SOCI 430 (3 cr): Perspectives on Global Citizenship

SOCI 430“… the graduates of UBC will value diversity, work with and for their communities, and be agents for positive change. They will acknowledge their obligations as global citizens, and strive to secure a sustainable and equitable future for all.”

UBC’s Trek 2010

Explore and learn online, with peers around the world
Just what does it mean to be a “global citizen”? When few people even agree on what “global citizenship” means, this idea is murky, even if a more just and tolerant future world is compelling. In this highly interactive interdisciplinary and fully online course, you will consider themes relating to global citizenship through debate, discussion and critical analysis.

Perspectives on Global Citizenship is an interdisciplinary and interactive online course developed for students at UBC and partner Universities worldwide.

The course is designed to complement your specialized areas of learning, and challenges you to consider what responsibility you have – within your political, social, cultural and professional contexts – to participate as an active global citizen. It comprises twelve weekly thematic modules, presented via UBC’s Web-based course management system, and makes heavy use of instructor-led group discussion.

Course Learning Objectives
The course has been designed so that in undertaking it you will:

  • consider the concept of “global citizenship” and develop your own definition of this complex and contested notion
  • acquire a broad understanding of barriers and bridges to global citizenship
  • acquire a broad understanding of issues of key concern to the international community
  • consider the roles, responsibilities and impact you may have, as a global citizen, within your local, national and international communities.

Week by week you will consider topics that include: the meaning of ‘citizenship’ and the possibilities for a global ethics; key challenges to global citizenship: including continuing divisions of race, ethnicity, culture, language and nationalism and the challenges of being informed in the face of media bias or control. Modules on world issues examine: population health; trade, wealth and poverty; consumerism; human impact on the environment and sustainability. Finally, we will focus on your options for action and engagement through politics, participation and civil society.

You will be assessed weekly on the quality of participation in weekly facilitated online discussions (50% of final grade) and on four short written assignments (50% of final grade). There are no examinations.

Course materials
All course reading materials will be available on the course website.

To Register
There are no prerequisites for this course. Students from any discipline may register via the Student Service Centre. If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact

Download a copy of the syllabus here. For more information contact Dr. Macfadyen at

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