, social movement participation, real-world research,  design, dialogue, network building, and knowledge dissemination.

This innovative M.Ed. cohort program will engage participants in real-world projects enmeshed in learning and scholarship. The program represents the view that at this time we need to experiment broadly and creatively in projects that can help achieve sustainability. Constant reform is critical in our major social institutions, like education, especially now as these entities attempt to collaborate with one another on new solutions for sustainability.

Students will experience an immersive and energetic environment as they work with City of Vancouver staff. In teams, they will consult on, create, and promote real-world solutions within the city and its built, outdoor, and natural environments.

Possible Projects

  • Greening schools or other infrastructure
  • Designing sustainability curricula
  • Developing biophilic pedagogies and andragogies
  • Consulting on sustainability issues
  • Reclaiming brownfield sites
  • Piloting renewable energy or green transportation, waste and water projects
  • Building, retrofitting and re-purposing
  • Growing, cooking and eating in community
  • Protecting nature, parks and trails
  • Combating complex problems like climate change and biodiversity loss

Who Should Apply?

Individuals who want to help achieve sustainability by:

  • Building dialogue, presentation, and research skills for shaping local political processes
  • Experimenting with systemic interventions in everyday social practices to influence public policy for sustainability.
  • Promoting significant educative experiences in diverse settings.
  • Conceiving and consulting with others on original ideas
  • Maintaining a personal portfolio that combines achievements and reflective learning.
  • Mobilizing a social movement using technology, art, and/or craft in innovative ways.

View the recorded online info session from January 20:

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The UBC M.Ed. with a focus on Education for Sustainability consists of 30 credits of course work, typically completed in two years.  Courses are woven together throughout the program to focus on addressing issues that arise during the development of the two-year sustainability project.  Courses will be delivered in Vancouver, at a central location.

EDST 500 Research Methodology in Education
Focus: Adaptive Education
3 credits
EDST 516 Adult Education and Community:
Focus: Education for Sustainability & Community
3 credits
EDST 590 Capstone Research 3 credits
EDST 514 Adult Education Program Planning Theory
Focus: Program Planning for Sustainability Projects
3 credits
EDST 553 Understanding Research
Focus: Sustainability Projects as Educational Practice
3 credits
 EDST 561 Practicum
Focus: Initiating Sustainability Projects
6 credits
 EDST 565 Special Course in Subject Matter Field
Focus: Reflective Learning Synthesis
6 credits
Elective Students choose an elective at some point during the program. 3 credits





  • Courses and schedule are subject to change.

Applicant Requirements

All students must meet the admission and application requirements of both the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the program, which include:

  • A minimum of two-years of engagement within schools, communities, business, government, non-governmental organizations, or other education-oriented environments.
  • A completed four-year undergraduate degree and at least a 76% average on all senior-level credits.
  • Three letters of recommendation from educators, colleagues, or clients that speak to your abilities to complete a graduate degree and interest in sustainability and education.
  • Resumé and a 600-word statement of intent of your education for sustainability experience, professional goals, and the anticipated benefit of involvement in the program.

Application Status: Closed
Application deadline: Closed


  • Navigate to
  • When you are ready to apply, click “Apply Online”.
  • Read the instructions, and either log in with your CWL or create a CWL if you have never attended UBC.
  • Once logged in, on the “Degree Program Selection,” type the 4-character cohort designation ESSE or MEd in Educational Studies – Professional Cohort into the “Program Keyword” field.
  • Click the program name.  Ensure you select the version that ends with “Professional Cohort”.
  • Click the “Apply” button.
  • Fill out the application as indicated.


  • When adding your references to your application, you will be asked whether they are professional or academic references. Academic references are those who know you in an academic capacity (e.g. former professors). Professional references would include your principal, vice-principal, or someone who has supervised you.
  • You are strongly encouraged to submit electronic letters of reference. Simply fill in the email addresses of your three referees when completing the online application (an email address is required). References with free, web-based email addresses (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) will receive a link to the paper reference form, which must be mailed to our office (address on the reference form). NOTE: Please see “Supporting Documents” below for more information on paper references.

Once you submit and pay for your online application, your referees will automatically receive an email with a link and instructions for completing the electronic reference form or the link to the paper reference form, as above.

Once you submit and pay for your online application, your referees will automatically receive an email with a link and instructions for completing the electronic reference form or the link to the paper reference form, as above.

A letter can take the place of the reference form as long as it addresses the questions posed in the reference form. Despite the apparent size of the text box, referees may type as much as they want.


Please have these ready to upload when you apply:

Transcripts, degree certificates (if applicable), English language assessment report (if applicable), statement of intent, and an up-to-date resume must be uploaded to your application.

In cases where referees are unable to submit an electronic reference, sealed and endorsed reference letters may be sent by mail. Your reference will receive a link to a reference form that they should complete and send back to us.

important Important: Please ask your references to include the 4-character cohort designation ESSE when they submit their reference. All references must arrive in sealed envelopes with the reference’s signature on the seal.

The form is also available here.

importantIn addition to those uploaded to your online application, you must submit two (2) sealed transcripts from every post-secondary institution you attended (except UBC), even institutions where you did not complete a program to:

Linda Haftner
Professional Development & Community Engagement
UBC Faculty of Education
Scarfe Building
1304-2125 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4


If you require any assistance with the application process, please contact:

Linda Haftner

Senior Program Assistant

The program total is $13,988 plus applicable student fees. Program tuition will be divided into seven (7) installments of approximately $1,998.28, payable in September, January, and May of each year of the program.

Tuition fees are in Canadian dollars. The figures quoted above are current for the 2015-16 academic year, are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors, and are subject to change. Historically, this change has been a 2% increase per year (beginning in May).

This cohort is no longer accepting applications.

For the 2018 cohort, and to subscribe, please visit: