Course-Based Route

Frequently Asked Questions About the M. Ed. Course-Based Route

These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are commonly posed by students completing the course-based route. Individual circumstances may alter individual paths, so feel free to consult the Grad Office (facultyedgrad@brandonu.ca) with any inquiries.

FAQs posed to the Grad Chair


How does a student enter the course-based route?

All students start their M. Ed. programs in the course-based route. This means that the 36 credit hours required for completion will all be completed through taking courses. Typically, students complete 12 three credit hour courses, however we also offer one credit hour courses in Advanced Research Methods.

What impact does course-based route have on one’s courses and time for completion?

Students in the course-based route will complete their two required courses (07.752 and 07.714), plus the courses required for their stream (varies per stream) and electives. Students in the course-based route will take Graduate Summative Seminar (07.750) as their final course. This course cannot be taken unless all eleven courses have been completed in the term(s) prior to the start of Graduate Summative Seminar. Although the final Graduate Summative Seminar course is offered currently in Fall, Winter, and Spring Sessions, in some cases, such as if the 11th course in in Spring Session or a section is full, students may need to wait until the next scheduled term offering to take their final course.

What is involved in the Graduate Summative Seminar course?

The course involves reflection on all previous courses, completing a portfolio, writing or revising a paper or action plan, and doing a public presentation. Students should save/retain all coursework materials, including course outlines, readings, and assignments, to be prepared for their final course. As with the first two courses, students from all streams will be combined in the final Graduate Summative Seminar course. Students are advised to write a reflection after completing each course which can be used to jog memories when taking 07.750.  Student presentations are advertised through our list-serve. We recommend that students attend presentations prior to the session in which they will be taking the course.  This can help reduce anxiety about what may be involved in the presentation aspect of the course, and attendees will find the presentations are engaging and informative.

What impact does completing the course-based route have on future academic options?

Completing a Master’s thesis is usually required for admission to a PhD or EdD program. Doctoral programs want to know that you have completed an extensive research study at the Master’s level before beginning a doctorate program. There are a few exceptions in Canada of doctoral programs that will accept students who graduate from a Course-Based route; however, the competition is fierce for spots in those programs and there are typically a lot of applicants from Course Based programs. Students who are interested in pursuing further academic studies at the doctoral level are encouraged to complete a thesis to keep their options open.

How and when do students pay for the course-based route?

Expenses are consistent throughout the program as students pay for each course registration prior to the start of the relevant term. The Graduate Summative Seminar costs the same amount as other 3 credit hour courses, and payment is due prior to the start of the term in which a student is registered for the course.

What options are there within the course-based route?

Practicum: All students in the Master’s program may take a practicum as an elective. The Guidance and Counselling stream requires a practicum (04.772).  Practicums are arranged through one’s department after submitting a request form with an idea for an area of study. If it is approved, the department appoints a supervisor and the student and Faculty Supervisor together determine the criteria for the practicum. A practicum requires 72 hours of focus. (75 hours for the “required” 04.772 Practicum in Counselling I). All requests for practicum supervision are to be submitted directly via email to the Graduate Studies Office.

Field-led Courses: Students may also be eligible to take up to six credit hours of Field-led Courses. Field-led courses are offered by affiliated organizations such as Manitoba Association of School Superintendents (MASS), or the Council of School Leaders (COSL) of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS). Registration priority is granted to those in Educational Administration (for those working towards the MB Certificate in School Leadership). To register in such courses, students submit and pay for a Letter of Permission through Brandon University, get approved by the Grad Chair if there is space in their program, and then register and pay tuition to the sponsoring organization. Tuition may vary for members and non-members of the sponsoring organization.

What steps are involved in completing the course-based route?

  • Complete the required courses 07.752 Overview of Educational Issues and 07.714 Introduction to Educational Research Methodologies
  • Complete all required courses for your stream as listed on your program sheet and in the Grad Calendar
  • Complete electives as specified on your program sheet and in the Grad Calendar
  • Complete 07.750 Graduate Summative Seminar

Are there rules about the order in which courses must be taken?

The Graduate Studies Office makes recommendations for the sequence of course completion within a cohort of students who start at the same time. This ensures courses will be offered as needed and timely program completion in approximately 3-4 years. The order in which courses are taken, need not be as outlined above, however there may be pre-requisites that impact the order in which you can take courses. For some streams, the order in which courses may be taken will be outlined by the Program to accommodate pre-requisites and to ensure adequate class size. The final course cannot be taken until all previous 11 courses have been completed.

Are there rules about how many courses can be taken per term?

Students register initially for one course per term. Within the spring and summer terms, students are restricted to taking only one course per term (Spring term 1, Spring term 2, Spring Both term, Summer term 1, Summer term 2, Summer Both term) due to the reduced time frame of the terms and the condensed nature of the courses. Within the Regular Session terms (Fall, Winter, or Both Terms), once the initial registration period is completed (usually June 1), students may request permission from the Grad Chair to take a second course, by submitting a Multiple Course Request form to the office. In making the decision, the Grad Chair will consider the student’s past performance in courses, their work commitments during the term, and their plan for completing coursework.  Once approval has been received the student may register in a second course within one term.

FAQs posed to Department Chairs


What does your department consider when reaching a decision about whether a student who applied for a practicum will be accepted?

Upon receipt of a student’s official request for practicum supervision (sent via email to the Graduate Studies Office by the student, and forwarded to the respective department chair), the department will review the focus of the proposed practicum, determine whether there is a faculty member available to supervise the practicum, and if there is a practicum stie available where it can take place. Anyone completing a practicum in a school environment must have completed Child Abuse Registry and Criminal Record Checks, and depending on the type of practicum, may require a Manitoba teaching certificate.

How might students find a potential practicum supervisor?

Students in most streams seeking a practicum supervisor will meet with the chair of the department. If a student has a particular faculty member in mind, they can approach that individual to inquire as to whether they might be interested. If students do not have a particular faculty member in mind, the department chair will assist the student in identifying potential supervisors. Due to the required practicum for all students in the Guidance and Counselling stream, students may be supervised by Sessional Instructors.

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