Putting social justice at the centre.

We live in a world in crisis, a world facing enormous socio-political and ecological challenges. The Social Justice Studies (SJS) diploma program provides critical perspectives on these challenges and on the possibilities for moving beyond unjust and unsustainable ways of life. Whatever one's vocational or academic aspirations, SJS furnishes a common ground for understanding our troubled world and exploring alternative futures.

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Program description

The aim of the Social Justice Studies (SJS) diploma program is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the range of ways in which scholars, researchers and students address and engage with issues surrounding social inequities and injustices in the contemporary world. SJS will provide students with a strong foundation for understanding and researching social justice issues from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

SJS also offers considerable practical value. Our program is designed to complement and enhance a students’ undergraduate education. The SJS program will not only deepen and broaden your understanding of social and political issues, it will strengthen your qualifications for a great range of graduate programs, professional schools and occupations. The emphasis within SJS on experiential learning, including SJS 400B, promotes both personal growth and development of practical skills.

Combined with a disciplinary Major, a Minor or Diploma in Social Justice Studies will very likely broaden career opportunities while improving the effectiveness of advocacy work or social activism in areas such as human rights, community development, environmental protection, inter-cultural communication, conflict resolution and development in the global south.

Who is this program for?

  • undergraduate students wanting to complement their degree program with a Minor or Diploma in Social Justice Studies
  • Inter-disciplinary professionals looking to further enrich their expertise and experience with a respected credential

Courses and fees

This program involves successful completion of 10 courses (15.0 units): four core (required) courses and six electives. The program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Four (4) required courses
Plus six (6) electives

SJS 100: Introduction to Theories of Social Justice (1.5 units).

Six elective courses (9.0 units), selected from the list of approved elective courses.

These electives must include a minimum of three units from each of the two designated areas of Social Justice Studies:

No more than three units from any one department or school may be counted for credit towards the diploma.

One of

Practicum: SJS 400B: Practicing Social Justice in the Field (1.5)

The practicum will give students hands-on practical experience in civic and community engagement and involves a 50-hour placement along with weekly attendance in a concurrent on-campus course.


1 additional elective course (1.5 units), selected from the list of approved elective courses.


Note: Normally, students complete SJS 100 first, but SJS 100 and SJS 200 may be taken in either order, or concurrently. SJS 100 and SJS 200 are interdisciplinary team-taught courses.

Students typically take 18 months to complete the requirements of the diploma program. However, with careful course planning it may be possible to finish the program in as little as one year, or, in the case of students who start the program in January, 8 months. 

Estimated fees

Description Fee
Program application fee $150.00
UVic application fee $79.25
Four required courses ($592.62 per course for domestic students; contact us for an International tuition fee estimate) $2,370.48
Six elective courses ($592.62 per course for domestic students; contact us for an International tuition fee estimate) $3,555.72
Additional UVSS and other miscellaneous fees may apply. $0.00
Estimated Total $6,155.45*
Fees listed in this section are an estimate. Total program fees may vary depending on delivery format, course selections, student fees, textbooks and taxes.

Application information

Admission requirements

Program admission is non-competitive and applications are accepted year-round.

To apply to the program you must generally have one of the following:

  • registration in a concurrent academic program at UVic
  • a previous Bachelor's degree
  • successful completion of at least two years of post-secondary education and experience working in the area of social justice

However, if you do not meet these requirements, we encourage you to explore your admission options with the Program Director.

How to apply

Application is a two-step process:

  1. Complete an online application to the Social Justice Studies diploma program.
  2. Submit an application to UVic using the My UVic online application. If English is not your first language, you will need to include demonstration of English-language proficiency.

Program applications are accepted year-round. New applicants to UVic should note that application process times can vary and, as such, we encourage you to apply to UVic three to four months before the start of the term in which you intend to begin studies. Please note that the Social Justice Studies program is not responsible for processing times of applications through UVic Admissions.

Application dates

Starting in
January 2022*
Accepting Applications
Apply by
Oct. 30, 2021
Apply online Contact us for more info
Starting in
September 2022*
Accepting Applications
Apply by
June 30, 2022
Apply online Contact us for more info

*Note: no application deadline for CURRENT UVic students