Psychology (PSYC) 300

Theories of Career Development (Revision 6)

PSYC 300

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: Success in a variety of junior-level social science course is highly recommended but not required.

Precluded Course: PSYC 300 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for CADE 300.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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University Certificate in Career Development.

PSYC 300 has a Challenge for Credit option

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In PSYC 300, learners will examine a number of career development theories with the intent of integrating aspects of the theories into their own work as career development practitioners. Students will be expected to learn about a number of career development theories and be able to reflect critically on the contributions and limitations of each one.

Career development is a major aspect of human development. It spans a lifetime and concerns the whole person. Career development is integral to a person's self-concept, family life, and all aspects of their environmental and cultural conditions. Career development is the interaction of psychological, sociological, economic, physical, and chance factors that shape the sequence of occupations and careers that people engage in throughout a lifetime.


The course consists of the following eight units.

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Career Development Theory
  • Unit 2: Person x Environment Fit Theories
  • Unit 3: Lifespan Theories
  • Unit 4: Special Focus Theories
  • Unit 5: Constructivist Theories
  • Unit 6: Socio-Cultural Theories
  • Unit 7: Eclectic Theories
  • Unit 8: An Integrated Theory of Career Development


To receive credit for PSYC 300, you must complete all of the assignments and achieve an overall course composite grade of at least D (50 percent).

Activity Weighting
Career Counselling Reflection Assignments (6 x 7.5% each) 45%
Quizzes (2) 15%
Final Paper Outline 10%
Integrated Theory of Career Development Paper 30%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Sharf, R. S. (2013). Applying career development theory to counseling (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole / Cengage Learning.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.


Amundson, N. E., & Poehnell, G. R. (2004). Career pathways (3rd ed.). Richmond, BC: Ergon Communications.

Holland, J. L. (1994). Self-directed search assessment booklet: A guide to educational and career planning (Form R, 4th ed., Canadian ed.). Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Holland, J. L., & Messer, M. A. (2013). Self-directed search: The occupations finder (Form R, 5th ed.). Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Other materials

All of the Athabasca University materials are accessed from your online course site.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the PSYC 300 challenge registration, you must answer all of the challenge exam questions fully, and achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

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 6, March 9, 2017.

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