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Half Course


Fall, Winter or Summer


N. Carter
Ext. 22259


Nursing Faculty (not supervisor)


Enrolment in the Nursing Program, Permission of Course Coordinator

NUR 703: Independent Study in Nursing


The course is designed to allow the student to tailor his/her learning to specific topics in nursing or health care relevant to his/her nursing and research interests and to do advanced work in this area. The topic studied will not overlap with the student's thesis topic. Under the guidance of a faculty member, the student will examine critically the pertinent literature.

Course Purpose

This independent study course is designed to allow an in-depth exploration of the literature regarding a nursing or health care topic that is related to the student's research interests. Under the guidance of a faculty member, the student will conduct a critical evaluation of the extensive literature in a given topic area. Nursing builds on knowledge and content drawn from many disciplines and the topic areas that can be explored are varied (e.g. examining the relationship of several nursing theories to theories in sociology/anthropology: theories of teaching and learning in relation to individuals with disabilities). The topic chosen must be specific and cannot already be covered in-depth in other Nursing course offerings nor overlap with the student's thesis topic. The student will be expected to indicate the rationale for undertaking this independent study course, the question of issues to be explored, the likely scope of the literature to be examined, and the information/skills they will gain. The plan of study is submitted to the Office of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (Health Sciences) 6 weeks before the start of the term in which the course is to be taken. After approval by the Nursing Curriculum Committee, the student is allowed to register. Detailed information on the content of the course will be inserted in the student's file.

NUR 702 and NUR 703 can be taken more than once at the MSc level and more than once at the PhD level but only one of these two courses can be counted toward the minimum course requirements of the program at each level.

NUR 703 is designed to allow students to pursue on an individual basis, material from several disciplines which may form some of the background for the development of the thesis question for which a specific course is not available. This course is not designed to provide the introduction to the thesis. For example, the student may wish to examine in depth the relationship of several nursing theories to a theoretical framework in anthropology, sociology and/or political theory. In this instance the student would prepare a position paper dealing with the theories in question and then develop an annotated bibliography of material from the related disciplines. The student's scholarly paper would examine the relationship between the fields. The student would independently consult experts in relevant fields as appropriate. In a further example, if the student's thesis area concerns the care of a family with a physically or cognitively handicapped member, the student could examine in detail the theories of teaching and learning of the disabled individual and their care in a multiplicity of settings. As another example, a student could examine the area of mental health indicators and the relationship to outcome measures.

The student in consultation with her/his supervisory committee will determine the general area of the independent study course and indicate appropriate individuals who might serve as course instructor. This will not be the student's supervisor but may be a member of the supervisory committee. Once a graduate faculty member has agreed to be the course instructor, the student, the supervisor and the course instructor complete the plan of study ensuring that the independent study complements but does not overlap with the thesis topic. The appropriate plan of study must be submitted to the Office of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (Health Sciences) at least 6 weeks prior to the commencement of the term in which the student proposes to study.


Annotated bibliography or two short papers weighted equally 25%
Final Paper 50%
Presentation at Nursing/Student Round 25%

Click here for the NUR 703* Independent Study Course Application

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