Cultural Studies

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Gain a unique grounding in questions of identity, power, diversity and justice from global perspectives.

Why study Cultural Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus?

Research connections

Cultural Studies professors actively engage students in research projects that range from cultural activism, community research, cultural heritage and digital production. Recent student projects include a report on the positive impacts of Parklets for the future of Kelowna and perceptions of fair trade labeling and availability of fair trade certified products in Kelowna. Find out more…

Career opportunities

Via community engaged learning in a collaborative environment, students in Cultural Studies gain practical experience working with non profit organizations. Our graduates go on to professions that demand creative and critical thinking. Students in Cultural Studies enhance their written and oral communication skills while working in team projects that involve textual and critical analysis. The Cultural Studies program is designed not just to provide students a UBC degree but a wealth of skills and experiences that they can apply towards their career path.

Join a culture of diversity

Cultural Studies provides an education for students that integrates their daily experiences and the world around them. The program organizes a number of events each year, including the AlterKnowledge Discussion Series and the Annual Cultural Studies Speaker. The Cultural Studies Student Collective is a community that organizes a variety of social and educational events.

Co-op experiencE

Put your classroom learning to the test with Co-op job placements throughout the region and beyond. Co-op helps you to gain beneficial skills such as how to build your resumé, apply for jobs, expand your professional network and earn money to pay for tuition.

what you need to know

UBC’s Cultural Studies program draws together core CULT courses with others from a variety of Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines, including Indigenous Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Sociology, and Visual Arts.

Cultural Studies students organize their degree within three themes: Media and Popular Cultures, which focuses on media analysis, developing skills in production, and the significance of popular culture; Global Cultural Studies, which examines colonialism/decolonization, global justice issues, and intercultural understanding; and Critical and Cultural Theory, which provides an interdisciplinary theoretical framework for the study of cultural production, representation, and social practices in consideration of effects on race, ethnicity, class, nationality, gender, sexuality, and power.

Increasingly, the program seeks to provide students with not just a UBC degree and a transcript but a portfolio of tangible experiences and skills. Many core CULT courses provide students opportunities to develop skills in collaboration and consensus decision-making through team-based projects, communication to diverse audiences (including oral presentation skills and writing/publishing), and digital production.

UBC Okanagan’s Cultural Studies program offers a wide variety of foundational and advanced courses that cover media and popular cultures, film studies, internet culture, performance studies, analysis of consumer society and identity, and studies in critical theory.

Sample courses:

  • CULT 100 – Media and Popular Cultures in a Global Context
  • CULT 215 – Cultural Industries
  • CULT 346 – Human Rights, Literature, and Culture
  • CULT 437 – Postcolonial Studies

The courses are organized in three streams:

  • Media and Popular Cultures draws from studies of film, visual culture, and communications, including print, television, the internet, and emergent digital technologies to examine how different forms of representation alter being, reflect and produce relations of power, and shape identities.
  • Media and Popular Cultures draws from studies of film, visual culture, and communications, including print, television, the internet, and emergent digital technologies to examine how different forms of representation alter being, reflect and produce relations of power, and shape identities.
  • Critical and Cultural Theory provides an interdisciplinary theoretical framework for the study of cultural production, representation, and social practices, particularly in consideration of effects on race, ethnicity, class, nationality, gender, sexuality, and power.

Browse Cultural Studies courses and descriptions.

Detailed information on the Cultural Studies program can be found in the Okanagan Academic Calendar, a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services, and academic policies at The University of British Columbia:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies undergraduates can complete a BA in Cultural Studies with a Major, Combined Major, or General Studies BA with a concentration in Cultural Studies. Students are encouraged to declare their major in Cultural Studies at the end of their first year in order to take the prerequisite second-year courses. Refer to the Academic Calendar for required courses.

Prospective master’s and PhD students interested in working with faculty in the area of Cultural Studies can do so through Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) in the Digital Arts & Humanities theme.

For your application to be considered, you’ll need to do three things:

  • Meet general requirements (e.g., graduate from secondary school)
  • Demonstrate a certain level of English competency
  • Meet specific requirements for the degree you’re applying to.

Then, UBC will take a closer look at your application. We’ll read your Personal Profile to get a sense of who you are and what you’ve achieved.  We’ll also look at all of your Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) courses, paying special attention to the courses that relate to the degree you’re applying to.

Find your specific requirements at you.ubc.ca

Students are encouraged to declare their major in Cultural Studies at the end of their first year in order to take the prerequisite second-year courses. Refer to the Academic Calendar for required courses.

Application Deadlines 
Plan ahead to ensure you meet important deadlines and other target dates listed at you.ubc.ca.

Tuition Fees
UBC Okanagan’s fees compare favourably with universities of the same high calibre. See Financial Planning for helpful resources, and add up your first-year costs with our Cost Calculator.

Apply to UBC’s School of Engineering at you.ubc.ca—there are just five steps in the application process. Soon you could be studying at one of the world’s top universities.

Check out the steps to apply to UBC, and be sure to choose “Okanagan campus.”

Or let our Student Recruitment & Advising experts guide you: call 1-877-807-8521.

Your Career Options

Cultural Studies prepares students to live in a world where writing, reading, coding and decoding are skills in high demand. Secure a career in marketing, advertising, publishing, or web design, or continue your education to work in professions such as law, teaching or social work.

  • Journalism
  • Non-Profit Agencies
  • Law
  • Intercultural Education
  • Museums
  • Library Science
  • Media Analysis
  • International Development
  • Anti-Oppression Training
  • Teaching
  • Activism
  • Advertising
  • Web Design
  • Community Research
  • Publishing
  • Creative Writing
  • Theatre
  • Film
  • Television
  • Video Game Design
  • Administration
  • Alternative Media
  • Global Education
  • Politics and Government
  • Cultural institutions
  • Government agencies and departments
  • Media organizations
  • Non-government organizations (NGOs)
  • Organizations that address cultural safety, diversity and oppression

Learn and earn with Co-op, a paid opportunity for students to enrich their education with work experience. At UBC’s Okanagan campus, sign up for Co-op to: build your resumé with professional experience; learn valuable tips on how to successfully apply for jobs; expand your network of industry contacts; and earn money to pay for tuition. Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.

Prospective master’s and PhD students interested in working with faculty in the area of Cultural Studies can do so through Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS)

Co-supervisory arrangements with other program areas are also possible. Please contact individual faculty members for further information.

Gain Valuable Experience

Learning experiences beyond the classroom help prepare you for a career and life after university. Expand your horizons while studying abroad, conducting meaningful research, or working in the community with your UBC colleagues.

  • See the world through Go Global, a UBC program for exchange and study with more than 150 international partner institutions.
  • Travel to conferences or competitions with financial assistance available through the Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund, which provides financial support up to $3,500.
  • Follow your ideas and get a head start on your career. Our professors engage students in research projects, labs and centres that range from Indigenous studies and the study of animal ethics to digitized cultural history.
  • Take part in Eco Art Incubator, a research initiative that provides students and artists with a platform from which to work, as well as access to artist-friendly resources for conservation and ecological initiatives.
  • Investigate opportunities offered through the Centre for Culture and Technology (CCT), an interdisciplinary institute that engages in multiple forms of art, media, and information technologies as vehicles for the exploration and expression of community, culture, and identity.
  • Work collaboratively with artists and communities at the Centre for Indigenous Media Arts (CIMA) and foster contemporary artistic practices of indigenous media artists.
  • FCCS faculty run the AMP Lab, which houses projects that engage the work of the humanities, adding value to cultural artifacts through interpretation and analysis in a digital context.

Get a financial boost to start your research experience and help pay for travel and other expenses. Merit-based cash awards also look impressive on your resumé.

  • Learn through doing, create strong connections, and develop professional skills with a campus job arranged by UBC’s Work Study Program.
  • Meet a community need and get practical experience by volunteering for a Community Service Learning project— a life-changing experience.
  • Build up your portfolio by flexing those creative muscles — photograph, illustrate, write, edit, interview and perform other journalistic roles at UBC Okanagan’s newspaper, The Phoenix, the official students’ free press.
  • Co-op puts your classroom learning to the test, allowing you to explore career options while earning money. Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.
  • More Employment Opportunities in FCCS.

Meet Your Peers and Profs

Find out what students, faculty, and alumni have to say about the Cultural Studies program at UBC’s Okanagan campus: ourstories.ok.ubc.ca.

WELCOME TO UBC’S OKANAGAN CAMPUS

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the psychology program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.

 

  • Get a glimpse into life on UBC’s Okanagan campus at you.ubc.ca.
  • Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art labs, modern facilities, campus residences.
  • Visit the campus for a personal guided tour led by a student ambassador.
  • Tour the campus, city and lake with this interactive 360-degree Kelowna From Above* video.
    * Best viewed in Chrome and Firefox 

On the first day of university, faculties offer “Meet the Faculty” sessions where you can get to know the Dean, professors, and the staff who provide student support. It’s all part of UBC Okanagan’s new student orientation: CREATE.

Attend an orientation tailored to your needs as an aboriginal student, domestic student, international student, or student living in residence. You can even register your parents for an orientation that includes a workshop and campus tour.

  • Peer mentors are a great resource — ask questions and learn from students who’ve been there, done that.
  • Navigate your studies with the help of a professor, your Program Advisor.
  • Use the library which offers print, audiovisual and electronic research materials, a leisure-reading collection and loaner laptops. It also offers research consultations, instruction and workshops.
  • The library’s Writing and Resource Centre can help you articulate your ideas. Pursue your research in a range of subject areas and scholarly genres, including essay writing, grammar, presentation skills, punctuation, thesis development, and coursework.
  • Familiarize yourself with resources designed to help you succeed. Student Services offers a variety of academic supports, from study sessions to tutoring and writing workshops.

Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and stay active—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness Centre, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and varsity athletics.

Learn more at Sports and Recreation, which includes links to fitness facilities, sport clubs, intramurals and recreation programs, as well as the nationally ranked UBC Okanagan Heat varsity teams that compete in the Canada West Universities Athletics Association.

  • Join a community of fellow creative and critical thinkers at events such as the Visiting Artist Series, Draw by Night, AlterKnowledge Discussion Series, and more.
  • Branch out, get involved in student life, and have fun by joining a campus club or association.
  • If you don’t find a club that interests you, you can start a new one!

Meet new people while living in a study-oriented environment with easy access to academic and personal support.

UBC Okanagan offers modern residence living surrounded by hiking and biking trails. One of the newest residences, Purcell, includes a rooftop patio that offers a panoramic view of the campus and the Okanagan Valley.

Find out more about living in residence at you.ubc.ca.

UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of more than 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.

More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the Top 10 busiest airports in Canada.

UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.

A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.

Explore the Okanagan lifestyle at you.ubc.ca.