UBC Certificate in Cultural Planning

100% Online

The UBC Certificate Program in Cultural Planning - and the individual professional development courses and workshops of which it is comprised - addresses the growing international demand for cultural planners with knowledge and expertise to guide cultural policy and development initiatives.

Cultural planning is an integrated approach to development of well-planned and creative communities supported by vibrant cultures and creative economies that is being embraced by a growing number of North American, European and other jurisdictions around the world. By organizing and leveraging public and private policy affecting the cultural sector and creative infrastructure, cultural planners play an increasingly vital role in developing livable, sustainable, intercultural communities while strengthening their position in the global knowledge economy.

Open sections below to view program information or contact program staff at 604.822.1459 or email.

Open all | Close all


The UBC Certificate in Cultural Planning provides students with a foundation of core knowledge, international models of successful practice and useful skills in a range of activity areas, as well as an historical, cross-sector and comparative perspective on cultural planning.

The program features the following advantages:

  • flexible opportunity to take individual courses and workshops for professional development purposes and combine them to qualify for the Certificate in Cultural Planning
  • 100% online format to allow for a flexible learning environment
  • assignments that build on individual experience and expertise
  • a shared learning environment offering a venue for networking and alliance-building with other professionals from across North America, Europe and beyond.

Who should participate?
The UBC Certificate in Cultural Planning is designed for those working or planning to work in the field of cultural planning at the local, regional and national levels, including:

  • staff currently working in cultural planning offices (or equivalent) in municipal, regional, state/provincial and federal government looking for professional development courses;
  • staff working in other government departments looking to move into a cultural planning position;
  • staff employed in arts and cultural organizations and cultural industries looking to better understand government policy, planning and development;
  • consultants working or wanting to work in the field of cultural planning and development; and
  • university-educated adults, usually with an arts background, looking to enter the field of cultural planning.
Details and Fees

Program Format

The UBC Certificate in Cultural Planning is delivered 100% online by an international group of senior practitioners. Students must successfully complete one required core course and four electives. Each course is nine weeks in length and students are expected to spend twelve to fifteen hours per week on learning activities, which include lectures, videos, quizzes, readings, assignments, projects and group discussions. To be awarded the certificate, students must earn a minimum passing grade in five courses, successfully completing the required course and four electives within four years of enrolling in the first course.

Each workshop is led by an international expert, combines lectures and small group discussion, and meets online for 2 hours, once a week for 3 weeks. There is also an online discussion board for sharing information and group discussion during the three weeks. There is no grading.

Students can combine three workshops with a portfolio course as an elective for the UBC Certificate in Cultural Planning. See Portfolio Guidelines for more information about the portfolio and requirements for submission.

Program Fees
Fees are in Canadian dollars and are paid on a course-by-course basis. The current course fee is $800. Students registering in the Creative Placemaking course must pay an additional $50 for required course materials. The current online workshop fee is $240.

A $175 non-refundable administration fee is required in order to graduate from the certificate program.

All fees are subject to change.

Course Cancellation and Withdrawal Policies
Written notice of 10 business days before the course or workshop begins is required in order to be eligible for a refund (less a $50 administration fee).

We regret that we cannot grant refunds, credits or transfers for cancellations received less than 10 business days before the program except in exceptional circumstances.

UBC Continuing Studies may sometimes cancel courses or workshops due to insufficient enrollment or other reasons. If this occurs, a full refund is processed and sent to you automatically. UBC Continuing Studies does not guarantee that a particular course will be offered at a particular time.

Assessment and Graduation Requirements
Students are evaluated in each course on the basis of standards and competencies established by instructors, program administrators and an advisory board. At the end of each course, participants are notified of successful or unsuccessful completion. When the required number of courses are successfully completed, and the administration fee is paid, participants receive a UBC Certificate in Cultural Planning.

Note: Students who wish to participate in a course without completing the evaluative requirements of that course may do so on an "audit" basis after receiving approval by the Program Director. Students cannot apply courses completed on an "audit" basis towards the certificate requirements. Requests for audit approval can be submitted here.

Technology Requirements
Broadband or high-speed Internet connection is required to take this program, including the ability to play audio and video as some courseware includes voice lectures and/or requires online participation in video webinars.

Computer operating systems must meet the following minimum specifications:

  • PC: Windows XP SP2 Home/Pro
  • Mac: Mac OS x 10.4

You will also need access to and the ability to use a word-processing program such as Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. Additional software such as PowerPoint and Excel would be beneficial but not required.


You should be prepared to spend twelve to fifteen hours per week completing learning activities, which include readings, assignments, webinars, asynchronous group discussions, and other projects. We strongly recommend taking only one course at a time if you are working or studying full-time.

Required Course
The following foundations course is required for the UBC Certificate in Cultural Planning; however, it is not a prerequisite for the electives - you may take it at any point in the certificate program.

Course Title Upcoming Offerings
Foundations of Cultural Planning October 20, 2014 More

Elective Courses
The following elective courses may be taken to complete the UBC Certificate in Cultural Planning.

Course Title Upcoming Offerings
Creating Culture Plans September 8, 2014 More
Creative Placemaking September 22, 2014 More
Festivals, Events and Eventful Communities April 22, 2014 More
Cultural Tourism: Impacting Communities Worldwide June 9, 2014 More

You may combine three workshops with a portfolio course as an elective.

Course Title Upcoming Offerings
Digital Culture and Cultural Policy (New) TBA More
Cultural Entrepreneurship TBA More
Culture and Sustainability TBA More
Intangible Cultural Heritage Jun 26, 2014 More

Courses and workshops are led by senior practitioners, international experts, and leading academics from around the world.

How to Apply

Admission Requirements
Students are expected to meet the following requirements:

  • university degree or equivalent;
  • three years of work and/or volunteer experience in a relevant area (e.g., government, arts and cultural organizations);
  • fluency in the English language, including good written and verbal communication skills;
  • access to a computer with broadband Internet connectivity either through home or work, including an email account, audio/video capabilities and the ability to effectively use standard software programs.

If you have any concerns regarding meeting these requirements please email.

Application Process
After successful completion of the one required and four elective courses (see Curriculum), applicants must pay the $175 application fee in order to receive the certificate.

Steps required to identify yourself as a candidate for the UBC Certificate in Cultural Planning:

  1. Complete one or more courses in the certificate's curriculum.
  2. Email us to identify yourself as a certificate candidate.
  3. Pay the $175 fee to receive the certificate. The UBC Certificate in Cultural Planning will be sent to you once you have successfully completed all five courses.


Cultural Planning and Development
Cultural Planning and Development

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia


Tel: 604.822.1444 | Email
Program Office Locations

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia