Guidelines for Reading and Research Courses


A true reading or research course is a course created when an individual student (or a very small group of students) “wishes to explore a topic not currently offered as a graduate course in a given academic year”. In this instance, the student is responsible for finding a faculty member who is willing to work with the student; together they will create the learning goals, deliverables, resources, timeline, and mechanism for feedback. The course is a “one-off”, rather than a repeated offering. These courses will not appear on the timetable.


  • Students wishing to pursue this option are responsible for finding a faculty member with relevant expertise and interest in the chosen topic to supervise the directed reading course. The instructor must have a Graduate Faculty appointment.
  • The course should be equivalent in terms of reading, organized academic activities and written assignments to a regular (0.5 FCE) graduate course.
  • With input from the instructor, each student will submit the SGS Reading and/or Research Course form – [PDF] along with a brief course outline that includes the following:
    • course title and a paragraph describing the body of work to be studied
    • learning goals and objectives
    • resources required to meet learning goals and objectives
    • deliverables/methods of evaluation with corresponding due dates and relative weights
    • planned contact with instructor and mechanism for obtaining instructor feedback
  • The form and outline should be submitted to the Graduate Office, for approval by the Graduate Coordinator, at least 3 working days before the sessional deadline to enrol in courses.