MAIS Program Requirements

A) PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Students enrolled in the graduate program are required to choose a thesis-based option or a course-based option. Both MA degree options require the demonstration of a reasonable mastery of a concentrated field of study, as attested by achieving a satisfactory standing in the minimum number of graduate courses required by the respective Faculty, and a thesis based upon the research or the successful completion of the courses depending on the program option chosen.

Graduate students will register in the interdisciplinary MA program in Island Studies, under the Dean of Arts. Each student's program of study will be designed in consultation with the Program Administrator and student's Supervisor (for the thesis option) or Student Coordinator (for the course-based option).

There will be considerable interaction and co-operation among the departments to provide courses and research facilities to meet the needs of individual students and their research.

In addition to the "General Regulations for Graduate Programs," described above, the following regulations apply specifically to the Master's degree:

Residency Requirements

Normally, at least two semesters of full-time study in residence at the University must be devoted to the thesis-based Master's program if the student is admitted as a regular student. Upon completion of the residency requirement, the student is then eligible to become a candidate for the MA degree. Normally, the thesis must be formally submitted or the program be otherwise complete within 48 months of the completion of the residency requirement. Departure from these normal requirements requires approval from the Graduate Studies Committee.

For the course-based Master's program, students would be expected to study at the University for two summer sessions, one at the beginning of the program and the second at the end of the second year of the program.

Program Transfer Options

Students initially registered in either the thesis or course-based program options may transfer between programs. Those initially in the thesis option would be required to complete all of the requirements of the course-based program, including the two experiential courses, IST 6200 Communications Management and Island Issues and the three focus area required courses. Those students initially in the course-based program may apply to transfer to the thesis-based option after completing four Island Studies courses including IST 6010 and IST 6040. All other Island Studies courses are transferable except for the two practical experience courses (IST 6210 and IST 6220). An application consisting of a thesis proposal, a transcript of grades and written agreement from a proposed supervisor must be submitted to the program Admissions Committee for approval.

THESIS-BASED OPTION

B) COURSES

Prescribed Studies

The proportion of weight attached to the research and thesis may vary, even within a department. Accordingly, the number of courses and/or general examinations may correspondingly vary. In no case, however, will the minimum requirements be less than those outlined in the following two paragraphs. For graduate credit, the courses selected must be acceptable to the Department and the Graduate Studies Committee. The candidate must maintain an average grade of at least a "B" standing (see Grades in General Regulations section) in the substantive courses outlined below in order to maintain registration in the program.

In the Faculty of Arts, students are required to take a minimum of three courses at the graduate level totalling a minimum of 9 credit hours. Students may take only two Directed Studies courses for credit. Students lacking an Honours degree or background in one or more areas may, at the discretion of the Supervisory Committee, be required to take the appropriate undergraduate level course(s).

For the MA in Island Studies, six courses in addition to the thesis are required owing to the interdisciplinary nature of the program. 

Compulsory Courses (2 required courses)

  • Island Studies 6010 Themes and Perspectives in Island Studies
  • Island Studies 6040 Research Methods and Design for Island Studies

Elective Courses

In addition to these prescribed studies, the candidate may undertake to achieve satisfactory standings in courses supportive of the special discipline. These courses may be at either the undergraduate or the graduate level.

When a student is required to register in a seminar or colloquium course in more than one semester, the record will show a grade or a designation of "In Progress" for semesters prior to completion of the course and "Pass" or "Fail" for the final semester. With the consent of the Supervisory Committee, and of the instructor and the Department Chair concerned (or the Dean of Arts in the case of the MA in Island Studies), a student may register for, and audit, all or part of a course. It is understood that the student will attend lectures as prescribed, but will not write any examination or receive any grade. Such a course may be recorded as an additional course, identified by AUD.

Elective Courses (4 courses required)

  • Island Studies 6090 Migration and Movement Among Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6110 Strategies for Economic Development for Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6120 International Relations of Small Island States
  • Island Studies 6130 Political Ecology of Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6140 Islandness: Culture, Change, and Identity on Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6150 Public Policy in Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6160 Directed Studies
  • Island Studies 6170 Special Topics
  • Island Studies 6180 Colonial and Postcolonial Discourse Theories: An Introduction
  • Island Studies 6190 Environmental Governance
  • Island Studies 6200 Communications Management and Island Issues
  • Island Studies 6230 Islands and Tourism
  • Island Studies 6240 Approaches to the Management of Island Tourism
  • Island Studies 6250 Sustainability for Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6260 Blue/Green Development Strategies for Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6270 Subnational Island Jurisdictions

C) THE THESIS

Research

Normally, the equivalent of at least two full-time semesters must be devoted to research in fulfilment of the thesis requirement. Summers during which research work is actively conducted may be counted as research semester equivalents, even though courses would not normally be offered at that time. In order to avoid undue prolongation of the time required to complete the degree, the research topic should be identified early and approved by the Supervisory Committee. Research involving the use of animals must follow the Guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care. Research involving human participants must adhere to the Tri-Council policy on research ethics and be approved by the University's Research Ethics Board.

Thesis

Each candidate for the degree of Master of Arts is required to submit a thesis based upon the research conducted under supervision as described above. The thesis must demonstrate the candidate's capacity for original and independent work, and should include a critical evaluation of work which has previously been done in the field of his or her research. The thesis should emphasize any new conclusions which may be drawn from the candidate's own research.

General specifications as to paper, format, order, and binding are available from the Office of the Program Administrator.

Procedures

The thesis may be handed in at any time of the year, but candidates must bear in mind the desirability of having the final examination as much in advance of the deadline date for thesis submission as possible. Candidates are advised to inform themselves of the deadlines schedule, a copy of which may be obtained in the Office of the Program Administrator. It is desirable that each candidate initiate discussion about examination dates with the Supervisor early in the final semester.

The candidate should keep in close touch with the Supervisor and the Supervisory Committee throughout the preparation of the thesis. The final draft of the thesis, after it has been reviewed by all members of the Supervisory Committee, is sent when ready for examination to the members of the Master's Examination Committee (see below).

Following the Master's Examination, the candidate, if successful, arranges for the preparation of the thesis in final form, and for its submission to the Program Administrator (see below). The thesis in final form must include any minor corrections or revisions indicated during the Examination. Approval of the thesis takes the form of a Certificate of Approval, signed by the Examination Committee.

The Master's Examination

The final oral examination, devoted chiefly to the defence of the thesis, is a departmental examination identified as the Master's Examination and carried out by the Master's Examination Committee.

In the Faculty of Arts, the Master's Examination Committee normally consists of three members of the Supervisory Committee, including the Supervisor of the candidate's research, who will chair the Master's Examination Committee on behalf of the Dean of Arts.  The Examination Committee also includes an External Examiner from another university or research organization who has expertise in the student's field of research and is recommended for approval by the Supervisor or Supervisory Committee to the Coordinator and Dean.

The Department Chair (or the Dean of Arts, in the case of the MA in Island Studies) selects the Examination Committee at the request of the Supervisor and is responsible for notifying the Program Administrator of its composition. The Examination is normally open to the public; however, members of the audience may question the candidate only upon invitation of the Chair of the Committee. The Examination is passed and the thesis approved in principle if there is no more than one negative vote, an abstention being regarded as a negative vote. The report, from the Department Chair (or the Dean of Arts, in the case of the MA in Island Studies) to the Program Administrator, records the result as "unsatisfactory," or "satisfactory". If the result is "unsatisfactory," the candidate may be given the opportunity by the Master's Examination Committee of a second attempt. A second "unsatisfactory" result will terminate candidacy at this university.

COURSE-BASED OPTION

Students enrolled in this option will register in one of three focus areas: Island Tourism, Sustainable Island Communities or International Relations and Island Public Policy. Students in all focus areas will complete eight compulsory courses and two elective courses, as described below.

Compulsory Courses for all Focus Areas (5 required courses)

  • Island Studies 6010 Themes and Perspectives in Island Studies
  • Island Studies 6040 Research Methods and Design for Island Studies
  • Island Studies 6200 Communications Management and Island Issues
  • Island Studies 6210 Theory and Practice of Island Research I
  • Island Studies 6220 Theory and Practice of Island Research II

Additional Compulsory Courses in Island Tourism Focus Area (3 required courses)

  • Island Studies 6110 Strategies for Economic Development for Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6230 Islands and Tourism
  • Island Studies 6240 Approaches to the Management of Island Tourism

Additional Compulsory Courses in Sustainable Island Communities Focus Area (3 required courses)

  • Island Studies 6130 Political Ecology of Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6250 Sustainability for Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6260 Blue/Green Development Strategies for Small Islands

Additional Compulsory Courses in International Relations and Island Public Policy Focus Area (3 required courses)

  • Island Studies 6120 International Relations of Small Island States
  • Island Studies 6150 Public Policy in Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6270 Subnational Island Jurisdictions

Elective Courses for all Focus Areas (2 courses required)

  • Island Studies 6090 Migration and Movement Among Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6140 Islandness: Culture, Change, and Identity on Small Islands
  • Island Studies 6180 Colonial and Postcolonial Discourse Theories: An Introduction
  • Island Studies 6190 Environmental Governance

In addition to these Island Studies elective courses, and in order to satisfy their elective requirements, students in each of the focus areas may take any of the compulsory courses in the other two focus areas. All compulsory and most elective courses in the course-based program except for IST 6040 and IST 6200 will be delivered online. Not all courses identified as electives within the course-based option will be provided via online delivery. Check with the Program Coordinator for details.

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