LWS 548 – Major Project


Course Description

LWS 548 (Major Project, 6 credits) is the capstone course for the professional Master of Land and Water Systems (MLWS) program. The academic expectation of LWS 548 is a demonstration by the candidates that they can formulate and articulate a water or land resource concern or issue and develop a framework that analyzes the issue, provides a synthesis of how the issue may be addressed and provides recommendations for the resolve of the concern or issue. The analysis will consist largely but not exclusively of existing (published) information and integration with relevant field experience.

Each student enrolled in LWS 548 will be supervised by a UBC faculty member, with potential of co-supervision from an approved adjunct or professional (drawn from the MLWS Professional Advisor Group).

The topic of the Major Project will be agreed upon by the Academic Coordinator and Director of the MLWS program, the student and the proposed supervisor(s). The LWS 548 Major Project may be conducted at the site of the adjunct/professional supervisor’s employment/business location. If the project is off campus, the MLWS Academic Coordinator, Director, or designate, will ensure that the goals of the Major Project can be adequately conducted on-site.

Final Report:

The Major Project will involve a final report and an oral presentation to fellow students and to members of the instructional staff of the MLWS Program. The report guidelines include the following sections:

1) Introduction, stating the subject matter of concern and a context of the issue,

2) a pertinent literature analysis and synthesis,

3) a problem statement and an outline of the approach taken to address the stated problem/issue,

4) results, analysis and synthesis,

5) discussion/summary and recommendations, followed by

6) pertinent references and literature cited.

Grading: The Major Project Marking Scheme can be found here.

Important: Students are encouraged to utilize online and digital technologies to present their final reports in creative, interactive ways. Examples include: creation of a website or blog and allowing comments/feedback from colleagues, using photo series/video to introduce different concepts, digital mapping, moving graphs, etc.

Timeline for Completion of LWS 548:

September Schedule a meeting with the MLWS Director and Academic Coordinator to start early on Major Project discussions.
November Begin drafting a proposal outline. Provide suggestions for Major Project Supervisory Committee. Proposal outline presentations will be scheduled during the month of November.
March Student proposal presentations will be scheduled during the month of March. Draft your Major Project proposal and schedule a meeting with the Academic Coordinator and Program Director to review the proposal and discuss next steps.
July 31 Submit final complete draft of Major Project to Supervisory Committee for evaluation. Schedule a date for your final oral presentation and committee review. Apply for graduation in the online Student Service Centre (SSC).
August 15 Submit your final, completed Major Project to the MLWS Program.

Course Syllabus

View LWS 548 Course Syllabus here:



Past Student Projects

Looking for ideas for your project? View students’ past Major Projects on our Project page.

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