The Equity Studies in Education is designed for students who wish to study and develop expertise in an equity framework for education. The program conceptualizes education broadly as a concept that includes schooling, but also includes other social forces that shape knowledge in society.

Master Program

Curriculum & Instruction: Equity Studies in Education MA, MEd

In addition to the conceptual, the pedagogical standpoint of this program is also rooted in an anti-oppression, equity frame. Acknowledging that we do this work on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, the program instructors operate from a critical pedagogy of care, inclusion, hope, and advocacy for dismantling the ongoing legacy of settler colonialism, racism, hetero/sexism, ableism, classism, linguicism, and other socially-constructed and sustained systems of oppression. While we advocate for and work towards these ideals, we also acknowledge that we are each limited by the experiences and standpoints from which we know and experience the world. It is expected that students in this program will engage in an ongoing critical, self-reflective stance on the processes of equity as we seek to understand and achieve it in school, other social institutions, and society at large, as well as in our own contexts as students, faculty, and citizens working towards a just society.

How to Transfer from MEd to MA Degree?

Students wishing to transfer from the MEd to the MA degree may apply after four core courses are completed (students must complete five core courses in total for the MA plus a Master’s Thesis). In order to be accepted into the MA program students must demonstrate a strong writing ability, a clear research plan, and committed advisement from a senior supervisor.

Students should follow the procedure outlined below: 

1. Students will have completed four core courses before applying to transfer from the MEd to the MA.  At this point they must consult a prospective advisor for the thesis. If this faculty member is other than the pro-tem advisor, the pro-tem advisor is to be informed.

2. In consultation with the prospective thesis advisor, the student will then prepare a written thesis proposal. This will be a minimum of ten pages in length, and will include a) research question(s), b) context for the research, c) objectives, d) methodology, e) contribution to the advancement of knowledge and/or educational practice, f) student's special interest in the proposed area of research.

These questions can help to guide your research proposal preparation:

  1. What is your question/inquiry? (i.e., paragraph overview of your question or inquiry focus)
  2. What brings you to it? (a brief statement regarding what brings you to the question, i.e., what is the spark for this interest/why is this topic of importance/significance to you)
  3. How are proposing to approach this inquiry (i.e., what are your methods, and what methodology might be the overarching thread for these methods; what ethical or other requirements or implications do you need to bear in mind in conducting this research?)
  4. Who are the key thinkers you are drawing on, what are the key concepts, theories, ideas embedded in this area of inquiry?
  5. What educational significance do you feel this inquiry has or might have (and by 'educational', that might be everything from specific pedagogical or curricular or policy implications, or a broader philosophical and/or sociological significance).

3. The thesis proposal must be approved by your prospective supervisor before it is submitted to Graduate Programs office together with 1) Faculty of Education Change Degree, Program or Specialization Application form, 2) approval of supervisory committee form, and 3) required documentation as follows:

  • A letter/email from the faculty member who agrees to serve as the Senior Supervisor indicating that he or she has approved the thesis proposal
  • A thesis proposal (minimum ten pages as outlined above)
  • An annotated bibliography for the proposed thesis (minimum of 20 references to include current journal articles, books/chapters, and relevant online resources, etc.)
  • A copy of a written assignment undertaken for the MEd

If any of the above conditions are not met, the change of degree route will not be approved.

Your senior supervisor may recommend other course(s) for you to take related to your masters thesis research.

MA, MEd Research Projects

Samples of ESE student comprehensive projects and theses titles.

  • "A critical policy scan of sexual violence policies at 15 major post-secondary institutions in Canada" (MEd Comps, 2019)
    Committee: Cassidy/ Beck/ S. Poyntz
  • "Mostly "in" and sometimes "out": Queer teacher experience in British Columbia" (MEd Comps, 2019)
    Committee: Beck/ Chinnery
  • “Anti-racism policies, antiracism education for school administrators” (MEd Comps, 2019) 
    (Committee: Beck/ Dharamshi)
  • “Mentorship education in the professional development of nurses” (MEd Comps, 2019) 
    (Committee: Sensoy/ Dharamshi)
  • “Securitization, surveillance, and policing in schools” (MEd Comps, 2019) 
    (Committee: Chinnery/ Beck)
  • “Understanding and allyship between Indigenous and migrant communities” (MEd Comps, 2019) 
    (Committee: Chinnery/ Parent)
  • “Examining the relationship between First Nations people and early Chinese settlers in BC: Shared experiences and challenges imposed by the state and current implications” (MEd Comps, 2019)
    (Committee: vanderWey/ Han)
  • “The challenges of decolonizing education in BC classrooms" (MEd Comps, 2018) 
    (Committee: Chinnery/ Dharamshi)
  • "Employment learning needs of immigrant women" (MEd Comps, 2018)
    (Committee: Smythe/ Lee)
  • "Whose stories? Whose lives? A critical narrative analysis of British Columbia's foster parent training module" (MEd Comps, 2018)
    (Committee: vanderWey/ Smythe)
  • “Integrating Indigenous education into secondary classrooms" (MEd Comps, 2018)(Committee: Beck/ Parent)
  • Unforgiveness: An alternative space for people who cannot forgive (MA Thesis, 2018)
    (Committee: Sensoy/ Chinnery/ G. McCarron; Examiner: Masahiro Minami)
  • Challenging racial privilege in international experiential learning programs with Canadian university students (MA Thesis, 2018)
    (Committee: Beck/ Marshall; Examiner: Roumi Ilieva)
  • “Reading queerly: Queer critical pedagogy in schools" (MEd Comps, 2018)
    (Committee: Marshall/ Beck)
  • “Creating Space for Transgender Two-Spirit and Non-Binary Individuals in Gender-Segregated Shelter and Housing Programs" (MEd Comps, 2017)
    (Committee: Jordan/ Smythe/ CJ Rowe)
  • “Normative Masculinities in Children’s Fiction” (MEd Comps, 2017)
    (Committee: Marshall/ T. Rogers, UBC)
  • “Teaching Unions in Social Justice Movements” (MEd Comps, 2017)
    (Committee: Smythe/ Marshall)
  • “The Invisibility of Injustice in Social Justice 12” (MEd Comps, 2017)
    (Committee: Sensoy/ Han)
  • “White teacher identity development" (MEd Comps, 2017)
    (Committee: Beck/ Marshall) 
  • “Me and the Media: Being Muslim in Canada” (MEd Comps, 2016)
    (Committee: Sensoy/ Beck) 

Students and Alumni Experiences

Teresa Dettling, MEd - Social Justice Activist.

Vive Wong, MEd - Non-profit organization in the Community Engagement Sector.

Christie Mendes, MEd - Learning and Development.

Sarah Shove, MEd - Grade 7 Teacher, Delta School District.

Madeline Brewster, MEd - High School Teacher, Vancouver School District.

Mark Touzeau, MEd - Primary School Teacher, Langley School Dictrict.

Doctoral Program

Educational Theory and Practice: Curriculum and Pedagogy Stream PhD

Formerly known as Curriculum Theory & Implementation, PhD. 

Our Curriculum and Pedagogy Stream of the Educational Theory and Practice (eTAP) program will expand your understanding or scope of practice within formal and informal sectors of education, including K–12, early childhood education, adult education, post-secondary education, etc, while you examine program development, assessment, curriculum development and the theories and practices of instructional design and delivery.

Our eTAP programs are intentionally broad to be inclusive of the diverse range of fields of study that could be explored through the lens and dynamics of theories and practices in education.

This multi and interdisciplinary understanding promotes inquiry into your own specific interests and backgrounds within your classes through discussions, additional readings, papers, projects, etc., under the guidance and mentorship of your supervisor and committee.

You will receive close academic mentorship with one or more faculty members who have expertise in areas of research that resonate with your own areas of inquiry.

Note:  PhD applicants interested in pursuing research topics in equity studies should contact Dr. Özlem Sensoy ( for further details.


Equity Studies in Education Community

Academic Coordinators

Teaching Faculty