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JIBC paramedicine Students

Is this program right for you?

Be the one building your career. If you're interested in a rewarding and challenging career in the healthcare sector where you can make a real difference in people's lives, this program is for you.

Academic Credentials 

The Diploma in Health Sciences (EMS) is the first academic credential in the Health Sciences Division paramedic education pathway. After completing the diploma students can transfer credits to a bachelor’s degree program.

Learn How You Want  

The Health Science and Liberal Studies courses are delivered fully online. Primary Care Paramedic courses are delivered face-to-face. The diploma can be completed part-time or full-time.

The program is designed for individuals new to the health care field as well as working paramedics and paramedics looking to advance to the Advanced Care Paramedic level. Most students complete the Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) program component of the diploma first. The PCP courses are typically taken full-time over eight months at one of several locations in BC. In the PCP program, emergency medicine skills are mastered through independent study, hands-on practice, and ambulance and hospital placements (see JIBC’s PCP for details and part-time course options).

After PCP program completion, many students become licensed at the PCP level and work as paramedics while finishing the remaining online courses in the diploma. These remaining courses help students expand their career options. Topics addressed range from anatomy and disease pathophysiology to research methods and conflict resolution. These courses are delivered fully online and can be taken part-time or full-time.

Applicants who have already completed a PCP program outside of JIBC can apply for transfer of credit or prior learning assessment towards the PCP portion of the diploma after they are accepted into the program. Applicants who have completed the current PCP training program at JIBC will have their credits transferred automatically. Registration for some courses in the Diploma in Health Sciences (EMS) program is restricted to admitted diploma program students.


Program strengths

After completing or receiving credit for PCP level training students can take the remaining diploma courses. These courses are:

  • Delivered fully online in a structured weekly format – to keep you on track and motivated
  • Facilitated by instructors who are experts in their respective fields – to provide support and answer your questions
  • Available for full-time or part-time study – go through the program as fast or slow as you like
  • Fully asynchronous and do not require participation in synchronized classroom activities – great for fitting around shift work
  • Offered for paramedics who are working in the field – program was designed with this in mind
  • Similar to other first and second year post-secondary courses – may apply for transfer at other institutions
  • Apply towards the entrance requirements for the JIBC Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) programEMALB continuing education credits and the Bachelor of Health Science Open Learning degree at Thompson River University (TRU).



Courses in the academic component help students expand their career options. 

  • The functioning of the human body as a coordinated, homeostatic, reproducing organism while looking at the major human body systems
  • The causes, manifestations, diagnoses, and treatments of anatomical and physiological disorders and diseases
  • The key principles of pharmacology, including the characteristics and use of drugs used for various body systems and common medication profiles
  • Effective and critical communication comprehension strategies
  • Classical and contemporary ethical theories and decision-making frameworks as they apply to personal, community, and professional contexts
  • The tools, strengths, and limitations of social science research and methodological approaches and how to analyze data and apply statistical concepts and tools
  • Master dispute resolution skills, develop the ability to use these skills and processes contextually and to adapt them as needed to different circumstances
  • The fundamental tools for communicating effectively at an academic level
  • The strategies and techniques used for evidence-based practice
  • How to explore a topic related to current processes, systems, and practices in the field of emergency medicine


What You Need to Graduate

The online portion of the diploma program can be completed in as little as one year (PCP program can be completed in about 8 months) and has a 5-year completion deadline from the semester when a student is accepted into the diploma program. It is recommended that students apply for, be accepted into, and complete the PCP component prior to applying for the diploma program.

Students must complete or receive recognition of prior learning for the following:

  • Academic component – 30 credits
  • PCP component – 30 credits.



The PCP portion of the program is delivered online and in-person at a JIBC campus location. The EMS Diploma courses are offered fully online and scheduled regularly throughout the year following the JIBC semester-based academic calendar.


Course Code Spring 2020 Fall 2020 Winter 2021 Spring 2021 Fall 2021 Winter 2022 Spring 2022
BIOL-2203  ***   ***   ***    
HLSC-2214 ***   ***   ***    
HLSC-2299   *** ***   ***    
HLSC- 2215   ***   ***      
HLSC-2216 *** ***   ***      
STAT-1100   *** ***   ***    
ETHS-1100   *** ***   ***    
PYSC-1100 *** *** *** *** ***    
RESM-2100 *** *** *** *** ***    
ENGL-1100 *** *** *** *** ***    
CRES-1150  *** *** *** *** ***    



Tuition (including PCP certification) is approximately $10,600* Students with PCP certification may be granted transfer credits for the PCP component. The remainder of the diploma program can be completed in a minimum of four semesters at the cost of approximately $5,900.*


Additional Fees

Costs include JIBC learner Service Fee (per course), applicable tax, course textbooks, and program application fees.

*Costs are approximate, current to September 2017, and subject to change without notice.


Textbooks & Supplies


After acceptance into the program, students are given information about purchasing textbooks.


The following textbooks are required for the academic health sciences courses:

HLSC-2215 (Pharmacology)
Lippincott Illustrated Reviews: Pharmacology (7th Edition). ISBN #978-149-638-4133

Lippincott’s Photo Atlas of Medication Administration (6th Edition). ISBN #978-197-512-1365 

BIOL-2203 (Anatomy & Physiology)
Introduction to the Human Body (11th Edition). ISBN# 9781119548379

HLSC-2214 (Pathophysiology)
Porth's Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States (10th Edition). ISBN# 9781496377555  

Textbooks for PCP component courses are listed on the PCP webpage. Textbook information for the following courses is listed on the Liberal Studies webpage: ENGL-1100, ETHS-1100, STATS-1100, RESM-2100, PSYC-1100.

The JIBC store can order, sell and ship textbooks, additional fees may apply. Please contact the store for details.

As the courses in the academic component of the program are fully online, students are required to have access to a computer with a current operating system that is capable of playing audio and video

STEP ONE - Apply to the Program

Applicants who do not have PCP (or higher equivalent) certification, must submit a separate application to JIBC’s PCP program. We recommend securing a seat in the PCP program before submitting the diploma program application. See the PCP page Application Process section for instructions. 

To apply to the Diploma in Health Sciences (EMS) program:

Please check the application deadline(s) listed at the top of this webpage and allow time for submission of official transcript(s) from your former school(s).  

Complete the JIBC Online Program Application Form through Education Planner BC. There is an application fee of $75 dollars.

An Admissions Officer will then email you information on how to submit supporting documents.


STEP 2 - Submit Supporting Documents

Submit your supporting documents to Admissions by email, mail or in person. 

In-Person or by Mail
Admissions Office
Justice Institute of British Columbia
715 McBride Boulevard
New Westminster, BC V3L 5T4


Students need to arrange for original official academic transcripts to be provided directly from your former school(s) to show your completion of the admissions requirements.

Academic courses in this program may also be taken individually by students who are not in the program (subject to course prerequisite requirements).


Admission Requirements



  • Current EMR Certification (PCP, ACP and ITT Practitioners must provide proof of completion of the higher level of certification to be exempt from this requirement)
  • High school graduation diploma (or equivalent) or mature student status as defined in JIBC’s Admissions Policy
  • Grade 11 Mathematics with a minimum grade of C (or equivalent)
  • Grade 12 English / grade 12 First Peoples English with a minimum grade of C (or equivalent)
  • Life Sciense 11/ Biology (or equivalent) with a minimum grade of C+ (or equivalent)


All applicants require Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) or higher-level certification as a program prerequisite. JIBC offers a 15-day EMR program. See the EMR program webpage for costs.

Applicants who do not have PCP (or higher equivalent) certification, must submit a separate application to JIBC’s PCP program. We recommend securing a seat in the PCP program before submitting the diploma program application. See the PCP webpage Application Process section for instructions.

Please allow 4-6 week for the submission of official transcripts from your former school(s) after you have ordered them to be sent to JIBC admissions. If your application cannot be reviewed before the next semester, it will be considered for the following one.

Please review the JIBC BC High School Course Admission Equivalencies chart before applying to the program. Courses not listed will likely not apply towards the diploma entrance requirements.

We strongly recommend that students who do not meet the entrance requirements complete the required courses before applying to the program to avoid disappointment. Most high school adult upgrading courses can be completed free of charge.

Biology 12, PARA-1100, and/or JIBC PCP program graduation are not equivalent to Life Sciences 11 or Biology 11. Students who have not completed Biology 11 with the minimum grade should complete an equivalent course prior to applying for the diploma program.


International applicants

International applicants are encouraged to contact JIBC's Office of International Affairs at


  • Students can apply for transfer credit or prior learning assessment only after they have been formally accepted into the program.
  • Students may be eligible for transfer credit or prior learning assessment towards the PCP portion of the Diploma of Health Sciences (EMS) if they have completed an accredited (though Accreditation Canada) PCP (or higher level) certification.
  • Students may be eligible for transfer credit or prior learning assessment if they have completed academic (liberal studies or health science) courses similar to ours at other post-secondary institutions.
  • Applicants who have completed JIBC’s current PCP program will receive full credit for the PCP component of the diploma, and do not need to complete an associated transfer credit request.
  • Complete a transfer credit request to apply for credit for equivalent post-secondary academic courses or accredited PCP programs completed at other institutions within the past ten years. The number of transfer credits to be granted for older JIBC PCP programs or programs completed elsewhere will be assessed on a case-by case basis.
  • A prior learning assessment request is used to assess learning that is not eligible for transfer credits (over ten years or from a training institution that was not accredited through Accreditation Canada). There is an associated fee for prior learning assessment requests. 
  • Please note that JIBC policy requires that at least 50% of program course credits be taken at JIBC. Therefore up to 30 credits from learning outside of JIBC can be transferred towards the 60 credits required for this diploma.
  • To avoid disappointment or delayed graduation it is recommended that:
    • Students apply for transfer credit or prior learning assessment as soon as they are accepted into the program, and
    • Once started in the program courses are completed at JIBC.
  • The program area cannot pre-approve transfer credits in advance of program application or acceptance. If you have questions about your previous learning contact the program area.

Q: What is the Diploma in Health Science about?
A: The Diploma in Health Sciences (EMS) combines JIBC’s highly respected Primary Care Paramedic program with practical and relevant academic coursework.


Q: What are the benefits of the program?
A: The combination of a strong academic foundation with paramedic training positions our graduates at the leading edge of emergency medicine.


Q: Who should take this program?
A: The program is designed for students new to the healthcare field as well as working paramedics.


Q: Do I have to apply for the Primary Care Paramedic Programs to enroll in the DIPLOMA IN HEALTH SCIENCES (EMS) Program?
A: Most students complete the Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) program component of the diploma first. It is recommended that students apply for and be accepted into the PCP program before applying to the diploma. PCP program courses are prerequisites for some diploma courses. Applicants who have already completed a PCP program can apply for credit towards the qualification.


Q: Why study Health Sciences?
A: Emergency medicine professionals are in demand with graduates working as emergency medicine practitioners in industry, as paramedics, supervisors, or instructors. They practice in various settings including hospitals, clinics, community care, and private companies. The diploma-level qualification is also relevant to healthcare administration and business.


Q: What do I have to do to go onto receiving a bachelor’s degree in Health Science?
A: Graduates can continue on a pathway to their bachelor’s degree. Students who complete the PCP program and the Diploma in Health Sciences (EMS) at JIBC can apply 57 credits towards a 120 credit Bachelor of Health Science degree from Thompson Rivers University (TRU). Courses in this TRU degree are delivered online. Students that have completed the above certification and the JIBC Advanced Care Paramedic program are eligible to transfer 90 credits.


Q: What can a degree in health sciences do for me?
A: A degree in health sciences can open up additional career opportunities such as management and teaching positions in occupational safety, the ambulance service, or post-secondary schools.


A: Students can complete the academic portion of the program in as little as one year by taking a full-time course load. Most students complete the program in 3-4 years after completing PCP, taking part-time courses while working as paramedics.


Questions about the EMS Diploma?

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