The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR), located in Eastern Canada, and its Department of Leisure, Cultural and Tourism Studies have a long tradition in French-speaking leisure studies communities. The theme of its Center of Excellence, “Leisure, essential to community development”, comes from the subtitle of the World Leisure Quebec Declaration, signed in 2008, during the 10th World Leisure Congress held in Quebec City. Focusing on the role of leisure and recreation in the development of communities, the Center aims to discuss, promote, and critically analyze how investing in leisure transforms communities.
The Center is also dedicated to becoming a strong proponent for the development of leisure studies in the French-speaking world, both at the scientific and professional levels. A core element of the mission of this Center is to create a new dynamic that will attract academic and institutional partners from France, Switzerland, Belgium, the Maghreb, West Africa, and other French-speaking countries.
The UQTR offers leisure-related programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels and started its new Ph.D. program in 2020. All programs are offered in French. The experience of its faculty members spans an array of fields, including geography, urban studies, gerontology, economics, leisure studies, communication, public administration and policy analysis, education, and environmental sciences. Such diversity fosters an interdisciplinary teaching approach in which faculty members collaborate on research projects and share teaching responsibilities in the fields of leisure, culture, and tourism; providing unique perspectives on the complex issues in our sector.
The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières is the first institution in the world to offer a doctoral program in leisure studies in French. The program is specifically designed for people wishing to undertake a career in academia, in research organizations, or the public sector. This program aims to produce highly specialized graduates able to study complex problems and identify solutions that focus on the cultural, social, psychological, and regional dimensions of leisure to ultimately improve the quality of life of individuals and communities.
Master of Arts (M.A.) – Leisure, Culture and Tourism
At the master’s level, the Department of Leisure, Cultural and Tourism Studies offers students different options to choose from so they can follow a path that fulfills their academic and professional development potential. The objective of the master’s program in leisure, culture and tourism —exclusive to Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières—is to provide students with a broad-based yet interdisciplinary education. The latter aspect reflects a tradition deeply rooted in our thirty years of experience in higher education. The master’s programs offer two paths:
one research-oriented that requires a dissertation
the other for future professionals and people already working in the field of leisure which requires an internship.
Besides the core courses in leisure, epistemology, and methodology, the program offers thematic courses that allow students to deepen their knowledge of specific elements within the field of leisure, culture and tourism, linked to three specific themes: developing individuals, developing communities and developing territories. Beyond these courses, the Department plans to organize intensive courses every summer, jointly with the Center of Excellence, that introduce students to contemporary issues related to leisure, culture, and tourism.
Finally, the master’s program can be completed in conjunction with Université de Rouen in France and students may obtain two diplomas through this initiative. These students can participate in a study-abroad program as part of their educational experience.
Another graduate certificate program (Diplôme d’études supérieures spécialisées) in which students specialize in leisure, culture, and tourism is also offered. It includes a professional component that prepares students to specialize in various segments of the industry. The UQTR also offers two shorter graduate programs (Programme court de 2e cycle) for professionals seeking to acquire new skills: one in local management of recreation services and another in cultural interpretation and mediation.
Bachelor Degree – Leisure, Culture and Tourism
The Department’s undergraduate degree program is one of the few to combine leisure, culture, and tourism. The program not only teaches students how to manage recreation resources but also how to plan, implement and evaluate projects, products and services. Students also learn about communication, leadership and social mediation, and strategic monitoring.
Graduates have job opportunities in municipal and regional settings, including in ministries and other government agencies. They may also find employment in schools, community and volunteer organizations, in the tourism industry, in cultural organizations, in sports associations, and in health and social services. As part of their training, students complete an eight-month internship—a major educational asset. During the internship, they take part in a work-related project, which gives them a taste of how things function in a professional environment. The program also provides an international stream for students looking to spend a semester or two abroad. We have set up mobility agreements to this effect with several universities, mainly in France.
Students interested in our graduate research-oriented programs could benefit from UQTR’s Universalis Causa scholarship program. All students can be eligible, regardless of their nationality.
The UQTR has agreements with several overseas universities for ingoing and outgoing student mobility, both for graduate and undergraduate studies. Exchange students can spend one or two semesters (fall and/or winter) in Trois-Rivières. UQTR students can also benefit from scholarships up to $CAN 8,000 to study abroad.
Through UQTR’s Hosting Program for Foreign Faculty (Programme d’accueil des professeurs étrangers (PAPE), our Department looks forward to welcoming foreign scholars and research partners, to integrating them into their master’s and doctoral seminars and other activities. Our institution also encourages the creation of joint international research projects.
World Leisure Organization is a non-profit organization registered in New York.