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.
Starting in the Fall/W1 of 2022, UBC Psychology is offering PSYC240: Research Experience, a new course aimed at helping interested students get involved in hands-on research experience in psychology for course credit. With the creation of this new course, we are bridging this gap, giving students flexibility from second-year onward in whether they wish to volunteer their time or work for course credit.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.