Field research courses

Large group of smiling participants from the Field Research Course

Field Research Courses Summer 2017

Deadline to apply for field research courses 2017 : November 16th, 2016

We offer courses that enable students to conduct an independent study abroad and offer them the opportunity to increase their knowledge on particular issues linked to the host country. These courses represent six credits in the undergraduate program of study and three credits for students registered in a masters program.

Please note that each course has a maximum capacity of 15 students.

To find out about participation in the course and how it can fit in your program of study, students can book an appointment with the International Field Placement Coordinator by writing to  Please provide us with your student number and your availabilities during our office hours.


Arts, culture and heritage is an area of governmental intervention that is often overlooked. Nonetheless, the governmental intervention in this general area comes with important social and political issues. This course will provide students with an understanding of the diversity and the breadth of activities covered by the government’s intervention in the cultural sphere. Students will learn more about the rationale and power dynamics at play behind government’s intervention in arts and heritage. This course compares Canada and Australia and focuses on three dimensions of culture and heritage policies:

  1. Political and historical forces: (Empires and cultural policies, settler colonialism and heritage, the politics of memory, the structural and constitutional dimension, Federal, State/Provincial and local cultural policies)
  2. Contemporary challenges: Cultural diplomacy (Asia, the Pacific area and the world), Indigenous cultures, cultural policy and identity, migration and cultural policy, and cultural accessibility.
  3. Structural, organizational perspectives: arts communities, resources, community engage, collective actions in arts and heritage.

This course focuses on site visits (museums, heritage sites, public places, galleries) and on discussions and debates with actors in the field. This course will take place in Adelaide (SA), in collaboration with UNISA and Adelaide University. Site visits in Fleurieu Peninsula, and in the greater area of Adelaide, as well as lectures and site visits to Melbourne are scheduled.

This course is offered in English to undergraduate students from June 5th to 25th, 2017. The course will take place in June to coincide with UNISA and Adelaide activities.

Professor Contact Information

Professor Jonathan Paquette
School of Political Studies

Office hours : by appointment and Tuesday 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Office: FSS 7042

Course Outline


The European Integration process is one of the most exciting phenomena of the 20th and 21st century. After 1945, first Western Europe and then Southern and Eastern Europe merged together to one unity without borders and a common currency, the European Union (EU). Nevertheless, the EU is not without its challenges and problems. Brexit, Grexit and the refugee crisis are just a few challenges. Faced with these challenges, the EU is also in a crisis of acceptance, with declining numbers of citizens supporting the EU. Among others, the EU institutions are perceived as undemocratic, difficult to understand and slow in making decisions. In this course, we will partly debunk these myths providing a better understanding of the EU decision making process. At the heart of the course, is a five day simulation of the EU decision making process.  During the 5 days in Mainz participants abandon their role of passive citizens to take the role of active players in the European political process. The simulation aims at being as realistic as possible. Participants do not only play the roles of Members of the European Parliament (MEP) and Ministers in the Council of the EU; some of the participants assume the roles of journalists, critically reporting on the proceedings in the two chambers. This simulation will be embedded in a one week intensive course about the functioning of European institutions at the University of Mainz, and a one week study trip to Brussels. During this one week study trip will get to know the European Institutions through study visits and discussions with relevant actors.

This course is offered in English to 4th year undergraduate and masters students. The course will take place from June 15th to July 9th 2017.

Professor Contact Information

Professor Daniel Stockemer
School of Political Studies

Office hours: by appointment via email

Course Outline



field research Mexico

Focused on social and environmental justice issues, food sovereignty and collective action, this course will offer a political economy and development perspective in order to study the role of indigenous and peasant resistance movements, and more particularly the challenges and opportunities that indigenous and rural communities are facing. Students will explore the multiple interactions between contemporary socio-economic, political and environmental challenges in Mexico, through readings, interactive seminars, discussions with various specialists and stakeholders, as well as field visits in the state of Chiapas, home of the Zapatistas autonomous communities, and beautiful Oaxaca. Students will engage in primary, field-based research on a topic of their choice (possibly a team of 2-3 students) related to socio-environmental conflicts, today’s agrifood regimes and food sovereignty, and/or to the emergence of alternative socio-economic models of development.

This course is offered at the undergraduate level in English and will take place April 29th to May 23rd 2017.

Professor Contact Information

This course is only available in English. to undergraduate students.

Professor Marie-Josée Massicotte
School of Political Studies

Office hours: Tuesdays from 2:40 to 3:30 p.m. Or by appointment via email
Office: FSS 7044

Course Outline



field research Senegal

Education is considered as one of the key drivers of social change and as an important factor for the modernization and improvement of individuals’ wellbeing in developing countries. However, the supply perspective that prevails in most of the international orientations is often inadequate regarding local realities that go far beyond the simple equation of education – graduating – getting a job.

These issues appear clearly with the departure of an increasing number of young males and females from their home to bigger cities or even abroad with the objective of earning additional income to sustain their families. In this course we will adopt a demand perspective focusing on families’ constraints and needs in order to better grasp the conditions that lead young people to leave and jeopardize their education attainment.

Through lectures with experts on education in Africa and Senegal, students will explore the interactions between the national policies and international orientations regarding education matters in Senegal. They will also have the opportunity to get familiar with  families’ and youth’s daily life conditions by developing a  field research in two different areas (the city of Ziguinchor and the rural village Mlomp in the region of Casamance),  together with local students. At the end of their fieldwork they will be able to provide a critique of the “Education for all” paradigm and propose concrete orientations to take into account local realities in the design of education policies.

This course is offered in French at the undergraduate level from May 6th to 30th, 2017.

Professor Contact Information

Nathalie Mondain
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Telephone : 613-562-5800 ext. 1323

Office hours: Wednesday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. by appointment only
Office: Social Science Building, FSS 10006

Course Outline

field research - switzerland

Geneva - The United Nations and Human Rights  How does the United Nations (UN) promote and protect human rights?  And why do its efforts in this area so often fail?  Geneva is the European headquarters of the UN; the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meets there, and it is also the head office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. This course takes a group of students to Geneva to participate in the meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, observe meetings of other UN human rights bodies, and to meet representatives of government, non-governmental organizations and UN staff working on human rights issues. Morning seminars and guest lectures are followed each day by attendance at actual sessions of the Human Rights Council and other UN bodies. As part of their course work, students will interview and interact with both governmental and non-governmental delegations attending the Council.

The objective of the course is to provide students with both an understanding of the UN system for the protection of human rights, but also the political and other factors which hinder its effectiveness.  The course will begin in Ottawa in May with the students reviewing and discussing materials regarding the basic structure of the UN human rights system. They will be tested on their knowledge of this prior to departure for Geneva. In Geneva, morning seminars will be held at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

Students who haven't done so are strongly encouraged to take Prof. Petrasek's online course, ECH2300A An Introduction to International Human Rights Law, in the winter semester 2017.  This course will enable you to maximise your participation in the field research course.

The course is offered in English at the undergraduate level from June 3rd to 21st 2017. Dates will be confirmed when the UNHRC session dates are confirmed.

Professor Contact Information

David Petrasek
Public and International Affairs
613-562-5800 ext. 4550

Office Hours: by appointment only
Office : Social Sciences Building, FSS 6035

Course Outline


This is a three-week field course to Hualien, Taiwan, an area with a large indigenous population. Students will gain knowledge of what international indigeneity means in the specific context of Taiwan and it its local communities. The course will enable students to get a hands-on experience with anthropological field research methods of participant observation research and taking field notes. The course will also explore issues of indigenous peoples in Taiwan, including culture, state-indigenous relations, development and, above all, ecology.

This course is offered in English to undergraduate students from May 15th to June 2nd 2017

Professor Contact Information

Scott Simon
Sociological and Anthropological Studies
613-562-5800 ext.1363

Office Hours: Wednesday, 3 to 5 p.m. and by appointment
Office: Social Sciences Building, FSS 10007

Course Outline

United States (Chicago)
field research chicago

This three-week course focuses on structural social work, which is rooted in the idea that individual situations are connected to social structures and that social work practice should aim toward social change. This course is interested in contemporary applications of structural social work, both in Canada and in the United States. Moreover, its theoretical, historical and practical foundations will be addressed, through the legacies of Jane Addams' work and the Settlement Movement. Indeed, the students will have the opportunity to visit Hull House, one of the first settlements in North America (Chicago). By the foundation of Hull House in 1889, Jane Addams and her colleagues promoted a progressive vision of social work practice, and their actions had a significant influence on public policies, particularly those affecting poor and immigrant populations. Jane Addams has also been a leading force in both the Women's Movement and the Peace Movement, and she was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

In this course, the students will consider how the social, political and economical structures impact on social problems and social work practice, and this will be facilitated by comparisons between the Canadian context and the American context. The students will also have to identify research strategies that are sensitive to oppression. In this course, research is not considered as ‘neutral’ and the research does not seek ‘objectivity’; research is rather a tool to achieve social justice. Finally, the student will have to reflect on their own position in the social world, and on the impact of this position on their work.

This course is offered in French to undergraduate students. It will take place from May 8th to May 26th 2017. The second week of this course will take place in Chicago, while the first week and the third week will take place in Ottawa.

Professor Contact Information

Professor Simon Lapierre
School of Social Work

Course Outline

United States (New Orleans)
field research New Orleans

This course will allow students to gain a greater understanding of the phenomena of wrongful convictions and their sequela as they occur in Canada and in the stage of Louisiana. Students’ experiences in this course will be both pedagogical and practical. Students will learn about the many contribution factors to wrongful conviction including eyewitness misidentification, the role of jailhouse informants, false confessions, police/prosecutorial misconduct and faulty forensic science and expert testimony. In addition to classroom instruction, students will undertake a field placement in a community organization that focuses on wrongful convictions and their aftermath.

The course will be offered in English at the undergraduate level, from April 29th to May 19th, 2017.

This course is only available in English to undergraduate students.

Professor Contact Information

Professor Kathryn Campbell
Department of Criminology

Office Hours: Monday from 11:00 - 13:00
Office: FSS 14039

Course Outline

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