Youth Justice (Diploma)


Fall 2023: Applications closed

Fall 2024: Applications open October 2, 2023

Applied Community Studies
Youth Justice
Length of Program
Two years
Credential Type
Learning Format
Admission Type
Limited Enrolment


Do you want to work alongside young people who face multiple challenges? Help improve the lives of young people in your community with a career in youth justice. 

The two-year Youth Justice Diploma program teaches topics in substance use, mental health, Indigenous experiences, youth crime, and the criminal justice system, among others, that will prepare you to engage with young people in a trauma-informed way. You’ll learn how to work with young people to meaningfully address their risk factors and promote resiliency.    

A practical education

During your education, you'll take part in two supervised practicums. These practicum placements often lead to permanent positions. You'll do practicums in a variety of settings, including schools, residential services, community-based agencies, outreach programs, social and recreational settings, custody centres, community centres and neighbourhood houses, and Indigenous agencies.   

Get hired 

The Youth Justice program at Douglas College enjoys an excellent reputation with employers, with many offering our students practicum positions and full-time jobs.  

Social and community service workers are in high demand in B.C., with 12,000 job openings expected between 2021 and 2031. Workers in this industry can expect a median salary of $43,798 annually, with opportunities to advance in both pay and position as management-level roles for social, community and correctional services are also expected to increase in the coming years.

Further your studies 

If you want to complete a bachelor’s degree, the diploma will allow you to enter the third year of Royal Roads University’s Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies or Douglas College’s Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care, or the second year of Douglas’s Bachelor of Social Work. You can also complete additional courses to enter into Douglas College's Bachelor of Applied Criminology

Your credential may also transfer to youth justice programs at other post-secondary institutions. Visit the B.C. Transfer Guide and your transfer university’s website regularly to confirm which courses transfer. 

Admissions Requirements

  • General College Admission Requirements
  • Participate in an introductory admissions event; faculty will assess program readiness and suitability for practicum placements with vulnerable youth
  • Criminal Record Search (CRS) - Information to be provided by Enrolment Services after successful completion of above requirements


You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

Program Requirements

Curriculum Framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 60 credits
  • 50% (30 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College
  • Must be in good academic standing
  • Time limit to complete program graduation requirements: seven (7) years

Program Requirements:

Course Number

Course Title


CRIM 1100

Introduction to the Criminal Justice System


CRIM 1150

Introduction to Criminology


CRIM 1160

The Canadian Legal System


CRIM 1170

Introduction to Corrections


CRIM 2251

Psychological Explanations of Criminal Behaviour


CRIM 2253

Youth, Crime and the Law


CRIM 2260

Criminal Law


CFCS 1130

Change and Development: Lifespan


CFCS 1260

Continuum of Substance Use


CFCS 2333

Change and Development: Working from a Family Perspective 


CFCS 2432

Understanding Indigenous Perspectives And Experiences


CYCC 1220

Relationship Building with Children and Youth 


CYCC 2360

Mental Health In Childhood & Adolescence


CYCC 2460

Family Violence and Abuse


YJWD 1100 

Personal and Professional Issues For The Youth Justice Worker


YJWD 2300

Group Dynamics and Activity Planning For The Youth Justice Worker


YJWD 1240

Youth Justice: Practicum I


YJWD 2240

Youth Justice: Practicum II


Select one course from the following 3 options:



CMNS 1110

Workplace Writing for Applied Community Studies


CMNS 1115

Business Communications


ENGL 1130

Academic Writing





Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.


The Youth Justice department is looking for students who endeavour to improve the lives of people in their community. A special emphasis is placed on supporting youth who are currently, or at-risk of becoming, involved with the justice system.  Applicants should have an interest in youth justice, youth engagement, and trauma-informed practice. We welcome applicants with lived experience and young people in and from the care system.

Please see the Career Pathways tab.

The program is full-time. Courses may be scheduled Monday to Friday, between 8am and 5pm. Practicum schedule will align with agency operation and may include evenings or weekends. If a full-time program does not fit with your current responsibilities, please connect with to discuss your options.

A new cohort of students is admitted each September and the program is four semesters long (approximately two years). For example, if admitted in September 2023, you would finish the program in June 2025. There are no courses scheduled for the summer semester.

All classes take place at our Coquitlam Campus, 1250 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam.


Please see the Program Requirements tab for courses required in the program. The pre-requisites for the required courses are listed under each individual course.  

There are no pre-requisites required for admission into the program. 

-Lecture method/lab

-Collaborative learning style

Also called work-based learning, practicum is a chance to practice your skills in a youth justice setting. The YJ program includes two practicum placements--these occur in the second year (semester 3 and semester 4). These are arranged by the Youth Justice Program, in consultation with students. An additional criminal record check may be required.

Youth Justice Diploma graduates may continue their studies at Douglas College by completing a bachelor’s degree in Applied CriminologyChild and Youth Care or Social Work. The diploma can also be applied toward the Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies at Royal Roads University, with a two-year block transfer into the third year of the program. Many of Youth Justice courses transfer to other post-secondary institutions, including University of the Fraser Valley, Simon Fraser University and University of Victoria.

For transfer details to other institutions, see the BC Transfer Guide.

Attendance is mandatory for all classes, as learning is formatted around interaction with instructors and classmates.

Summer Semester break, Winter break, 1-week reading break during the Winter Semester.

Employment is a necessity for many students. It is a student’s responsibility to align their academic and work schedules, particularly during practicums. A student must be available for their practicum placements, which may require advanced planning and budgeting.

More Information

Should you have any other questions or need support navigating your application process, please don't hesitate to connect with us at 

Career Pathways

Graduates are prepared for work in a variety of social-service settings, such as community or government agencies, schools, treatment programs and justice system settings. Employment opportunities include:

  • Aboriginal Youth Residential Worker 
  • Child & Youth Care Worker 
  • Childcare Worker 
  • Community Living Outreach Worker 
  • Community Facilitator 
  • Community Justice Worker 
  • Community Support Services 
  • Crisis Intervention Worker 
  • Family & Youth Support Worker 
  • Judicial Administrative Assistant
  • Social Advocate