Experiential Learning

Graduate with more than a degree and explore your career options with Arts Co-op and other iSchool hands-on learning opportunities.


Hands-on learning

UBC School of Information offers you a suite of hands-on learning courses, including practicums, internships, and professional experiences. Sometimes referred to as work-integrated learning or experiential learning, these opportunities give you a chance to get practical experience in a work setting. The iSchool is committed to providing quality experiential learning opportunities for you – hosts and the Educational Services Coordinator work closely together on establishing placement opportunities. You are encouraged to carefully consider their options when selecting their placements and consult their faculty advisor as needed.

Hands-on learning opportunities are an excellent way to get an in-depth look at the types of information organizations you will eventually be working in.

For more information on any of the opportunities below, contact the Educational Services Manager.

Our most popular placement, the professional experience, provides you with an opportunity to work on a field project under the supervision of an experienced librarian, archivist, or records manager. You will spend 120 hours on the project, equivalent to the time you are expected to spend on a regular course. The project is typically carried out over a 12-week term, but it can be condensed into a shorter or longer time frame if that is agreeable to you and your supervisor.

  • Three course credits
  • 120 hours
  • Prerequisites: completion of the core
  • Project proposals posted on the job board

The practicum is a two-week placement that occurs three times per year: December, April and August. The practicum is a job shadow opportunity to apply and observe the theory you have absorbed in a real library or informational setting. By the end of the practicum, you will have a better understanding of how an information-based organization functions. Ideally, you will gain an overview of the library and an appreciation of its purpose, organization and challenges.

  • Two weeks
  • Prerequisites: completion of the core

The School of Information is presently unable to offer this course. For inquiries, please contact our Educational Services Manager, at ischool.edsm@ubc.ca

The internship is a three-month-long placement in which students in the Master of Archival Studies or dual MAS/LIS programs work full-time in a recognized archival repository under the supervision of a senior archivist. Students will gain hands-on work experience working with basic archival functions. Students must complete a 10-page final report at the end of the experience.

  • Three course credits
  • 12-week placement
  • Prerequisites: 24 credits
  • Workplan provided for students in advance


Additional information for students and supervisors

  • Review the hands-on learning toolkit for guidelines and procedural information on all of the hands-on learning opportunities offered through the iSchool.
  • Find application forms, project plan templates, and guidelines for students and supervisors on our hands-on learning resources page.
  • Find opportunities for professional experience and internships on the student job board.
  • All students participating in placements outside of BC are required to apply for UBC’s Risk Management Insurance. Complete the online form prior to beginning your placement.
  • Review the WorkSafeBC Coverage Information to ensure you are familiar with the coverage eligibility. See the School of Information office for further details.
  • Hands-on learning agreement – This document will need to be completed prior to commencing your placement. Please send a copy of the completed agreement to the Educational Services Manager at ischool.edsm@ubc.ca.
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