Practicum/Independent Study/Research Project

The School of Kinesiology offers its fourth-year students the opportunity to enhance their educational experience and explore additional learning opportunities through its practicum and independent study courses.

Going into fourth year?

STEP 1: Register for an information session

STEP 2: Attend a resume and interview workshop

Prior to submitting an application and students must attend a mandatory resume and interview workshop. Please see the "Resume and Interview Workshop" section below for details.

STEP 3: Submit an application

Please see the “Application Deadlines and Details” section below to learn more about applying. Completion of an application is required to be considered for a practicum opportunity.

Practicum

The practicum course in the School of Kinesiology allows students to put into practice their knowledge of health and health care by working with a community partner. The Experiential Learning Coordinator works with students to find a placement that fits best with their interests and goals.

A variety of practicum placements are available for students to enhance their learning and gain practical experience. Students interested in these placements must apply through the procedure outlined below. Please note that placements are subject to availability and not all opportunities are offered each year.

Placements may be available in the areas of senior exercise & fitness, youth exercise & fitness, rehabilitation (seniors), rehabilitation (athletes), coaching, sport psychology, fitness assessment, fitness and education, strength & conditioning, allied health (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic), ergonomics, or other areas as appropriate.

Purpose/Objective

The intent of the practicum opportunity is for students to develop hands-on experience. Usually, there are projects or specific roles that the student will accomplish for the organization.

Examples of supervisors and community partners:

  • St. Joseph’s Health Care, Parkwood Hospital, and London Health Sciences Centre
  • Regional Health Units (please note that the Middlesex-London Health Unit does not currently accept undergraduate placement students)
  • School boards
  • Non-profit organizations
    • Horton Street Seniors' Centre (at the Boys & Girls Club)
    • Alzheimer Society
    • Hutton House
    • Heart & Stroke Foundation
  • Private health care providers (physiotherapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists)
  • High performance gyms and rehabilitation centres

Core Expectations

The practicum starts with the commencement of classes (in early September or January depending on the course) and continues through to the end of the respective term (December or April). This represents 11-12 practicum weeks with an average of 6-8 hours per week onsite at the organization. Please note that the nature of those hours can vary substantially depending on the needs of the organization.

Prerequisites

The prerequisites for a practicum in the School of Kinesiology are:

  • Registration in fourth year Honors Specialization in a School of Kinesiology module with 70% modular average or above
  • Students will not be considered if also enrolled in Kin 4585, Kin 4498B, or Kin 4590

NOTE: At this time, international students are not eligible for practicum.

All students applying for practicum must attend a mandatory resume and interview session.

Resume and Interview Workshop

All students applying for practicum must attend a mandatory Zoom resume and interview workshop. This should be done prior to submitting your application.

Please register for one of the workshops below:

If you have conflict with all these times, please email experiencefhs@uwo.ca as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements.

Application Details and Deadlines

Application Details

Applications are required. All properly completed applications will be considered as part of this competitive process. Not all who apply will be accepted. The applicant will receive communication about the acceptance or rejection via their Western email account. Placements are subject to change from term to term based on the needs of the organizations.

Students must remain flexible to find the best fit during the matching process which will be conducted collaboratively by the student, supervisor, and the Experiential Learning Coordinator based on the student’s interests and goals and the organization’s needs.

Students are encouraged to be open to learning in all areas as these opportunities are valuable for personal growth, theory integration, development of skills, communication and employability.

Application Deadlines

  • Term 1 and Full-Year Placement: Spring
  • Term 2: October 9, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

Submitting an Application

Prior to submitting an application and students must attend a mandatory resume and interview workshop. Please see the "Resume and Interview Workshop" section above for details.

Other Practicum Options

Practicum in Athletic Injuries

This course provides students with the opportunity to put theory into practice within the sport system available at Western. Students will work closely with athletic teams in assigned areas and under course-instructor supervision.

Practicum in Clinical Kinesiology

This course offers students the opportunity to apply concepts and professional practice skills by gaining kinesiology experience working directly with clients/patients to optimize ‘performance’ (i.e. in sport) or ‘health’ (i.e. prevention and/or management of chronic disease and impairment). This course is mandatory for students enrolled in the Clinical Kinesiology module.

Practicum Video Information Session

Research Project

A research project course that provides students the opportunity to work on an independent research project involving the presentation of proposal, collection and analysis of data, presentation of results and a final written report as a scholarly paper. Students seek out such an opportunity by contacting instructors/faculty members whose research and scholarly interests match their own. 

Independent Study

An independent study course provides a student the opportunity to work with a faculty member on a project of mutual interest. Students seek out such an opportunity by contacting instructors/faculty members whose research and scholarly interests match their own. Faculty members do not need to be within the School of Kinesiology however the project must be applicable/connected to Kinesiology. Students have worked with faculty members in the Sister Schools of the Faculty of Health Sciences as well as researchers in other Faculties at Western and at other institutions. Elements of the independent study course are arranged with the specific faculty member; that is what makes it an independent experience.

Core Expectations

All students are required to complete certain components during the course, including:

  • A written independent study proposal
  • A report of the research project (in a format and style agreed upon with the supervisor)

Requirement: Registered in Honors Specialization, 75% cumulative average

Application Deadlines

Term 1 - Application Deadline: September 10

  • Student must be enrolled in the course on or by the last day to add a first term course
  • See Academic Calendar for semester dates

Term 2 - Application Deadline: January 10

  • Student must be enrolled in the course on or by the last day to add a first term course
  • See Academic Calendar for semester dates

NOTE: Deadlines that fall on the weekend or a statutory holiday will be accepted the following business day.

Practicum and Independent Study FAQs

Why can’t I add these courses to my timetable?

The independent study (Kin 4491/4492F/G) and practicum (Kin 4995F or 4996G) courses require an application by students. The applications have deadlines; ensure that you have completed and submitted your application in advance of the deadline and have met the course requirements.

How much time is involved with the independent study course?

Each independent study course is a unique arrangement between the student and faculty supervisor. The expectations and required time commitment will be different for each student. There are required course components in addition to the project arranged with your supervisor, which includes a project proposal, abstract submission and presentation at the year-end research forum. There is also a weekly one-hour tutorial/seminar.

How much time is involved with the practicum course?

The practicum requires students to spend on average 6-8 hours working for the organization or community partner each week of the term (generally 11-12 weeks for a one semester placement and 22-24 weeks for a full year placement). The time commitment may fluctuate each week depending on the needs of the organization and type of project you are involved with. In addition, there are course requirements, including a learning contract, reflection assignments and a final report.

Can I take both a practicum and independent study course?

Yes. Students can take both courses in their senior year.

Can I take two independent study courses?

Yes. However, the projects must be substantially different so that you are not risking plagiarizing yourself. To take both courses you would enroll in Kin 4491F in the fall term and Kin 4492G in the winter term. You would be required to complete all course components for each course.

Can I take two practicum courses?

You can take both Kin 4995F and Kin 4996G; however, if you are taking one of either Kin 4995F or Kin 4996G, you cannot take Kin 4498A/B, Kin 4585, or Kin 4590.

Are there scheduled and required class times for these courses?

There is no scheduled or required class time for students completing an Independent Study (Kin 4491/4492F/G). Students enrolled in Kin 4590 (Clinical Kinesiology practicum), Kin 4995/4996 (Kinesiology Practicum) and Kin 4585 (Field Experience in Athletic Injuries) will have scheduled class time.

How do I find a supervisor for an independent study?

It is recommended that you contact potential supervisors early (usually in the spring for a fall independent study project and early fall for a winter term course). Consider your specific interests and approach faculty members who share a similar area of interest and with whom you feel there would be a positive working relationship. Faculty members do not need to be within the School of Kinesiology however the project must be applicable/connected to Kinesiology. Students have worked with faculty members in the Sister Schools of the Faculty of Health Sciences as well as researchers in other Faculties at Western and at other institutions. Not all faculty members supervise independent study students. There is no list of potential supervisors.

Do I have the option to do an independent study course/practicum course in my 5th year?

Students enrolled in a degree module in their fifth year may apply for the practicum and independent study courses. Special students are not eligible