Psychology (PSYC) 418

Special Projects in Psychology (Revision 2)

PSYC 418 Course Cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: A course in psychological research methods (equivalent to Athabasca University’s PSYC 304 or Social Science 366) is strongly recommended. The course is primarily intended for Athabasca University students who are in the final stages of a Bachelor of Arts program with a major in psychology. Permission of course coordinator and availability of faculty/tutor supervision are required.

Precluded Course: PSYC 318 (PSYC 418 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for PSYC 318.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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PSYC 418 is not available for Challenge.

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**Note: Students should contact the coordinator at least 2 months prior to registration to ensure that supervision is available and in place.


Psychology 418: Special Projects in Psychology allows students to pursue a topic of special interest in more detail than is permitted within the standard psychology curriculum. The course is primarily intended for students who are in the final stages of a Bachelor of Arts program with a major in psychology. In exceptional circumstances, other students may also take this course with the permission of the course coordinator.

Students registered in this course are required to conduct an independent literature search research paper. At the outset, students will select a topic (research question) and submit an initial proposal overview in consultation with the course coordinator as the basis for requesting a supervisor/instructor. Once supervision is approved, students will be able to register in the course, in which they will complete and submit to their supervisor an extended, enhanced proposal and a final paper.

Students taking PSYC 418 are expected to demonstrate the ability to work independently and should not expect significant help from their supervisor/instructor, except for minor questions, and approval and evaluation of the extended, enhanced proposal and the final paper.

Registration Process

In order to register for this course, you must first request a supervisor/instructor. Email the course coordinator with the following information:

  1. a brief resume, including your recent past and current education, particularly with respect to psychology
  2. a brief synopsis (about 500–750 words) of your educational and career goals
  3. an outline of your ideas for the PSYC 418 research paper, including
    • the topic/theme and research question
    • the rationale for the paper
    • ideas for a literature search, including six potential references (formatted in APA style). These must be scholarly, peer-reviewed edited books and/or articles. The maximum number of edited books that you may use is three, and the maximum number of chapters per book that you may use is two.

Once the course coordinator has received the above information, it will circulated to AU’s psychology faculty and psychology tutor group (where applicable). Supervision and approval to register is dependent on faculty or tutor interest, time, and subject-matter expertise.


The extended, enhanced proposal and final paper are worth 100 percent (combined) of the course grade. Students must achieve at least D (50 percent) to pass the course.

Activity Weighting
Extended Outline 20%
Final Paper 80%
Total 100%

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

Course Materials

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 3, 2017.

View previous syllabus