The MSc program requires students to (a) conduct, present, and write-up research project (i.e., a thesis) and (b) complete at least five graduate courses. Completing these requirements takes full-time commitment over the two years allotted for the program (summers included). Students work on their thesis over that whole time span. Coursework typically is completed over the standard academic year (Sept-May), although students may take courses over the summer (depending on what is being offered and how it fits with the focus of their thesis).
Students generally are awarded full graduate assistantships (GAs). This means that they work for the department over the school year (e.g., marking, running labs, helping with research) and get paid for it. The GA is worth around $9500 per year. GAs are not available over the summer months.