Hands-on learning

Students walking on rocks near the ocean
Take your education outside the classroom through co-op terms, research awards, field schools and more. Because learning doesn't just happen in the classroom.

While many of our courses incorporate hands-on learning through labs and field trips, we also offer many other opportunities to put your classroom education into practice in the field and lab.

Co-operative education

Co-op programs allow students to alternate working in their field of study for government, industry and academic employers. It's a great way to get valuable experience, make connections with employers, and earn some decent money to pay tuition. Every field in science has a co-op program with connection to local, regional, national and international employers.

Here you'll be challenged to learn in new and dynamic ways. It's a great opportunity to sample areas within your field and explore your career options before you graduate.

Develop your career

Research awards

NSERC USRA (Undergraduate Student Research Awards)

If you would like to gain research work experience that complements your studies, NSERC USRA can provide you with financial support through a host university (Either at UVic or another Canadian university). USRAs are meant to stimulate your interest in research in the natural sciences and engineering. They are also meant to encourage you to undertake graduate studies and pursue a research career in these fields. Get more information and eligibility criteria here. To apply, contact your department

SURA (Science Undergraduate Research Awards)

Summer research can be an important and enjoyable part of an undergraduate experience, and can also be helpful in deciding whether to pursue research as a career. A fund initiated and sustained by an endowment provided by the estate of the late Eva Moody allows the Faculty of Science to provide a number of competitive awards each year to undergraduate students who want to do research in the summer.

Application Form

JCURA (Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award)

Outstanding upper-year students can apply for a prestigious Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award. These scholarships allow excellent students to do research in their chosen discipline under the supervision of a professor who is an expert in the field.


UVic's Science Honours Programs provides an opportunity for qualified senior undergraduates to undertake a research project, to work closely with a research supervisor, and to improve their skills in oral and written scientific communication.  The Honours Program is especially recommended for students considering postgraduate work in their subject.

For more information, visit the department website and contact your department's Honours advisor

Getting into the field

Field schools

Field schools are a great way to get concentrated hands-on learning, while earning credits towards your degree.

Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

UVic offers field courses through this unique training facility in coastal and marine sciences and other disciplines during Summer and Fall semesters.

Directed studies

These courses allow fourth year Science students the opportunity to earn credits, while working with an instructor on an independent research project.  If you are interested in this option, begin by speaking to research advisor in your area of interest.

Research experience courses

This option allows Biochemistry & Microbiology and Chemistry students in second year and higher to gain research experience by volunteering in a working UVic Science lab.

Biochemistry student Paul Kim talks about the hands-on learning experiences he found at UVic, including a co-op at the BC Deeley Research Centre.