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Justice Studies Diploma: General Justice

Justice Studies graduates are currently in high demand across the province. A Justice Studies Diploma opens doors to diverse opportunities for rewarding careers in correctional institutions, community corrections, probation, and more. General Justice is one of five exciting specializations for students in the Justice Studies Diploma program (Aboriginal Focus, Correctional Studies, General Justice, Law Enforcement, Youth Justice).

After graduation, you will be prepared to apply your knowledge and skills in an engaging environment where every day presents exciting and unique challenges.

This exciting full-time two-year (four semester) career program begins every fall.

Justice Studies Instructor Bios

Click here to find out more about our instructors.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Refer to the Program Tuition Fee Chart for an estimate of the cost of completing a Bow Valley College career program. Consider the costs of tuition, additional fees, textbooks, and police information check fees when creating a budget. Attend a Financial Aid Information Session for advice on financing a Bow Valley College education.

Note: All students registered in the Justice Studies Diploma program are required to write the Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES) assessment in semester one of their program.

Courses in Program

Curriculum is subject to change.

Click on the course to view the course description.

Common Year 1 - Semester 1

COMM1101 - Interpersonal Relationships and Communication Skills (3 credits, 45 hours)

Learners develop strategies necessary for effective and accurate communication in relationships with others, within a variety of contexts. They explore theories and concepts of interpersonal communication and reflect on their own values, beliefs, attitudes, and experiences. Emphasis is placed on self-awareness, cultural diversity in communication, and conflict management. In addition, it focuses on the development of personal strengths and self-awareness that contribute to the development of communication skills and positive relationships.

JUST1101 - Introduction to the Criminal Justice System (3 credits, 45 hours)

This course is an overview of Canada's Criminal Justice System. The structure and jurisdictions of the three levels of government involved are examined, together with the development, role and functions of the police as well as other agencies and practices: the courts, sentencing philosophies, correctional institutions, community corrections, and alternative sanctions. Also considered are discretion, decision points, and limitations of authority in the justice system.

JUST1401 - Health, Wellness and Fitness (3 credits, 45 hours)

The design of the course lays the foundation for health, wellness, and fitness for the future occupations of Justice Studies learners. The first of two such courses, this course establishes personal fitness levels and then compares those levels of fitness with performance levels demanded of successful candidates in occupations in the field of justice. Consideration is also given to the analysis of fitness as it relates to personal safety and the design of fitness regimes in various environments.

SOCI1101 - Introduction to Sociology (3 credits, 45 hours)

This course provides a comprehensive, introductory overview of sociology as a developing discipline. Topics include human social development, culture, diversity, and social trends, with a focus on where Canada fits in a global society. You will learn how people's positions in society shape their lives, and how people adjust to their social and cultural environments.

ENGL1201 - English: Composition (3 credits, 45 hours)

ENGL1201: This first-year composition course provides students with a solid grounding in the processes that writers use to communicate clearly in the academic context. By reading and analyzing texts from a broad spectrum of purposes, cultures, historical periods, and disciplines, students develop strategies to communicate their own ideas and integrate them with those of others. Students learn to quote, paraphrase, and summarize the work of other authors, prepare documents according to APA format, and write research papers.

Plus One (1) of the following electives:

JUST1102 - Diversity and Criminal Justice in Canada (3 credits, 45 hours)

This course examines multiculturalism and its relationship to the criminal justice system in Canada.  Among the issues discussed are the recognition, acceptance, and affirmation of ethnic, racial and religious diversity within the framework of Canada's policy of multiculturalism.  Particular emphasis is placed on Aboriginal history and traditions.  Special attention is focused on the application of these issues to policing, corrections, and other aspects of the criminal justice system.  Learners will have the opportunity to develop the sensitivities and skills which will assist them in understanding and working with different cultures, and to be responsive to the needs and expectations of culturally diverse communities.

HMSV2501 - Social Policy (3 credits, 45 hours)

This course is designed to help learners become critically aware of the economic, social, and political environment within which they will eventually work. It will examine the process by which health, social policy, and justice policy, is developed in Canada and encourages reflection upon the ways social policy impacts our lives.


Common Year 1 - Semester 2

JUST1301 - Professional Report Writing and Presentations (3 credits, 45 hours)

This course focuses on report and memorandum writing. Learners will study business writing in the format of email writing and letter writing. Resume writing and job application writing will be examined in depth. Learners will also focus on narrative report writing, occurrence report writing, and notebook writing. Learners will examine how to create and facilitate a workshop. The structure of speech, the sentence, word usage, spelling, punctuation, and grammar will be explored in detail. There will be an emphasis on practice technical reports and practice technical writing.

SOCI1201 - Sociology of the Family (3 Credits, 45 hours)

Pre-requisite: SOCI 1101 - Introduction to Sociology
This course introduces sociology of the family while developing a greater command of sociological imagination from various sociological perspectives. In addition, this course provides learners with a thorough grounding in both the theoretical and substantive issues in the sociological study of families. Issues dealt with include: how changes in the Canadian and global economies impact the definition of family; how the idea of family impacts the society's order; or whether common attitudes and beliefs about families can be proven empirically. As issues arise, learners explore demographic trends; examine how the challenges faced by families are social issues; and weigh common attitudes and stereotypes about families. Learners challenge the social practices, perceptions, and experiences related to families that are often taken for granted as "common sense", inevitable, or natural reality.

PSYC1101 - Introduction to Psychology (3 credits, 45 hours)

This introductory course provides learners with a basic understanding and an overview of the field of psychology. Attention is given to major psychological perspectives and the fundamentals of scientific thinking, biological factors, cognitive processes, social and cultural influences, personality, psychological disorders, and human motivation. Learners will be encouraged to apply what they learn to their own lives and the world around them.

JUST1601 - Criminology (3 credits, 45 hours) [Online Only]

This course provides an introduction to the major historical and contemporary theoretical concepts of crime, criminals, and criminality. The course establishes the theoretical relationship between criminology and other sciences like psychology and sociology. In addition, the course also delves into the use of the physical sciences and explores the effects of their use in criminal matters.


Plus One (1) of the following electives:

FASD1301 - Brain Function and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (3 credits, 45 hours)

This course introduces Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and its impact on those affected by prenatal alcohol exposure. Topics include terminology, assessment and diagnostic processes, as well as primary and secondary characteristics as they present across the lifespan. Learners explore the components and functions of the brain and the impact of prenatal alcohol exposure on attention, memory, cognition, language, sensory perception, social emotional behaviours and impulsivity. Prevention and education are also explored .

HMSV1501 - Introduction to Counselling (3 credit, 45 hours)

Learners address the theory behind motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and solution focused techniques. The course includes entry level discussion on stress, trauma, grief, and loss.

Year 2

In year 2, learners declaring a specialization in General Justice can take courses across all other specializations, provided they meet the pre-requisites for each course they take. Those specializing in General Justice can obtain a wide breadth of knowledge across different areas within the justice field, and must complete a total of 30 credits in their second year.

To view availble courses, please see the course listing for each specialization:

Aboriginal Justice


Law Enforcement

Youth Justice

JS Dual Credit

Admission Requirements

Academic Requirements

  • High School Diploma with credit in English 30-1 or 65% in English 30-2 or equivalent
  • Successful completion of the General Educational Development test with a standard score of 520 in Language Arts: Reading and Writing


  • Satisfactory results on the BVC Admissions Test


English Language Proficiency Requirements

Note: Future career and volunteer opportunities within justice will be negatively impacted for individuals who have any criminal convictions for which they have not yet received pardon or record suspension, or, have any criminal charges that remain pending or awaiting disposition from the courts. It is unlikely that Justice Studies graduates who have a criminal history will have any advantage when competing for employment. Applicants with further questions are advised to contact the Justice Studies Programs Coordinator.

***IMPORTANT NOTE*** During the program, students will be visiting various facilities (such as correctional facilities). It is important to note that student attendance and participation during these visits are considered when determining overall grades. Some of these agencies and organizations will deny access to anyone who has either been criminally charged, or, has a criminal record


Graduates of this program may be granted credits towards block transfer to: