Reading/Research Courses

With the approval of the Graduate Co-ordinator, students may be allowed to take a maximum of two reading or research courses:

  1. IRE 1090H - A reading course or individual research in an approved field.
  2. IRE 2090H - A reading course or individual research in an approved field.

Setting up and getting approval for a reading/research course can take extra time so be sure to check the Important Dates page and plan accordingly. Below are some guidelines to help you through the process. 

Step 1: Choosing the Topic

  • Reading courses are not intended to substitute for existing courses in the program. Reading courses are most useful for exploring specific interests or enabling more in-depth research of a topic previously introduced in another course.

  • Occasionally you will find a graduate course in another department that may not be directly related to labour relations or human resources. If there is a compelling reason for you to take the course, and you feel the course fits with your overall program goals, then it may be considered for degree credit by establishing a reading/research course. With the instructor’s approval, you may be able to provide the appropriate industrial relations content through a research report. In this case, it may be possible to enroll in a reading or research course that provides you with the flexibility to design a specialized course that offers you the appropriate content for an industrial relations student.

Step 2: Finding a Supervisor

  • Contact a faculty member to act as a supervisor. The list of CIRHR faculty and their research activities will help you to identify a possible supervisor.

  • Only faculty members holding a graduate appointment at the Centre can direct a reading/research course. If you have a question with respect to a potential supervisor, contact  Carol Canzano-Hamala (

Step 3: Preparing a Course Outline

  • A reading course should involve as much reading and written work as a normal seminar or other type of graduate course. The frequency of meeting of supervisor and student should also be consistent with other courses. Written work should be a requirement for the course.

  • The course should address issues that are scholarly and the academic work should be sufficiently rigorous to be consistent with the expectations of a graduate-level course.
  • Both the student and the instructor should be on campus, although the student may carry out research off-campus if it is required. Special permission must be obtained for off-campus research .

  • Together with your supervisor, complete the Request for Individual Reading and/or Research Course form (PDF file), and attach a course outline. A Sample Course Outline  is provided to assist you.

Step 4: Obtaining Approvals

  • Once you and your supervisor have signed the form, it should be forwarded for approval to the Co-ordinator of Graduate Studies at the CIRHR.

  • Research involving the use of surveys, questionnaires or interviews, will also require approval from an Ethics Review Committee. This process can sometimes be very lengthy.