Public Safety (BA)

Learn the critical thinking skills you need to advance your career. Canada's first online undergraduate program in public safety helps public safety practitioners turn their diplomas into a degree in just two years. You’ll analyze a diverse range of issues facing public safety professionals. You’ll apply classroom knowledge to your work through an interdisciplinary approach to serve your community. 

This program is designed for students who have already completed a two-year college diploma in a discipline related to public safety.

firemen

Apply Your Learning

There are many interactive learning opportunities within the BAPS program, including virtual labs. You'll engage with other students through online discussion boards, sharing experiences and debating current issues.

Some examples of experiential learning opportunities include:

  • Constructing crime maps, disaster maps and municipal emergency incident maps using online GIS mapping software.
  • Developing public safety story maps, scenarios, pre-incident plans, intelligence and analytics reports, crash analysis maps and opioid response dashboards using ArcGIS Pro Law Enforcement and National Security Software.
  • Analyzing social media data via analytics and data mining platforms.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of the Laurier Experience Record, an innovative database of your notable curricular and co-curricular experience that you can share with employers.

 

2020 graduates who secured employment or went on to postgraduate studies

 

Laurier ranks in the top 6 percent of universities worldwide*

 

students who gained hands-on learning experiences at Laurier in 2019/20

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)

Admissions

Format: part time      Duration: two years     Start: September (fall term), January (winter term) or May (spring term)     OUAC code: UAD

The honours Bachelor of Arts in Public Safety (BAPS) is uniquely designed for college graduates from a public safety-related program. To be considered for admission to the BAPS program, you must have a minimum admission average of 75% from an approved diploma program and a minimum of 60% in 4U English or the college equivalent. Admitted students will be granted 10.0 transfer credits towards the BAPS program.

If you have additional questions about your transition to Laurier, financial aid for transfer students or transfer credit evaluation, visit our transfer students website. If you are interested in transferring into this program with an academic history different than what is outlined above, apply using the 105 application form and your transfer credits will be assessed on an individual basis and reported to you, along with your offer letter, upon admission to Laurier.

Note: Not all program requirements are reflected in this pathway description. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all academic program and course requirements have been met. Refer to regulations in the academic calendar and connect with an academic advisor once you have accepted your offer.

Accepted College Diplomas

The following is a list of college diplomas that are considered relevant to the field of public safety. Other diplomas will be considered on an individual basis.

  • Aboriginal Community Advocacy
  • Advanced Care Paramedic
  • Architectural Technician
  • Aviation Management
  • Border Services
  • Chemical Engineering Technology
  • Community and Justice Services
  • Computer Systems Technology – Network Engineering and Security Analyst
  • Construction Management/Construction Engineering Technology
  • Court and Tribunal Administration
  • Customs Border Services (Formerly Law and Security Administration – Custom Border Services)
  • Cyber Security/Computer Security and Investigations
  • Ecosystem Management Technology
  • Environmental Landscape Management
  • Environmental Technician
  • Fire Inspection and Fire Safety Education
  • Fire and Life Safety Systems Technician
  • Fire Protection Engineering Technician
  • Fire Safety
  • Fire Services
  • Forestry Technician
  • GIS and Urban Planning
  • Insurance – Property/Casualty
  • International Transportation and Customs
  • Investigation – Public and Private
  • Law Clerk/Legal Assistant/Office Administration – Legal
  • Natural Environment Technician – Conservation and Management
  • Paralegal Diploma
  • Paramedic
  • Police Foundations/Techniques des Services Policiers
  • Protection, Security, and Investigation
  • Public Relations
  • Social Service Worker/Community Development Worker
  • Survey Engineering Technician
  • Urban and Regional Planning Technician – GIS
Other Accepted College-Specific Diplomas

Program Details

Fostering Leadership

In order to meet the challenges facing the public safety sector, education is now a key hiring factor in disciplines such as fire services, emergency management and border security and policing. To be considered for leadership positions, candidates must be critical thinkers comfortable with new perspectives and technologies.
 
The BAPS program is focused on the application of coursework to workplace situations, preparing you for future leadership opportunities in public safety careers.
 
You will learn the critical thinking and awareness skills required for responding effectively to a wide variety of trauma victims while working collaboratively with other emergency organizations.

Interdisciplinary Approach

An overarching goal of the BAPS program is for students to recognize the value in an interagency, collaborative approach to public safety. Complex issues such as racial profiling, immigration, mental illness and cybercrime demand compassionate, evidence-based strategies for serving our communities. Our courses focused on diverse specialties will help you break down disciplinary silos in your work environments.

Flexible Schedule

The BAPS program is designed as a part-time, online learning experience to fit the lives of busy professionals. Completion of coursework can be from the comfort of your home.

Learning Outcomes

Among many valuable learning outcomes, graduates of the BAPS program will be able to successfully:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of historical, social, and political contexts in the development of modern public safety strategies in Canada.
  • Incorporate the use of technology and computer-based analytics in a variety of applications that are necessary for public safety practitioners.
  • Analyze ethical considerations and other consequences of action or inaction in public safety situations.
  • Craft and deliver arguments using sound reasoning and argumentation.
  • Respond to criticism and feedback respectfully and non-defensively.
  • Demonstrate intercultural competence and sensitivity, and apply these skills in working with marginalized populations and evaluating public safety systems.

Similar Programs

Courses

Required Courses

  • Communication Skills for Leadership
  • Introduction to Human Rights
  • Public Safety Administration and Government Relations
  • Social Determinants of Health

Electives

  • Contemporary Security Issues
  • Critical Infrastructures
  • Cultural Competencies and Trauma
  • Drugs, Guns and Trucks: Commerce and Contraband Across North America
  • GIS and Data Analysis in Public Safety
  • Immigration and Conflict Zones
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Political Structures
  • Information Security in the 21st Century
  • Introduction to Social Science Research Methods I
  • Issues in Mental Health
  • Leadership Ethics
  • Policing a Complex and Diverse Community
  • Principles of Fire and Emergency Services
  • Public Safety Policy Analysis
  • Research Methods II (Qualitative Methods and Legal Research)
  • Theories of Correctional Justice

Note: This is a new program that will continue to develop and adapt on a term-by-term basis. Courses are subject to change based on program development. The detailed descriptions provided are only for a sampling of available courses.

HR260/SOJE260: Introduction to Human Rights

Focusing primarily on civil and political rights, this course introduces students to the idea and origins of human rights, the institutions that have been designed to protect them, and contemporary controversies surrounding them. Case studies and examples of violations will be addressed as appropriate. Assessment will include a short written assignment.

HS200: Social Determinants of Health

This course explores the nexus between social justice and health. How do various social, economic and environmental influences impact health? How can addressing inequities relating to issues such as socioeconomic status, race, gender, social support, food security and living and working conditions, improve population health?

HS302: Issues in Mental Health

Mental health problems are amongst the most prevalent and costly sources of disability in the Canadian population. This course examines the prevalence of mental health problems in various populations, considers mental illness as a social, cultural, and biomedical construct, and reviews a variety of treatment and policy-related responses to this significant health issue.

OL109/MB109: Communication Skills for Leadership

Communication skills are probably the single most important skill required to be successful in any type of relationship. This course will provide an introduction to research and theories in the field of interpersonal communications and how this information relates to individuals in contemporary society. In addition, the course focuses on building and enhancing your knowledge in the kinds of communications skills that employers expect.

OL233/CC233: Introduction to Social Science Research Methods I

This course provides an introduction to social science research methodologies that is designed to enable students to read, understand, and critically evaluate social science research as well as to prepare students for more specialized courses in qualitative and quantitative research.

Students will learn the philosophical (i.e., ontological and epistemological) basis for quantitative, qualitative, deductive and inductive research, how to frame research questions, operationalize concepts, and design studies suitable to quantitative and qualitative research and the limitations and advantages of various research designs (e.g., cross-sectional, experimental, case studies, ethnographies). Students will also be introduced to current issues regarding research ethics.

NO301/PO301: Drugs, Guns and Trucks: Commerce and Contraband Across North America

Examines spaces of legal and illegal activity (trade and contraband) across North America and the challenges they pose for both policy makers and law enforcement. Topics may include trade legislation, border militarization and security issues, and transnational efforts to stem the trade in illegal drugs and their impact on various social groups.

OL300: Leadership Ethics

An examination of the role of the theories and models related to the study of ethics and leadership. Topics may include: the development of ethical decision making strategies, ethical communication in leadership situations, the role of the leaders in ethical responsibility, issues involving followers, the relationship between leaders and individual and collective responsibility.

PD206: Public Safety Policy Analysis

This course examines all aspects of the public safety system from an organizational perspective and evaluates public safety organizations in the larger environmental context. Students will analyse external organizations, public interest, and provincial and national policy and explore the changing and expanding role of the public safety system. Current issues will be examined through case studies.

PD301: Policing a Complex and Diverse Community

This course examines key historical and sociopolitical issues in law enforcement practices to recognize their impact on marginalized populations. Students will expand their cultural awareness and improve intercultural communication skills to work more effectively and judiciously in a diverse community. Topics include critical race theory, cultural diversity and sensibility, tactical communication practices and racial profiling.

PD302: Indigenous Peoples’ Political Structures

First Nations Political Structures introduces students to First Nations Peoples' laws and institutions, and criminal justice systems. In this course, students will gain awareness of the importance of preserving Indigenous justice systems. Students will develop an understanding of the effects of Western judicial systems and the strains they create for First Nations Peoples relationships with Western governments. Topics include indigenous identities, government policy implications, tensions between law enforcement officers and Indigenous Peoples on and off reserves, self-development and colonialism.

PD400: Research Methods II (Qualitative Methods and Legal Research)

This course provides students with training in qualitative and legal research methodologies. The content of this course is divided into three sections. The first segment is designed to introduce students to the various epistemological differences between qualitative and quantitative methodology. The second segment exposes students to qualitative research design including research ethics, theoretical grounding, data collection techniques and organization, and interpretation and reporting of data findings. The third section provides students with the opportunity to build on their knowledge, communication and analytical skills to make effective and legally defensible arguments.

PD403: Immigration and Conflict Zones

An emphasis will be placed on providing law enforcement officers with the necessary skills to recognize, accept and be mindful of ethnic, racial, gender, religious and other forms of diversity within Canada. Using current case examples, students will be able to understand the importance of collaboration/consultation with community agencies, stakeholders and police chiefs to formulate new tactical approaches to crime within conflict zones.

By the end of this course, students will have achieved the necessary skills to identify, address and maintain neutrality to resolve/stabilize external involvement with marginalized populations such as people living in poverty, First Nations and ethnic minorities. Additionally, they will have gained the necessary skills in resolving and stabilizing personal conflict within a multicultural workplace.

SAFE200: Public Safety Administration and Government Relations

This course is designed to provide the learner with a clear understanding of the theory and practice of government while acquiring competencies relevant to public safety organizations. Learners will build upon theories and case studies in public administration and management, to this course examines administrative approaches, issues, and debates arising in public safety organizations and governments in a changing environment. The complex and unstable environment of public safety organizations produces both challenges and opportunities for public safety managers.

Topics include strategic planning; program evaluation; organizational learning and development; project management; human resources; budgeting and finance; and leadership and decision-making skills in public safety environments.

SAFE203: Critical Infrastructures

This course is designed to provide the learner with an overview and understanding of what the Government of Canada has identified as the “processes, systems, facilities, technologies, networks, assets and services essential to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of Canadians and the effective functioning of government.”

The topics of enhancing critical infrastructure resilience, critical infrastructure partners across numerous sectors (i.e., food, finance, information and communication technology, energy and utilities, etc.), critical infrastructure resources (i.e. legislation), and new threat vectors (e.g., drones, cyberwarfare) will also be reviewed and assessed.

SAFE313: Principles of Fire and Emergency Services

In this course the learner will be introduced to the challenging work of emergency responders in fire management services.

Learners will examine the culture and history of emergency services; fire loss analysis; organization and function of public and private fire protection services; fire departments as part of local government; laws and regulations affecting the fire service; fire service nomenclature; specific fire protection functions; basic fire chemistry and physics; introduction to fire protection systems; introduction to fire strategy and tactics; and Life Safety Initiatives.

Learners will also examine the integration of fire services into the overall emergency response model.

SAFE314: GIS and Data Analysis in Public Safety

This course is designed to provide the learner with an overview and understanding of the fundamentals of data analysis and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and their respective contributions to evidence-based decision making in the public safety sector.

Topics to be covered include the contributions of GIS to crime mapping, spatial interpretation, data analysis, municipal planning, policy development, health care systems, business intelligence, paramedic deployment and planning, fire response management systems, border security planning and deployment, and military applications.

Learners will be provided with the essential information required to aggregate data, build online maps, analyze data and deploy information in both a visual and text format for the use in public safety sectors via mapping projects online.

SAFE316: Theories of Correctional Justice

In this course, learners will examine the principles and practice of corrections and community justice in Canada, including the structure, organization, policies, practices and community justice alternatives that presently exist. The learner will also be introduced to historical and present-day political and economic developments that have impacted the mandates, programs, outcomes, and contemporary issues facing the systems of corrections at both the federal and provincial levels. In addition, learners will assess current practices in corrections, including offender population classification, management of exceptional offenders, release and reintegration, restorative justice initiatives, victim-offender mediation, family-group conferencing, multi-party mediation, Indigenous healing circle remedies, and the skills required of corrections and community justice workers.

SAFE402: Cultural Competencies and Trauma

A Trauma-Informed Approach to Intercultural Competencies introduces students to the field of intercultural communication in order to recognize the challenges faced by public safety officials when engaging with individuals from diverse backgrounds who have suffered trauma. Topics include: Trauma; memory studies; trauma discourse; post-traumatic shock disorder; intercultural communication; critical race theory; and resilience.

SAFE416: Information Security in the Twenty-First Century

This course is designed to provide the learner with an overview and understanding of the fundamentals of information security as well as the risks to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of confidential or sensitive data.

Topics to be reviewed include information security principles, the information security common body of knowledge, governance and risk management, business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning, telecommunications, network, and Internet security, law, investigation, and ethics pertaining to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of confidential or sensitive data, and an overview of upcoming threats and protections against digital crimes of the future.

HS302: Issues in Mental Health

Mental health problems are amongst the most prevalent and costly sources of disability in the Canadian population. This course examines the prevalence of mental health problems in various populations, considers mental illness as a social, cultural, and biomedical construct, and reviews a variety of treatment and policy-related responses to this significant health issue.

Tuition and Scholarships

Adding a degree to your diploma is an investment in your future.

At Laurier, we take financial health seriously by providing funding opportunities, such as in-course scholarships, to help you to achieve your goals of obtaining a university degree. You will be automatically considered for in-course scholarships based on your Laurier GPA (grade point average). In-course scholarships are valued between $500 and $1,500 annually. They begin at a GPA of 10.0 (approximately 80%) and above.

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Quote Image

"The BAPS program was designed exclusively for professionals and college graduates interested in acquiring the communication and professional skills necessary for success in public safety careers. It addresses a current void in public safety disciplines as the first online, undergraduate program in Public Safety offered in Canada."

Scott Blandford, associate professor

Your Career Awaits

It’s not only about the journey; it’s about the destination. Let us help you get to where you’re going.

Here are just some examples of our graduates' destinations. What’s yours?

Sample Career Options

Note: Additional training and education may be required.

  • border or customs service officer
  • cybersecurity analyst
  • emergency response team responder
  • firefighter
  • intelligence analyst
  • law enforcement personnel
  • paramedic
  • police officer
  • policy analyst
  • urban planner

Explore more careers.

Support After Graduation

Alumni for life means that you have access to Career and Employment Support offered at Laurier for your entire career.

Online Learning

  • Online learning is interactive and stimulating! We use MyLearningSpace by Desire2Learn, which includes various educational technologies such as blogs, digital storytelling, audio/video lectures, podcasts, interactive presentations, screencasts, virtual whiteboards, web conferencing, wikis, flashcards, concept maps, digital timelines and gamification.
  • You will have an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge using multiple modes of assessment that encourage skill development and practice throughout the term.
  • Courses are designed to engage students in multiple formats such as student-instructor, student-content and student-student interaction, so you have significant opportunities to interact with other students in the class.
  • A team of academic advisors, public safety advisors, instructional designers, faculty members and expert online learning staff have designed and evaluated our curriculum.
  • Residents of Ontario can check out Ontario’s online learning centres to see if there is one near you.

Interested in More Info?

Email chooselaurier@wlu.ca, call 519.884.0710 x3385 or see all contact information.