The BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (BAIS) program requires you to complete 60 credits of study (3rd and 4th year). There are five mandatory courses that you must take, with the rest of the program made up from electives. These electives can be taken 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 have the option to include an on-campus component to your program of study, and in fact, we highly recommend it if it is something you can possibly do. These residencies are a combination of distance learning and two to three weeks of on-campus study where you get the opportunity to immerse yourself in your studies.

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. Please note all courses within a specific residency are mandatory and must be taken together.

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 on 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 Communication Theory

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. Interrogates tensions between effective and ethically sound communications practice.

COMM320 Professional Written Communication

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.

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. 

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

INDS325 – LGBTQ@2S+ Global Issues and Community Engagement

Introduces students to the history and current issues affecting LGBTQ2S+ individuals and their communities with particular attention to seniors, youth, cultural and linguistic minority groups. Includes a discussion of issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, agender, transgender, non-binary, queer and Two-Spirit individuals and communities. Examines ways of creating welcoming and inclusive organizations, public services, and communities and approaches LGBTQ2S+ issues from human rights and cultural identity perspectives.


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 behavior 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 behavior.

Professional Communication

COMM329 Historical and Conceptual Foundations in Digital Communication

Situates current practices in digital communication in the context of the historical development of communication technologies. Students will investigate contemporary digital communication practices and contexts by studying how changes in communication technologies have influenced society, media environments and effects, and audience expectations. Explores ethical frameworks and builds literacy to assess the creation and transmission of information in the shifting, contemporary media landscape.

COMM330 Advanced Digital Communication

Provides insight into how digital communication functions as a critical component of contemporary professional communication practice and boosts students' ability to evaluate, plan and execute online and social media communication. Equips students with advanced digital communications strategies and tactics to address diverse professional and organizational 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.

COMM392 Communication Planning and Stakeholder Engagement

Introduces students to the theory and practice of strategic communication planning and focuses on methods used in professional communication practice as well as stakeholder engagement. Examines strategic communication as an emerging practice bridging fields such as public relations, organizational communications, marketing communications, and includes stakeholder engagement. Equips students to evaluate an organization’s communication needs and devise a strategic communication plan to help reach organizational goals within contextual constraints.

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.

COMM423 Strategic Internal and External Communication

Provides a critical understanding of what organizations are, how they work, and how, through communication practices, to contribute to sustaining or changing the organizations in our lives. Considers the communication issues of purposeful organizations. Grounds an understanding of organizations in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Emphasizes the culture and strategy of leadership and governance. Introduces foundations of public relations and relationships with organizations' stakeholders.
* Pending approval

COMM435 Research Methods in Professional Communication

Introduces 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. 

COMM443 Communication in Indigenous Contexts 

This course introduces foundational concepts relating to Indigenous peoples and perspectives in Canada in the context of communication and cultural studies and rooted in an overarching framework of social, economic and environmental justice. Topics explored could include the following: Indigenous histories and cultures, Indigenous ways of knowing and being, and Indigenous research methods; centering Indigenous subjectivities and situating Settlers as allying visitors, Coast Salish culture and communication protocols, designing ethical Indigenous/Settler intercultural communication; transforming stereotypical representations of Indigenous people and cultures in mass and social media; and other concepts grounding professional communication that involves and/or concerns Indigenous people. *pending approval

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.

COMM464 Sustainability Communication

Introduces foundational concepts in human communication aimed at promoting environmental, social and economic sustainability in individual, organizational and societal contexts. Investigates theoretical bases and ethical principles of communicating sustainability, and equips students to develop a critical approach to understanding and framing, and practical strategies to conceptualize, create and share, messages about sustainability across diverse media.
* Pending approval

Environmental Practice and Environmental Science

ENVM321 Tools for Business Decision Making

Explores the challenges and opportunities faced by business owners as business models respond to environmental sustainability, carbon neutrality, changes in financing and demands for fairness. Emphasis is placed on the importance of integrating personal values and objectives, organizational and societal goals, and market opportunities during the planning process. Includes use of basic accounting and decision-making tools.

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 behavior 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.

ENSC301 Sustainable Development Series

A series of special lectures, readings, and seminars highlighting the tensions that exist between value systems, and the practical implications for considering sustainability issues in a wide range of governmental and industrial applications. The focus is on issues and solutions as defined through the eyes of practitioners. Students apply critical thinking skills to how the concept of environmental sustainability is put into action, and the scientific, political, economic, and ethical ramifications of doing so.

ENSC304 Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Focuses on the physical processes involved in the behavior of the atmosphere and oceans, and how they create many observable natural phenomena and influence the movement of pollutants. Students explore a variety of short- and long-term phenomena that range in size from the micro to global scales, the challenges involved in their measurement and the application of fundamental concepts to environmental decision-making.

ENSC313 Application of Environmental Law

ENSC 313 is a survey course that 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, laws and regulations within that system. Develops the ability to understand legal terms and concepts concurrently with developing basic legal research skills. Students discuss and review some of the key court decisions and statutes that have directed the development of environmental law in Canada, and are introduced to the principles of statutory interpretation, regulatory and administrative law, and as time allows, the effect of international treaties on Canada’s internal environmental regulation.

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. 

ENSC415 Environmental Management Tools

Introduces the concepts behind the integration of business and environmental management, with emphasis on the analysis and comparison of several environmental management systems (EMS). Covers the background of, and the basic rationale for, the concepts of pollution prevention (P2). A process for arriving at a publicly accepted Pollution Prevention Plan is presented and discussed, including a recently released report on the BC plan.

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.

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 worldviews to justice. Encourages dialogue regarding the 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 the 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 marginalized by current approaches to legal and justice and systems, including women, LGBTQ, racial groups and persons with disabilities. Utilizes 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. 

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 postmodernism.

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.