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Learning Sciences overview

Director's message

The Learning Sciences program focuses on the study of learning as it occurs in real-world situations and ways in which learning may be facilitated in designed environments.

The Learning Sciences programs are dedicated to the preparation of qualified researchers, developers, and practitioners who can advance the scientific understanding and practice of teaching and learning as they happen in both formal and informal settings and throughout the lifespan. The settings could be schools, colleges and universities, the workplace and professional practice, as well as virtual learning communities.

Faculty members in our group study learning and teaching from diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives. They investigate cognitive and affective processes underlying learning and instruction; the design of instructional environments and materials and how learning may be facilitated both with and without technology; the use of technology as cognitive tools; and the assessment and evaluation of learning and teaching processes and programs.

Students acquire theoretical and practical knowledge through coursework, team-based research assistantships, and apprenticeships where appropriate.

Alenoush Saroyan

Alenoush Saroyan
Program Director


Visit the program's Courses & Timetables page for links to current course offerings and degree-specific timetables.


Please visit the Learning Sciences Faculty page and the main ECP Research page to view websites of professors and research teams associated with the Learning Sciences program. Follow the links to individual research websites to learn more about specific research projects, graduate students involved in these projects, research and other apprenticeship opportunities, and funding. On the Research page, you will also find links to ECP faculty publications and full-text theses.



Learning Sciences Brochure [.pdf]


Distinguishing features

Programs at both the master's and doctoral level have several distinguishing features.

Emphasis on both cognition and instruction

Content courses offer in-depth views on the learning processes as well as factors that together comprise the instructional medium and context.

Learning and instruction in different contexts

The program offers the opportunity to study learning as it happens throughout the lifespan in formal, informal, traditional, non-traditional, and technology driven contexts.

Strong emphasis on both research and application

The M.A. and Ph.D programs place strong emphasis on research methodology, the application of research, and the development of specialized knowledge. The M.Ed. program emphasizes the applied aspect, placing emphasis on understanding research and using it to inform the design, development and evaluation of learning and instruction in different contexts.

Interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research

Through coursework and team-based research apprenticeships, students are exposed to major themes that inform research and theory in the learning sciences. Ongoing interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research and development programs initiated by faculty and by graduate students from professional disciplines who are obtaining a master's or a doctoral degree in the program provide rich and unique exposure and training opportunities for graduate students. Areas where there is a history of collaboration include medicine and other health sciences programs, engineering, physics, law, social work, and management.

Skills and qualifications of graduates

The Learning Sciences programs aim to develop competent and inquiring professionals who have the skills to understand and improve learning and teaching by way of conceptualizing and conducting applied and theoretical research in different formal and informal educational settings.

The profiles of our graduates speak to the flexibility and application of acquired skills and competencies in a range of professions. These include academic positions around the world, positions in school boards and hospital education programs, researchers involved in educational and institutional research and policy development, training and education specialists in business and industry, medical education researchers, and faculty developers.


Contact for assistance

For assistance or additional information, please contact:

Graduate Program Coordinator
Tel.: 514-398-4244

Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology
Faculty of Education, McGill University
3700 McTavish Street, Room 614
Montreal, QC  H3A 1Y2