New university-wide interdisciplinary client projects course

This new fourth-year interdisciplinary project experience course allows undergraduate students to work with students from other faculties and programs to address a problem presented by a client. While addressing a real problem from a company, non-profit organization or government, students will learn project management, problem solving, communication, and how to work with clients and stakeholders.

The experience course will be taught under two different course numbers. Students in the Faculty of Arts and Science will take ASCX 400, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science students will enrol in APSC 401, and students from other faculties can enrol in either one. The courses will be taught together by the instructors assigned, and staff from the various faculty offices will collaborate to identify and develop projects and deliver the experience. ASCX 400 and APSC401 will be timetabled at the same time in the same space.

The course is intended for fourth-year students and will be offered in the winter term. There is a small amount of time required to organize the team and client at the end of the fall term. The experience will be timetabled in one three-hour slot and one two-hour slot in an evening for both instruction and team meetings. Students will be responsible for setting team meetings and working outside of the class time.

Students will need to submit a cover letter substantiating their interest in the course, along with a copy of their resumé. More information will follow early in the summer about how to register for the course.

Course Description

Multi-disciplinary teams consisting of arts, science, engineering, commerce, and law students undertake consulting projects with industrial, government and not-for-profit clients. Typical project types include social innovation, process improvement, business strategy/marketing, environmental, start-ups, blue-sky, or a combination of topics which are selected based on societal and industry interests.

This is a winter term course that is co-taught with Instructors teaching the equivalent courses in other faculties, but students will meet with their teams and client prior to the start of winter term.

Following a phase of self-directed problem and project scope definition, students will execute their projects in groups, guided by experienced professionals. Students will receive formal training in project management, effective teaming, client interaction and communication in professional environments. They will also interact regularly with clients at a technical and management level. The course concludes with a comprehensive report and presentation to the client.


4th year standing and permission of the Instructor

Course Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate their ability to:

  1. Implement a plan that effectively uses time and resources to solve a problem using a project management framework.
  2. Apply principles of design and problem solving to address problems posed by clients
  3. Demonstrate professional written and oral communication skills
  4. Work effectively in a multidisciplinary team to solve a problem