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Classes for the Winter 2019 semester begin Wednesday, Jan. 2nd.

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Psychology, Applied (Bachelor of Arts)

Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Psychology
Credits: 120.0
Length: Eight semesters
Credential: Bachelor's Degree
Offered: Fall, Summer, Winter
program overview

The Douglas College Bachelor of Arts Degree in Applied Psychology provides you with a core background in psychological theory and research, while integrating courses from areas in the workforce where psychology is typically applied. Like traditional psychology degrees, you will complete at least 30 upper level credits in psychology courses.

In addition, you will choose a 15 credit specialization in one of six areas where psychology is typically applied:

  • Pre-counselling
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation
  • Disability and Applied Behaviour Analysis
  • Forensic/Criminology
  • Applied Theory and Research
  • Leadership and Management

For more details on the specializations, please see the Program Requirements tab.

curriculum framework

Graduation Requirements:

In addition to the 60 credits of first and second year coursework in the Associate of Arts, students must complete an additional 60 credits (120 total) of University Transfer coursework. A minimum of thirty (30) credits must be at the 3000-4000 level in Psychology, and a minimum of forty five (45) credits must be at the 3000-4000 level. Program requirements are as follows:

Important: At least 40% (48 credits) of all course work and 21 credits of Upper Level Psychology course work must be completed at Douglas College. University Transferrable Courses must transfer to one of the five Research Universities - SFU, UBC, UBCO, UNBC, or UVIC.


Required (Mandatory) Courses:

PSYC 3309

or PSYC 3308

Critical Issues in Psychology

History and Philosophy of Modern Psychology

3 credits

 PSYC 3330

 An Introduction to Social Psychology

 3 credits

PSYC 3390 Applications of Psychological Knowledge
(Service Learning & Research)
3 credits

One of:

PSYC 3320 Child Behavior and Development 3 credits
PSYC 3321 Adolescent Psychology 3 credits
PSYC 3322 Developmental Psychology: Adulthood and Aging 3 credits

One of:

PSYC 3300 Applied Intermediate Research Methods & Data Analysis 3 credits
PSYC 3301 Applied Organizational Research Methods 3 credits

Elective Courses:

Five (5) upper level psychology courses 15 credits
Five (5) upper or lower level University Transfer courses from any discipline 15 credits

Area of Concentration:

Five (5) courses in one of the following applied areas. 15 credits
  1. Applied Theory and Research or,
  2. Disability and Applied Behavior Analysis (DABA) or,
  3. Forensic/Criminology or,
  4. Leadership Management or,
  5. Pre-Counselling or,
  6. Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR).

Applied Areas of Concentration:

Applied Theory and Research

This concentration provides an opportunity for students to study a broad base of psychological theories and learn how they are applied across a variety of fields. Students who are likely going to continue their academic career in a graduate level psychology program may be interested in this concentration within the Honours Degree.

Five (5) of the following courses (courses must come from at least 4 of the categories below)

A: Personality/Social/Forensic/Health Psychology (PSYC 3304, PSYC 3314, PSYC 3331, PSYC 3340, PSYC 3361)

B: Developmental/Gender (PSYC 3120, PSYC 3320, PSYC 3321, PSYC 3322, PSYC 3342)

C: Cognition/Biological Psychology (PSYC 3315, PSYC 3341, PSYC 3365, PSYC 3370, PSYC 3385)

D: Clinical/Counselling Psychology (PSYC 3333, PSYC 3375, PSYC 4370, PSYC 4371, PSYC 4373, PSYC 4375)

E: Quantitative/Analytical (PSYC 3301, PSYC 4360)

Disability and Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration

If you are interested in education, health or human services, or if you want to specialize in the rewarding and challenging area of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the concise, flexible and timely Disability and Applied Behaviour Analysis (DABA) advanced certificate is for you. The courses within this 15 credit concentration are a required step for behaviour consultants and other professionals towards becoming Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) ® Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA). The courses are also approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and the Teacher Qualification Service.

DABA courses run as a cohort and are only offered in the specified semesters. 

Required (Mandatory) Courses:

One of:

DACS 5111 Disability in Context 3 credits
DACS 3430 Autism Spectrum Disorder Across the Lifespan 3 credits
Plus all of:    
DACS 5112 Functional Behaviour Assessment and Intervention 1.5 credits
DACS 5113 Clincial Applications of Behaviour Analysis 1.5 credits
DACS 5121 Foundational Principles of Behaviour Analysis 3 credits
DACS 5122 Empirical Basis of Behavioural Techniques 3 credits
DACS 5123 Single Subject Research and Applications 3 credits

Those completing this concentration within the BA Applied Psychology Degree will not be eligible to graduate with the Disability and Applied Behavior analysis Advanced Certificate as the coursework is equivalent.

Forensic / Criminology Concentration

Students interested in both psychology and criminology may choose to specialize in the area of forensic psychology. This concentration will focus on psychology as it applies to the legal system, which may include a focus on courts, corrections, police, cognitive and social aspects of behaviour, mental health law, victimology, and policy work.

Required (Mandatory) Course:
PSYC 3314 Psychology and Law 3 credits
Elective Courses

Any four (4) University Transferable courses from Criminology, with at least 6 credits at the 3000-4000 level. Upper level choices include, but are not limited to the following (please be aware of pre-requisites).

CRIM 3335 Human Rights and Civil Liberties 3 credits
CRIM 3340 Problem Solving and Interventions in Criminal Justice 3 credits
CRIM 3370 Sex Offenders and Sexual Offences 3 credits
CRIM 3375 Correctional Practice 3 credits
CRIM 3376 Restorative Justice 3 credits
CRIM 3380 Organized Crime 3 credits
CRIM 3385 Community Crime Prevention 3 credits
CRIM 3390 Crime and Intelligence Analysis 3 credits
CRIM 4410 Canadian Law and the Mentally Disordered Offenders 3 credits
CRIM 4480 Forensic Sciences 3 credits

NOTE: It is recommended to take CRIM 1100, CRIM 1150 and CRIM 1160 in your first 2 years. If not, two of them can be taken as part of your concentration and the other as a 1000-4000 Level Elective.

Leadership and Management Concentration

Students interested in combining psychology with business, leadership and/or marketing would be interested in this concentration.

Fifteen (15) University Transferable credits required. A minimum of twelve (12) credits from the Faculty of Commerce & Business Administration, with at least six (6) credits at the 3000-4000 level. Possible courses include, but are not limited to the following (please be aware of pre-requisites):

BUSN 1111   Small Business Management 3 credits
BUSN 1210   Management Essentials 3 credits
ACCT 1110   Principles of Accounting I  
BUSN 3310   Organizational Management Skills  
BUSN 3350   Human Resource Management 3 credits
BUSN 4410   Organizational Business Decision Making 3 credits
BUSN 4460   Leadership: Theory and Practice 3 credits
BUSN 4490   Applied Legal and Ethical Decision Making for Managers, Professionals and Executives 3 credits
MARK 2150   Personal Selling 3 credits
MARK 3215   Buyer Behavior 3 credits
MARK 3340   Promotional Strategy 3 credits
MARK 3360   Customer Relationship Management 3 credits
MARK 3441   Marketing Research 3 credits
MARK 3470   Professional Services Marketing 3 credits
SOSC 2140   Behaviour in Organizations 3 credits
SOSC 3140   Organizational Theory and Design 3 credits


Pre-Counselling Concentration

Counselling psychology typically focuses on therapeutic practices that facilitate social, educational, occupational, health, emotional and developmental functioning. Many counsellors have a Masters degree in a field such as counselling psychology or educational psychology, which allows them to register as a Clinical Counsellor in most provinces. Our Pre-Counselling concentration will provide students with introductory courses in the discipline of counselling as well as the pre-requisite courses needed to enter into most graduate programs in counselling psychology.

Required (Mandatory) Courses:
PSYC 3375 Theories of Counselling and Psychotherapy 3 credits
PSYC 4360 Psychological Assessment 3 credits
PSYC 4370 Counselling Skills Fundamentals 3 credits
Elective Courses (choice of 2):
PSYC 3321 Adolescent Psychology 3 credits
PSYC 3322 Adulthood and Aging 3 credits
PSYC 3333 Cultural Competency and Counselling with Canada's Aboriginal Peoples 3 credits
PSYC 3341 Drugs and Behavior 3 credits
PSYC 3342 Developmental Psychopathology 3 credits
PSYC 3365 Psychology of Learning 3 credits
PSYC 4371 Group Counselling 3 credits
PSYC 4373 Vocational Assessment and Counselling 3 credits
PSYC 4375 Clinical Psychology 3 credits

NOTE: PSYC 2341 (Abnormal Psychology) and PSYC 2207 (An Introduction to Educational Psychology) are strongly recommended in first 2 years.


Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) Concentration

Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) approaches include programs, services and practices with well-documented effectiveness in facilitating the recovery of persons living with serious mental illness, substance use problems or concurrent disorders. PSR approaches focus on programs and services in the major life domains of employment, education, leisure, wellness, housing, family and peer support. PSR approaches are enhanced in their effectiveness by other treatment approaches and practices, including cognitive retraining, cognitive behaviour therapies and motivational interviewing.

Students who complete the set of PSR courses, including the practicum will have the knowledge and skills to conduct strengths based PSR assessments and to prepare and implement psychosocial rehabilitation plans in community mental health and substance use programs. Upon completion of this concentration, you will be eligible to write the Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioners (CPRP) exam, which is recognized throughout Canada and the US.

PSR courses generally run as a cohort and are only offered in specified semesters (Fall,Winter and Summer).

Required (Mandatory) Courses:

PSYC 5001 Mental Health Services and Systems: History and Trends 3 credits
PSYC 5002 Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery 3 credits
PSYC 5003 Psychosocial Rehabilitation Practitioner Competencies 3 credits
PSYC 5004 Psychosocial Rehabilitation: Best and Promising Practices 3 credits
PSYC 5005 Seminar and Practicum in Psychosocial Rehabilitation 3 credits

NOTE: PSYC 2341 (Abnormal Psychology) is a pre-requisite for PSR courses.

NOTE: It is highly recommended that students complete PSYC 3390 Applications of Psychological Knowledge
(Service Learning & Research) prior to PSYC 5005 Seminar and Practicum in Psychosocial Rehabilitation.

Those completing this concentration within the BA Applied Psychology Degree will not be eligible to graduate with the Graduate Diploma in Psychosocial Rehabilitation as the coursework is equivalent.


admission requirements

For general Douglas College admission requirements, please see General Admission Requirements.

All applicants must meet the general college admission requirements for Douglas College.

Admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology will occur after the completion of 60 credits. Students must have all of the following: 

a) a two year (60 credit) Associate of Arts or Science degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

b) Completion of the following courses (or their appropriate equivalent) with a mininmum grade of C- in each: 

PSYC 1100 (Introduction to Psychology I)

PSYC 1200 (Introduction to Psychology II)

c) Completion of the following courses (or their appropriate equivalent) with a minimum grade of C (60%): 

PSYC 2300 Data Analysis in Psychology,

PSYC 2301 Research Methods in Psychology,

  And two of:

PSYC 2315 (Biological Psychology), or

PSYC 2341 (Abnormal Psychology), or

PSYC 2360 (Cognitive Psychology)

Admission to the PSR Concentration:

PSR entrance interview for BA Applied Psychology or Applied Psychology Honours students

The departmental admission process uses a structured interview by a coordinator to provide information about the roles and responsibilities of students and faculty, and to evaluate whether students have met the following criteria that are needed for successful completion of the PSR courses, including:

•     4th year status by start of PSR coursework

•     Service learning course (PSYC 3390) completed or in progress

•     Work/volunteer experience relevant to a helping role in the mental health sector

Students will

•   submit a Letter of Intent outlining the reasons for choosing this program, long- and short-term goals, and strengths and limitations.

•   submit an up-to-date resume including any volunteering or paid work relevant to a helping role in the mental health sector.

program cost

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.

curriculum 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.

When do I apply for the Bachelor of Arts - Applied Psychology program?

You will apply after your second year, once you have finished 60 credits (Associate of Arts - Psychology or equivalent), including PSYC 1100, PSYC 1200, PSYC 2300, PSYC 2301, and two of PSYC 2341, PSYC 2360 or PSYC 2315 (with a minimum of a C in each of the above PSYC courses).

Can I take Psychology courses before I am accepted into the Associate of Arts – Psychology (pre-bachelor’s degree) program or the BA in Applied Psychology program?

YES, all lower level (100-200 level) courses and most upper level (3000-4000) courses are open to all Douglas College students. However, each course has specific pre-requisites that you must meet in order to enroll in the course.

Do I take ONLY Psychology courses during my studies?

While there are core psychology courses you must take, your program of studies requires that you take core courses and electives outside of psychology such as English, criminology, sociology and philosophy.

Can I complete an Associate of Arts Degree in Psychology in 2 years (60 credits) or a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Applied Psychology in 4 years (120 credits)?

Yes, this is possible if you are attending full time (5 courses per semester). You may need to take day or night classes or to travel to both campuses, depending on course offerings and availability of seats in the course(s) you require.

Are all the Psychology courses listed in the catalogue offered every semester?

For some courses we will offer multiple sections (e.g. Introduction to Psychology). For some, such as our upper level courses, we may offer one section per year. The majority of courses are offered in Fall and Winter with a smaller selection offered in the Summer term.

Are all courses offered at both New Westminster and Coquitlam Campuses?

Currently most 1st and 2nd year psychology courses are offered face-to-face at both New Westminster and David Lam campuses. A few select courses are also offered as hybrid and/or fully on-line. Most of our 3rd and 4th year courses will be taught on New Westminster campus, with the exception of a few existing Psychosocial Rehabilitation, and Disability and Applied Behavior Analysis courses, which are currently offered as hybrid and/or fully on-line.

For the BA Applied Psychology program, I am interested in two specializations. Can I complete more than one within my BA degree?

YES, there is room within our degree to complete two of our applied specializations. Up to two specializations will be noted on your transcript when you graduate. You must make sure, however, that you have a total of 30 upper level (3000-4000) Psychology credits for the BA Applied Psychology degree and 45 upper level Psychology credits for the BA Applied Psychology – Honours degree.

Can I start the Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) or Disability and Applied Behaviour Analysis (DABA) specializations before I am accepted into the BA Applied Psychology program?

NO, for these courses you will need to be enrolled in the BA Applied Psychology program and declare your interest in one of these specializations to the BA Applied Psyc Coordinator.

When are the PSR and DABA specialization courses offered?

For these two specializations, the courses are offered in a sequence beginning each Fall. You will need to take the courses in a specific order: Fall ➾ Winter ➾ Summer.

If I am interested in the PSR specialization, should I take it in my third or fourth year?

It is recommended that you wait until your fourth year to take the PSR courses. It is strongly recommended that you take PSYC 3341 – Drugs and Behaviour before you enroll in your first PSR course.

If I take the PSR specialization, I will complete a practicum course: PSYC 5005. Do I also have to take PSYC 3390 – Applications of Psychological Knowledge (Service Learning)?

NO, If you take the PSR specialization and satisfactorily complete PSYC 5005, you will not have to take PSYC 3390. You will replace the 3 credits with PSYC 3341: Drugs and Behaviour.

Who do I contact with questions?

Psychology Department
Dr. Nicole Vittoz

BA in Applied Psychology/Honours
Program Coordinator:
Dr. Laura Dane

TRU-OL/Douglas College BA in
Psychology Program Coordinator:
Dr. Don Meen

tuition deposit

When offered a full-time seat in this program a non-refundable, non-transferable $350 tuition deposit is required. 

upcoming info sessions
Tuesday 5:00 PM January 29, 2019 COQ room: #A1470 register»
Thursday 5:00 PM January 31, 2019 NWC room: #N2201 register»
Tuesday 5:00 PM February 26, 2019 COQ room: #A1470 register»
Thursday 5:00 PM February 28, 2019 NWC room: #N2201 register»
Tuesday 5:00 PM March 26, 2019 COQ room: #A1410 register»
Thursday 5:00 PM March 28, 2019 NWC room: #N 2201 register»
Tuesday 5:00 PM April 23, 2019 COQ room: #A1470 register»
Thursday 5:00 PM April 25, 2019 NWC room: #N2201 register»
Tuesday 5:00 PM May 28, 2019 COQ room: #A1470 register»
Thursday 5:00 PM May 30, 2019 NWC room: #N2201 register»
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