Special Topics in Biological Psychology

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
PSYC 3902
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course examines a special topic or emerging questions in the field of biological psychology. Readings and topical content will include theory, research, critical debate, and applications relevant to the specific topic.
Course Content

The general framework of an upper-level special topics course in psychology can be represented as below:

  1. Historical Context
  2. Theories
  3. Mechanisms and Processes
  4. Critical Analysis and Remaining Questions

A specific example of topics for a course on Innovations and Implications in Neuroscience:

  1. The major questions, issues and debates in modern applications of neuroscience
  2. Practical/pragmatic vs. abstract/theoretical approaches to major questions in neuroscience
  3. The basic neuroscientific and psychological knowledge of relevance to given questions, issues or debates in the field of neuroscience, as currently understood
  4. The growing implications of neurotechnologies in modern society
Learning Activities

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:

  • Lecture
  • Audio-visual materials
  • Small group discussion
  • Problem-based learning
Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be in accordance with Douglas College and Psychology Department policies. Evaluations will be based on the course objectives. The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

  • Small group assignments 10%
  • Term project paper 20%
  • Term project presentation 10%
  • Midterm exams 40%
Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and describe relevant theoretical influences on current scholarship relating to the specific topic of the course.
  2. Define and apply key terms and concepts relating to the specific topic of the course.
  3. Analyze, synthesize, and critically evaluate scholarly research relating to the specific topic of the course.
Textbook Materials

Example text (for topic Innovations and Implications in Neuroscience):

  • Meynen (2014) Neurolaw: neuroscience, ethics, and law. Review essay. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 17(4), 819-829.
  • Appelbaum, P.S. (2014). The double helix takes the witness stand: behavioral and neuropsychiatric genetics in court. Neuron, 82(5), 946-949.


Additional readings may also be curated by the instructor and students.



Courses listed here must be completed prior to this course:


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for PSYC 3902
College of New Caledonia (CNC) CNC PSYC 2XX (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR PSYC 3XX (3)
Columbia College (COLU) COLU PSYC 2nd (3)
Emily Carr University of Art & Design (EC) EC SOCS 300 lev (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU PSYC 3XXX (3)
LaSalle College Vancouver (LCV) LCV PSY 2XX (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW PSYC 3XX (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC PSYC 3XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV PSYC 3XX (3)

Course Offerings

Winter 2023