MEd in Curriculum Studies

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MEd in Curriculum Studies

Health, Outdoor, & Physical Experiential Education

This cohort will likely be offered again for a September 2023 start date. If you are interested in beginning studies prior to 2023, you can apply for the non-cohort model of this program through the Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy’s HOPE Ed offerings.

The program has been designed to cater to the needs of professionals whose roles have an educational component and/or some educational responsibility.

The cohort’s core focus of experiential education provides a platform from which all cohort members may begin to explore philosophical connections amongst beliefs, intentions, actions, ontologies, epistemologies and methodologies that will be further developed in the other cohort courses. The program has been designed in a way that allows cohort members to develop depth in their specialist knowledge/stream and breadth of understanding by engaging with a core course in another stream.

With the program’s focus on experiential education and learning, participants will gain insight into facilitating opportunities for participation in and commitment to health, outdoor, and physical education. The potential for participants experiencing shared research is promising, not only in courses but also in the final project. There are rich and productive collaborations that occur within and between the fields of study, and these draw from faculty expertise and collaborations.

Program Location

We anticipate that the courses for the HOPE-Ed cohort will be delivered off-campus in Vancouver and surrounding school districts.

Course Times

Course meetings will be held at times that are convenient for cohort members. For examples in previous cohorts, members have elected to meet for six Saturdays, every other week, rather than once a week for 12 weeks.

Program Streams

The health education stream offers a boutique of courses that invite those enrolled to engage in timely and relevant conversations about the complexities of doing ‘health education’. Framed within constructivist perspectives, participants will be asked to interrogate societal shifts in health education.

The social determinants of health will be considered, including an examination of how the intersection of gender, race, sexuality, social class, nationhood and age shape health status. The pedagogical approaches used in this course will be inquiry based and highlight a criticality that can enliven health education moving it beyond a behaviourist approach, while avoiding thinking of health in binary terms (e.g., fit/unfit, healthy/unhealthy or obese/normal).

The inherently interdisciplinary outdoor learning setting invites educators to (re)consider curricular and pedagogical approaches and methodologies beyond classroom walls and school confines.

The outdoor learning courses explore themes such as: experiential learning, environmental education, indigenous principles of learning, local learning, place-based learning, socio-emotional learning, STEM, sustainability, and holistic wellbeing through critical and emancipatory lenses.  The Outdoor Education stream welcomes formal and in/non-formal educators interested in increasing time spent outdoors in their practice.

The three physical education stream courses are designed for physical educators who are ready to move up a gear by refining and expanding their ideas of teaching, learning and knowing.

Using some of the innovations in PE such as Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU), Inventing Games, Physical Literacy, and Sport Education as a catalyst for thinking about ontological and epistemological issues in PE, teachers will start to explore experiential, constructivist, student-centred and holistic approaches for their own practice.

What have people said about MEd HOPE?

"I believe that the theme of the cohort has been engaging. It has awoken me to many deeper concepts than I would have thought about in HOPE.

I believe that I have become a more critical examiner of my teaching practice and where I would like it to go. I believe that I have become more aware of Indigenous relations and other big ideas that have been overlooked for far too long.

I believe that the way in which we are challenged in every course and assignment has made me want to learn more about HOPE and continue to grow as a teacher. I used to think that I knew a lot about PHE but I have become aware of how little I previously new and what information is available to those who want to become more engaged. I appreciated the opportunity to select which stream I wanted to be a part of and the flexibility in moving from one to the next. I began the course in the Outdoor Education stream but found the PE stream very interesting as well. I will now be working in both of them which I am very excited about."

- A. Verheyen

"I appreciate the interdisciplinary approach to the program and have found it very relevant to my current teaching practice with the shift in the curriculum.

What drew me to the program was that it undertakes a non-binary perspective of the body in relation to health, outdoor and physical education settings.

I also enjoyed the philosophical perspective of curriculum that has been incorporated throughout the courses. The terminology we have learned to describe our experiences and roles in education has been quite beneficial to the overarching understanding of my professional stance as a teacher. I am currently in the health stream, but have appreciated the intersection of the other two streams which seem to complement the goal of interdisciplinary curriculum studies in the program."

- A. Hundel

"I have never been motivated to return to school (no kidding, I guess, as I definitely am a lot older than most of the cohort...but this was due to family and coaching and cost!) but when several people passed the HOPE flyer to me and the informational meeting was at the same school I was coaching at in Lower Mainlands at a game break it was a serendipitous event for me. The cohort name itself was inspiring.

I feel gratitude (to my family and my athletes and students) that I can be a part of this professional development and had I realized it would be so awesome I would have done this much earlier.

- K. Finch

"Having a group to go back to and collaborate/communicate with through this journey has been extremely valuable. Meeting like minded people who I am able to work with to challenge me in my thinking as well as support me in my ideas.

I feel it has broadened my horizons as a PHE teacher and as a parent."

- C. Baker

"I have been very pleased with the tone and theme of the program.

I felt some very critical approaches to the course structures have been taken and that the course material provides interesting theoretical material on which to have fruitful philosophical discussion.

I enjoy the principles of HOPE-Ed."

- S. Campbell

Application Deadline: TBA

Start Date: Sept. 2023 proposed
Length: 7 terms, 30 credits, part-time
Format: TBD
Domestic Tuition: TBD
International Tuition: TBD

Program Details


Click to view the full schedule for the 2019-2021 cohort.

*Courses and schedule are subject to change.
1 July 2019 Experiential Education in Health, Outdoor, and Physical Education EDCP 585
1 July 2019 Summer Institute: Stream core courses #1 See below
2 September 2019 Introduction to Curriculum Issues and Theories EDCP 562
3 January 2020 Research Methodology in Education EDUC 500
4 Summer 2020 Summer Institute: Stream core course #2 See below
4 Summer 2020 Summer Institute: Stream core course #3 See below
4 Summer 2019 or 2020 Summer Institute: Elective (taken from other core streams) TBD
5 September 2020 Knowing, Learning and Teaching EDCP 501
6 Jan-April 2021 Review of Research in Curriculum and Pedagogy: Writing Educational Research EDCP 508B
7 May-June 2021 Graduating Project EDCP 590

Health Education – Core Courses (Stream 1)

1 Approaches to Health Education EDCP 325
4 Seminar in School Health Education EDCP 534
4 Seminar in Curriculum and Pedagogy: Researching Health for Social Justice EDCP 585

Outdoor Education – Core Courses (Stream 2)

1 Health Promotion, Wellness and Life Skills in Outdoor Settings EDCP 531
4 Theories and Dimensions of Place-Based Learning: Ecohumanist, Critical & Indigenous Lenses EDCP 532
4 Explorations in Curriculum and Pedagogy for Local Outdoor Learning EDCP 423

Physical Education – Core Courses (Stream 3)

1 Curriculum Innovations in Physical Education EDCP 530
4 Seminar in Curriculum and Pedagogy: Physical Education – Early Year (K-7) EDCP 533
4 Seminar in Curriculum & Pedagogy: Physical Education – Beyond Early Years (8-12) EDCP 585


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

  • Normally two years’ teaching experience, practice and/or other relevant professional experience.
  • A 4-year undergraduate degree with an average in the B+ range (76% at UBC) in all senior-level courses.
  • A resumé/CV.
  • A 600-word statement of intent clearly outlining your experiences and interests in Health, Outdoor, & Physical Experiential Education (HOPE-Ed) program. Specify your interest in one of the three streams and outline how the specialization in Curriculum Studies supports your professional goals.
  • Statements of support from three referees who can speak to your engagement with Health, Outdoor, & Physical Experiential Education (HOPE-Ed), teaching or other relevant professional experience including, whenever possible, professors familiar with your academic work.

Application Status: CLOSED
Application Deadline: TBA

Refer to the UBC Calendar "Master of Education (program off-campus)" for confirmed and up-to-date fees.

Tuition fees are in Canadian dollars, are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors, and are subject to change (typically 2% in May of each year).

Meet the Program Advisor and Senior Program Assistant, and learn more about applying to become a UBC graduate student.

There are currently no info sessions scheduled for this program.


If you’d like to notified of any future information sessions for this program, subscribe via the last tab on the right and we’ll keep you informed by email.

View the recorded online info session from November 2018:


Download the November 2018 presentation notes:

Other Resources:


For program content questions:

Dr. LeAnne Petherick
Program Coordinator, HOPE
Dept. of Curriculum & Pedagogy

For application questions or assistance:

Tasnim Al-Obaidi
Senior Program Assistant

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in partnership with:

EDCP This program is offered by the Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy.
Learn more about EDCP programs.