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Directed Research Studies

Course Code: CFCS 3810
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Credits: 3.0
Semester: Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks.
Learning Format: Seminar, Tutorial
Typically Offered: Winter
course overview

This upper-level seminar course is designed for students interested in pursuing their research interests and/or who may wish to pursue postgraduate studies. Topics may include: developing research ideas, understanding research ethics, participating in a peer review process, engaging in research, writing research reports for diverse audiences, formulating grant proposals, and developing effective ways to communicate research findings. Prior to admission to this course a standard contract form must be completed by the student and signed by the faculty instructor and department co-ordinator.

Course Content

Prior to admission in this course a standard contract form must be completed by the student and signed by the faculty instructor and department co-coordinator.  Since this is a seminar course for upper-level degree students that may be done in conjunction with the research or evaluation needs of a community agency, the class readings and assignment criteria will cater to the student’s identified learning objectives.  Details regarding student learning objectives, required readings, and assignments will be fully outlined in their individual class contracts.

Content for this course may include (but not be limited to):

  • Literature reviews
    • Critical appraisal of interdisciplinary health research
  • Major aspects of ethical decision-making in research
    • Informed consent, confidentiality, anonymity and do no harm
    • Ethics review processes and paperwork
  • Community based research
    • Data collection, management and analysis
  • Effective report writing and communicating ideas to different audiences
    • Strategies for communicating findings to community agencies, policy makers and academic journals
    • Knowledge translation tools
    • Visual aids – PowerPoint and other media

Methods of Instruction

  • Class discussion
  • Small group work and workshops
  • Community experiences and community-based research
  • Student dialogue and presentations
  • Self-directed on-line learning

Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.  Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:

  • Research proposal
  • Off-campus activities
  • Research report
  • Research presentation
  • Community report
  • Policy brief
  • Peer-reviewed journal manuscript
  • Douglas College ethics review forms
  • Grant application

This is a letter graded course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student, with the support of the faculty instructor, will have selected and achieved a minimum of 4 of the following learning objectives:

  1. Conduct a comprehensive literature review to address a specific research question.
  2. Critically analyze and discuss academic literature.
  3. Provide constructive feedback on the academic work of others.
  4. Show and understanding of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.
  5. Construct an ethics proposal for the Douglas College Ethics Board.
  6. Conduct research, including developing interview, focus group and/or survey instruments, and collecting data, analyzing data, and reporting on research findings.
  7. Write a research manuscript for publication and/or for reporting to a community agency.
  8. Write a research grant application for a community agency.
  9. Participate in the peer review process, including papers, posters and conference presentations.

course prerequisites

THRT 3710 or equivalent research course

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.