Most UBC undergraduate courses include three hours of class time per week. Courses are offered in the following formats:
Most courses are offered as lectures. Lectures are 50 to 80 minutes in length and may involve anywhere from 30 to 200 students. Lectures, along with other classroom settings, are fairly informal. Although different professors have different standards, it is generally acceptable to, for example, have a beverage on the table; in larger lectures, you can usually also enter and leave the classroom for washroom breaks without asking for permission. If you are late to arrive, take a seat as quietly and quickly as possible without disrupting the professor's teaching. If you have to leave early, tell the professor before class begins. When you are unsure of classroom etiquette, you can always ask your professor during office hours.
Tutorials are common for lecture courses. They provide an opportunity for smaller group discussions. All students are expected to participate in group discussions. In some cases, grades are given for attendance and active participation.
Many science, math, and engineering courses have laboratory (lab) work, which involves practical projects done in small groups under the direction of a teaching assistant (TA). You must pass the lab in order to pass the course.
Seminar courses offer smaller classes that are less formal than lectures. They encourage discussions and sometimes involve presentation work. Students are graded on presentations and participation.
Rather than listening to a lecture, students solve real-life problems in Problem-Based Learning classes. Work is done in small groups under the guidance of the professor.