Human Development, Learning, and Culture

The Human Development, Learning, and Culture (HDLC) program at UBC advances research and practice in education through the application of theoretical models and concepts to real world educational issues. Investigations of learning and developing, including the unique contributions of culture to these processes, are applied widely to classroom, afterschool, work, and digital contexts.This work is interpreted through a variety of theoretical lenses (e.g., sociocultural, social and emotional, cognitive). Coursework emphasizes three primary areas: a) learning and developing, b) culture and diversity, and c) research methods. HDLC graduates have found careers in a variety of settings including university teaching and research, social policy analysis, curriculum and program evaluation, schools and community organizations, and corporate learning communities.

Mission and Vision

In HDLC, we are committed to diverse ways of being, thinking, feeling, and knowing not just because we are inclusive, but because it makes us more innovative, responsive, and future-oriented. We care about transformational engagements, communicating across differences, and working in respectful and reciprocal relationships with the people we partner with: students, staff, faculty, and local and global communities.
We are particularly committed to Indigenous-led scholarship that matters, as well as creating places of sincere dialogue; listening to perspectives that challenge our own biases and beliefs; imagining futures with others for a pluralistic society; questioning and envisioning the human condition as malleable, empathic, reflective. In our scholarship, we seek to promote human rights locally and globally, and social and ecological justice movements in education and beyond.


Master’s students may complete a general program of studies or specialize in a concentration: Social and Emotional Learning or Self-Regulated Learning.