Course Guide

Courses in the BA Program in Interdisciplinary Studies are organised in four categories:

Creative and Performing Arts
Humanities

Science
Social Sciences

If you understand these categories already, feel free to close this page and to move on directly to the List of Subjects by Category and Discipline page. If not, then take a few minutes first to read these brief descriptions of the four categories into which all coursework in IDST is divided.

Creative and Performing Arts

The category Creative and Performing Arts subsumes all disciplines that are concerned with teaching students creative forms of artistic representation, whether through music, theatre, visual arts, fiction or film. Courses in the study of texts or historical matters (e.g., drama texts, films) will be found in related areas in the Humanities.

The disciplines most commonly associated with the Creative and Performing Arts are: Creative Writing, Film (production), Music (performance), Theatre Design and Production, Visual Art.

Humanities

Disciplines in the Humanities are usually characterized by a more textual approach to knowledge than in the Social Sciences. Studies in the Humanities generally look more closely at literature and language than they do at statistics and case studies, and are often, though not always, much more concerned with historical and philosophical considerations than are disciplines in the Social Sciences.

Among the Humanities disciplines are: Archaeology, Art History, History, Language, Linguistics, Literature, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Women’s Studies (Humanities list).

Social Sciences

All four categories can be characterized by the methods that they use to gather knowledge. Courses in the Social Sciences are generally characterized by a systematic, scientific approach to problems concerning society. The focus is generally on studying matters such as political processes, social structures, economic systems, and human interaction in general (on both large and small scales). Frequently, course titles will include these terms.

The disciplines most commonly associated with the Social Sciences are: Anthropology, Asian Studies (Social Sciences list), Economics, Family Studies, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Urban Studies, Women’s Studies (Social Sciences list).

Science

The Science category is much easier to identify than the other three because it is made up almost exclusively of courses in the Faculty of Science. However, it is useful to note that Science courses usually deal, in some manner, with explanation of natural phenomena through the use of a strict scientific methodology. Courses in the sciences are also usually characterized by the presence of a lab component to the course work.

To be included in this category, courses must carry Science credit: courses with UBC Calendar descriptions that include such notes as “not for credit in the Faculties of Science or Applied Science” do not count for credit in the IDST BA Science Category.

The following are disciplines that carry credit in the Faculty of Science and, therefore, count towards the IDST Science category: Astronomy, Atmospheric Sciences, Biochemistry, Biology, Animal Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Conservation Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, General Biology, Genetics, Geographical Biogeosciences, Marine Biology, Plant Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Ocean Sciences, Geological Sciences, Geophysics, Oceanography, Mathematics, Microbiology, Nutritional Science, Pharmacology, Physiology, Physics, Psychology, Statistics.