School of Athen by Raphael

Project Format 

LBST 490/491: Directed Study in Liberal Studies I & II


Course Outline


LBST 490 and 491 allow supervised individual or small group work on specific topics within the area of Liberal Studies. It is normally offered only in conjunction with the travel study program mounted by Liberal Studies Abroad, but may be offered occasionally under other circumstances, at the discretion of the Department. Students will agree with a faculty member on study materials and assignments, and communicate regularly to discuss progress. All Directed Studies arrangements are subject to approval by the faculty supervisor, Department Chair and Dean. There is no specific prerequisite, but permission to take either course is more likely to be granted to students with third-year standing who have taken or are taking other Liberal Studies courses. 


When LBST 490 or 491 is offered in conjunction with a Liberal Studies Abroad program, the topic of the project must relate closely to the content of that program and to the materials presented and discussed during it, including on-site experiences.


The completion requirements for both courses are explained below. 


The work undertaken as part of the course must culminate in a substantial project, which may take a number of forms. The precise format is a matter of agreement between student and supervisor. Projects must contain a written component; this may, with approval, be supplemented by work in other media (e.g. plastic art, film, video, music, photography, performance, digital media). In the case of a project consisting of a single written essay, the minimum length is 4,000 words; the content of projects involving other media should be equivalent in quantity. 


Project Character 

There is likewise a range of possibilities for the character of the project, again subject to supervisor approval. Written projects may be expository essays, straightforward research papers, examples of creative writing or an appropriate combination of these. Those employing other media should have a similar character: for example, those which involve artistic expression must  have a high level of discursive, as opposed to purely decorative, content. 


Project Topic 

The topic must be one that is broad, deep and demanding enough to sustain a final project suitable for a three-credit course at the upper-level, and must be approved by the supervisor. Within these general constraints, however, students are encouraged to develop a topic that is of special intellectual interest to themselves and into which they can throw themselves with enthusiasm.


Course Activities 

Students may request a directed study course by submitting a project proposal to any Liberal Studies professor and/or to the Department Chair. A supervisor will be assigned by the Department on the basis of that proposal, and the student will complete a directed study request form and have it signed by the supervisor, Department Chair and Dean before submitting it to the Registration Centre. Meetings with the supervisor will be held according to an agreed schedule. Where necessary, meetings may be supplemented by other forms of consultation ('phone, email etc.). Where appropriate, a supervisor may arrange for peer tutorials to assist students in the development and completion of projects. The supervisor may assign whatever other activities s/he feels are necessary for the successful completion of the project.



Project Proposal: 10% Completed Project: 90%