Community-engaged learning

Community engaged field school in Archaeology

Students develop their techniques and understanding in archaeology through practice in Barkley Sound

Community engaged field school in Environmental Studies

Student at Environmental Studies field school (Biodiversity and Conservation of Coastal BC) on Galiano Island

#bitketoria at City Studio with Mayor Lisa Helps

Students learn about sustainable transportation planning and community engagement with Mayor Lisa Helps through their participation in Geog 491: #biketoria

With community-engaged learning CEL, you'll connect course content with real-world experiences; contribute to community; and build your understanding, your CV and your network. There are over 100 opportunities for CEL in the social sciences at UVic. 

CEL can be course-based and for-credit (curricular) or extra-curricular and not-for-credit (co-curricular). Activities include field courses, self-directed studies, practica, and co-op. CEL also includes actively volunteering within an already existing community volunteer program or taking on a volunteer role specifically designed for you.

In all cases you connect that experience with your learning through assignments, discussion and/or guided reflection. These experiences can involve direct (person to person) engagement with community or indirect engagement (e.g. gathering and presenting secondary data for a community research question).

Examples of CEL learning activities:

There are so many possibilities for building your skills, knowledge, network, and sense of civic responsibility!

Contact the to learn more about these opportunities, to access support for community engaged activities, and to share your story of CEL (we want to spread the word about your great work!). 

Community engaged field courses and field schools

You have many opportunities to participate in field courses in the social sciences. The field courses listed below are community engaged and are offered most years. There is also a field school student support fund to help with the extra costs associated with these experiences.

Selected Problems in Methods and Theory: Heritage and Historical Archaeology Field Course, Emanu-El Synagogue Cemetery; ANTH 395 A02: - Read the course blog or watch the video.

Cuba Ethnographic Field School 2018: Media and Visual Anthropology under Transformation; ANTH 393 A01ANTH 395 A02:  - Read the 2018 course desciption.

Archaeological field school in Barkley Sound; ANTH 343 A01ANTH 344 A01:- Read the 2017 course description, find information for 2017, or watch a video from the 2016 experience.

Red Fish School of Change; ES 380ES 381; ES 370: - Visit the course website.

Advanced Principles and Concepts in Ecological Restoration; ES 441

Advanced Field Study: Biodiversity and Conservation of Coastal BC; ES 470: - Read the 2016 course outline.

Advanced Field Study: Practical Permaculture Applications; ES 470 

Advanced Field Study: Community and regional coastal-marine conservation; ES 470: - Visit the course website.

Advanced Field Study: Peru Field School; ES 470

Field Methods in Ethnoecology; ES 481

Cascadia Sustainability Field School (Sustainable Communities; Regional Studies); GEOG 388GEOG 391: - View 2016 course information.

Northern Europe Sustainability Field School (Sustainable Communities; Regional Studies); GEOG 388GEOG 391: - View 2017 course information.

Coastal Field School: GEOG 474; 491; 491 - View the 2016 application. Notes that the course numbers and titles included in this field school change from year to year. 

Clayoquot Sound Field School: GEOG 453; GEOG 391 A05; GEOG 391 A06; GEOG 339; GEOG 487; GEOG 456: - View 2017 information

Indigenous Knowledge, Science & Resource Management Field School; GEOG 453: - View the current application. - View Funding opportunity for Indigenous students

Field Studies in Physical Geography; GEOG 477: - View the course website.

Courses with a community engaged field trip

You can participate in a field trip that engages with communities all across Vancouver Island.

ANTH 315: Living Technologies

ANTH 449: Archaeology of the Northwest Coast

ES 384: Systems Theory: An Introduction to Natural and Social Systems

ES 415: Integral Systems Theory: Philosophy and Practice

ES 421: Ethnobotany: Plants and Human Cultures - View course information.

ES 423: Traditional Systems of Land and Resource Management

ES 429: Urban Ethnoecology - View course information.

GEOG 101B: Introduction to Human Geography - View 2016 course outline.

GEOG 252: Coastal Geography - View 2015 course outline.

GEOG 355: Coastal Communities - View 2016 course outline.

GEOG 357: Parks and Protected Areas

GEOG 406: Sustainable Cities - View 2016 course outline.

HDCC 300: Climate Change for Social Transformation

POLI 332: Urban Politics

POLI 351: Public Policy Analysis

Learning and contributing through volunteering and projects

You can volunteer in the community, and reflect with your class on these experiences and their significance to course material.

Within the opportunities listed below, community engagement is either an optional or required course component. If you opt for a CEL course or course component, your instructor and the are here to support you.

ANTH 303: Anthropology of Sound - View course information.

ANTH 395: Method and Theory - Community-Based Research. View course outline.

ANTH 409: Applied Ethnographic Film - View course information.

ANTH 433: Coast Salish and Contemporary Life - View 2014 course information.

ANTH 460/520: Ethnographic Mapping and Indigenous Cartographies

ER 312B: Field Study in Ecological Restoration II

ER 390: Environmental Restoration Project - View 2016 course information.

ER 400: Seminar in Environmental Restoration

ES 470: Advanced Field Study: Practical Permaculture Applications

ES 470: Advanced Field Study: Biodiversity and Conservation of Coastal BC - View 2014 course information.

ES 480: Advanced Environmental Topics in Political Ecology: Capstone Course in Environmental Practices - Applied Policy and Action

ES 481: Advanced Environmental Topics in Ethnoecology: Introduction to Permaculture Design

ES 481: Advanced Environmental Topics in Ethnoecology: Field Methods in Ethnoecology

ES 482: Advanced Environmental Topics in Ecological Restoration: Changing Nature - View course project information.

GEOG 101A: Environment, Society and Sustainability& - View 2016 course outline.

GEOG 327: Research Methods in Human Geography - View 2016 course outline.

GEOG 355: Coastal Communities - View 2016 course outline.

GEOG 406: Sustainable Cities - View 2016 course outline.

GEOG 407: Activism and Community Based Planning - View 2016 course outline.

GEOG 438: Aquaculture in British Columbia - View 2016 course outline.

GEOG 491: Advanced Topics in Geography: Urban Mobility (previously #biketoria) -  Read a story about this course.

HDCC 200: Introduction to Human Dimensions of Climate Change

POLI 323: Issues in Politics

POLI 351: Public Policy Analysis

PSYC 461: Field Placement in Psychology - View 2016 course outline.

PSYC 435G: Autism: Theory and Practice

PSYC 492: Research Seminar in Psychology

SJS 400B: Practicing Social Justice in the Field - Visit the program website.

SOCI 206/306: Crime and defiance

SOCI 374: Quantitative Research Methods - View 2016 course outline.

SOCI 438: Issues in Contemporary Sociology

SOSC 300: Working in Community - Read a story related to a student's experience in this course. Apply here

TS 400: Technologies of the Future 

Self-Directed CEL

You can take initiative in your learning and your connection with community through self-directed CEL experiences. Community engagement is an option within the courses listed below. If you opt for a self-directed CEL experience, your supervisor and the are here to support you. See the resources section below for further supports.

ANTH 380: Directed Experiential Learning in Anthropology

ANTH 491-495: Directed Studies in Anthropology

ANTH 499: Honours Seminar

ECON 496: Directed Experiential Learning in Economics

ECON 499: Fourth Year Honours Thesis and Seminar

ER 490: Directed Studies in Environmental Restoration

ES 250: Directed Experiential Learning in Ecological Restoration

ES 490: Directed Studies in Environmental Studies

GEOG 499A; 499B: Honours Thesis

POLI 390: Directed Experiential Learning in Political Science

POLI 490: Directed Reading in Political Science

POLI 499: Honours Seminar and Essay 

PSYC 390: Independent Study in Psychology

PSYC 490: Independent Study in Psychology

PSYC 499: Honours Thesis and Seminar

SOCI 499: Honours Seminar and Thesis

Co-curricular CEL

CEL doesn't happen only through course work. You can take initiative to get involved in your community in a meaningful way that benefits your personal and career goals as well as your community. Below are some examples. Contact your for more information and for support in making these experiences of ultimate benefit to you and your communtiy.

Co-op and Career has created a document outlining examples of how to engage in co-curricular opportunities.


Here is a list of some tools and resources available at UVic for your CEL endeavours. The can provide support in navigating these and other resources.

Levi Hildebrand showcases what he learned in GEOG 391: Food and the City. 
Nazarana Smith talks about her community engaged learning activities in environmental studies and biology. 
GEOG 491: #biketoria students talk about their community engaged experience.