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The BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (BAIS) program requires 36 credits of elective courses. You may select these credits entirely from the following designated list, or you may take up to 12 credits from any qualifying post-secondary institution to acquire further subject expertise. Approval must be obtained prior to taking any external courses.

You may select up to one residency as part of your program of study. Residencies are a combination of distance learning and two to three weeks of on-campus study.

Please review the BA in Interdisciplinary Studies program guide for more information on the below options.

On-Campus Residency Option

BAIS students have the option to complete one of the following on-campus residencies:

Professional Communication

COMM 300 Foundations of Professional Communication

Provides a foundation in professional and practical communication through examination of the goals, norms, values and ethics that characterize individuals and the discourse communities to which they belong. Offers a strengths-based approach that allows students to develop teamwork skills, to document their personal, academic and professional achievement, and to identify appropriate career/education goals based in positive awareness of self and others. Serves as the basis for students’ intentional formation of their professional identity and for portfolio development in COMM490: Professional Portfolio.

COMM310 Theoretical Foundations in Communication

Introduces the fundamentals of human communication: its physical, linguistic, psychological, and sociological bases and examines some of the major perspectives in communication theory. Surveys the evolution of human communication and the development of communication theories. Includes a practical, case-based study of contemporary approaches and applications in communication studies. Concludes with a critical examination of the impact new technologies have on the way we communicate with each other.

COMM320 Fundamentals of Professional Writing

Examines the elements of skillful professional writing, including grammar and punctuation. Introduces students to efficient research, organization, composition, and persuasive, logical argumentation, and the fundamental principles of business, scientific, technical, and scholarly writing. A series of writing projects enable students to develop a rhetorically grounded approach for analyzing communication situations and then designing and writing documents

COMM325 Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

Provides an intensive introduction to public speaking theories and techniques relating to effective speaking and presentation skills. Combines classroom instruction with the opportunity for development and practice in different types of speeches, audience analysis, vocal mastery and non-verbal communication. Explores use of audiovisual aids through individual and group learning activities and lab-based instruction in multimedia presentation.

Justice Studies

JUST300 Human Service Skills in the Justice Field

Focuses on theory, key legal regulations and practices of professional ethical conduct with respect to clients, colleagues, and supervisors, and professional ethical codes and their limitations. Students are taught communication, leadership, basic negotiating, mediating, interviewing and presentation skills. Students identify and address inter-group conflict and on-the-job life skills, such as avoiding burnout and undue stress. Includes theoretical instruction and practical exercises based on scenarios in the justice field.

JUST301 Canadian Criminal Justice System: Part 1

Looks at the phenomenon of and the response to crime in Canadian society. Examines crime in Canada as compared with other countries, and criminological theories and their applicability. Students examine traditional and new judicial approaches (restorative justice) and the role of the police, Crown, courts, sentencing, and the organization of criminal and quasi-criminal law in Canada. Explores the role of the victim within the Canadian Justice System and the special status of young offenders.

Online Electives

Interdisciplinary Studies

INDS400 Global Perspective on Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Brings Indigenous perspectives to the analysis of contemporary global problems that affect the environment and humanity. Critiques definitions of progress. Studies the implications of contemporary industrial and consumer culture for the future of human societies within the framework of the insights, values, and definitions of community offered by Indigenous peoples worldwide. Examines the potential relevance of Indigenous bodies of knowledge and wisdom to the search for solutions to contemporary environmental problems and survival issues is examined.


ENMN325 Business and Society

Explores a diversity of views on various forces (economic, social, cultural, etc.) impacting business and society. Students will engage in critical reflection and dialogue on the context and consequence of business and management practice as well as the factors that influence understanding of, and response to, ideas and developments shaping the direction of business and society.

ENMN327 Strategy

Explores new mental models that foster the strategic perspectives required by small and midsized business practitioners responsible for crafting and executing their organizations’ strategies. Students will explore and think critically about the core strategic notions, concepts, tools, models and theories required by managers to manage and lead their organizations in today’s challenging, turbulent business ecosystem.

ENMN329 Leadership

Examines the models, frameworks and practices associated with effective leadership, allowing students to apply their learning to their personal leadership development. The course will deal with recognizing and developing core competencies for leadership with emphasis placed on modern thought and practice related to the alignment of leadership with an organization’s strategic mandate.

ENMN330 Marketing

Provides the theoretical and practical skills needed to analyze a marketing opportunity and develop a marketing plan. The course focuses on the strategic decisions that entrepreneurs and managers make as they seek to create value for and capture value from customers.

ENMN331 Doing Business in a Global Economy

Discusses the global economy and essential elements of international business development. Examines the primary mechanisms of the international economy through the exploration of topics such as export/import, licensing, franchising, contract manufacturing and outsourcing, joint venturing and foreign direct investment.

ENMN428 The Human Side of Business

Examines the concepts associated with the study of organizational behaviour and provides insight at the personal, group and organizational levels. Also addresses the discipline of human resource management and provides systems and processes to maximize knowledge about organizational behaviour.

Professional Communication

COMM330 Digital Communication

Introduces students to the canon of primary research in digital communication, and helps learners to become competent readers and interpreters of research literature. Enables students to think about primary research in terms of practical problems by allowing them to apply the solutions and understandings developed in the research canon to newer systems. Equips students to interpret primary research and, in a structured way, apply their interpretations to their own experience of more current systems to develop an understanding of what sort of systems will help support what sorts of goals.

COMM365 Media and Cultural Studies

Introduces the major theories of mass communication and the structure of mass communication, popular culture systems, and their economic, technological and institutional dimensions. Students learn to recognize that the meaning, form, and value of cultural products cannot be separated from the social context in which they are produced and received.

COMM375 Visual Communication

Considers the role and significance of Visual Communication in shaping contemporary communications practice. Visual Communication is considered from various perspectives, including, but not limited to, the relationship between different media and visual communication, visual narrative, visual rhetoric, and visual design. Emphasis is placed on developing effective visual communicative practice through a strategic understanding of visual communication theory. 

COMM380 Writing for Business and Government

Develops the techniques of research, organization, and writing that produce professional material for the contemporary workplace. Students practice writing based on real work situations, learning the critical thinking skills required to write effectively in a variety of circumstances. Situation-based assignments.

COMM415 Global Communication

Provide insights into and an analytical framework for understanding the growth and role of communication technologies in the international arena. In the past few decades, quite dramatic changes to the nature of social, cultural and political interactions have taken place. These changes stem from many sources – some at the level of policy, some rooted in technology, other still in economics. This course explores these changes and positions communication technologies and their use within this altered landscape.

COMM435 Research Methods

COMM 435 is a 3-credit course in the BA Professional Communication program. This course offers students an introduction to research methods in communication. It is designed to assist students in developing the necessary skills to: a) understand methods that support professional practice in the field of professional communication; b) critically evaluate research conducted and reported by others; c) plan appropriate research projects to address a question within an organizational context; and d) identify methodological issues and practices relevant to various research environments and inquiries. Students will learn the benefits and limitations of both quantitative and qualitative methods used in a professional context, and will learn how to apply different methods to answer a focused research question.

COMM440 Organizational Communication

Considers the communication issues of deliberate, purposeful organizations: those intentionally created and maintained to achieve particular outcomes. This approach will be relevant to understanding organizations in the public, private and non-profit sectors and examples will be used from all three sectors. There will be an emphasis upon the culture and strategy of leadership and governance. Provides a fuller, richer understanding of what organizations are, how they work and how, through your communication practices, to successfully contribute to sustaining or changing the organizations in your own life.

COMM445 Crisis Communication Management

Introduces and examines the strategic, theoretical and practical underpinning for global issues and crisis communication management within the public and private sectors, focusing on issues, risk and crisis communication in a contemporary organizational context. 

COMM450 Writing for the Media

Introduces writing for newspapers, in-house newsletters, and general interest and consumer-specific magazines and journals, covering topics such as investigation, interviewing, reporting, and feature writing. Students develop interviewing techniques, note-taking methods, editing news and feature articles, and the importance of accuracy, fairness, voice, precision, and style, as well as speed. Students master how to tighten writing, sharpen leads, apply Canadian Press style, write headlines, and apply the principles of layout.

COMM460 Communication Ethics

Explores the moral and ethical challenges of professionals working in the communication and media industries. Provides strategies for the student to assess ethical dilemmas in the everyday working life of professional communicators. The course weaves together case studies, the theoretical foundations of ethics, professional ethical codes, and the demands of thinking ethically. The course complements and enriches materials from previous course offerings in the BA in Professional Communication.

COMM470 Advertising and Public Relations

Explores some of the applications of good communication practice in advertising, marketing, and public relations. Reviews the importance of effective communication strategies in successful business ventures, and introduces the new field of e-commerce. Students are encouraged to put their knowledge to work through case studies and simulations.

Environmental Practice

ENVM427 Public Policy Formulation

Examines how government policy is generated, what purpose it serves, and some of the instruments used in its application.

ENVP303 Statistical Literacy and Critical Thinking

Focuses on how data can be transformed into reliable information. Statistical tests are employed using first principles, real examples, and the technology commonly employed by environmental scientists and managers. Learners are introduced to statistical concepts and techniques through relevant examples and expected to demonstrate their understanding of statistics through the appropriate application of technology to real data and group discussions.

ENVP313 Introduction to Environmental Law

Introduces a wide range of topics and concepts relating to the legal system in Canada generally, and the operation of public welfare or environmental statutes, law and regulations within that system. Develops the ability to understand legal terms and concepts concurrently with developing basic legal research skills. Key court decisions and statutes that have directed the development of environmental law in Canada are discussed together with an introduction to the principles of statutory interpretation, regulatory and administrative law, and the effect of international treaties on Canada’s internal environmental regulation.

ENVP322 Sustainable Development: Ideas and Applications

Examine some of the theory of sustainable development, and explore the links between these theories. This is accompanied by the development and analysis of case studies describing ways that practical sustainable development options can be implemented, and discussion of alternative approaches to sustainability.

ENVP323 Communication Skills: Writing in the Workplace

The focus is on developing rhetorical strategies used in professional writing. In particular, the course will look at how the audience, context, and purpose of a piece of writing determine the content, voice, style and form of a text. The course will include discussions of basic professional writing forms such as resumes, cover letters, memos, email, and reports.

ENVP426 Leadership and Management for Environmental Practitioners

The fundamentals of modern supervision, management, and ethics are explored. Emphasis is placed on the manager as the "leader" who sets broad organizational objectives, as well as the environmental manager’s role in strategic planning, decision making, setting goals, and establishing organization norms.

ENVP429 Ethics and Environment

Explores some of the key ethical issues concerning humanity’s relationship to the environment. Dominant themes include deciding what has value, criteria for making good decisions, and moral principles for human behaviour toward the environment. Become familiar with a range of perspectives and positions commonly found in Western environmental debates as well as alternative ways to consider the issues. Emphasis is kept on how theory relates to the practice of environmental ethics. Cultivate the skills necessary to analyze arguments, assess lines of reasoning, and learn to articulate clearly and defend one’s own ethics.

ENSC423 Environmental Economics

Economics is usually described as the analysis of the rational development and use of scarce resources. Students learn the principles of efficient allocations of all resources regardless of how well markets ration this development and use. Examines the pervasiveness of market failures for environmental goods and the effectiveness of different techniques and policies attempting to correct these failures or to mitigate their negative consequences. Illustrating examples are chosen as much as possible from the experience of British Columbia and other regions of Canada.

ENSC414 Global Processes

Large-scale physical and chemical processes are linked with the natural system to explore the implications to society. Provides a broad context for linking economic, social, legal, engineering, scientific, and communication skills and a view of the policy implications from both national and international perspectives. Explores the effects of internal decisions on such aspects as international trade and competitiveness. 

Justice Studies

JUST303 History and Philosophy of Law in the Canadian Context until 1867

Introduces important philosophical thought and concepts of justice in the Western tradition. Examines the historical evolution of law in Canada and how it has been influenced by philosophy. Students analyze how the norm appeal of law can be understood in different ways. Special emphasis is placed on the present Canadian context, which is, liberalism, multiculturalism and Aboriginal concepts of justice.

JUST304 Canadian Constitution

Focuses on the constitutional framework of Canadian society with special emphasis on justice topics, including Canadian federalism, Charter rights, the mechanisms of the Oakes test and the theory and practice of Aboriginal self-government. Explores the impact of the Charter on justice service workers. Includes extensive use of case studies to acquaint students with the concept of balancing interests within the Canadian justice discourse.

JUST306 Canadian Criminal Justice System: Part 2

Looks at the phenomenon of and the response to crime in Canadian society. Examines crime in Canada as compared with other countries, and criminological theories and their applicability. Students examine traditional and new judicial approaches (restorative justice) and the role of the police, Crown, courts, sentencing, and the organization of criminal and quasi-criminal law in Canada. Explores the role of the victim within the Canadian Justice System and the special status of young offenders. Pre-requisites: JUST301

JUST308 Family and Justice: Interdisciplinary Perspective

Explores the pivotal role of the family in society, including the legal position of individuals within the family. Includes theories of child development and dysfunctional families. Students evaluate the impact of public and social policy on legal regulations regarding the family.

JUST312 Indigenous Justice Perspectives
Explores indigenous world views to justice. Encourages dialogue regarding historical impacts of colonial justice on indigenous peoples within Canada and responses to the recognized problems with dominant approaches to justice. Includes an examination of historical responses and current measures to redress injustices such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and contemporary advances in indigenous justice perspectives. *pending approval

JUST315 Civil and Administrative Law and Regulatory Environments
Examines the structure of civil law as it relates to contract, tort and administrative law. Draws on case studies in private and public sectors to examine issues such as labour relations, equity, harassment and privacy. Introduces students to the structure and function of administrative tribunals. *pending approval

JUST401 History and Philosophy of Law in the Canadian Context from 1867

Introduces the student to important philosophical thought and concepts of justice in the Western tradition. The course examines the historical evolution of law in Canada and how it has been influenced by philosophy. JUST 401 examines philosophical thinking regarding society, politics, law and justice and historical phenomena after 1867. Special emphasis is on the present Canadian context that is liberalism, multiculturalism and Aboriginal concepts of justice. Pre-requisites: JUST303

JUST403 Comparative Global Legal Approaches and Philosophies

Focuses on the fundamental characteristics of other legal systems in the world. Explores the Canadian legal system in the context of European and non-Western systems highlighting important philosophical and cultural approaches. Examines important Indigenous self-government models in other countries.

JUST404 Justice Studies in International Law and International Organizations

Provides an overview of the working principles and the philosophy underlying international law and international agencies. Examines key international conventions and their impact on Canadian justice services. Special emphasis is placed on methods of international conflict resolution. Examines recent developments in international law and organizations.

JUST408 Exercises in Ethics and Law
Uses case studies in the justice field to train students in arriving at ethical decision-making within the value context of Canadian society.

JUST410 Research Methods for Justice Practitioners

JUST 416 Gender Diversity and Justice
Analyses justice from the perspectives of those ignored or otherwise marginalised by current approaches to legal and justice and systems, including women, LGBQT, racial groups and persons with disabilities. Utilises case studies to examine the argument that dominant legal and justice structures are not designed with the realities underpinning gender and diversity in contemporary society. *pending approval

JUST 419 Critical Analysis of Justice Perspectives
Introduces logical argumentation in the justice context. Examines the evolution of different schools of thought and their adaptation to the Canadian legal and justice discourses. Depending on the instructor and current justice issues, perspectives may include liberalism, conservatism, globalization, critical perspectives, environmentalism, structuralism, post structuralism and post modernism. *pending approval

External Electives

As part of the BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, students may select up to 12 credits at the 300/400 level from other post-secondary institutions. Students must obtain permission prior to taking courses.

Potential courses may be found on the following websites; students are also welcome to suggest online, blended or face to face courses from any recognized university.