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ARTS Courses

Explore different disciplines of an Arts Degree in one of our Arts Courses. Through courses that explore a different topic each semester from a multidiscipline perspective (ARTS 1100), or an intensive interdisciplinary field school in the Amazon rain forest (ARTS 3000) students gain knowledge that spans multiple areas of study. For more information about how these exciting courses fit within your degree, please make an appointment to see an Arts Degree Advisor on Advisor Connect.

ARTS 1100: Experiencing the Arts

Students will explore a broad and compelling theme through the lens of different Arts disciplines. The theme will change each semester. The course will be run by an instructor who is passionate about the theme, with class sessions taught by visiting instructors from areas such as History, Psychology, Geography, Fine Arts, Political Science, and other fields. This will help students realize how different fields within Arts are connected, as well as suggest directions for further study. They will learn to view their world through multiple, and sometimes contrasting, perspectives and develop intellectual skills which are essential for learning in various disciplines and for continued learning in life beyond the University.

  • Fall 2020:
    - Daniel Tones, Identity
    This interdisciplinary course explores various factors that contribute to one’s identity. Students will examine how culture, relationships, aspirations, and experiences create a sense of self and inform future pathways. By completing readings, engaging in group discussions, participating in a diverse series of guest presentations, and reflecting on experiences in the course, students will challenge their perceptions and perspectives, connect meaningfully with others in the class, and identify avenues for personal and professional growth.

    - Ying-Yueh Chuang, Craft
    In this class students will learn about craft through examples in different media and apply what they learn to hands-on projects.
  • - Valerie Vezina, Canada and its Peoples (International student Cohort section)
    In this course, we will explore various aspects of what makes Canada and Canadians who they are. We will examine the various peoples of Canada (Indigenous, settlers of British and French ancestry, settlers of more recent immigration), their languages, their music and arts and how they perceive the world through the lens of various Arts discipline (political science, criminology, psychology, music, geography, etc). This interdisciplinary course is primarily designed for International students who want to know more about Canada.

    - Bryn Jones Square, Daring to Imagine a Better Future: Literature, Empathy, and Education
    In this course, we will work together to envision a better future through collective thinking and imagining. We will discuss climate change, Covid-19, systemic racism, police brutality, prison reform, empathy and compassion, and human, animal, and robot rights, and we will consider how we might turn thought into action and contribute to concrete social and political change. We will address these topics collaboratively, exploring and synthesizing knowledge and ideas from across the disciplines. The course will include educational and music videos, TED Talks and speeches, music and art, guest speakers, and more, and it will provide you with the opportunity for creative writing and experiential learning.

  • Spring 2021: Rajdeep Gill, Animals and Societies

  • Summer 2021: Lauren Harding, Holidays

ARTS 3000: Interdisciplinary Amazon Field School

Learners will engage in an intensive interdisciplinary field school in the Amazon rain forest. They will take part in cultural and creative immersion activities, participate in community engagement projects, and contextualize their field learning by classroom-based analysis and critical reflection before and after their field experiences. They will develop interdisciplinary skills in creativity, academic inquiry, ecology and conservation, cultural awareness, environmental design, design thinking, and community development. Learners will become familiar with various expressive modalities of the Amazon region (e.g. design, writing, music, movement, expressive arts, materiality, storytelling, etc.) and will explore the application of those modalities in an integrative learning environment. Note: Students will spend two weeks at the Field School site in addition to class sessions on campus before and after travel. Students must be nineteen years or older at the start of the course

ARTS 3200: Inside-Out Prison Exchange

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program works with equal numbers of learners from KPU and from inside the prison in a transformative, collaborative learning community. Students will address issues of violence, alternatives to violence and transformation through an experiential learning process.

This course takes place within a provincial corrections institution in Surrey, BC (Surrey Pretrial Services Centre located at 14323 57 Ave, Surrey, BC.) There will be an equal number of inside (incarcerated) students and outside (KPU) students enrolled in this course. Classes will be held on Wednesdays from 9:30 - 3:20 pm. The topic for this iteration of Arts 3200 will be Violence, Alternatives to Violence & Transformation. The first half of the course will explore the roots of both interpersonal and structural violence and its impacts on people, relationships and society. The second half of the course will introduce students to alternatives to violence including conflict resolution and peacemaking practices such as restorative justice. We will conclude with reflections on what it will take to transform ourselves and society in order to lower levels of violence.

Please note that interested students must pre-apply. The deadline for pre- application is 1pm on November 15, 2019. We will be conducting suitability interviews with students on November 20, 2019. If you require any other information please don't hesitate to contact the instructor:

FileInside Out 2020 Application Form

ARTS 4800: Arts Practicum

The ARTS practicum course introduces students to the workplace and degree-relevant entry-level work through placement in an employment setting. During the term, students complete 48 to 64 workplace hours (approximately 4-6 hours per week). The course is for senior students with a declared Major or Minor in Geography, History, Philosophy, Policy Studies, Journalism or Political Science. For more information visit the Arts Practicum website.

ARTS 3991, 3992, 3993: Undergraduate Research and Scholarship

Students will conduct research and scholarship in collaboration with a faculty mentor. This course will offer experiential learning in an academic setting by partnering students with faculty who have, or are initiating, research projects. Students will advance their research and professional skills, integrating these skills within a faculty-led project, through such activities as conducting a literature review, applying for Research Ethics Board approval, conducting research, applying research methods, drafting and revising reviews and/or articles, researching and compiling materials for conference presentations, and performing data analysis.

For program-specific information please contact:

For administrative questions please contact: Anne Lin

Walking the Pandemic Home: Students’ Film Making As Mapping Place with Adrienne Boulton (​​Educational Studies)

This course involves learning basic qualities of qualitative research methodologies, focusing on Arts Based Research. The project that students will learn through is currently in its third phase, extending a previous research study from 2018/2019 which focuses on the use of mobile media, arts based inquiry and narrative writing in an undergraduate course to explore the concept of home. Students will be involved in data collection, analysis which involves coding films and written reflections using HyperResearch software. This data extends from a study that explores undergraduate students’ use of video and their film based inquiry of the concept of home. Students involved in this ARTS 3993 research course would receive mentoring in Arts Based Research and video ethnography methodology, theoretical positioning of Affect Theory, and practical skills involved in visual and textual data analysis utilizing HyperResearch researchware to code video and textual data. They will develop presentations for local and international conferences, and will help prepare papers for publication. Students will need to: complete weekly readings, have the use of a laptop and secure access to Wifi, have strong English language skills, excellent communication skills, and be enthusiastically prepared to learn HyperResearch software to code visual and textual data. This is a 3 credit course.

Minimum Qualifications Required :
Ideally, students will have completed EDUC 1100: Introduction to Higher Education. They will possess advanced English language skills.

Contact Email:

Narratives of Empowerment through Attaining a Black Belt in Mixed Martial Arts with Shayna Rusticus (Psychology)

Mixed martial arts (MMA) a hybrid combat sport incorporating techniques from boxing, wrestling, judo, jujitsu, karate, Muay Thai, and other disciplines. Those training in MMA can work their way through a belt system starting at a white belt and testing their way up to a black belt. Achieving a black belt typically takes 5 or more years to achieve and requires consistent and dedicated training. The purpose of this study is to qualitatively explore, through narrative analysis, the stories and experiences of individuals who have obtained a black belt in MMA. Our research question is: What is the lived experience of practicing martial arts and obtaining a black belt? We believe there will be commonalities among these stories that will speak to perseverance, goal setting, mental health, and personal growth.
In this project, the faculty member is looking for someone to complete two main tasks. One task will be to transcribe the interviews that have been conducted for this project. There will be between 10 and 15 one hour interviews to transcribe. The second task will be to conduct a literature review on narrative analysis and prepare a summary paper on the outcome of this review. This would be a 3 credit course.

Minimum Qualifications Required:
The successful student should have completed PSYC 2400 at a minimum. Preference will be given to a student who has completed PSYC 4400 (qualitative research methods). The ability to type at a moderate speed is also required.

Contact Email:

Governing Complexity: Future-proofing Higher Education Internationalization in Times of Uncertainty

This course involves learning basic research design for qualitative research in the arts and social sciences. The research project is in its first phase, and it is part of an international research collaboration involving universities in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Our research group is trying to understand the interaction between higher education public policies, and a particular set of ‘end-users’ of higher education – international students. Students will learn about the overall research design of this project, and learn some elements of data collection, such as how to conduct a literature review. Students involved in this ARTS 3991, ARTS 3992 or ARTS 3993 research course would receive mentoring in social science research and methods. They will develop a literature review, as well as be involved in the development of presentations for local and international conferences, and papers for publication. Students will need to: have the use of a laptop and secure access to Wifi, have strong English language skills, excellent communication skills, competence with library search engines, and some interest in higher education politics and policy. There is the possibility to be involved in other aspects of the research (such as compiling survey data or preparing focus group material), depending on the skills and availability of the student. This could be a 1, 2 or 3 credit course.

Minimum Qualifications Required:
Ideally, students will have completed EDUC 1100: Introduction to Higher Education. They will possess advanced English language skills, and be familiar with library resources (for example, having completed the library’s research module:

Contact Email: