Diploma in Health Sciences (EMS)

Build your career in emergency medicine. Prepare for Success.

The Diploma in Health Sciences (EMS) combines JIBC’s highly respected Primary Care Paramedic program with practical and relevant academic coursework. The combination of a strong academic foundation with paramedic training positions our graduates at the leading edge of emergency medicine. The program is designed for students new to the health care field as well as working paramedics.

Most students complete the Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) program component of the diploma first. Courses are typically taken full-time over eight months at one of several locations in BC (see JIBC’s PCP page for details). Emergency medicine skills are mastered through independent study, hands-on practice, and ambulance and hospital placements. After completion, many students become licensed and work as paramedics while finishing the remaining courses in the diploma. Applicants who have already completed a PCP program can apply for credit towards the diploma.    

Courses in the academic component help students expand their career options. Topics addressed range from anatomy and disease pathophysiology to research methods and conflict resolution. These courses are delivered online and can be taken part-time or full-time.

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Why take this program?

Emergency medicine professionals are in demand. Program graduates may work as emergency medicine practitioners in industry, paramedics, supervisors, or instructors. They can practice in various settings including hospitals, clinics, community care, and private companies. The diploma-level qualification is also relevant to health care administration and business.  

The field of emergency medicine is evolving. The level of education required to start working as a paramedic in BC could increase in the future, and is already at diploma level or higher in many other places. Professionals with a diploma are better prepared for the future and opportunities outside of BC.   

Graduates are well-positioned to continue their education. A number of the academic courses in the Diploma in Health Sciences (EMS) and PCP certification are admission requirements for JIBC’s Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) program. In the ACP program, students learn to provide advanced emergency life support, and prepare for ACP licensing.   

Alternately, graduates can continue on a pathway to a Bachelor’s degree. Students who complete the diploma can apply 57 credits towards a 120 credit Bachelor of Health Science degree from Thompson Rivers University (TRU). (Students who complete both JIBC’s Diploma in Health Sciences (EMS) and Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) Advanced Diploma can apply up to 90 transfer credits towards this degree.)  Courses in this TRU degree are delivered online. A degree in health sciences can open up additional career opportunities such as management and teaching positions in occupational safety, the ambulance service, or postsecondary schools.

Program Format, Length and Costs

Program Overview

Academic component - Online, part-time or full-time
PCP component - Online and in person learning, typically full-time

Time to Complete:

Minimum of 2 years
Maximum of 5 years allowed

Total cost:Approximately $10,600.00*

Diploma program applications accepted continuously
Diploma academic courses can be started in any semester
PCP component programs start throughout the year


Cost and Length

The total Diploma program cost (including PCP certification) is approximately $10,600.00*. It can be completed full-time in a minimum of 2 years. Some academic courses are offered only once during the year, so students should plan accordingly. 

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.

Holders of PCP certification may be granted transfer credits for the PCP component. The remainder of the diploma program can be completed in a minimum of 4 semesters at a cost of approximately $5,900.00*.  

*Costs are approximate, current to July 2018, and subject to change without notice. Costs include JIBC course learner fees, but do not include taxes, textbooks, supplies, or program application fees. All costs listed are for domestic students. Please check course registration information for exact costs.

For international student fee information, please email Health@jibc.ca   


Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) Certificate Component (8 courses, 30 credits total)

See PCP program webpage for course list. 

Academic Foundation Component (11 courses, 30 credits total)

Course Name

Course Code



Academic Writing








Research Methods




Applied Ethics




Introduction to Psychology




Human Anatomy & Physiology












Professional Practice: Evidence-based Practice




Theoretical Foundations of Dispute Resolution




Capstone Project





Course Registration
Please phone or visit JIBC Registration to register and pay for courses. When registering for the CRES-1150 course, students formally enrolled in the Diploma in Health Sciences (EMS) program should request the program discount.  

Registration for BIOL and HLSC courses in the Diploma in Health Sciences (EMS) program is restricted to admitted program students. All students interested in taking these courses, including students planning to later apply to the ACP program, should apply to the Diploma in Health Sciences (EMS) program as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Upcoming Courses

Please note that the online course schedule below is tentative and subject to change without notice. Certain courses are only offered once each year, so please plan accordingly. We recommend registering for the next semester two months in advance to avoid disappointment, since courses may become full. Please click the course code links below to see course dates, costs, and online “location” sections for next semester. Note that the dates for the course HLSC-2216 in winter 2020 will be January 6 to February 21.

Course Code








BIOL-2203*** *** *** ***
HLSC-2214*** *** *** ***
HLSC-2299****** ****** ***
HLSC-2215 *** *** *** 
HLSC-2216 ****** *** *** 
STAT-1100 ***  ***  
ETHS-1100 ***  ***  
PSYC-1100  ***  *** 
RESM-2100*** ****** ******


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 sells and orders textbooks.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the academic component of the diploma program, applicants must have:

  • Current EMR Certification (PCP, ACP, and ITT Practitioners must provide proof of completion of the higher level of certification in order to be exempt from this requirement)
  • Grade 12 graduation (or equivalent) or mature student status as defined in JIBC’s Admissions policy
  • Completed the following secondary school courses with the minimum grades listed:
    • Mathematics 11 (or equivalent) with minimum grade of C 
    • English 12/English 12 First Peoples (or equivalent) with minimum grade of C
    • Life Sciences 11/Biology 11 (or equivalent) with minimum grade of C+

The PCP component has additional admission requirements (detailed on the PCP program page), which are not covered in the list above. As noted below, a separate application must be submitted for the PCP component. 

Application Process

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).  

  1. Complete the JIBC Online Program Application Form through Education Planner BC. There is an application fee of $75 dollars.
  2. An Admissions Officer will then email you information on how to submit supporting documents.
  3. Submit your supporting documents to Admissions by email, mail, or in person. Note that you will 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 above.

    Official transcripts can be mailed to:

    Admissions Office (Student Services Centre)
    Justice Institute of British Columbia
    715 McBride Boulevard
    New Westminster, BC, V3L 5T4

Please phone or email us for assistance with program admission, program information, or course registration:

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning

You may be eligible for credit towards the Diploma of Health Sciences (EMS) if you have accredited PCP (or higher level) certification or have completed academic courses similar to ours at other post-secondary institutions.  

Complete a transfer credit request to apply for credit for equivalent post-secondary academic courses or accredited PCP programs completed at other institutions. The number of transfer credits to be granted for PCP programs completed elsewhere will be assessed on a case-by case basis.

Applicants who have completed JIBC’s PCP program will receive full credit for the PCP component of the diploma, and do not need to complete an associated transfer credit request.

A prior learning assessment request is used to assess learning that is not eligible for transfer credits. There is an associated fee for this request. 

Students apply for transfer credit or prior learning assessment after they have been accepted into the program.

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.

Last updated January 23, 2020