Women looking at computer with title "Waterloo Works."

The English co-op program gives students the ability to earn income and gain experience in the workplace. You may take any Honours English degree in either the regular mode or the co-op mode. 

The academic requirements of Honours English degree plans are identical whether you are a regular or a co-op student.

You should apply for co-op when you apply for entry into your Honours English program at the end of 1B term or the beginning of 2A term. You will then complete six further terms of study on campus (2A/B, 3A/B, 4A/B) and at least four work terms with participating employers in fields such as education, media, business, government, industry, and the non-profit sector.

Regular or co-op?

Co-op and regular programs each have advantages. It’s up to you which you prefer. The chart below describes the main differences between them. 

Regular Co-op
Normally enrol for courses in Fall and Winter terms  Alternate work-study terms, with at least one academic term in Spring
Probably complete 4-Year B.A. in 4 chronological years Normally require 5 chronological years to finish 4-year co-op B.A.
Freedom to take courses in any of the three terms of the year Income earned on work terms can help pay for your education
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 academic study Gain valuable work and life experience and useful additions to resume
  Will take CS 100 or similar CS course (as of Fall 2014 this will no longer be a requirement)

Co-op requirements

Students may request co-op when they apply for entry into an Honours English academic plan (at the end of 1B or start of 2A term) with a minimum average of 70% in their English courses. They will complete a further six terms of study on campus and a minimum of four work terms and four work term reports. An employer evaluation is required for each work term undertaken. This chart shows the English co-op sequence:

F=Fall term; W=Winter Term; S=Spring term; wt=work term
1A 1B off 2A wt 2B wt 3A wt 3B wt wt 4A 4B

Work reports

At the conclusion of each co-op work term, returning students must submit a work report for credit. To graduate with a co-op designation, undergraduates must submit four satisfactory reports. Submit your work report to the dropbox on Learn. You do not need to submit the report to your employer unless the employer makes that a requirement. 

Details of the Work Report

The work report is an analysis of one aspect of your job. You might analyze a particular project, an ongoing process, or a continuing duty of your position. The method of analysis is up to you, but it should demonstrate techniques and skills you have developed as an English major at UW. Any aspect of your job you found particularly interesting (positively or negatively), and that suits such an analysis, is appropriate as a topic for the work report.

Note: Materials produced on the job are not acceptable as work reports. You may, however, include such materials with your analysis.

Some possible topics include:

  • Decision-making processes
  • Communicative procedures and processes
  • Design choices
  • Gender issues in texts or other institutional communications
  • Analysis of corporate or institutional culture
  • Corporate or organization image-making
  • Inter-office politics or policies
  • Effects of power structures on communication in the organization
  • Assimilation or use of technical language or organizational language
  • Techniques of collaboration
  • Techniques for explaining processes or procedures
  • Metaphoric structures in job-specific communication
  • Deconstructive analysis of job-related texts
  • Semiotic patterns in company information
  • Applications of critical theory to texts or job activities

By no means are you limited to the topics listed above. They are simply suggestions. Nor is it necessary to clear the topic with the Co-op officer, although you are certainly welcome to discuss your topic with her/him at any time.

For work report guidelines, see the Faculty of Arts Co-op work report guidelines.

Typical co-op jobs

Some recent co-op positions include the following:

  • Technical writer
  • Software developer
  • Cost and planning analyst
  • Web developer
  • Marketing director
  • Communications coordinator
  • Archivist
  • Information analyst
  • Policy and communications intern
  • Research Assistant
  • Assistant office manager
  • Lecturer
  • English tutor
  • Computing assistant
  • Correspondence writer
  • Residential assistant
  • Sales assistant
  • Editorial assistant
  • Fundraising intern
  • Library clerk