There are lots of classes that will allow you to explore and develop of research skills and creative expression. However, there are some that focus on fostering these skills including specific courses, independent research, directed studies and internships. Don’t see what you are looking for? Make an appointment with a degree advisor in the department you are interested in – they are here to help and give advice.

Courses include general introduction to research to more skill-focused classes. The following does not exhaust the opportunities at VIU, but highlights the numerous options you have over many disciplines to acquire and sharpen your skills.

Research Design Courses

Course name

Short description

2018-2019 offerings


ANTH 315: Field Research Methods


A survey of field research methods for students anticipating or participating in a field project. Data gathering for all types of cultural and social anthropology will be surveyed, but participant observation and other types of "qualitative" approaches will be accented.


ANTH 326: Ethnographic Research


An opportunity to utilize qualitative research methodology in researching Canadian culture and society. Topics include participant observation and interviewing; problems in doing fieldwork; organization of research materials; writing descriptive ethnographies. Includes field research. Working with international students will give anthropology students a new perspective on their own culture.

Spring 2019

ANTH 329: Community Oral History Project


An applied approach to planning, organizing, and delivering a community-based oral history project. Topics include developing a research ethics protocol, interviewing skills, recording and transcribing oral narratives, and preparing a summary report, including recommendations regarding archiving, establishing access and utilizing recorded and transcribed material at the community level.


ANTH 361: Archaeological Field School


A hands-on training program of archaeological techniques and methods (lecture-internship). Students work on an archaeological site (prehistoric or historic) to gain practical experience. They are introduced to all aspects of field archaeology, from survey, to excavation, to identification of artifacts, to writing a research proposal (or permit application) and budget


ANTH 362: Ethnographic Field Studies I


Immersion in an experiential field study, Canada or abroad, provides opportunity to apply anthropological knowledge and analytical frameworks. The course typically includes site visits, observation, in-field data collection and seminars (day and/or evening). Advance sessions and readings will provide background on the topic and setting before the field study.


ANTH 418: Researching Community


A practical course that can be applied to any of the four subfields. The intention is to engage students in projects affiliated with the Community-Based Research Institute or other similar community endeavours.



ARTG 482: Design Research

Students learn design specific research methods and apply these methods in a variety of real-world challenges.

Fall 2018


BIOL 333: Laboratory Techniques in Molecular Biology

An intensive laboratory course dealing with the methodology used in recombinant DNA technology. The course includes DNA and vector purification, restriction endonuclease analysis of bacterial genome, cloning with a plasmid vector, and related screening procedures.

Spring 2019

BIOL 365: Biotechnology

An introduction to methods and goals of modern biotechnology. Topics include animal and biomedical biotechnology, microbial biotechnology and bioremediation, and plant biotechnology including genetic modification of agriculturally important plants. The course will also examine some of the social and ethical issues associated with biotechnology.


BIOL 445: Molecular Genetics

An in-depth examination of the molecular basis of gene expression and heredity. Emphasis will be on the use of modern molecular biological techniques to analyze the different levels of gene expression and the mechanisms of DNA replication. Topics will include transgenic organisms, gene therapy, genetic diseases, etc.

Fall 2018


CYC 323: Research in the Field of Child and Youth Care

This course examines the role of the CYC practitioner in influencing community and macro level environments that affect children, youth and families. Topics include community development, with a particular emphasis on Aboriginal communities, social policy, program development, leadership and advocacy in child and youth care practice.

Spring 2019

CYC 411: Advanced CYC Practice: Theory, Research and Application

A continued examination of professional practice and the integration of select theories and therapeutic approaches that emphasize the practitioner's partnership role with families and communities regarding the care of children/youth. Topics include leadership, advocacy, program design, community development, research assessment, research proposal writing and the continuing use of self in relationship.


CHEM 213: Practical Spectroscopy

An introduction to the theory and application of infrared, UV-visible mass and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy with emphasis on organic compounds and computer simulation (NMR).

Fall 2018

CHEM 311: Environmental Chemical Analysis

An introduction to quantitative chemical analysis of water, sediments, and biological samples. Additional topics include environmental sampling, quality control, and the application of statistics in a laboratory setting. Labs include the analysis dissolved gases, nutrient ions, metals, and organic contaminants by volumetric, electrochemical, spectroscopic, and chromatographic methods.

Fall 2018

CHEM 312: Principles of Instrumental Analysis

This course examines the theory of instrumental methods with an emphasis on the analytical techniques employed for quantitative and qualitative chemical measurements. These include optical, chromatographic, electrochemical and mass spectrometric techniques. The lab exposes students to method development with an emphasis on instrument design, calibration and data evaluation.

Spring 2019

CHEM 390: Field Studies in Environmental Chemistry


Designed to introduce students to project planning, environmental sampling, quality control, and data analysis in a real world setting. Students will work on a project conducting an on-site environmental assessment. The course will be divided between classroom presentation and field-work at a site to be determined.


CHEM 412: Advanced Instrumental Analysis


An examination of selected advanced instrumental analytical techniques, including emerging methods from the literature. Core topics include a thorough examination of mass spectrometric methods, advanced separation science spectroscopic methods, and QA/QC validation. Special topics may include surface electrochemistry and nano scale lab-on-a-chip technologies.



CRIM 220: Research Methods in Criminology

An introduction to criminological research and the methods used to collect data, focusing on scientific inquiry, research techniques, theory construction and data analysis.

Fall 2018

CRIM 350: Qualitative Research Methods


The course prepares students to use qualitative methods and analysis for conducting social research. Topics include qualitative interviewing, content analysis, observation, field research, and participatory action research.

Spring 2019

CRIM 351: Quantitative Research Methods


An examination of quantitative methods for conducting research. Topics include conceptualization, literature reviews, developing testable hypotheses, operationalizing variables, and data analysis using bivariate and multivariate techniques with Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).

Fall 2018


GEOL 307: Applied Geophysics


An introduction to the principles of geophysics including: magnetic, gravity, seismic, electrical, electromagnetic and radar methods. The course will focus on gathering, analysis and interpretation of geophysical data, as well as the application of geophysical techniques for a range of geological problems including mineral exploration, environmental and engineering.


GEOL 401: Karst Field Techniques


Field practices in the assessment and evaluation of karst landscapes. Topics include: mapping and inventorying karst landscapes, karst hydrological assessments, cave mapping techniques, karst monitoring techniques, and an introduction to karst management issues. A range of karst landscapes and environments on Vancouver Island will be visited.

Fall 2018


ENGL 115: University Writing and Research


An introduction to critical thinking and reading, academic writing, and research skills, consistent with the conditions and expectations students encounter as readers and writers at university.

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

ENGL 203: Intermediate Academic Writing


An exploration of compositional technique through detailed attention to writing. The course makes use of distinctive themes and linked readings. Students write diverse short papers, discussing them in seminar and workshop formats.

Spring 2019

ENGL 208: Introduction to Public Speaking: Communication

An introduction to public speaking that focuses on the creation, organization, and delivery of speeches for non-dramatic purposes. It provides the rhetorical principles of effective and ethical public speaking, offers opportunities to become familiar with different speaking situations, and attempts to instil a sense of the importance of public speech.

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

ENGL 240: Ways of Reading


A topical examination of different theoretical approaches to analyzing literature familiarizes students with major critical terms and their practical application in the understanding of literature. The course emphasizes reading, research, and writing. Analytical approaches vary.

Fall 2018

ENGL 304: Advanced Professional Writing


This course will focus on strengthening writing, editing, research, and presentation skills. Topics may include proposals, reports, writing in a digital environment, meeting skills, evaluations and reference letters, and presentations with audio/video components. Assignments may include an experiential learning component.


ENGL 480: Research Methods


An opportunity to enhance research skills, explore a variety of literary critical approaches and their theoretical foundations, and consider the impact of digital technologies on our discipline. May include proposal writing, rhetorical issues, varieties of collaboration, information literacy, and scholarly communication.

Spring 2019


FRST 201: Research and Communications

An introduction to basic principles and methods of research with an emphasis on forest resources. Topics include: the scientific method, experimental design, field methods, reporting, literature review, presentation skills and public speaking. Students undertake a simple research project and summarize results in an oral presentation and written report.

Fall 2018


GEOG 226: Introductory Spatial Analysis for the Environmental Sciences

A broad overview of spatial analysis tools and techniques used in the environmental sciences. Topics include map making, map reading, surveying, GPS, air photo interpretation, satellite image analysis and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Lab exercises apply these tools to environmental and natural resource management issues. This course involves some fieldwork.

Fall 2018

GEOG 322: Geographic Communication

A practical course in communicating geographic information. Topics include writing for professionals (expository, business, technical, and scientific writing), presentation skills, and using maps and graphics to present ideas and influence the perceptions of the reader. Oral presentations, including the use of multi-media technologies, are an integral part of this course.

Fall 2018

GEOG 324: Research Methods in Geography


An introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods related to Geography. Topics include ethics, constructing research proposals and reports, conducting research in the field, sampling and data collection, data analysis, and ways of presenting data.

Spring 2019

GEOG 467: Field Studies in Geography I


An opportunity to apply geographic perspectives, methods and techniques in a field-based research setting. Emphasizes qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis of physical and/or cultural landscapes.

Spring/Summer 2019


HIST 490: Honours Historiography and Historical Research Methods


An introduction to historical research methods and historiography. HIST 490 is a prerequisite for the completion of the HIST 491 Honours Thesis and is open only to Honours students.



HOSP 357: Advanced Research Methods in Hospitality Management

An applied research course focusing on methods appropriate for hospitality initiatives. Students will develop an understanding of the fundamental concepts in developing and utilizing research for decision-making. Students will apply the techniques through engagement in applied research projects.

Fall 2018

HOSP 358: Data Analysis for Decision Making in Hospitality Management

One of the challenges facing hospitality professionals is the ability to access timely and useful research to aid in decision making. The focus of this course is on the analysis and application of quantitative and qualitative data to provide information for leisure management decisions.

Spring 2019


FNAT 300: Indigenous Knowledge: Land as Life


Students will learn and appreciate First Nations perspectives on the cultural significance of the land. Topics may include: genealogy, First Nations protocols, sacred places, oral histories, sacred water, and indigenous language.


FNAT 400: Applied Community Research Institute


An advanced, community-based research seminar in which students learn and apply skills in team-building, group leadership, developing partnerships with Aboriginal communities, creating culturally responsive research agendas and protocols, and managing data and research outcomes. A new project is initiated each year.



MARK 366: Market Research


An analysis of the principles, techniques and practices used to design, administer, and analyze market research. Topics include qualitative and quantitative approaches to marketing problems, computer applications, and statistical concepts relevant to market research.

Fall 2018

Spring 2019


RMOT 357:  Research Methods in Natural Resource Management

An examination of the theory and practice involved in planning and conducting research, including data analysis techniques and report preparation. Specific discussion and examples are directed towards the natural resource management area.

Spring 2019


NURS 313: Professional Practice IV: Nursing Inquiry

Building upon concepts introduced in Professional Practice I, II, and III, participants will explore the historical and philosophical approaches to the development of nursing knowledge and inquiry. Relationships between practice, theory, and research are explored.

Spring 2019

NURS 403: Professional Practice VI: Nursing Research

An investigative study of nursing scholarship, the research process, and utilization of nursing research. Topics include critical reflection on research methodologies, the ethics of inquiry, and posing research questions to enable examination of nursing practice leading to evidence-informed outcomes.

Fall 2018


PHED 391: Research Methods in Physical Activity


An examination of the research process in physical activity. Topics include formulating a question, methodology, basic statistics, evaluation, presentation, ethics, and applicable computer applications that are used in the research process.

Fall 2018


POLI 330: Comparative Public Policy

An examination of the formulation and evaluation of public policy through a comparative approach. Topics may include those issues addressed by different governments such as education, health, environment, immigration, indigenous peoples, and international trade policy.



PSYC 204: Research Methods

An introduction to basic research methods with emphasis on the experimental method, design problems and associated statistical techniques, including hypothesis testing. Laboratory experience includes conducting experiments, data analysis and report generation using APA style guidelines.

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

PSYC 304: Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology

An introduction to qualitative research methods in Psychology. Methods include observation, interviews, ethnography, action research, participatory action research, cooperative inquiry and evaluation. Emphasizes theory and issues of analysis and interpretation. Students develop research skills and conduct a small research project to be presented in both oral and written form.


PSYC 400: Applied Methods in Psychology

Provides the critical thinking and research skills necessary to design and conduct research in a variety of applied settings. An introduction to a variety of research design, measurement and analytical strategies, as well as the writing of grant proposals and reports.

Spring 2019


TOUR 251: Market Research in Tourism

This course examines tourism market research methodologies to identify the most appropriate target market(s) and assesses associated marketing investments. Topics include profiling outbound traveller demographics and trip characteristics, determining existing and potential market sizes, analysing traveller perceptions towards tourism products, examining brand image, and conducting competitive analyses of destinations.

Spring 2019

TRMT 357: Applied Research and Evaluation Methods in Tourism

This course focuses on the design and implementation of applied research to provide evidence to managers and decision makers involved in recreation and tourism development. The content will enable learners to understand and apply fundamental concepts in research practice including research design and data collection.

Fall 2018

TRMT 358: Data Analysis for Decision Making in Tourism

One of the challenges facing tourism and recreation professionals is the ability to access timely and useful research to aid in decision making. The focus of this course is on the analysis and application of quantitative and qualitative data to provide information for leisure management decisions.

Spring 2019


SOCI 250: Introduction to Social Research

An introduction to concepts and strategies of social science research: current methodological issues, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and an introduction to computer-assisted data analysis.

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

SOCI 350: Qualitative Research

An introduction to ethical and practical issues in conducting qualitative research and analysis. Topics may include qualitative traditions such as case studies, grounded theory, ethnography, narrative research, historical and textual analysis, and research approaches such as observation, interviewing, focus groups, program evaluation, and participatory action research.

Fall 2018

SOCI 351: Quantitative Research and Analysis

Designed to develop quantitative research and data analysis skills and the ability to critique quantitative studies. Topics may include survey research, use of archival data and experimental designs. Students will learn the application of statistical concepts using SPSS for data analysis.


Quantitative Analysis Courses (aka Statistics)

Course name

Short description

2018-2019 offerings


GEOG 221: Statistical methods in geography

An introduction to statistical methods used in geographic research. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability distributions, sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression. Lab exercises apply methods of spreadsheet-based calculation, analysis, and presentation of statistics.

Fall 2018


MATH 161:  Introduction to Statistics for Social Sciences

An introduction to statistics for non-science students. Topics include descriptive statistics, basic probability techniques, random variables and commonly occurring probability distributions, applications including confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, chi-square tests, and simple linear regression and correlation.

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

MATH 181:  Introduction to Statistics

An introduction to statistics for the technology programs. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, probability distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, linear regression, correlation and chi-square tests.

Spring 2019

MATH 203: Biometrics

A statistical course designed for biology majors. Topics include descriptive statistics, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, multiple regression, sampling techniques, analysis of variance and non-parametric techniques with a statistical computer software involvement and numerous simulation studies.

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

MATH 211: Fundamentals of Statistics I

A non-calculus introduction to probability and statistics. Topics include descriptive statistics, elementary concepts in probability, random variables and probability distributions, distribution of the sample mean and the central limit theorem, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, chi-square tests and simple linear regression.

Spring 2019

MATH 212: Statistics II

A non-calculus continuation of MATH 211. Topics include advanced probability theory, mathematical expectations, nonparametric statistics, multiple regression, and analysis of variance.


MATH 254: Statistics I

A calculus-based introduction to statistics. Topics include an introduction to probability including conditional probability and independence, discrete and continuous random variables and their probability distributions, joint distributions, expectation, sampling distributions and the central limit theorem, point estimation, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing (both single and two sample), correlation and linear regression, and chi-square procedures.

Fall 2018

MATH 321: Statistics II: An Introduction to Mathematical Statistics

An introduction to the mathematical theory of statistics. Topics include sampling distributions, UMVU estimators, sufficiency and completeness, pivots and interval estimation, hypothesis tests and composite hypotheses, uniformly most powerful tests, generalized likehood ratio tests, and chi-square techniques and introduction to Baysian statistics.



PSYC 300A: Statistical Methods in Psychology I

A brief review of research methodology; univariate description, bivariate description, and an introduction to probability and inferential statistics as applied in Psychology. Introduction to microcomputer software and computer based analyses of statistical procedures covered in the course.

Fall 2018

PSYC 300B: Statistical Methods in Psychology II

This course contains a brief review of the topics covered in 300A and deals with statistical analysis procedures for two-group and multi-group experimental designs. The focus is on t-tests and analysis of variance. The differences between repeated measures and independent group designs and analyses are emphasized. Students are expected to analyze an experimental data set using the appropriate statistical procedures, and to prepare a research report.

Spring 2019


QUME 232: Business Stats 1

An overview of descriptive and inferential statistical techniques used in business. Topics include graphing, measures of central tendency, dispersion, sampling, hypothesis testing and regression analysis.

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

QUME 436: Econometrics

A continuation of QUME 232. Topics include ANOVA, the linear regression model and multiple regression models, time series analysis, index numbers and decision making including linear programming.

Fall 2018

Spring 2019


TRMT 351: Statistical Methods in Recreation and Tourism

An introduction to the application of statistical techniques and software to the planning and management of recreation and tourism operations.


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