Social Innovation

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  • Program requirements

The School of Social Innovation of the Faculty of Human Sciences at Saint Paul University offers a Master of Arts in Social Innovation. This degree is conferred jointly by the Senates of Saint Paul University and the University of Ottawa under the terms of the federation agreement between them.

The MA in Social Innovation provides a space for research and reflection to understand the dynamics and multiple impacts of social innovations, in order to assess and structure them more efficiently.

This program is directed at a specific clientele: people interested in working towards social change, and people already working in that domain (employees and managers of social organizations, social entrepreneurs, activists, community workers, trade unionists, members of cooperatives and some workers from the public and semi-state sectors), that wish to acquire skills in academic research and analysis of innovation and social transformation.

The program, based on the linking of theory with practice, provides students with the main analytical frameworks and approaches needed to meet the current challenges facing social organizations.

Conditional upon approval by the Ministry of Training, Colleges et Universities.

Candidates must meet the following conditions:

i. Hold an honours bachelor's degree (4 years) or its equivalent in Human or Social Sciences or Management, with a minimum average of B (70%).

ii. Provide the following documents:

  • Cover letter (maximum 500 words);
  • Curriculum vitae.

iii. Participate in an interview with the program coordinators (to verify the candidate’s goals and his or her suitability for the program).

Program requirements

Compulsory courses (15 units)

INS5101 Theoretical Foundations of Social Innovation (3u)
INS5301 Planning a Research Topic (3u)
INS5302 Issues in Social Innovation (3u)
INS5303 Design and Social Innovation (3u)
INS5304 Research Internship (3u)

Optional courses (6 units) from the following:

INS5108 Selected Topics in Democratic Management (3u)
INS5109 Selected Topics in Social Action (3u)
INS5110 Selected Topics in Critical Thinking (3u)

With prior approval of the Director of Graduate Programs, students will be able to take either a Graduate Course (3u) offered in another program or another university or a Directed Readings Course (INS5901 Lectures dirigées/ Directed Readings (3u)).


INS6997 Thesis Proposal
INS6999 MA Thesis

Duration of the program

Students are expected to complete all requirements within two years of full-time study (six terms). The maximum time permitted, whether full- or part-time, is four years from the date of initial registration in the program.

Academic Regulations

INS 5101 - Theoretical Foundations of Social Innovation

Critical study of founding texts in social innovation and of the main approaches in the field. Study of key actors and strategies in contemporary social innovation.

INS 5108 - Selected Topics in Democratic Management

In-depth study of selected topics and contemporary issues in democratic management of organizations.

INS 5109 - Selected Topics in Social Action

In-depth study of selected topics and contemporary issues in collective action and social movements.

INS 5110 - Selected Topics in Critical Thinking

Study of a specific issue within contemporary critical theories, emancipatory projects and global alternatives to oppressive systems.

INS 5301 - Planning a Research Topic

Identification of a relevant research topic, study of methodologies in the social innovation field and construction of a work plan.

INS 5302 - Issues in Social Innovation

Study of contemporary social, political and economic issues and their impacts on citizen initiatives, collective action and social innovation projects.

INS 5303 - Design and Social Innovation

Study of the main notions in design and practical analysis of this approach on social innovation projects: design thinking, social design, collaborative design, institutional design, creativity, etc.

INS 5304 - Research Internship

Internship of 150 hours in social innovation analysis, involving advanced and sustained research and analysis. The internship is supervised and the work evaluated by a professor member of the program. Graded S/NS.

Prerequisites: Completion of 9 units in the MA program with an average of at least B+. Successful completion of thesis proposal INS7997. Approval of the internship proposal by the Director of Graduate Programs

INS 5901 - Directed Readings

INS 7997 - Thesis Proposal

INS 7999 - Master’s Thesis

Contact Us

Office of the Associate Vice-Rector, Strategic Enrolment Management
Room 148
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON
K1S 1C4

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Telephone: 613-236-1393
Fax: 613-782-3014

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Please leave your documents in the mailbox in front of room 148 when our offices are closed.

Information for future students

Saint Paul University

223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 1C4


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