Undergraduate common foundation

Challenge Yourself Here

Earning your Bachelor Degree at Royal Roads is a Life-changing Experience.

This program is for future changemakers. The passionate and the curious. Those who are ready to take action.

Looking for a life-changing educat­ional experience? A place where personal transformation is ingrained in every program? Royal Roads University is that place.

Our Approach to an Undergraduate Degree is Distinctive.

With an interdisciplinary approach to post-secondary education, our challenge-based learning delivers a two-year foundational core that sets you up for future success - learning real-world, applicable skills taught by faculty with industry experience and a desire to positively impact society.

Our approach is based on two beliefs. First, that everyone needs time to develop their interests and find their passion. And second, that challenge-based learning is the future - it is how the real world operates.

No matter the undergraduate degree path you choose, your first two years are based on our interdisciplinary foundation.

You'll be immersed in world issues while acquiring the key knowledge and skills essential for today's careers. Working in teams, you'll design sustainable solutions for local challenges while learning transferrable skills, such as leadership, communication, critical thinking and collaboration.

After successfully completing two years of foundational challenge-based learning on campus, you’ll progress directly into the 3rd year of your chosen program. These may be delivered on campus, online, or a blended combination in 3rd and 4th year, with the following applied and professional programs available to complete your undergraduate degree:

Contact an enrolment advisor to learn more about our approach and your options.

What is Challenge-based Learning?

At the heart of our challenge-based learning model is action. You’re not just thinking, you’re doing.

You’ll learn how traditional academic subjects such as psychology, economics or literature contribute to our understanding of, and response to, the world around us, and how design-thinking processes can be used to translate knowledge into effective action.

With challenge-based learning, your education is organized around learning cycles addressing some of the urgent challenges facing the world today – economic and gender inequality, climate change, biodiversity loss, injustice, and more.

Instead of just learning the theory and history of academic subjects, you’ll also learn how knowledge in these areas can be applied to help analyze, interpret and respond to complex challenges in more informed, comprehensive and ethical ways.

Each challenge is organized around a seven-week cycle of activities:

The Orientation and Engagement stages are are designed to help you develop your understanding of the challenge—first, by learning more about how the challenge affects you, your community and the planet; second, by learning how core subjects like psychology, economics or literature contribute to a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of the challenge.

In the Investigation stage, you’ll have an opportunity to pursue your own independent research on the challenge. This is your opportunity to explore an area of personal interest while learning important academic skills like research, interdisciplinarity and communication.

In the Action stage, you’ll work with others to coordinate an action response to the challenge. You and your team will be responsible for designing, implementing and evaluating a response strategy. Along the way, you’ll develop skills related to leadership, systems thinking and social science.

Every challenge ends with Reflection to give you a chance to consider what you’ve learned, how you might apply your learning to other situations, and how you’ll adapt in the future.

Throughout the cycle, you’ll gain deep knowledge and understanding of issues in order to develop relevant, effective, community-based responses - all while acquiring the key knowledge and skills essential for the 21st century job market.

This program is action-based. It is bold, it is immersive, it is challenging - but above all, it is rewarding.

What Subjects Will I Learn?

Just like most university undergraduate programs, Royal Roads University’s challenge-based learning will expose you to a wide range of academic subjects. Emphasis is placed on the applied aspects of each subject so that all courses make a clear and meaningful contribution toward the analysis, interpretation and response to challenges. First-year courses include:

  • Ecology
  • Communication
  • Human Geography
  • History of Human Rights
  • Introduction to Challenge-based Learning
  • Theories of Interdisciplinarity
  • Leadership
  • Introduction to Academic Integrity
  • Statistics for Social Science
  • Applied Research

View the full course list & descriptions for years 1 & 2.

Your Next Step.

Want to know if this undergraduate program is right for you? Contact an enrolment advisor to get answers to all your questions.

We can help explain:

  • Our approach to teaching, learning, and what you’ll study
  • The advantages of our challenge-based learning model
  • Details about any of the seven degree programs
  • Admission requirements
  • Tuition and payments
  • Applying for awards and financial aid
  • Campus tours, amenities, and student services

If you are looking for progressive, hands-on, applicable knowledge, and want the support of a passionate team of faculty and staff dedicated to seeing you discover, then succeed, in your life’s mission, then Royal Roads University is for you.