MA Co-op

The UBC Arts Co-op Program offers MA Co-op options for students in English and Political Science.

Through Co-op, MA students will build valuable skills and experience that will extend and enrich their career options in both academic and non-academic workplaces.

If you are interested in applying for MA Co-op, please review the details below.

You are eligible to apply to MA Co-op in September 2023 if:

  • You are in your first semester in your MA program in English or Political Science
  • You are a full-time UBC student (part-time students will be considered if they are available for full-time co-op terms)
  • You plan on pursuing a full-time co-op work term in the May 2024 semester

Review the Program Guides for detailed information: MA English and MA Political Science.

If you have any questions about the application process, please attend our in-person information session held in September each year.

If you are accepted into the Arts Co-op Program, you will be asked to sign and submit a Terms & Conditions document that details your responsibilities as a co-op student, and the Program’s guidelines.

View the 2023 Terms & Conditions for MA English and MA Political Science.

How MA Co-op Works

The Co-op Program offers students the chance to work in full-time paid employment in positions related to your academic program.

If you are accepted into the MA Co-op program, you must complete at least one co-op work term.

Work terms are a minimum of 420 hours or 12 weeks in length, although most employers hire students for 12-16 weeks (four months). As a result of participating in co-op, completing your degree will typically take four months (one semester) longer than it would otherwise take.

The Arts Co-op Program coordinates six hours of pre-employment training for all new Co-op students, some of which is scheduled synchronously, with accommodations for your availability.

The training will include contributions from employers, alumni and current students, and co-op staff. Co-op students will receive additional one-on-one training and coaching on their job applications and interview skills from December through April.

Students will go through a “real world” competitive process to secure co-op positions with support from co-op staff. This means that you are not guaranteed a position. As a co-op student, you will have access to a database of postings, choose which positions to apply for, and submit applications through the Co-op office. Employers will review your applications and select the candidates they would like to interview, and make any job offers through the Co-op office.

The numbers and types of jobs posted reflect the job market. As Metro Vancouver is not a big enough market to offer the range of experiences that MA co-op students want, co-op staff market the program to employers across Canada and around the world to ensure the widest range and largest number of positions the current job market can provide for each work term. If you are able to relocate out of Vancouver for a work term, you will be able to apply to more positions.

Those interested in taking part in co-op are highly encouraged to think about how you will accommodate relocating for a co-op work term, such as finding accommodation in Vancouver that allows for subletting while you are away.

Some jobs, such as those within the Canadian federal government, are restricted to Canadian citizens for security clearance requirements.

A significant percentage of summer positions are also restricted to Canadian citizens, refugees or permanent residents, sometimes also limited to the ages of 16-30, due to federal employment funding programs (e.g. in Summer 2022, 50% of positions had this restriction).

You will be a regular employee in the workplace and are expected to complete assigned work and participate in workplace activities with your colleagues. As a result, you will get in-depth exposure to a particular workplace and to a range of tasks related to your field of interest.

During work terms, you will complete a series of career-building assignments marked by co-op staff. You will also participate in mid-point and end-of-term evaluations with a Co-op Manager. Successful completion of each work term is noted on your transcript.

UBC MA co-op students will have access to co-op staff for individual career advising appointments, enabling you to develop career skills that will be of use during your co-op job search, work term, and after graduation.

While co-op can be a good method to assist students in financing their degree, money should not be the primary consideration for participating in the program.

The average Master’s student wage range is between $18-25 per hour. Wages vary depending on the sector; so, for example, non-profits pay less than government positions. Wages are based on current labour market realities and are up to the employer to determine.

MA Co-op students will have to cover 2 types of fees:

Co-op Administrative and Workshop Fee: You will need to pay the one-time co-op administration and workshop fee of $272.00* (the standard amount set by UBC Senate for all UBC Co-op programs). This is due when you are accepted into the program. This fee provides unlimited access to customized career coaching with co-op staff, online career development resources.

* As of the 2023/2024 academic year. Visit the UBC Calendar for the latest fee information.

Tuition: While on a co-op work term, MA co-op students pay their regular tuition installment and continue to be considered full-time students eligible for student benefits such as the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan, the U-Pass, UBC resources and services such as library material, and student housing.

Each co-op work term appears on your transcript as a non-academic co-op credit placement course (e.g. Arts Studies or ASTU 501).

Apply to Co-op

Applications are closed for the 2023/2024 intake. We will announce details for the 2024/25 intake by early September 2024. Please note that there is only 1 intake per academic year.

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