Frequently Asked Questions

UBC/SFU Captsone

How does this fit into your degree?

SFU students will receive a total of 6 credits in CMPT 415 and CMPT 416. You may use these credits to fulfill six of the twelve units of 400 level CMPT depth and they will be considered to fall within the Table 1 Computer Graphics and Multimedia concentration. Unfortunately you are ineligible for this program if you have already received credit for CMPT 415 or CMPT 416.

UBC students will receive 6 credits of CPSC 448. First-degree students can generally use up to 6 credits of CPSC 448 toward their 4th year CPSC requirements. BCS students can generally use up to 3 credits toward their 4th year CPSC elective requirements using the remaining 3 credits as 3rd year CPSC elective requirements, exemption replacements, or (if it fits your module) as CPSC bridging credits. BCSers with prior degrees relevant to digital media may be able to use 3 credits toward the non-CPSC bridging credits; contact bcs-director@cs.ubc.ca for more information. Pick one use for each 3 credit piece; no double-counting!

How will I be assessed?

To fulfill your Capstone requirements, you will participate in all assessments of the MDM teams but you will also: give a 10-20 minute presentation on your project at UBC near the end of the term (solo or with your team) and write a brief (3-page) project report detailing your contributions, how they fit into the final designed artifact, and key lessons you learned. The report should reference your team's prototype and other artifacts you created during the term as evidence of your contributions and learning. The faculty member for your university will review these reports and the team assessments to assign a final course grade.

How is this different from UBC's CPSC 319?

This course is similar in that you'll complete a project on a team for an external client. However, your team will be a highly interdisciplinary group of Master's-level students with project management/design experience that typically comes from outside CS. Your project will be an interactive media design project (which could be true in CPSC 319 as well). Your external client will typically be from industry, rather than 319's usually local, non-commercial organizations (but both are usually authentic, external clients).

Also, as intense as CPSC 319 is, this course is more intense. After all, it's worth more credits!

How is this different from co-op?

Bearing in mind that some co-op positions may be more like this experience than others, this is generally quite different.

  • First, the logistics are entirely different: you will receive credit toward graduation but you will not be paid, you will receive some training and guidance but you will not take the co-op workshop series, etc.
  • Second, this is a self-contained project on a small team; so, you'll generally have more input into how the project proceeds but less pre-existing structure to support you.
  • Third, your team will definitely be extremely interdisciplinary.

Previous participants feel this course complements co-op.

What is the Masters of Digital Media?

The Masters of Digital Media is a four-way accredited degree between the partner institutions, UBC, SFU, BCIT and Emily Carr. Students from a range of backgrounds gain invaluable experience collaborating on cutting-edge, innovative, real-world projects in close collaboration with industry partners, mentors, top-notch educators as well as one another.

Although students' bachelors-level background varies substantially, all have thorough background from the MDM program in interactive media and story design, modern software development techniques, prototyping, and project management.

Why are we doing this?

Our primary motivation is fulfilling complementary needs: SFU and UBC CS are looking to expand their interactive digital media-oriented opportunities for their students; the Centre for Digital Media is looking for more computer scientist students with interest and skill in digital media.

What's the catch?

Here are a few caveats you should consider before you apply:

  • You may have trouble using more than 6 credits of directed studies toward your degree. If you think you might have other directed studies credit besides this course, talk to us about it early in the application process. (You can also talk to an undergraduate advisor in your program.)
  • The course is current being offered on an ad hoc basis. We hope to be able to offer it in the future, but there are no guarantees.
  • SFU and UBC CS along with the CDM fully intend to shamelessly use your contribution to showcase our programs, so your work will be on public display.
  • Your direct mentor at CDM will be managing your project team as a whole, not just you.
  • You will have some say over your project, but not an open choice. Project and team assignments will be made by the program administrators in an over-constrained space.