Indigenous Studies (INST) 390

Individual Research Projects in Indigenous Studies (Revision 2)

INST 390/391 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: Course coordinator approval is required. 3 credits in Native/Indigenous Studies are strongly recommended but not required.

Precluded Course: INST 390 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for INST 391, NTST 390, or NTST 391.

Centre: Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research

INST 390 is not available for challenge.

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Indigenous Studies 390: Individual Research Projects in Indigenous Studies is a student-initiated course that is based on a contracted study arrangement worked out among an individual student, an approved research project supervisor, and Athabasca University. This is an advanced course, intended for students who have completed one or more of the foundation courses.

Many adults who wish to improve or upgrade their education find that regular university courses are too restrictive in their content, pacing, or grading. Research project courses are more flexible. In research project courses, students may learn what they want to learn; such courses may allow students to do things that no one else has done before. Research project courses let students learn using their own learning styles, and working at their own pace. They allow students to continue at their jobs, and may even encourage them to pursue their jobs in their learning activities. Research project courses encourage development of both intellectual and technical skills.


The research project may involve any combination of library or field research, as agreed to by the student and the research project supervisor in a learning contract between the student and Athabasca University. The learning contract states what is to be done in the research project, how and when it will be done, how it will evaluated, and the credits to be awarded (each research project course is a three-credit course). Although the University may provide some help, students are expected to obtain and pay for all of the materials used in their research project.

Students may enroll at any time during the year, but before enrolling, they must submit an acceptable research project proposal to the course coordinator. The research project proposal is, in effect, the first stage in the preparation of a learning contract and the determination of a suitable supervisor.

For more information, please read the Indigenous Studies 390: Individual Research Projects in Indigenous Studies Course Description.


In Individual Research Projects in Indigenous Studies, students prepare a learning contract in conjunction with their research project supervisor. The learning contract is a written agreement that states the learning objectives, activities to be undertaken, timelines, and criteria for evaluating the research project proposed.

Course Materials

Once the research project proposal is approved by the course coordinator, the student will be given access to the course website, which includes a course guide that details how to create a learning contract and how to write a project report, and various resources to help with research and writing.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, November 27, 2020.