MRSc History

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The Master of Rehabilitation Science Program entered its 10th year in 2015. This Wiki was created to commemorate the program’s 5th anniversary in 2010, to document the history of RSOP, and will be continued to be updated.

The Wiki is yours to read by simply scrolling down through the existing content. For information on how to add to the content, have a look at "Remember When...", or "Want to add to this Wiki?"

Development and Milestones

MRSc History Timeline (Use back browser to return to this page after viewing)

Education Needs Survey sets the stage, 1999

Rehabilitation professionals want online, graduate-level education! A survey of continuing professional education needs and interest in face-to-face and web-based courses is sent out to 1600 OTs and PTs in BC through BCSOT and PABC. Analysis supports the development of the five certificate courses and offers guidance for electives in a future master’s program.

Development Funding application, 2000

Supported by the Trek 2000 and 2005 UBC visions, a letter of intent and a subsequent proposal is submitted for a UBC program development loan to develop online certificate courses

Key figures supporting Sue Stanton in the initial application are the School of Rehabilitation Science program committee members Anne Carswell, Director of the School of Rehabilitation Sciences; Lesley Bainbridge, Head, Division of PT; and Catherine Backman, an Associate Professor in the Division of Occupational Therapy.

Development Funding success! 2001-2002

UBC Loan is granted for ‘Post-Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation’

UBC Faculty of Graduate Studies approves five Certificate courses.

Course Content Development, 2001-2003

Course development begins at UBC.

In April 2002, UBC and McMaster University agree to collaborate on the development of the remaining courses.

By July 2003, all five certificate courses are complete. Initial Course Authors:

  • RHSC 501 Evaluating Sources of Evidence: Jackie Bosch, Mary Law
  • RHSC 503 Reasoning and Decision-Making: Margaret McCuaig
  • RHSC 505 Measurement in Practice: Paul Stratford
  • RHSC 507 Developing Effective Rehabilitation Programs: Sue Stanton
  • RHSC 509 Facilitating Learning in Rehabilitation Contexts: Christine Carpenter

First Online Certificate Learners, 2002

Eleven learners sign on to the first Certificate courses.

Certificate approved in Ontario, 2003

In December 2003, the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies conducts on-site visits at McMaster University and UBC and approves the UBC-McMaster Certificate (called a Graduate Diploma in Ontario)

Certificate program gets new name and first graduate, 2004

New Name: Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation

First Certificate graduate: Sandra Robertson, April 2004

Online MRSc comes into being, 2004

UBC online Master of Rehabiliation Science degree gets a green light! In October 2004, after a public review process and 18 months of scrutiny by university personnel and government officials , the BC government approves the UBC online Master of Rehabilitation Science degree with the five Certificate courses as required courses.

First Learners start Online Masters, 2005

Learners completing Certificate courses now receive credits on UBC transcripts

The first 6 MRSc learners begin their studies in January 2005.

MRSc course development complete, 2006

Development of the remaining MRSc required and elective courses is completed. Initial Course Authors:

  • RHSC 581 Writing to Enhance Practice: Mary Clark
  • RHSC 583 Applying Research to Practice: Lori Roxborough, Sue Stanton
  • RHSC 587 Major Project I: Sue Stanton
  • RHSC 589 Major Project II: Sue Stanton

First MRSc graduating class, 2007

Dianne Cameron, Mary Solomon and Sue Stewart receive the first UBC MRSc degrees in November 2007.

MRSc celebrates 5th anniversary, 2010

In 2010, the MRSc program celebrated its 5th anniversary by beginning documentation of the program’s history on this Wiki. At the time, 57 MRSc learners in nine health professions were enrolled, and 22 registered in the Graduate Certificate. Twenty-two rehabilitation professionals held MRSc degrees, and 10 with Graduate Certificates in Rehabilitation.

MRSc Comp Exam discontinued, 2010

The Comprehensive Examination was removed as a requirement for the MRSc degree. The exam was introduced to test the learner’s ability to synthesize knowledge and skills from the five core courses before carrying out their major project research. While synthesis remains important, it is promoted and tested throughout the courses in place of the examination.

Certificate affiliation with McMaster University ends, 2012

The 10 year Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation in collaboration with McMaster University ended to enable each university to better accommodate program changes that meet the needs of their learners.

Research option extended and course-based option becomes available, 2012

The major project research was increased from 6 to 9 credits in September 2012. A course-based MRSc option, in which 15 elective credits can be taken in place of the major project research, was also introduced to accommodate learners unable to gain needed support at their workplace, or who do not wish to complete the major research project.

End of printed course material, 2014

Courses made the switch from using printed materials to purely online materials in 2014.

MRSc program turns 10 in 2015

The MRSc celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015. At this milestone, the MRSc program had 77 graduates. The Graduate Certificate had sixteen graduates. All but one learner completed their programs part-time while working full-time. The average MRSc completion time is 3.5 years as learners strive to balance work with their studies and family and personal responsibilities. There were 72 students enrolled in the MRSc program, who were largely part-time learners.

New Physiotherapy Graduate Certificate Program includes an MRSc option, 2017

The Department of Physical Therapy's Graduate Certificate in Orthopaedic and Musculo-Skeletal Physical Therapy (GCOMPT) offers prospective students the opportunity to apply to the MRSc when they begin their studies. The GCOMPT includes some MRSc courses. The students admitted to the MRSc can transfer all GCOMPT credits to the MRSc, and take additional MRSc electives to complete their degree.


2012 Peer-Nominated Research Award received by Rebecca Shook

Rebecca Shook was a recipient of the "Dedication to PT Research" -- one of the VCH/PHC Physiotherapy Team Excellence Awards. The seven awards were created to recognize excellence by Physiotherapists and Rehabilitation Assistants working in Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care. She won the award for her research, Patients’ and Caregivers’ perceived Stroke Education Needs in Inpatient Rehabilitation, which was completed as a part of the MRSc major project research.

2012 Golden Quill Award received by Ellie Wray

Ellie Wray, a MRSc graduate, and her research supervisor Patricia Mortenson were awarded the 2012 Golden Quill Award for their article published in the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy on her MRSc workplace research.

2014 Fraser Health Award received by Jan Chan

MRSc graduate Jan Chan received the 2014 Above and Beyond Award for her major project research, which was published in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research. Jan is a practicing dietician, and graduated from the program in 2013.

2014 Physiotherapy Alberta “Excellence in Innovation” Award received by Jodi Boucher

Jodi Boucher received the Physiotherapy Alberta 'Excellence in Innovation' award profiled on p. 23 of Issue 3 of the 2013 Physiotherapy Alberta newsletter in which she applied what she learned in MRSc course, RHSC 509, Facilitating Learning in Rehabilitation Contexts.

Remember when...

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Mailed journal articles!

I still have a couple of dozen manila envelopes in my recycled envelope drawer that have on the front the careful printing (invariably in green ink) of the UBC librarian who would mail me, free of charge, up to 30 photocopied articles per course. By the time I completed my degree, I was using only electronic articles. Dale Graham, MRSc '08

Does the Straw Dog truly exist?

It was a dark and stormy November in 2005, when a small group of RHSC 503 learners were rumoured to have invented The Straw Dog. Seeking further information about said dog. Any takers?

Online learners may or may not be from Mars

In a recent interview, MRSc architect and pioneer Sue Stanton had this to say about the experience of launching the Online MRSc: "You are asking people to make a major paradigm shift and they have no precedent to understand what you are saying. It’s like you’ve come in from Mars.” (Editorial comment - but what friendly and gifted Martians we've turned out to be!!)


In the UBC Master of Rehabilitation Science (MRSc) program learners complete a major project designed to synthesize the knowledge gained from their required coursework, transfer their new knowledge to rehabilitation practice, and demonstrate achievement of the MRSc program objectives. After implementing their approved research plan, learners write up and present their results for critical review, and where appropriate assess the extent to which the findings will be transferred to rehabilitation practice.

Click below to read the abstracts of our graduates' research in rehabilitation science.

MRSc Research

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