Bird Courses at Western… Do Those Still Exist?

Photo by Warren Wong via Unsplash

It is well-known that Western University is a pretty awesome place. Western is a top research-intensive university in Canada with research institutes across the country. Additionally, Western ranked among the best Canadian universities and made Maclean’s list of most prestigious schools in the world in 2019. However, with a successful reputation comes an increasingly high caliber of academia. Therefore, if you were accepted into Western you already come from a strong academic background. But let’s be real, sometimes you need a break from hard, time-consuming courses and crave a less demanding course load. And, although these courses below aren’t necessary “bird courses”, they are thought to be easier.

1) Geography 1400 – Introduction to the Human Environment

This course requires no high school prerequisites and consists of a two-hour lecture and two-hour lab each week. The lectures are interesting yet straightforward. Professor Hopkins is extremely knowledgeable and the topics are relevant to real life. The course discusses how human beings interact with the environment. Topics include sustainability, natural resources, population growth, and industrialization. Not to mention, assignments are simple and the TA’s mark fairly.

2) Psychology 2040 – Child Development

How infants and children develop throughout childhood, both biologically and socially. The assignments and discussion posts are straightforward and marked fairly — there’s an opportunity to do a project on a topic of your choice! Also, there are short and interesting readings in the textbook, but they are not necessary in order to do well. The exams are based solely on lectures. This includes topics such as learning, cognition, and perception. Plus, you can expect lots of pictures of cute babies throughout the course!

3) Women’s Studies 2161 – Garbo to Gaga: Introduction to Popular Culture

Do you love popular culture? Do you wish you could sit in class and listen to a lecture solely about Beyonce? Would you love to watch Disney movies in class? Then this class is for you! Introduction to popular culture is taught by Professor Edwards who is an amazing professor and super passionate about what she teaches. There are a few short writing assignments throughout the course and no exams. This course serves as a nice break from typical academia and theory-based courses. It allows the opportunity to discuss current events such as MeToo and other prevalent issues in popular media.

4) Geography 2011 – Ontario and the Great Lakes

Do you still have the provinces and territories song stuck in your head from grade 3? Do you know your way around a map? Are you good at memorizing? Geography 2011 has been taught at Western for years and is very popular due to its simplicity. The primary method of evaluation
for this course is map quizzes and tests. Although this course requires you to memorize tedious names across Ontario and the Great Lakes, it is hardly time-consuming and straight forward to study.

5) Computer Science 1033 Multimedia and Communication

Comp Sci 1033 has notoriously been a bird course at Western for years and despite additional projects to make the course more challenging, it’s fairly easy. Going to the labs is an easy attendance mark and allows you the necessary software and time period to complete your projects for the class. There are only a few projects throughout the year that involve photoshop, simple animation, and basic web design.

If these “bird courses” fit into your schedule, try to take them but if they don’t, look for “bird courses” that genuinely interest you and you will find yourself way more engaged with the material!

Published on January 3, 2020

About Campus Guides Team

Our student-written campus guides help students who want to get a sense of what life at their new school and city will really be like by avoiding embellishment and focusing on what actual students think.