Gain the competitive edge you will need in today’s labour market.  Becoming a student at CBU, you can graduate with experience and career knowledge that will give you a critical advantage. Cape Breton University prides itself on integrating experience into your studies by offering co-op courses and a variety of hands-on learning opportunities in your academic program. Work with our career team to successfully translate your experiences, both inside and outside the classroom, and launch yourself into your career.

Experiential (Hands-On) Learning

Experiential Course Assignments – Many faculty integrate experiential learning into their courses. Assignments can be small, such as a class spent learning how to conduct research in the library, Beaton Institute archives, and/or Mi’kmaq Resource Centre, to course-long projects, such as the Gabarus Lighthouse Project run as part of a political science course taught by Dr. Tom Urbaniak ( Here are some other examples:

  • Fan Fiction students will be presenting a panel at CaperCon this year.
  • Culture, Folk and Music Festivals students have conducted research at the Celtic Colours International Festival.
  • Science and Society (PHIL 2221) students apply classroom theory to actual Indigenous community issues.
  • Fiddle performance course students are recorded professionally each year.
  • Stagecraft and Stage Management students help produce shows in the one act theatre festival.
  • Experiencing Music students analyze their favourite music using course concepts and vocabulary.

Co-op Work Term Program – The CBU co-op course is an excellent opportunity for students to discover what their passion is. Students involved with co-op courses are able to gain on-the-job experience and decide, “Yes, this IS what I want to do with my life.” While working with a mentor in a field they love, students can earn a wage, three credits and a competitive edge when applying to future businesses.  Co-op provides CBU students with academic credit for structured job experience. (*If BACS students choose to do Co-op Courses, these will replace COMS2101 and/or COMS3101.)

Work Experience Placements (BACS Program Core Courses COMS2101/3101) – Work experience placements are an integral part of the BACS degree and they provide Community Studies students with meaningful career exploration opportunities that allow you to gain experience in a field of interest. Placements put students in the field with professionals for 100 volunteer hours – twice during the degree program!  These Placement take place while your are till enrolled in other courses.

Communication Lab – Our three introductory COMM courses require that students take a weekly lab that is facilitated by upper-level students. In the lab students put into practice many of the theories discussed in the classroom as well as practicing and striving for excellence with their presentations.

Communication Lab Facilitators – Students who have successfully completed COMM1103 and COMM1105 and/or COMM2175 plus COMM3131 have the unique opportunity to facilitate in the Communication Lab.  Communication Lab Facilitators are instrumental in helping students develop their communication skills and the personal rewards are immense. Being a Communications Lab Facilitator gives you an opportunity to strengthen your communication skills with faculty, colleagues, and students.

Community Based Projects – In the BACS program, student groups develop both a research project and an action project over the course of their degree.  This fosters student commitment to, and confidence in, their own ideas, as well as gaining the research, organizational, and communication skills to implement those ideas.  The community-based research projects allow student groups to implement the research design, data collection, and analysis approaches they have learned in the classroom into practice in the community.  Students learn to effectively identity community needs and develop ways their group can be an authentic resource to the community that respects the environment, culture, and needs of others.  The implementation of projects can result in a deeper understanding of the community through experiential learning.

Research Assistantships – Faculty frequently hire students to work as Research Assistants (RAs) on their research projects. In SASS, RAs have been hired to do archival research, conduct and transcribe interviews, write blogs, create web content, find and review scholarly literature, write or edit reports and grants, give presentations, manage surveys, and organize research-related events. Research Assistantships are highly skilled jobs that offer you the opportunity to use your critical thinking and discipline-specific skills while earning money, developing your career network, and augmenting your resume.

Culture & Heritage Internships – Students interested in working in the heritage field want to know about our internship program. Students majoring, minoring, or concentrating in history, folklore, music, and/or Gaelic are eligible to apply. Interns will earn up to 6 credits at the 3000 or 4000 level as well as a small stipend. In the past, interns have worked at Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site, the Beaton Institute, the CBU Library, and the CBU Art Gallery.

Student Exchanges – Did you know that you are eligible to study 1-2 terms at a university abroad, and you don’t have to pay any additional tuition fees? Your CBU tuition will cover your exchange to another institution. You can study at universities around the world, including Ireland, Japan, France, China, Chile, Brazil, Scotland, and multiple universities in the US and Canada. Exchanges offer a great opportunity to learn about another culture, deepen your understanding of your own culture, and take some courses that you might not be able to take at CBU.

Work Study – CBU’s Work Study program is designed to offer students a variety of part-time jobs on-campus. In the past, jobs have included research assistants, interns, curators, and technicians working in the library, the art gallery, the Boardmore Theatre, the Beaton Institute, career services, and many other CBU units and departments.