VIU Legal Studies Certificate Program

Legal Studies

  • Credential 
  • Location Offered 

This Certificate will appeal to students wishing to continue onto law school or graduate work in law and policy and to individuals interested in careers where there are significant legal issues. The program blends courses that develop essential writing, speaking and critical thinking skills with courses which offer more law-content specific focus.

This credential is designed primarily for students already enrolled, or intending to enroll, in a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Business Administration degree program. Students will select from a variety of eligible courses to fit with their interest and their BA or BBA major or minor. Credits applied toward the Certificate may also be applied toward major program or minor program requirements, or toward a bachelor’s degree under the normal regulations governing those programs.

Students must satisfy the University Degree English Requirement and complete 30 credits in 4 areas: Foundations of the Canadian Legal System (6 credits), Primary Source Analysis, Reasoning, and Verbal/Written Argumentation (6 credits), Law (6 credits) and Legal Policy (12 credits).

Courses have been selected from several departments; however, there are no guaranteed seats for students registered for this credential. Each department has its own rules for reserved seating and cross-department enrolment policies. In addition, some courses have prerequisites. It is the responsibility of the students to ensure they have met the necessary prerequisites before enrolling in those courses. Students attempting to register in classes included in this credential are encouraged to contact the Legal Studies Coordinator and the individual instructors or program advisors and inquire about enrolment possibilities.

The Certificate comprises 30 credits in the 4 areas listed below. NOTE: Courses listed are worth 3 credits unless indicated otherwise)

1. Foundations of the Canadian Legal System (choose 6 credits)
Choose one of the following (3 credits):

  • POLI 151 - (Law and Politics in Canada)
  • POLI 221 - (Canadian Politics and Government)

Choose one of the following (3 credits):

  • INDG 103 - (Introduction to First Nations Studies I)
  • INDG 104 - (Introduction to First Nations Studies II)
  • HIST 111 - (Canada to 1867: Contact, Colonies, and Empires)
  • HIST 112 - (Canada 1867 to 1945: National Expansion in Peace and War)
  • HIST 231 - (First Nations People in Canadian History Since 1867)

2. Primary Source Analysis, Reasoning, and Verbal/Written Argumentation (choose 6 credits)

  • LBST 111* - (Love and Friendship)
  • LBST 112* - (Knowledge, Good, and Evil)
  • LBST 215 - (Freedom and Alienation: Economics, Politics, and Liberty)/LBST 315 (Freedom and Alienation: Economics, Politics, and Liberty (Advanced))
  • PHIL 100 - (Rhetoric and Reasoning)
  • PHIL 251 - (Formal logic)

3. Law (choose 6 credits):

  • CRIM 135 - (Intro to Canadian Law and Legal Institutions: A Criminal Justice Perspective)
  • CRIM 210 - (Law, Youth and Young Offenders)
  • CRIM 230 - (Criminal Law)
  • CRIM 330 - (Advanced Topics in Criminal Law and Procedure)
  • CRIM 400 - (Law and Human Rights)
  • HIST 230A - (The Crown, Courts, and Aboriginal Resource Rights)
  • LAWW 326 - (Commercial Law)
  • MGMT 395 - (Workplace Legislation)

4. Legal Policy (choose 12 credits):

  • ACCT 350 - (Fraud Awareness, Prevention, and Detection)
  • CRIM 440 - (Alternate Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Skills)
  • INDG 304* - (Indigenous Self-Determination)
  • HIST 347 - (Human Rights in the Twentieth-century Canada)
  • MGMT 460 - (Business-Government relations)
  • MGMT 485 - (Labour and Employee Relations)
  • PHIL 312 - (Philosophy of Law)
  • PHIL 465 - (Applied Ethics in the Justice system)
  • POLI 200 - (International Peace and Security)
  • POLI 260 - (Justice and the Good Life: An Introduction to Political Thought)
  • POLI 265 - (Freedom and Authority: Introduction to Modern Political Thought)
  • POLI 300 - (International Organizations)
  • POLI 301 - (Implementing Human Rights)
  • POLI 321 - (Canadian Foreign Policy)
  • POLI 345 - (Democratic Theory and Practice)
  • RGMT 226 - (Law for Recreation and Sport Managers)
  • SOCI 365 - (Surveillance and Society)
  • SOCI 382 - (Crimes Against Humanity)
  • TOUR 226 - (Law for Tourism Managers)

*6 credits

Friday, December 20, 2019

General admission requirements apply.

Students completing this certificate concurrent with and embedded within a VIU degree or diploma do not need to apply to this program. They should let their degree or diploma advisor, program coordinator, or the Registration Centre know of their intention. Careful planning is necessary to ensure prerequisites are met.

As this credential is designed to supplement a student’s primary degree, employment opportunities will be based on their primary degree. It is intended that this credential aid job seekers that are applying to jobs where legal issues are significant, such as in government, policy, law, insurance, and First Nations treaty negotiation.

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees for One Year


Tuition (30 credits x $156.80 per credit)


Student Activity fee (4% of tuition)


Student Services fee (30 credits x $6.93 per credit)


VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $20.73 per month)


Health and Dental Plan fee ($275.00 per year)





The Health and Dental Plan fee is in effect only for full-time students at the Nanaimo Campus.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

There is no application deadline, as students simply take the courses to apply towards the Legal Studies Certificate in addition to the student’s primary degree requirements, and apply for the Legal Studies designation upon completion of the courses.

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Jan 7, 2020
Next Intake(s)
    • January 6, 2022
    • September 6, 2022
Application Fee
Accepting Late Applications
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Name: Miranda MacCallum
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 2584

Chair Contact

Name: David Livingstone
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 2175

For information on any previous versions please check our Program Archive Page.