Interdisciplinary Client-based Project (ASCX400)

Looking for a hands-on learning experience in fourth year? Apply to take our Interdisciplinary Client-based Project course where you will take on a real-world problem or project for a community partner and work with students from other faculties and programs. Gain transferable skills that employers are searching for, such as project management, problem-solving, communication, and how to work with clients and stakeholders.

In ASCX 400, you could find yourself working for a company, non-profit organization, social enterprise, health and education providers, or local government. Review our Previous Projects section for some examples of the organizations that you could work with.

Your team will act as consultant and/or project manager, taking on the full scope of a project, from ideation to project design and implementation. You will be supported by experienced professionals who will act as your team mentors.

Projects will encompass topics based on societal and industry interests (such as social innovation, process improvement, business strategy, environment etc.). Potential projects range from creating apps and audio tours, fundraising campaigns and feasibility studies to creating business, marketing and communications plans as well as engineering, computing, and technology projects.

This interfaculty course runs during the winter term and provides an opportunity for you to work with students from other faculties, such as Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS), the School for Rehabilitation Therapy and the Smith School of Business. A full list of projects and descriptions for winter 2023 will be announced during the fall term.

Applications are not required for Fall 2022, but enrolment will be limited to 30-40 students. When the course is full, a waiting list may be available. If you are interested in enrolling in Fall 2022, please send your name and student number to

Interested in applying for Winter 2023? Space in the course is limited, and students are required to submit an application to be considered. Interested students must send in a copy of their most recent resumé, as well as a cover letter indicating why they are interested in taking the course.

Applications for ASCX 400 (winter) should be sent to and will be accepted until mid-November (with priority given to those received prior to mid-August). It is strongly recommended that you enroll in alternate courses while waiting for an application decision, should you not be admitted to the course.

NEW for Fall 2022!

Queen’s University and the Faculty of Arts and Science has partnered with world-renowned Canadian photographer, and Queen’s Honorary Doctorate recipient (2007), Edward Burtynsky to help realize his new public art piece titled Standing Whale

Standing Whale will be a true-to-size, re-imagining of a blue whale skeleton, standing 5 stories high, and it aims to bring awareness to the impacts that humans, and progress is having on our planet. 

As with the winter version of ASCX 400, student teams will act as a consultant and/or project manager, taking on the full scope of a project, from ideation to project design and implementation. You will be supported by experienced, subject matter experts who will act as team mentors while you learn to apply a variety of disciplinary knowledge to your Standing Whale project. 

In teams of 3-5, students will work on projects that answer questions such as:
How might Standing Whale:

  • contribute to sustainable solutions for environmental change?
  • effect narratives about environmental issues and the role that communities can play in averting climate catastrophe?
  • engage diverse communities, encourage inter-cultural exchange of ideas and foster meaningful conversations?
  • help us to better appreciate the relationship between humans and the natural world, and to reflect historically on how that relationship has changed over time?
  • be used to inform the debates and discussions surrounding environmental change in the political arena?

The Fall 2022 offering of ASCX 400 will be open to all FAS students as an elective. However, it may also be used by students in English, History, Film, Biology, Environmental Sciences, or Policy Studies degree plans to fulfill an upper-year core course requirement. To find out more about whether you can use the course as a core course, please contact your department.


You will be assigned to a project team, based on your interests, skills, and project requirements. Teams will include students from different areas of study, such as arts, science, engineering, and more, enabling them to develop innovative and unique solutions across many different sectors.

Before engaging with clients, you will have the opportunity to develop your project management, teamwork, stakeholder engagement and professional communication skills. Next, you’ll learn to identify issues, analyze problems, and develop the project scope, milestones and deliverables. With these skills, you will then execute your projects in your team with the guidance of an experienced mentor.  At the end of the project, teams will present their findings and recommendations to their client and stakeholders via a presentation and business report.


Edward Burtynsky, Standing Whale Artist Group 
Research Study

Engaging with our community in a way that supports principles of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII) is a key strategic priority for Queen’s. Standing Whale presented a unique opportunity for students to engage with diverse communities across Canada, have meaningful conversations, and identify the next Standing Whale opportunity in our society. To achieve Ed Burtynsky’s mission, the project team carried out a research study to enhance the user experience when interacting with the exhibit as well as a visualization/prototype of one final recommendation.

Cooking with Amica
Marketing Strategy

Unlike businesses that closed because of COVID-19, Cooking with Amica came about during the pandemic as a way for people to connect and still ‘meet up’.  With the motto that ‘anyone can learn to cook’, running a successful business that embodies positivity and a sense of community is core to the company vision. The project team developed a marketing strategy to support the client with growing her customer base while staying ‘true’ to her overall vision.

The Food Sharing Project
Implementation Plan of Best Practices in Waste Reduction

The Board of Directors of The Food Sharing Project identified a strategic goal of reducing the environmental impact of waste items and has considered compostable items as an alternative. The project team explored how to achieve a reduction to the environmental impact of waste items and compostable items as an alternative providing food to students across 88 schools across Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington in a sustainable way.

J.E Agnew Food Services Ltd.
Cost Benefit Analysis

This family-run business is committed to continuously improving the efficiency of their operations and reducing their environmental footprint. The company expressed their desire to continue with these initiatives for sustainability, with a focus to find opportunities to do so for a specific restaurant site. The project team identified opportunities to make a local Tim Horton’s restaurant as “green” as possible, along with a cost-benefit analysis for each opportunity.   

Bowman Centre for Sustainable Energy
Report covering Canada’s and selected provinces plans to develop a low carbon hydrogen industry

This project involved a meta study into organic and inorganic hydrogen carriers. The project scope included identifying candidate carriers, describing the chemistry and engineering principles for each candidate, assessing their Technology readiness levels, and offering thoughts on the commercial viability of the materials reviewed. The project culminated in a comprehensive report that covered Canada’s and selected provinces plans to develop a low carbon hydrogen industry as a strategy to decarbonize select difficult-to-decarbonize industries, the technical challenges associated with storing and transporting hydrogen, hydrogen carriers and their chemical, engineering, and economic principles, and the energy density requirements that meet the needs of long-distance trucking, freight rail, marine shipping, and air transportation.

Arctic Youth Network
Organization Ecosystem Map

The Arctic Youth Network (AYN) aims to democratize access to opportunities, resources, and contacts that youth need to develop as leaders. To help them achieve this mission, the project team created a platform to amplify youth voices and empower a community of young change-makers in the North.

Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre (ASEC)
Indigenous Educational Resource

The Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre (ASEC) sought for the development of an educational resource that tells the stories of Acadian culture, local Mi'kmaq communities on whose traditional lands the facility is located, as well as the rich freshwater and marine coastal resources of the area. The project team conducted research to inform the development of the ASEC educational resource, using existing case studies, an understanding of new technology and traditional customs, and an appreciation on how to blend science and traditional knowledge.

Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care
Impact of Climate Change on Health Care

The project team carried out research and formulated an approach to address the problem of how to automate the collection of information about the impact that climate change is having on the health care system.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
Plant Health Awareness Campaign

The project team carried out research, analyzed results, and created a project plan for an awareness campaign for Canadians about plant health, the impacts our actions may have on the economy and environment and to adopt practices to reduce these risks.

Communication Plan: Plant Awareness and Risk Prevention

The project team developed an invasive plant awareness campaign for the CFIA Agency which included a communication strategy, information about health risks, dissemination of risk prevention practices and advice for future protection.

Stratos Inc.
Social Media Strategy

Working with a sustainability management consultancy, this project required students to develop a social media strategy. This strategy should help to increase the ‘virtual visibility’ of the firm.


Henry Lee, ArtSci ’21