MEd in Educational Studies

MEd ECE Main Image

Master of Education in Educational Studies

Education for Sustainability

This innovative MEd cohort program explores Education for Sustainability (EfS) by engaging you in real-world individual and group projects that address sustainability issues in the city of Vancouver.

The pedagogy features an Adaptive Education model, which promotes experiential and place-based learning, art-based environmental education and active citizenship through tactical urbanism. Through collaborative projects you 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.

For more information on the MEd in EFS (including project details) and Dr. Robert VanWynsberghe, please visit

This program is offered by the Department of Educational Studies

Application Deadline: TBA

Start Date: August 2024
Length: 30 credits, part-time
Format: Blended (online & in-person)
Domestic Tuition: $16,388.96 CAD
International Tuition: $18,233.60 CAD

Upcoming Info Sessions

There are currently no info sessions scheduled for this program.

Program Details


Join an innovative program that contributes to the sustainability movement!

This cohort program supports the need to experiment broadly in transdisciplinary projects that approach sustainability from multiple, innovative perspectives. Creative effort, constant reform and critical examinations of our major social institutions, like education, is especially needed now.

In this program you will:

  • Take action on a real-world issue of concern within their local sustainability movement.
  • Collaborate with other members of the cohort, course facilitators, City of Vancouver staff and community organizations to co-design a meaningful EfS program.
  • Build capacity in multiple EfS areas, including: community building, political engagement, civic innovation, social movement participation, real-world research, design, dialogue, and creative action.

You will experience an immersive and energetic environment that we have come to see in City of Vancouver staff and across our various collaborators and partners. Rather than seeing unsustainability as too complex and intractable, the experience will foster hope and stimulation, bordering on fun.

You should apply to this program is you 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.

Possible Projects:

  • Greening schools or other infrastructure
  • Designing sustainability curricula
  • 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

View photos from the first Education for Sustainability cohort!

Education for Sustainability



The UBC MEd 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.

*Courses and schedule are subject to change.


Date Course Title Course Code
August 2019 Research Methodology in Education EDUC 500
August 2019 Adult Education and Community EDST 516
August 2019 Environmental Philosophy and Education EDST 588
September 2019 Adult Education Program Planning Theory EDST 514
January 2020 Topics in Philosophy Education EDST 592A
May 2020 Elective
May 2020 Practicum EDST 561A
September 2020 Practicum EDST 561B
January 2021 Special Course in Subject Matter Field EDST 565
May 2021 Capstone EDST 585

 Aug. 2016 Research Methodology in Education EDST 500
 Aug. 2016 Adult Education and Community EDST 516
Aug. 2016 Capstone Research EDCP 590
Sept. 2016 Adult Education Program Planning Theory EDST 514
 Jan. 2017 Understanding Research: Sustainability Projects as Educational Practice EDST 553
 May 2017 Practicum: Initiating Sustainability Projects EDST 561
May 2017 Elective
  Jan. 2018 Special Course in Subject Matter Field: Reflective Learning Synthesis EDST 565

Application 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.


Type Per Installment Total Tuition
Domestic $2,341.28 $16,388.96 CAD
International $2,604.80 $18,233.60 CAD

Graduate tuition is assessed as an annual program fee, which is divided into three equal installments due at the beginning of academic terms starting in September, January and May.

Students in this program will pay a minimum of 7 installments.

Student Fees

Student fees include fees established and authorized by the UBC Board of Governors and fees established and authorized by students societies. These fees are in addition to tuition fees. Please see the UBC Calendar for details on student fees.

Fees are subject to change annually. Only information in the UBC Calendar is official

Funding Eligibility

As this program is part-time, it is not eligible for student loans or other types of funding.

How to Apply

Application Status: Applications will be opening soon
Application Deadline: TBA


  • 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, use the Program Keyword search box and type the 4-character cohort designation EFS3 or Master of Education in Educational Studies - Professional Cohort.
  • Click the program name.  Ensure you select the version that ends with "Professional Cohort".
  • Click the “Apply” button.
  • Fill out the application as indicated.


Please have these ready to upload when you apply:


Referees may be academic or professional. Academic references are those who know you in an academic capacity (e.g. former professors). Professional references should be those who have supervised you in a work setting (e.g. Principal, Vice-Principal, or other non-educational supervisor).

Please encourage your referees to submit electronic reference forms. In cases where referees are unable to submit an electronic reference, sealed and endorsed reference letters or reference forms may be sent by mail.

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.

A reference letter can take the place of the reference form as long as it addresses the questions posed in the reference form.

important Important: Please ask your references to include the 4-character cohort designation EFS3 when they submit their reference. All references must arrive in sealed envelopes with the reference’s signature on the seal.

For those choosing to submit paper references, please send to:

EFS3 Graduate Cohort
Professional Development & Community Engagement
UBC Faculty of Education
1304-2125 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6T 1Z4


After your application is submitted, all documents are uploaded, and references have been received, your application file is considered complete.

Once the application deadline for the program has passed, all completed application files are submitted to the Department for review.  Applications recommended by the Department for admission are then confirmed against Graduate & Post-Doctoral Studies requirements, and accepted applicants are notified. Any special case admissions require an additional review by Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies.

The entire process generally takes 8 to 12 weeks.

This program is subject to minimum enrollment in order to run. We will advise applicants on the status of this program after the application deadline has passed.


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

Tasnim Al-Obaidi
Senior Program Assistant

Info Sessions

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.

View the recorded online info session from January 23, 2019:


Download the December 2018 presentation notes:

EFS2 Info Session Presentation Notes, PPT


For program content questions:

Robert VanWynsberghe
Associate Professor
Department of Educational Studies

For application questions or assistance:

Tasnim Al-Obaidi
Senior Program Assistant

Advisory Team

Robert VanWynsberghe PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Educational Studies
Faculty of Education, UBC

As the EfS Program Lead and co-Advisor, Rob works to ensure that the entire EFS experience reflects a co-design process whenever possible. He liaises with the City of Vancouver, CityStudio Vancouver, and other emerging partners. Rob values how each EFS group works together to experiment with and refine the co-creation of socially conscious classrooms that contribute to the sustainability movement.

Brad Badelt
Assistant Director, Sustainability
Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability department
City of Vancouver

Brad provides a direct linkage with the City of Vancouver’s Sustainability office and helps guide the students’ projects to ensure they have local impact. He also enjoys connecting with students to learn more about their sustainability priorities and interests.

Lindsay Cole
City of Vancouver, Solutions Lab Manager

Lindsay is relentlessly curious about the intersections of social innovation, design, public policy and transformative learning, and how these practices might result in thriving relationships with lands, waters, and each other.

Dr. Allison Earl  BArch, MEd, PhD
Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Fellow
Department of Educational Studies
Faculty of Education, UBC

Allison Earl completed her PhD at the University of Sydney examining the languages of architecture and sustainability. A lifelong learner, her research explores the nexus of architecture, sustainability, activism, and education through meaningful learning experiences.

Bruce Ford BEd, MEd
Sustainability Education Coordinator,
School & Youth Leadership Programs, Metro Vancouver

Through place-based and experiential education and robust collaboration in Metro Vancouver and beyond, Bruce supports leadership for sustainability in, for and about place, purpose, planet and people.

Sharon Hu
Learning Design Strategist
Educational Technology Support
Faculty of Education, UBC

Sharon introduced how to use UBC Blogs to connect with the community and how to use 360-degree photospheres to create a memorable narrative.

Marga Pacis BSc, MEd
City of Vancouver
Planning Assistant (Community Planning)

Marga's passions exist where urbanism meets environmentalism; she aims to make sustainable concepts more visible in the public realm through experiential education, intentional engagement, and policy. Marga is interested in learning how the built environment can adapt to work in tandem with the natural world here in Vancouver.

Pierre Walter PhD
Department of Educational Studies
Faculty of Education, UBC

Pierre teaches a variety of graduate courses related to Adult Learning and Education. His research projects include informal adult learning and education in community-based ecotourism in Southeast Asia, learning in environmental movements, culinary tourism, and arts-based environmental adult education.

Subscribe below if you'd like to be notified when there are updates for this program.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.