Honours Seminar

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
PSYC 4390
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This seminar course is designed for students who wish to progress to postgraduate studies. Topics may include: developing research ideas, research ethics, graduate school application, and the peer review process. Students will have the opportunity to present and receive feedback on their Honours Thesis proposal.
Course Content
  1. Graduate school aptitude exams.
  2. Applying for research funding (e.g. NSERC and SSHRC).
  3. Evaluating and selecting graduate programs.
  4. The graduate school application process.
  5. How to generate, and evaluate research ideas.
  6. Writing a literature review.
  7. Planning and writing the academic research paper.
  8. American Psychological Association guidelines for scholarly papers.
  9. Standards for evaluating psychology papers.
  10. Ethics in research and writing.
  11. Presenting research through conferences and publications.
Learning Activities

Methods of instruction may include:

  • seminar
  • presentations
  • group discussions
  • guest lectures
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:

Draft ethics proposal                                     20%

Attendance at academic talks or seminars       10%

Critical analyses of research papers                30%

Presentation of research proposal                   30%

Class participation                                        10%

Total                                                          100%

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Conduct a comprehensive literature review to address a specific research question.
  2. Explain the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.
  3. Construct an ethics proposal for the Douglas College Ethics Board.
  4. Critically analyze and discuss a piece of academic work.
  5. Provide constructive feedback on the academic work of others.
  6. Demonstrate understanding of the application procedures for graduate school.
  7. Identify the differences between graduate schools/programs in Psychology and related disciplines.
  8. Establish ability to participate in the peer review process, including papers, posters and conference presentations.
  9. Use visual aids, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, to communicate ideas in a professional manner.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students

Textbook(s) such as the following, the list to be updated periodically:

Sternberg, R.J., & Sternberg, K. (2010). The psychologist’s companion: A guide to writing scientific papers for

         students and researchers (5th ed.). New York, NY:Cambridge University Press.



Admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology Honours Program or Department permission.



No equivalent 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 4390
There are no applicable transfer credits for this course.

Course Offerings

Summer 2023