Student Research

Get into research as an undergraduate student.

Learn more about paid or volunteer research assistant, directed studies, or honours opportunities—or how to get hands-on research experience for course credit.

Work or volunteer in a lab

Labs with opportunities

PSYC240: Research Experience

Get hands-on research experience for course credit.

PSYC240: Research Experience is a new elective course aimed at helping interested students get involved in hands-on research experience in psychology for course credit. Students can join PSYC240 either after securing a volunteer position in a psychology lab on their own, or by having a lab accept them in a new position through the PSYC240 Application Portal.

Directed Studies

Directed Studies gives you an opportunity to participate in a research project, as determined by you and your supervising faculty member.

What is Directed Studies?

Directed study courses allow students to pursue independent research under the guidance of a faculty member - but do not form a part of the core course requirements.

As per the academic calendar, students are reminded that PSYC 340, 348, 388, 440, 448 or 488 may not be included for the minimum 30-upper level Psychology credits required for the BA Major in Psychology program.

Securing a Directed Studies placement

Students interested in Directed Studies can contact full-time UBC Psychology faculty members directly to start the discussion. Sessional instructors are not eligible to supervise directed studies projects.

  • If you are not already connected to a lab, a good starting point is visiting our lab websites. By exploring individual lab websites, you will learn about the various projects our researchers are working on. This will allow you to identify your areas of interest when contacting them. Most labs do post information about how students can apply for volunteer RA and Directed Studies positions.
  • We recommend students be open when considering lab placements. Limiting your search field too much can limit your chances of successfully matching with a lab.
  • Some supervisors prefer to work with students with previous lab experience. Others may be open to working with students that have none.

Which year level of Directed Studies do I enroll in?

First time Directed Studies students are encouraged to enroll in the 300 level version of the course. The final decision is made at the discretion of the student and supervisor. Please note that you cannot enroll in the same course (number and letter suffix) twice without the course being pushed into unused credits.

Directed Studies Admission Clearance Form

Contact a full-time UBC Psychology faculty member (sessional instructors are not eligible to supervise a Directed Study) and ask whether they will supervise your project.

  • If a full-time UBC Psychology faculty member agrees to supervise your project, they will provide you with a registration form to complete.
  • Please complete all of the required fields and carefully review the policy section
  • You will need to provide a detailed description of the nature of the project
  • Your supervisor will need to submit the final course grade back to us by the last day of exams. This means you would want to choose a final paper submission date that allows your supervisor to both grade the paper and submit the final grade in time.

Submitting the Form and Course Registration

Email the completed form to after your registration date has opened and before the last date to add/drop classes. We will manually register you in the class once the directed study has been approved.

Student Directed Seminars

Delve deeper into a specific topic in a smaller group setting and gain a rewarding learning experience through Student Directed Seminars.

The Student Directed Seminars program provides upper-year undergraduate students the opportunity to coordinate and lead a small three-credit seminar on a topic not currently offered at UBC.

Educational Psychology: Current Perspectives on Learning and Teaching
Coordinators: Victoria Lansdown & Alana Tacy
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Todd Handy

This course examined psychological experiments in a variety of Educational Psychology topics, including learning types and teaching methods. Students worked together to create a student handbook for a hypothetical school that entails course descriptions, special programs, teacher requirements, academic resources, a school focus, graduation requirements, registration policies and procedures, co-curricular activities/athletics, counseling and career programs. Throughout the course, students researched the most supported psychological advancements in the field of education and engage in weekly open discussions to share their own ideas for national or international academic improvements.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Coordinators: Juliet Meccia & Nicole Di Spirito
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Steven Barnes

Developmental disorders are a common neurological issue affecting individuals throughout the course of their lives. To understand the different components of these disorders, we must explore them through various disciplines including psychology, biology, sociology, and education, employing an epigenetic focus. This course provided students an opportunity to study disorders such as autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, Down syndrome and dyslexia and consider their causes, treatments, social impacts, educational challenges, and other factors.


Set yourself apart with BA or BSc Honours.

The two-year honours program is designed to provide advanced training in psychological research to outstanding students who intend to pursue graduate studies in psychology.

On this page