Program Description

This 2 year graduate program is delivered in a richly blended model of both online and face-to-face learning with the distinct benefit of three short on-campus residencies. An education of personal significance, you’ll study with masterful faculty to explore: creativity, beauty, despair & grief, systems thinking, change-making, diverse worldviews, ecological identity, communication & learning theory, and critically applied research methods. In each course in this program, you'll have the chance to experience profound mentorship and peer-to-peer learning in and outside of class where important knowledge can accrue at a new, integral, and critical edge.

The Master of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication students critically examine the issues and perceptions of our world through various lenses, perspectives and multiple modalities revealing more of the interdependencies and correspondences that exist within the larger context rather than focus on what may be erroneously identified as “the problem”. And by the larger context, that means students often get outside – outside boxed-in mindsets and outside the classroom as well.

Who It’s For

Typically, you are a professional with a bachelor’s degree and at least two years' experience working or with significant interest in environmental education and communication. If you do not have the formal academic education to qualify for admission you may be assessed on the basis of both your formal education and your informal learning, in accordance with the Flexible Admission Process.

You are interested in:

  • Engaging with individuals, organizations, communities, and nations to collaborate on what it means to educate and communicate across all sectors of society as an agent of change
  • Widening your perspective, applying multiple lenses and time enough to look ‘into’ rather than merely ‘at’ the intersections between the human and more-than-human world
  • Deepening your understanding of what is essential to a skilled environmental educator and communicator becoming a true citizen of the world
  • Exploring divergent ways to understand the underlying and root causes of our destructive human behaviors and practices in order to be responsive and effective in leading systemic change from the classroom to the pressroom and in all places in between
  • Facilitating a wide range of learning and engagement formats, relevant current technologies and media
  • Evaluating the status of public information and prior knowledge concerning environmental values, issues, and opportunities
  • Learning about and connecting with those making innovative contributions and leading in the field at this time
  • Developing a systems-thinking approach as to how we might live, work, and learn in a more connected, compassionate, and healthy world
  • Researching what you are passionate about and what the world needs more of

Upon completion, you'll be ready to take your career further in national and international levels in sectors such as education, journalism & communications, health, parks & recreation, theology, government, social profit & social mobilization, politics & governance, green technology, international NGO’s, resource management and sustainable community development, to name a few.

Program features

Three 3-weeks outstanding residencies over the summers:

  • First residency: Builds the cornerstone foundations for the program as you meet your cohort and the community that supports this program
  • Second residency: One week at Field School living and learning in community with various Indigenous coastal peoples followed by a two-week on-campus immersion
  • Third residency: Implementation of your thesis or major research project into action by living your learning

This program can be completed in one of two ways as a capstone to your degree:

  • Thesis
  • Major Research Project

Field School

A highlight of the MA in Environmental Education and Communication program is the 1-week field school where you immerse in the experience of Indigenous ways of being and knowing and learn in nature. Situated in traditional coastal territories within various Indigenous communities, you will study biodiversity and adaptation within a “living laboratory”. Guest lecturers and Elders from the communities bring and share their knowledge in-situ, allowing you to explore ecological principles that govern ecosystem dynamics and sustainability alongside Indigenous customs, heritage, and lands. Locations may vary from year to year. A moderate level of physicality is required for full participation.

In 2020, the Field School will take place on Salt Spring Island (just a thirty-minute ferry ride off the Saanich peninsula from Swartz Bay), which has a unique legal framework under the Island Trust Act that limits development and encourages the preservation and protection of the islands and its cultures. You will look at cultural and ecological restoration projects at Xwaaqw’um and also have a chance to explore the islanders' approach to managing their forests and Garry oak ecosystems for climate change. The intersection between cultural survival and ecological survival and how to ensure both is the focus of the field school. 

Living Our Learning

A synthesis of all you have learned in the Masters in Environmental Education and Communication is a course entitled, Implementation to Action: Living our Learning and makes up the entire final 2-weeks of residency. This required course provides a unique opportunity to integrate the important learning that has occurred during the program. Designed to deepen self-awareness, nurture individual and collective action, optimize opportunities for peer exchange, this course encourages reflection on the pillars of life-long learning.

Curious to know more about Royal Roads' School of Environment & Sustainability? Visit our blog to read all about our exciting projects, faculty research, reflection on current events, and more.

Learn more about the admission requirements. For further information and how to apply, connect with one of our Enrolment Advisors.