Curriculum Guideline

Academic and Professional Development in Psychology

Effective Date:
Course Code
PSYC 2150
Academic and Professional Development in Psychology
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 2 hours per week/semester Seminar: 2 hours per week/semester
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

The primary method of instruction will be the lecture, but the course may involve various other methods of instruction, such as small group activities, discussion groups, oral presentations, video tapes, and guest lectures.

Course Description
This course is recommended for students who plan to complete a BA degree in Psychology. The course addresses four areas of academic and professional skill development. First, students will learn how to write papers and research reports using the writing and referencing style of the American Psychological Association (APA). Second, students will develop the necessary skills to construct interview questions and conduct effective interviews. Third, students will develop the research and critical thinking skills necessary to find, review, and evaluate research on given topics in psychology. Finally, students will learn to apply ethical guidelines and other practical skills to research in psychology.
Course Content
  • APA Writing Style
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method
    • Participants
    • Procedure
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References
  • Interviewing
    • Constructing interview questions
    • Probes and follow-up questions
    • Interviewing skills
  • Finding, Reviewing, and Evaluating Research
  • Psychology as a science
  • Peer review researchheory-testing
  • Operational definitions
  • Case studies
  • Correlation and causation
  • Experimental control
  • Representative samples
  • Converging evidence
  • Multiple causation
  • Inferential statistics and probability
  • Research Ethics
  • American Psychological Association Ethics Code.
  • Canadian Psychological Association Ethics Code.
  • Informed consent.
  • Confidentiality.
  • Deception.
  • Minimal-risk research.
  • Risk-benefit analysis.
  • Debriefing.
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Write a research report in APA style. 
  2. Construct well-designed interview questions, probes, and follow-up questions.
  3. Conduct an effective research interview.
  4. Critically evaluate empirical research.
  5. Apply ethical guidelines to psychological research.
  6. Work in teams to plan and conduct minimal risk research.
Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be based on the course objectives and in accordance with Douglas College policy

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:



APA Style research paper   20%
In-class writing assignments       30%
Interviewing assignment   10%
Midterm exam   20%
Final exam   20%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:


Texts will be updated periodically.  Typical examples include both of the following:

American Psychological Association. (2009). Mastering APA style: Student’s workbook and training guide

         (6nd ed.).  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.   


Stanovich, K. E. (2011). How to think straight about psychology (9th ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn &