PSYCH 308A/B : Directed Study


2023 Semester One (1233) / Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A course of research supervised by a staff member and written up as a course for publication instead of a final examination. Prerequisite: 45 points at Stage II in Psychology and 15 points from STATS 100-125 Corequisite: Student must be enrolled in (or have completed) an additional 45 points at Stage III in Psychology courses plus Head of School approval

Course Overview

This course offers students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in psychological research by completing a supervised course of research, guided by a staff member.  While the topic and scope of the project will be negotiated with the supervising staff member, the emphasis of the project will be the development of research skills and the generation of new knowledge through research.  The project may consist of an empirical research project involving data collection, analysis and write-up (for example, an experiment or survey), analysis and write-up of an existing data set, a review of existing literature, writing a research proposal, or similar.  Assessment will be based on a written report submitted at the conclusion of the project.  

Course Requirements

To complete this course students must enrol in PSYCH 308 A and B, or PSYCH 308

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Evaluate literature relevant to the project. (Capability 1)
  2. Create, refine and reflect on research methods relevant to the project. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of outcomes of the research and their connection to literature. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  4. Critically evaluate and synthesise the outcomes of the project in a written report. (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 5)
  5. Conduct research ethically and with integrity. (Capability 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Project 100% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and wellbeing of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the Tuākana-Teina principle an integral relationship in which older or more expert Tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert Teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here:

Special Requirements

Topic and scope of the project must be negotiated with supervising staff member prior to registration.

Workload Expectations

This course is a supervised research experience.  There are no lectures or formal tutorials, but you may be expected to attend research group meetings (1-2 hours per week).  You should expect to spend 8-10 hours per week on literature review, data collection and analysis, and/or write-up.  Depending on the specific project, this workload may vary somewhat week-to-week.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience or Online

The delivery mode will depend on the specific project.  Most projects will involve a Campus Experience, but some may occur mostly or entirely Online:

Campus Experience

  • Attendance is expected at scheduled activities, including research group meetings and individual meetings with the supervising member of staff, to complete the research components of the course.
  • The course may include live online events, including research group discussions, which may be recorded.


  • Attendance is expected at scheduled online activities, including research group meetings, to complete the research components of the course.
  • The course may include live online events, including research group discussions, which may be recorded.
  • This course runs to the University semester timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Resources will vary depending on the nature of the project.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

We continue to make improvements to the course based on student feedback.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 01/11/2022 09:36 a.m.