Canadian Culture and Education Studies Certificate (CCES)

The CCES advanced certificate prepares students for the rigours of post-secondary studies in the broad field of Education and related disciplines.

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Applications for September 2023 will be accepted after November 1, 2022.

Program outline

CCES provides a background in educational theory, Canadian educational context, and Canadian culture. Crucial skills required to be successful in Canadian post-secondary programs such as research skills, critical thinking skills, academic communication skills and problem-solving skills, are provided through an educational studies context. Opportunities are provided for students to improve their writing and presentation skills, increase their familiarity with Canadian cultural practices, and engage in Canadian communities are integrated into the program. Assistance with applying to advanced post-secondary programs is provided. The CCES student will be well-prepared to apply to, and succeed in, an academic program at a Canadian post-secondary institution.

Program Length: 2 terms, 8 months (equals 1 academic year)

Program Level: Advanced Certificate (requires a Bachelor’s degree for admission)


FALL TERMSeptember to December
CCES 6P00 - Introduction to Educational StudiesAcculturation process experienced by international students studying in Canada. Introduction to the academic and social expectations of study-life within Canadian postsecondary programs.
CCES 6P01 - Advanced Postsecondary Study Preparation SeminarAcademic and social skills needed to successfully transition to graduate advanced post-secondary studies in Canada. Topics include identifying appropriate graduate postsecondary programs, securing referees, understanding application protocols, writing statements of intent, and succeeding in interviews.
CCES 6F02 - Canadian Cultural Practices (continues in Winter term)Acculturation process experienced by international students studying in Canada. Introduction to the academic and social expectations of study-life within Canadian postsecondary programs.
CCES 6F05 - Introduction to Research (continues in Winter term)Qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods undertaken for research within Education and related disciplines. Deeper understanding of the nature and processes of research, and skills to critically read, conduct and evaluate research.
CCES 6P07 - In/Equity, Diversity and Change in EducationCritical understanding of social in/equity through the intersecting discourses of gender, race, class, sexuality, age, ability, and language, and how this discursive matrix frames educational experiences. Institutional and individual strategies developed to re/situate, re/visit, and re/claim the politics of meaning and experience.
WINTER TERMJanuary to April
CCES 6F02 - Canadian Cultural PracticesContinuing from Fall term.
CCES 6P03 - Critical Pedagogy and Social JusticeExploration of Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux, bell hooks, and others writing within critical pedagogy as the basis for the connection between ’education’ and social justice projects. Topics include oppressive regimes of power/knowledge, indigenous knowledges, and critical pedagogy as a social movement, as revolutionary and transformative.
CCES 6F05 - Introduction to ResearchContinuing from Fall term.
CCES 6P08 - The Organization of Canadian Higher EducationPostsecondary education work that supports students’ development and learning. Topics include knowledge creation, distribution, and maintenance; academic freedom; dissenting opinion; academic integrity; student agency and accountability; the teacher-student dynamic and regulatory structures within higher education. Emphasis on interconnectedness of issues and acculturation for international students.
CCES 6P11 - Wellness in Canadian Higher EducationPromotion of wellness and self-care through a variety of theoretical perspectives.

Advantages & Outcomes

CCES Provides:

  • Academic credit to demonstrate the student’s ability to perform well in the Canadian system
  • 4th-year academic credit for those who have a 3-year bachelor’s degree
  • Community involvement, cultural adaptation and professional development
  • References from instructors
  • Assistance in applying for subsequent advanced studies at Brock University or other institutions.
  • The opportunity to continue in the Leadership in Community-based Education (LCBE) certificate without having to retake an English proficiency test. 70% overall GPA in CCES is required.

cces and international students:

  • As an academic program (not ESL), and 8-months in length, students are eligible to work on- or off-campus and apply for the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)*
  • The CCES certificate on its own meets the eligibility requirements for an 8-month to 1-year PGWP. If combined with the Leadership in Community-based Education (LCBE) certificate, graduates will be eligible for the 3-year PGWP.*
  • Meet the education requirement for the Ontario Immigrant Nomination Program (OINP): International Student Stream.*
  • The two certificate programs are designed to work together to provide the best possible experience and preparation for international students who are transitioning to Canada and Canadian higher education studies.
  • Students who complete both certificates will receive a $2000 Dean’s Bursary, to be credited as a discount on tuition for the second certificate.
  • Students have approximately 4 months (May to August) to work or volunteer between completion of CCES and commencement in the LCBE.
  • Completing the CCES and LCBE certificates within a 2-year period meets eligibility requirements for the 3-year Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).*
  • Graduates are prepared to seek employment in community-based settings with summer work experience, internships and two certificates to list on a resume ─ indicating to Canadian employers that an applicant is equipped with culturally-relevant and transferrable skills.
  • Canadian education is valued worldwide. Canada’s education system is ranked #4 in the world (Maclean’s Magazine University Rankings, 2020).

Tuition & Awards

Tuition (2022-2023):

  • Domestic students (Canadian citizens and permanent residents): $1,217.88 per credit
  • International Students (on a study permit): $17,806 CAD Tuition for all courses over 2 terms.
  • Refer to Brock Student Accounts & Financial Aid website for more details.

Deposit: A minimum $1,000 CAD deposit is required in order to register in classes. Information will be included with the offer of admission. The deposit can be refunded if a Canadian study permit is not received. If applying via the Student Direct Stream deposit should be the full tuition amount.

Additional Fees: Mandatory Ancillary fees are not included in the tuition (CCES students follow the Undergraduate Ancillary Fee Schedule). For current fee information, including health insurance, visit Brock Student Accounts & Financial Aid. Estimate an additional $2700 for Ancillary fees during the course of the program. These mandatory fees include health insurance and a bus pass from September to April of each year.

Bursary: Students who complete both certificates will receive a $2000 Dean’s Bursary, to be provided as a discount on tuition during the second certificate: $1000 in the Fall term and $1000 in the Winter term.

Awards: All CCES applicants are considered for our incoming student award (no additional application forms are needed). There is also an award for a graduating student based on the highest GPA. Note that the amounts of any of these awards will range from $1000 to $1500. Students in the CCES are not eligible for financial support from the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).

Personal Expenses: The cost of living in St. Catharines is affordable. Estimate $1000 to $1300 per month for food, rent and personal expenses (single person living in shared housing). Read more helpful information on budgeting for your expenses.

Admission Criteria

  • A 4-year undergraduate degree from an accredited university. Upload your unofficial transcript to your student portal, as stated in the Acknowledgement Email you received after submitting your application.  You will also need to provide a final, official copy of your transcript prior to the start of classes. These must be submitted by the issuing institution and can be emailed by that institution to Transcripts can also be mailed by the institution. To be considered official transcripts, you, the student can never have been in possession of them. Please review our document submission guidelines here.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 65% percent (Canadian equivalent). All courses completed in the undergraduate degree are used to calculate this average. Brock University Admissions evaluates transcripts. If the Admissions office cannot verify your post-secondary transcript, you may be asked to provide a WES Assessment, at your own cost.
  • Applicants with 3-year degrees or lower GPAs may apply to be considered for exceptional admission.
  • Minimum English language proficiency requirement (Note that these requirements are exclusive to the CCES program):
    • IELTS Academic overall 6.0, no band below 5.5
    • TOEFL iBT: 70, no band below 18
    • Duolingo: minimum score of 100
    • CAEL: overall 50, no band below 40
    • PTE: 55
    • Brock’s IELP Program, Level 4
    • CAE (A1 Advanced): 169
    • CPE (C2 Proficiency): 169
    • A minimum of two previous years of full-time study (non-ESL) where the primary language of instruction and evaluation was English
    • ESC (Language School Pathway): UCTP Prep Program or Level 8
    • ILAC (Language School Pathway): Level 10
    • ILSC (Language School Pathway): Intermediate I-4

How to apply

  • Complete the Undergraduate Studies International Full Time Application; you must pay the $130 Application fee (non-refundable) at the time of application.
  • Provide an unofficial copy of all University transcript(s), by uploading it to your student portal. Doing so will allow Admissions to begin our assessment
  • Submit your English Proficiency Test Score, based on the testing options available above. We cannot provide you an offer until both the transcript(s) and English proficiency test score are received and both meet the requirements.
  • Provide a final, official University transcript by August 1. This must be provided by the institution you attended and sent directly to Brock by email or mail. Review our document submission guidelines here.

Application Tips:

  • Works best with Chrome as the browser
  • Choose Fall 2023 (there is no Spring intake)
  • For the “status in Canada” choose “Student Permit” if not yet in Canada
  • An incomplete application (before the application fee is paid) will be saved for two weeks (an email alert will provide a link to return to the application)
  • After the application fee is paid an email is sent in 2 business days with instructions on how to create the account and upload documents
  • Only fully completed applications will be evaluated

CCES Important Dates:

  • Deadline to apply: We accept applications on a rolling basis. However, if outside of Canada allow time for study permit application processing.
  • Deposit due: Before being able to register for classes. Registration will open July 1, 2023
  • Orientation: Online in August and in-person September 4 and 5, 2023
  • Classes begin: September 6, 2023

Note to applications submitted by education consultants:

International Programs Office

The Faculty of Education has its own International Programs office. Services include answering inquiries, orientations, academic advising, professional development and immigration advising.

Visit the International Programs Office and contact us with your questions. We’re here to help!

Frequently asked questions

  • Brock University’s Master of Education (MEd) General pathway, is 3 terms long (can be completed in 12 months, although some students take longer)
  • The CCES certificate is 2 terms long (completed in 8 months)
  • The MEd at Brock requires an IELTS of 7.5, no bands below 7.0; CCES requires an IELTS of 6.0
  • CCES’s tuition is at a lower per credit hour rate than Brock’s MEd
  • A master’s degree usually has a higher point value on the Canadian Comprehensive Ranking System used for some permanent residency programs, and can qualify for the Ontario Immigration Nomination Program-Masters Graduate Stream
  • CCES meets the education requirement for the Ontario Immigrant Nomination Program-International Student Stream

Neither a certificate nor a master’s degree will lead to the teaching certification required to teach in public (K-12) schools in the Province of Ontario. If you want to teach in the public K-12 school system in Ontario, you have to apply for the Teacher Education program.

CCES classes are fewer than 25 students to provide opportunities to interact with the professor and other classmates.

You will have a total of 8 courses over the two terms. Each course meets for 3 hours per week (usually on 3-hour blocks of time). In addition to the instructional hours, you also have extra after-class readings, assignments, and activities.

Yes, CCES encourages interaction with Canadian students. The program encourages and promotes professional development and social activities. 

Yes, CCES integrates Academic English and literacy skills with subject-matter concepts and critical-thinking skills throughout its program delivery. CCES is not an ESL program. Instead, it has incorporated the latest research into its program that says that intermediate English-language learners will improve their English through experience and content-knowledge courses. If you are interested in reading more about this approach we encourage you to do an internet search on “improving English through content-knowledge courses.” 

We welcome students from around the world. The countries sending the largest number of students are India, China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Iran.

Yes, if you first attend Brock University’s IELP program and successfully complete Level 4, or you have at least two years of study in an English-speaking academic program, or if you are from a country where English is the first official language.

You may apply now with your up-to-date transcript and a school letter certifying that you are a 4th year university student. You may get a conditional offer of admission to the CCES from Brock University, but you must submit a notarized certificate of the bachelor’s degree and a notarized transcript before you can register at Brock University.

We have an intake in September of each year. While applications are accepted at any time, early applications are encouraged to allow for study permit applications.

No. At this time CCES only has a September enrollment. You may want to consider Brock’s ESL Services for entry dates at different times of the year. 

No. All academic disciplines of studies are welcome to apply.

A CCES student is considered a full-time academic student in a certificate program at Brock University. You have access to all university services, including the library, internet, health services and computer labs.

There is no financial aid available. Awards are made at the beginning and the end of the program to select students. These awards range from $1000 to $1500. CCES students are also eligible to work on- or off-campus during their studies.

Yes, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires a visa for any post-secondary program that is longer than six months. CCES is an 8-month long program, so you will need a Student Visa. Please visit our Brock International Services website for helpful information for international students, including visas. In addition, please see the information on our Faculty of Education RCIC Service below.

There is an orientation at the beginning of the program and activities throughout the semester designed to enhance your professional development and knowledge of Canadian culture, such as volunteer opportunities and workshops. In addition. there are many opportunities for students to enjoy the sports facilities at Brock and to participate in activities promoted by organizations across campus. See Explore – ExperienceBU (

Yes, the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) is mandatory for all international students. The Brock University Student Union also provides mandatory Student VIP Insurance to cover items such as prescriptions, glasses and dental.

Yes; because CCES is an academic (8-month) program, it qualifies an international student for work permission. International Students can work on or off-campus part-time as long as they are studying full-time at a recognized institution.  You may not begin employment until after you have begun the program. Full-time employment can be considered during the fall and winter reading weeks and during the December to January break. After graduation from the program, your work permission will change depending on your circumstances.


Susan Virtue, MEd, RCIC
Manager, International Programs in the Faculty of Education

Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) #R518747

*Immigration information on this page is provided by this consultant.