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Two women looking at a computer with title "Waterloo Works."

The co-op stream gives students the ability to gain real-world experience while earning money to pay for university. Any of the English MA degree may be taken in the co-op stream. We invite you to study in the mode that best suits you, regular or co-op.

See the Co-op information session (PDF) presented by Scott Davis during the Fall 2016 orientation and the information below.

Comparing regular and co-op degrees

Co-op and regular programs each have advantages. The chart below describes the main differences between them.

Regular Co-op
Normally enrol for courses in the Fall, Winter, and Spring Terms

Enrol for your first Fall and Winter term with Spring as your first work term

Complete the MA in three terms Complete the MA in five terms
No co-op fees Earn income
No term-by-term adjustments between study and work; no moves between cities and apartments May enjoy the change of pace and discipline of alternating work and study terms
Focus on achieving your MA

Gain valuable work and life experience as well as useful additions to your resume

Co-op requirements

Students are enrolled for a minimum of five terms, two of which must be work terms. The chart below shows the usual English MA co-op sequence:

Fall Winter Spring Fall Winter Spring
Campus Campus Work Work Campus  

As students prepare to go on co-op they must complete a Change of Enrolment Status Form to indicate a change from full-time to part-time status.  This change of status will ensure students are charged co-op work term fees instead of full-time tuition.  The form must be submitted to the English Graduate Coordinator.

Work report guidelines

Graduate students who are not doing two consecutive work terms with the same company are required to submit two work reports of approximately 2000 words each. Students completing two consecutive terms with the same employer are required to submit one extensive work report of approximately 4000 words.

Work reports are due, in the Graduate Coordinator's office, the second Friday of the following term:

Term Submission deadline
Fall 2015 Second Friday of term
September 25, 2015
Winter 2016 Second Friday of term
January 15, 2016
Spring 2016 Second Friday of term
May 13, 2016

Please consult the Faculty of Arts work report guidelines. Students can also consult the work report evaluation form (DOC) by which their work reports will be graded.

N.B. A formal or semi-formal report is acceptable in either essay format, or report (technical/business writing) format. 
The report should highlight one aspect of your job (positive/negative) demonstrating skills and techniques that you have developed applicable to you as an English Masters Student.

Report topics should focus on discourse or communication issues. They might include but are not limited to:

  • Decision making processes
  • Communication processes
  • Design choices
  • Gender issues in texts or other institutional communications
  • Analysis of corporate/institution culture
  • Corporate or organization image-making
  • Inter-office politics
  • Assimilation or use of technical language
  • Rhetorical situations and typified responses
  • Effects of power
  • Techniques of collaboration
  • Techniques of explaining processes
  • Metaphoric or other figurative structures in job-specific communication
  • Deconstructive analysis of job-related texts
  • Semiotic patterns in company information
  • Applications of critical theory to job activities/texts
  • Genres of communication

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Typical co-op jobs

Some recent co-op positions include the following:

  • Technical Writer
  • Computing Assistant
  • Library Clerk
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Residential Assistant
  • Sales Assistant
  • Archivist
  • Information Analyst
  • Policy and Communications Intern
  • Correspondence Writer
  • Research Assistant
  • Assistant Office Manager
  • Lecturer
  • English Tutor
  • Software Developer
  • Marketing Director
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Web Developer
  • Fundraising Intern
  • Cost and Planning Analyst