Program at a glance
Area of Study
Arts & Humanities
Co-op / internship
Open to International
At a glance image
Fascinating, complicated and complex
Start in September
The criminal justice system is an integral part of all of our lives; everyone is touched by crime and the criminal justice system in some way. In the Criminal Justice program, you'll gain a critical understanding of how the criminal justice system works to protect society. With this diploma, you'll be ready for further post-secondary studies or for work as a front-line practitioner within the criminal justice field.
The Diploma in Criminal Justice program provides a social justice perspective on criminal justice systems and processes that form the foundation for ethical, responsible, and professional practice in the criminal justice field. This applied program incorporates classroom and community learning experiences with theoretical frameworks for practice. Topics covered include the interagency working of police, courts, corrections, and social service agencies; the impacts of colonization and the resulting intergenerational trauma of Indigenous Peoples; and a critical understanding and social justice approach to current challenges in modern society. A core curriculum forms the foundation for the first year of studies in the program; in the second year, students can choose which pathway of courses best meets their professional and academic destination.
There are over 500,000 criminal justice-related jobs in Canada. Upon receiving your two-year diploma, you'll be ready for entry-level positions in correctional services, customs, law enforcement, and services to young offenders.
If you continue on to complete a bachelor's degree in Criminology, you'll be eligible for additional employment opportunities in such fields as probation, parole, immigration, research, and counselling within institutions.
Volunteering demonstrates your commitment to giving back to your community, and for most employers, volunteer experience counts as job experience. You will be encouraged to volunteer in a service-related position, and a volunteer fair is arranged each year to help you learn more about volunteer opportunities within the community.
You can also enhance your diploma with an optional internship designation. Taken after the first or second year of studies, this three-month work term will give you the practical experience that employers favour.
You will graduate from this program with a broad base of theoretical knowledge, skills, and abilities suitable for a diverse range of entry-level criminal justice positions, including law enforcement (public, military, deputy sheriffs, by-law enforcement, private security); adult, youth, and community corrections; victim services; restorative justice; customs border services; social and community service organizations; and other related opportunities. You will be able to apply your knowledge of processes, procedures, and practices to work with diverse individuals and populations, and use of critical thinking skills and evidence-informed decision making in all aspects of practice in criminal justice.
The second year of the program provides some course flexibility, and by consulting with the program Chair, you will be able to select an applied stream of courses to, reducing your need for additional training.
Continue your studies in a bachelor's degree program
Courses transfer to various universities. If you intend to pursue a four-year degree in criminal justice or criminology you should consider this program as your first two years.
You'll be eligible to apply for admission into the third year of many degree programs, including:
- Bachelor of Arts — Criminology at Vancouver Island University
- Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies at Royal Roads University (block transfer)
- Bachelor of Arts, Major in Criminology at Simon Fraser University
- Bachelor of Arts in Community Criminal Justice at Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- Bachelor of Arts Criminal Justice degree at University of the Fraser Valley
- Bachelor of Applied Arts in Justice Studies at Lethbridge College (block transfer)
- Bachelor of Arts — Criminal Justice at Mount Royal University
- Bachelor of Arts — Criminology at University of Alberta
- Bachelor of Arts, Major in Criminology at University of Ottawa
What to expect
The Criminal Justice program prepares you for further post-secondary studies or for work as front-line practitioners within the criminal justice field. A core curricula forms the foundation for the first year of studies in the program. At the completion of Year 1, you can choose which stream of courses best meets your professional and academic goals.
Located at our Lansdowne campus, the Criminal Justice program is two years long, with an optional internship that is usually taken at the end of either Year 1 or Year 2.
In your first two academic terms, you'll learn the basics of the criminal justice system, with courses that develop your knowledge of criminology, psychology, logic and the law. At the end of your first year, you can choose to take an optional internship.
In Year 2, you will choose courses that match your career or academic path. Deviance, psychological explanations of criminal behaviour, law enforcement, forensic anthropology, restorative justice and case management are a sample of the content available for you to study. After your second year, you have a second opportunity to complete an optional internship.
An internship gives you work experience and insight into what the criminal justice field has to offer. To obtain the Internship Designation, you must complete at least one three-month work term. Find out more by contacting Co-operative Education and Career Services.
An investment in your career
Two years at Camosun can prepare you for a career in the criminal justice system.
Effective from September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022.
*Tuition fees vary depending on course selection.
Scholarships, bursaries and awards
There are many financial resources to tap into while you are at college to help with your education and living costs. Apply for scholarships & awards that are specifically given to program students, as well as awards specific to the School of Arts and Science.
You may also want to visit Financial Aid & Awards for more information about funding.
Prepare for a career in Criminal Justice
When you graduate, you will have a broad base of theoretical knowledge, skills and abilities suitable to a diverse range of entry-level criminal justice positions, including law enforcement, adult, youth and community corrections, victim services, restorative justice, customs border services and other related opportunities. Learn more.
Volunteering in Victoria
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities in the Victoria area for you to pursue while you complete your education. Some of these include: the local police departments, Greater Victoria Victim Services, the Boys and Girls Club, John Howard Society and the Saanich Community Justice Association. These organizations offer you opportunities to develop your skills and abilities to work in this field. Learn more.
A great student experience
"Camosun was definitely a good stepping stone for me to continue on to university. The knowledge I received while there has provided me with a problem-free transition to the learning I am currently receiving in third year at the University of Ottawa. With small class sizes, it is easy to build solid relationships with professors, and it has been a push in the right direction for a career in the CJS. A positive experience in every aspect."
"I have nothing but good things to say about Camosun College. My teachers were always open for discussion, knew me by name, and always encouraged me to excel and aim for higher goals. The high standard for academic excellence within the Criminal Justice program allowed me to make an easy transition from Camosun to the University of Ottawa, where I continue my studies."
"I recommend the Criminal Justice program at Camosun for anyone pursuing a career or further education in the field of criminology.
The material is well taught, well organized, and very relevant for practical applications and in academia. The bureaucracy of the program is organized to be conducive for first-time students, relieving student stress during course selection and eventually diploma application. Most classes are fairly small; there is a lot of student-professor interaction and professors are very available. An active Criminal Justice Undergrad Society adds to a fun and friendly atmosphere leading to excellent peer resources in time for finals. Even years after graduation and across great distances, I am still in regular contact with dozens of Camosun alumni who are likely to be life-long friends. Camosun is definitely the best school I ever attended."
"I finished the Criminal Justice program and have since received my BA in Criminology from SFU and am currently attending law school at UBC. Camosun's Criminal Justice program provided a great foundation for my education. The teaching staff had varied experiences, and Victoria provided a great backdrop to assess the many career options available with a criminal justice degree. I am very thankful I chose Camosun College."
Curriculum & courses
Ready to get started? Get your application in for the September intake.
When you apply you will need to submit proof that you meet the following admission requirements.
Tip: Where a letter grade is specified, you must have proof of that grade or higher.
- C+ in English 12
- C in English 12 Camosun Alternative
For more detailed information about this program and specific admission requirements, see the Academic Calendar.
Our Teaching Staff
Camosun College is fiercely proud of the excellent quality of its instruction. Our teaching staff are experienced, inspiring and supportive of our students' individual journeys.
Instructor, Criminal Justice
Instructor, Criminal Justice
Find a full list of courses and specific admission requirements.