Master’s (MA/MSc)

The Master’s degree provides candidates with the opportunity to broaden their academic and research experience. The student’s background, the selection of the thesis topic, the approach to research and the program electives govern whether the Masters of Art (MA) or Masters of Science (MSc) degree program is pursued. A research investigation producing a scholarly contribution to the particular area of study is necessary. Normally, these programs will take two years to complete, including at least one year of residence.

Timeline for completion of an RES Master’s program.

 

RES Master’s degree course requirements (min. 30 credits):

  • 12 credit thesis course (RES 599)
  • 18 credit of coursework

Of the 18 credits of coursework:

  • RES 502 is mandatory (3 cr)
  • RES 507 is mandatory (3 cr)
  • RES 510 is mandatory (3 cr)
  • A methods course approved by your supervisor is mandatory (3 cr)
  • At least 15 of the 18 course work credits must be in courses numbered 500 or above.
  • At least 12 of the 18 course work credits must be selected from RES courses.
  • The remaining 6 course work credits are open electives. Electives should be chosen in discussion with your supervisor.
    • Only 3 course work credits may be taken in courses numbered between 300 and 499.

Important: courses numbered below 300 may be taken, but they will not count towards your total credit requirements. Any below-300 level courses are taken in addition to the completing the credit requirements above.

The student’s supervisor and committee must approve the chosen academic program. There is no option to complete the MA or MSc without a thesis. The goals of the program are to ensure that the student learns to do research and to write an integrative thesis. Upon completion of the thesis, an external examiner (on or off campus) will be appointed to the examination committee for the thesis defense.

RES Master’s Program Requirements

Course # Course Name Credits Notes
RES 599 Thesis Course 12 You must enrol in a thesis course for every term of your program, including summer terms.
RES 502 Research Methods and Design 3 Required course.
RES 507 Human-Technology Systems 3 Required course.
RES 510 Social Ecological Systems 3 Required course.
Methods Methods course 3 Required, must be approved by your supervisor.
Elective 1 3 Selected in consultation with your supervisor
Elective 2 3 Selected in consultation with your supervisor
Total Number of Credits 30

 

Additional course options to consider:

  • Under the Western Dean’s Agreement (WDA), graduate students of the member institutions may take courses at another member institution without having to pay the host university’s tuition fees. Students may be required to pay student, activity, application, or other ancillary fees to the host institution, according to general policies in effect at the host institution. Wherever possible, these fees will also be waived.
    • Note: It is important for the RES Master’s student to confirm with G+PS if a non-UBC course credit will transfer  to their total UBC course credit requirements.
  • Under the Graduate Exchange Agreement, graduate students in good standing at UBC, McGill University, University of Toronto and University of Montréal may take courses at another member institution without having to pay the host university’s tuition fees.
    • Note: It is important for the RES Master’s student to confirm with G+PS if a non-UBC course credit will transfer  to their total UBC course credit requirements.

 


For students admitted to the RMES program in Sept 2015 or earlier:

You have the ability to complete your degree and graduate under the previous Resource Management and Environmental Studies (RMES) Master’s program requirements or the new RES Master’s program requirements. Students admitted to the RES program for Sept 2016 and later are subject to the RES program requirements only.

Important: It is the RMES student’s responsibility to review both the RMES and RES program requirements, determine which program you would like to pursue and confirm your decision with your supervisor(s). Please confirm which program you would like to graduate under with the IRES Graduate Program Manager as soon as possible.

 

RMES: Master’s Program Requirements (from old website)

The RMES Master’s degree requirement is a minimum of 36 credits, including a 12-credit thesis. The remaining 24 credits are comprised of course work. At least 18 credits must be in courses numbered 500 or above. Twelve of the 24 credits must be selected from RMES core courses while the remaining 12 are open to electives, but only six of which may be numbered below 500.

A methods course of 3 credits is also mandatory.

Elective courses should be chosen in discussion with your thesis supervisor. Masters students are required to take 12 credits of electives that can be comprised of any graduate level courses (courses numbered 500 and above).

Please note: Students are currently not allowed to take more than 12 credits of RMES 500x courses, such as RMES 500u, RMES 500t, etc. Master’s students must enrol in RMES 501 & RMES 502 and then 2 of the 3 foundation courses (RMES 507, RMES 510 or RMES 550).

RMES Master’s Course Requirements

Course # Course Name Credits
RMES 501 Development of Environmental Thought 3
RMES 502 Research Methods and Design (includes year-long commitment to the IRES Seminar Series) 3
RMES 550* Policy Analysis and Decision Making (PA) 3
RMES 510* Social Ecological Systems 3
RMES 507* Human-Technology systems (H/T) 3
(≥1 cross listed with RMES, 1 methods course in consultation with supervisor ≥12 (≥1 cross listed with RMES, 1 methods course in consultation with supervisor)
599 (must be enrolled in each term) Thesis 12
Total ≥36

The student’s supervisor and committee must approve the chosen academic program. There is no option to complete the MA or MSc without a thesis. The goals of the program are to ensure that the student learns to do research and to write an integrative thesis.

 

For RMES-Fisheries Stream students, please consult your program requirements found in the RMES: UBC Academic Calendar Information (Archived Calendar)

 


The RMES/RES Thesis

The RES thesis is a fundamental and essential component of the program. It is the main evidence that is available to the academic community by which the candidate is assessed in his/her abilities to synthesize and integrate biophysical and socio-economic sciences into new paradigms or knowledge.

Although there is debate about ‘how’ research is done, the concept of the thesis research in RES is, in general, the same as in any graduate program. That is, there is:

  • A statement of an issue
  • A rationale of the significance of the issue
  • A set of research questions (these may be presented as hypotheses, objectives, questions, propositions)
  • A set of methods or tools from various disciplines that will be brought to bear to address the research questions
  • A discussion of theoretical and analytical frameworks relevant to the issue
  • Research tools selected
  • Expected results
  • A summary and/or conclusions of the research
  • A discussion of how the research has contributed to the overall issue.

Specifics among the various sections will vary by the nature of the research topic, the graduate student and the supervisor/supervisory committee. It is important that discussion take place EARLY in a graduate student’s program on the issues of how to do the research and what will be expected from the dissertation. These discussions should be re-examined at formal meetings of the graduate student’s supervisory committee.

The following guidelines are from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and can be consulted in more detail by clicking here.