Independent Study

The course Independent Study will foster the development of independent study and research skills such as reading and critiquing the scientific literature, formulating scientific questions, and integrating knowledge into a coherent synthesis. Students will undertake a self-directed program of reading and synthesis of ideas.  This course option must be conducted under the guidance of a faculty member acquainted with such work, and will follow common guidelines to ensure academic standards are maintained.  Students should, in consultation with the faculty member, prepare a plan of the study, carry out the appropriate reading, and then describe the results of their study in a substantial report or essay.   This course may be taken in any one term, and should be completed within the period of that term.  The due date for all work, including online course completion, will be at the end of the current term.

The source material for Independent Study is now expanded to include online courses from a variety of educational sources, including Udacity, edX, and Coursera, subject to those courses being approved as relevant to the student's study and of sufficient educational merit.  Seek approval before enrolling if credit is required.  Total of external course credits permitted (online courses and international workshops) must be less than 50% of degree requirements.  Your online course proposal must be approved by GS before you enroll in the online course, and the course fee can only be reimbursed AFTER completion with evidence (ex. completion certificate). Please contact Academic Program Team ( for assistance with online course purchase, after your request is approved, but before making the payment.

Student and tutor should agree on the extent of supervision provided, such as timing and format of face-to-face meetings, progress checks, and so on, especially for online courses.  This should be detailed in the proposal, and the student should commit to this undertaking. 

A list of online courses previously approved for this purpose can be seen HERE, so check here first for examples of approved courses.