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Honours Seminar

Course Code: PSYC 4390
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Psychology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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.

Methods of Instruction

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.

course prerequisites

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


PSYC 4400

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.