Frequently Asked Questions

WRDS 150 is designed in a series of steps where each assignment prepares you for the next. As instructors introduce key foundational material early in the course, we strongly encourage students to finalize their registration in WRDS 150 by the end of the first week of term at the latest. Please keep in mind that instructors are not obligated to reteach any material that has been missed, so it is recommended that you  begin attending at the start of the course (or as early as possible afterwards) to give yourself the best opportunity for success.


  • WRDS 150A classes are for students in the Faculty of Arts
  • WRDS 150B classes are for students in Faculties outside of Arts

Check the UBC Course Schedule for the research area of each section before registering. More information on topics and instructor backgrounds is available on our website. As this course is primarily aimed at introducing the research culture all around us at UBC, there are lots of interesting topics to consider. The research focus of each section will be broad enough to allow students to define a term project that reflects their disciplinary background or interests.

If WRDS 150 classes fill, we will be opening up waiting list seats. Please register on either a time-specific or general waiting list for the term in which you plan to take the course. Once you have registered on a waiting list, you have the option of indicating your preferred course topic here: Space permitting, you will be registered in WRDS 150 when a seat becomes available. We will take into account your preferred topic(s), but we can’t make any guarantees. Note: the course topic list is only open to waiting list students and is not available for switching sections.

You are welcome to check the SSC to see if a space becomes available in the section of your choice. There are often seats that come open at the beginning of term as students adjust their schedules.

Please note that we do not use add/drop forms for WRDS 150 classes. Instructors do not control registration for their sections and cannot add your name to their class lists.

If you are unable to find a WRDS 150 section that works with your schedule, you may want to consider taking the course in the summer as an alternative. You will find a full list of course sections and topics here.

All registration questions can be sent to

Since WRDS 150 is designed to prepare you for university level scholarship, it should be taken early in your time at UBC, ideally in your first or second year. Students in the Faculty of Arts must attempt three credits in a writing-focused course within their first 30 credits and complete them within 54 credits. Students in Faculties outside of Arts should confirm deadlines with their individual programs.

In WRDS 150, you learn how a variety of academic disciplines deal with a specific area of current research interest (e.g. humour, human rights, social media, transgender studies, homelessness), You read and analyze a selection of current scholarly articles on the research focus of your section. You produce several brief writing assignments, most of which are “scaffolded,” which means that they serve as steps towards accomplishing a larger project or course goal. For example, you may be asked to produce a literature review as a step towards writing a research paper on that same question.

Your best options are the reference librarians at Koerner Library, and elsewhere on campus. They are ready to serve as your guide through the existing literature on just about any topic you are investigating.

While tutors can be helpful, sometimes they will misdirect WRDS 150 students, and they may even impede students’ learning in this course. For this reason, the use of tutors in WRDS 150 is discouraged. If you do use a tutor on any WRDS 150 assignment, you are required to hand in any rough drafts of your written work and the tutor’s comments and suggestions along with the work you submit for the assignment.

If you fail WRDS 150, you may repeat the course once. If you pass the WRDS 150 but want to improve your grade, you may also repeat the course once.


FAQs for Arts Students

While they all meet the writing component of the Writing and Research Requirement for completing the B.A. degree in the Faculty of Arts, WRDS 150A, WRDS 350 and ENGL 100 are single term courses. WRDS 150A focuses on topics within the Social Sciences and Humanities. ENGL 100 focuses on writing about English Literature. WRDS 350 is designed for upper-level students who have some background in academic writing or research methods.

CAP is an 18 credit standard timetable made up of a cohort of courses. Arts One is an 18 credit course which includes the disciplines of English, History and Philosophy. In CAP and Arts One you take the majority of your courses with the same group of students and the subjects you study make up a pre-arranged theme, which changes year by year.

Please note: Students should only take ONEof WRDS 150A, ENGL 100, ASTU 100 or 101 (through CAP) or Arts 001 (through Arts One) to meet the Faculty of Arts Writing Requirement.

If you...
… have Third or Fourth Year standing at UBC, take WRDS 350
… are transferring into UBC from other post-secondary institution, and have previously taken
a college-level writing, discourse studies, or research methods course,
take WRDS 350
… have not yet taken a college-level writing or research methods course, take WRDS 150A
… are concerned about your proficiency in standard written English, take WRDS 150A
… are in Second Year and would like an advanced writing elective, contact Arts Advising
… would like to earn transfer credit for a course you have taken elsewhere. contact Arts Advising

If you believe that a writing course you took at some other school satisfies the course objectives of WRDS 150A, you may request that the writing requirement be waived. For further information, consult this site. Note that AP and IB English are not accepted as the equivalent of WRDS 150A.


FAQs for Non-Arts Students

If you have taken ENGL 112, check with your Faculty Advising office to see how or if WRDS 150B will count towards your degree requirements.


WRDS 150 and WRDS 350 — Arts Studies in Research and Writing
Vancouver Campus
222-1873 East Mall
Vancouver, BC
V6T 1Z1

Email: – Student inquiries – General inquiries