Bachelor of Emergency & Security Management Studies

Complete at your own pace Canada's first bachelor degree to combine emergency management and security studies with a foundation in business

Looking For a Career of a Different Kind?

Become a leader in the growing fields of emergency management, disaster planning, and security.

Constantly changing and increasingly complex economic, social, legal, environmental, and political contexts have compelled government, business, and non-governmental organizations to enhance their safety, security, and emergency management practices in order to protect people, assets, and resources.  This complicated environment calls for insightful new knowledge, technical skills, and the ability to think broadly and critically across a number of integrated areas.

The Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies is a 120-credit, broadly based, multi-disciplinary program designed specifically to meet the safety, security, and emergency management challenges of today and tomorrow.  It provides students with the basic conceptual approaches and methodologies of safety, security, and emergency management as they apply to business and community environments.  Graduates have the theoretical, methodological, and technical competencies required for a career in security and emergency management.

Flexible Format, Flexible Credentials

The Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies is offered completely online.  Students can choose to pursue their studies full time or part-time.  New students can start the program at the beginning of any semester (September, January, and May).  See Application Process, below, for more information.

This unique program is also designed to offer an exit alternative after completion of 60 credits of coursework with a Diploma in Emergency and Security Management.

Completion of BESMS ladders into Emergency Management Exercise Design Program

Graduates of the Bachelor of Emergency & Security Management Studies (BESMS) provides 6.0 of 10.0 credits toward EMD’s Emergency Management Exercise Design Certificate program. The additional courses needed to complete the certificate are 2 unique elective credits and the capstone project. View the full list of courses in the program to review the elective options.

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Who Should Take this Program?

  • Public safety professionals looking to take their careers to the next level or qualify for leadership positions
  • High school graduates looking for a broadly based program that will get them started on a unique and growing career path
  • Adult learners changing careers and looking for a new kind of challenge where they can be both inspired and give back to their communities 

For all students, JIBC’s Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies program provides the core skills you need to succeed at the management level in emergency management, security and other public safety disciplines.

What Will I Learn?

The Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies is a comprehensive program combining studies in:

  • Emergency Management, Disaster Planning and Public Safety
  • Business Continuity
  • Risk and Crisis Management
  • Security and Intelligence
  • Business Administration
  • Leadership and Management

Graduates of the degree will have a solid base of knowledge and skills to pursue leadership roles across the public safety spectrum.

Program Format

The online Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies is a paced and facilitated online program.  Students have the opportunity to collaborate and share experiences in an interactive online learning experience.  Courses are facilitated by faculty who are experts in their fields.

Students can pursue their studies full time or part time. 


Part-time students generally take two to three courses per semester, three semesters per year.  Students can expect to complete their program in five years.


Full-time students generally take four to five courses per semester, two semesters per year.  Students can expect to complete their program in four years. 

Time Commitment:

Courses run on a 14-week semester. Although most activities do not require students to be online at a specific time of day, students must be active in their courses on a weekly basis. Plan to dedicate approximately 6 hours per week per course on your studies.

Program Cost

The Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies is 120 credits or 40 courses. Tuition fees are charged per course.  For individual course prices, please follow the links under “Courses” below and costs will be available for upcoming classes. Tuition for the degree is approximately $20,000, plus the cost of textbook approximately $2000/-.

All prices are current as of April 2019 and apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.  Prices are subject to change and subject to applicable fees and taxes.


Students in the Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies complete 99 credits of required courses (33 courses) and 21 credits of electives (7 courses) for a total of 120 credits (40 courses). To meet degree requirements a minimum of 45 of these credits (15 courses) must be upper division (300- and 400- level) courses.

Security and Emergency Management Required Courses
To check current course availability, select the course code below. If you wish to register, follow the instructions on the course listing. View a full list of the courses in the degree. 


Course CodeCredit
Emergency & Security LegislationESMS-11003
A Systems Approach to BusinessESMS-12003
Foundations of Emergency Management I: Planning & PreparednessESMS-1300 3
Foundations of Safety & SecurityESMS-1400 3
Introduction to Information ManagementESMS-22103
Foundations of Emergency Management II: Response & RecoveryESMS-23003
Human Behaviour & Social Constructs of DisastersESMS-23103
Foundations of Business Continuity ManagementESMS-23403
Introduction to Risk ManagementESMS-24003
Critical Infrastructure Protections SystemsESMS-2450 3
Crisis CommunicationESMS-2500 3
Corporate InvestigationsESMS-31103
Information Security ManagementESMS-32103
Technology Applications in Security & Emergency Management EnvironmentsESMS-3330 3
Root Cause Analysis & Problem IdentificationESMS-4200 3
Ethical Issues in Public SafetyESMS-42203
Policy Development & ImplementationESMS-42503
Advanced Business Continuity ManagementESMS-43403
Strategic PartneringESMS-4410 3
Issues & Crisis ManagementESMS-45003
Degree Capstone ProjectESMS-49003
Introduction to Intelligence AnalysisINTL-34103

Business & Liberal Arts Foundations

Business CommunicationsBUSN-1100
Introduction to Human Resource ManagementBUSN-1101 3
Introduction to Conflict Analysis and ResolutionCRES-1851 3
Applied EthicsETHS-1100 3
Academic WritingENGL-1100 3
Critical Reading & WritingENGL-1110 3
Financial ManagementFIRE-2145 3
Research MethodsRESM-2100 3
StatisticsSTAT-1100 3
Leading Inclusive Cultures in Emergency ServicesFIRE-21253
Project ManagementBUSN-3110 3

Liberal Studies (6 credits)

Courses must be outside the primary area of study. Acceptable electives include Inter-Cultural Studies, Economics, History, Philosophy, Political Studies, Psychology and Sociology. Courses may be taken at the JIBC or transferred in from another institution. Acceptable courses offered through the JIBC include the following PSYC-1100 Introduction to Psychology.

Core ESMS Electives

Safety & Security Management for Major EventsESMS-3420
Exercise Program ManagementESMS-3360 3
Current Trends in Security & Disaster ManagementESMS-4300 3
Resilience & RecoveryESMS-4310 3
Planning for Terrorism, CBRNE & Major Health CrisesESMS-4420 3

Admission Requirements

  • High school graduation or equivalent
  • Mathematics 11 (minimum grade of C) or equivalent
  • English 12/ English 12 First Peoples (minimum grade of C) or equivalent
  • Write a letter of approximately 250 words describing your interest in the program and how you intend to manage your studies with your other responsibilities to ensure your success in the program.

For more information, contact the program director.

Application Process

 New students can start at the beginning of any semester (September, January, and May).  To apply:

  • Complete our online program application form on Education Planner BC with a non-refundable Program Application Fee of $75/-
  • Write a letter of approximately 250 words describing your interest in the program and how you intend to manage your studies with your other responsibilities to ensure your success in the program.
  • Submit the entrance letter and official transcripts (high school and any/all post-secondary studies) in person or by mail to:

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

Application Deadlines

  • September start: Complete application to be received no later than June 30
  • January start: Complete application to be received no later than October 31
  • May start: Complete application to be received no later than February 28

Once accepted into the program, you will receive information on how to register for courses.

Credit Transfer and Program Laddering

For more information on transferring credit from another post-secondary institution, please see Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Information and Application.

Graduates of the Emergency Management Certificate program receive credit for ESMS-1300 and ESMS-2300, as well as 6 credits toward their security and emergency management electives.


ESMS-1100 Emergency & Security Legislation
Hoag, V., Mukherji, G., Rock, N. (2017). Foundations of criminal and civil law in Canada (4th ed.) Emond Montgomery Publications.

ESMS-1200 A Systems Approach to Business

  1. Brassard, M. et al. (2016) The Memory Jogger 2: Tools for Continuous Improvement and Effective Planning (2nd ed.)
  2. Jones, G., George, J., Rock M., & Haddad, J. (2019). Essentials of contemporary management (6th ed.)

ESMS-1300 Foundations of Emergency Management 
No required text.

ESMS-1400 Foundations of Safety & Security
Purpura, P. (2018). Security and loss prevention: An introduction (7th ed.) Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

ESMS-2210 Introduction to Information Management 
No required text.

ESMS-2300 Foundations of Emergency Management II: Response & Recovery
No required text.

ESMS-2310 Human Behaviour & Social Constructs of Disaster 

* Thomas, D. S. K., Phillips, B. D., Lovekamp, W.E. & Fothergill, A. (Eds.). (2013). Social vulnerability to disasters (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL:  CRC Press.  Now available for free access at

ESMS-2340 Foundations of Business Continuity Management

  1. Hiles, A. (2010). The definitive handbook of business continuity management (3rd ed). 
  2. Sheffi, Y. (2007). The resilient enterprise: Overcoming vulnerability for competitive advantage. 

ESMS-2400 Introduction to Risk Management
Somerson, J.S. (2009). The art and science of security risk management. Alexandria: ASIS International.

ESMS-2450 Critical Infrastructure Protection Systems
Garcia, M.L. (2007). The design and evaluation of physical protection systems. (2nd ed.) Butterworth Heinemenn.

ESMS-2500 Crisis Communications
Fearn-Banks, K. (2017) Crisis Communications – A Casebook approach. New York, NY: Routledge. (5th ed.)

ESMS-3110 Corporate Investigations

  1. Watkins, K. (2017). Interviewing and Investigations, 3rd Edition.Emond Montgomery Publications.
  2. Arcaro, G. (2009). Criminal investigation: Forming reasonable grounds, (5th ed.)

ESMS-3210 Information Security Management
No required text.

ESMS-3330 Technology Applications in Security & Emergency Management Environments
Pine, J.C. (2017). Technology in emergency management (2nd ed.) (eBook)

ESMS-3360 Exercise Program Management
No required text.

INTL-3410 Introduction to Intelligence Analysis

  1. Lowenthal, M.M (2017). Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy (7th ed.) Washington: CQ Press.
  2. Pherson, K.H., & Pherson R.H. (2016). Critical Thinking for Strategic Intelligence (2nd ed.).  California: CQ Press.

ESMS-3420 Safety & Security Management for Major Events
Tarlow, P. E. (2002). Event Risk Management and Safety

ESMS-4200 Root Cause Analysis & Problem Identification
Andersen, Bjorn, and Fagerhaug, Tom. (2006). ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS: Simplified Tools and Techniques. ASQ Quality Press

ESMS-4220 Ethical issues in Public Safety
Trevino, L. K. and Nelson, K. A. (2013).  Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right (7th ed.) Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

ESMS-4250 Policy Development & Implementation
Pal. L, (2013). Beyond Policy Analysis: Public issue management in turbulent times (5th ed). Nelson.

ESMS-4300 Current Topics in Security & Disaster Management 
No required text.

ESMS-4310 Resilience & Recovery 
Kapucu, N., Hawkins, C.V., Rivera, F.I. (Eds.). (2013). Disaster resiliency: Interdisciplinary perspectives. New York: Routledge.

ESMS-4340 Advanced Business Continuity Management

  1. Kaner, S. (2014). Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making (3rd ed).
  2. Sheffi, Y. (2015). The power of resilience: How the best companies manage the unexpected. MIT
Plus the following texts from ESMS-2340 (you should already have) 

  3.  Hiles, A. (2010). The definitive handbook of business continuity management (3rd ed).
  4. Sheffi, Y. (2007). The resilient enterprise: Overcoming vulnerability for competitive advantage. MIT

ESMS-4410 Strategic Partnering
Maurrasse, D.J. (2013). Strategic public private partnerships: Innovation and development. Edward Elgar.

ESMS-4420 Planning for Terrorism, CBRNE & Major Health Crises

  1. Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). (2014). Fire Responders Handbook: Hazardous Materials CBRNE. Available from
  2. Ripley, Amanda. (2008). The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why.

ESMS-4500 Issues & Crisis Management
Devlin, E.S. (2007.) Crisis management planning and execution. Auerbach Publications.

BUSN-1100 Business Communications
Brounstein, M., Bell, A.H., Smith, D.M., & Isbell, C. 2nd. Ed. (2013). Business Communication: Communicate effectively in any business environment. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

BUSN-1101 Introduction to Human Resource Management
Steen, S., Noe, R., Hollenbeck, J., Gerhard, B., & Wright, P. (2016) Human Resource Management (4th Canadian Ed.). Toronto: McGraw Hill.

BUSN-3110 Project Management 
Open source textbook. Link provided in course.

CRES-1851 Introduction to Conflict Analysis & Resolution 
No required text.

FIRE-2145 Financial Management
Young, David. (2008). Management Control in Nonprofit Organizations. Cambridge, Mass: Crimson Press

ENGL-1100 Academic Writing
Open Source - textbook - Writing for Success. Link provided in class.

ENGL-1110 Critcal Reading & Writing 
Sullivan, R. & Levene, M. (Eds). (2015). Short Fiction: An Anthology (2nd ed.). Peterborough, ON: Oxford University Press.

ETHS-1100 Applied Ethics

  1. Hinman, L.M. (2012). Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach to Moral Theory, 5th Edition. Belmont, Ca.: Wadsworth.
  2. McLachlan, J.A. (2010). Ethics in Action: Making Ethical Decisions in Your Daily Life, First Edition. Toronto: Pearson.

PSYC-1100 Introduction to Psychology
Open source textbook – no purchase necessary.

RESM-2100 Research Methods
Palys, T.S. & Atchison, C. (2013). Research Decisions:  Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Method Approaches (5th Ed.). Toronto, ON: Nelson Education.

STAT-1100 Introduction to Statistics 
The textbook for the course is: Collaborative Statistics (version 1.4) by Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean. It is an open source, free book that you can read online or download as an e-book, available at: (just click on the green “Get This Book!” button and you can download it as a .pdf file, an .epub file (to read on an e-reader), an offline zip file, or you can order a printed version of the book for $19).

Program FAQ

I’m not a Canadian citizen, can I still take the program?
International students are welcome to apply to the program. International application and tuition fee rates apply.

How long will it take to complete the program?
It depends on how many courses you take.
Part-time Studies (2-3 courses a semester, 3 semesters per year):

  • Diploma–2.5-3 years
  • Degree–5-5.5 years

Full-time Studies (4-5 courses a semester, 2 semesters per year):

  • Diploma–2-2.5 years
  • Degree–4-4.5 years

Can the program be taken completely online?

Can I take some classes face to face?
Not at this time. We are currently exploring offering the program face-to-face as well as online. If you are interested in studying full-time on campus, please contact the program director.

I’ve completed the EM certificate program; can I get credit for any courses?
Graduates of the EM certificate program receive credit for ESMS-1300 Foundations of Emergency Management I (3.0 credits) and ESMS-2300 Foundations of Emergency Management II (3.0 credits). They also receive 6.0 elective credits.

I’ve completed the Exercise Design certificate program; can I get credit for any courses?
Graduates of the Exercise Design certificate program receive credit for ESMS-3360 Exercise Program Management.

I’ve taken a couple of other emergency management courses through the JIBC; can I get credit for them?
The degree program comprises a series of specific core courses. Individual courses offered by EMD cannot be transferred in.

I’ve taken some courses/completed a diploma/degree at another institution, can I transfer credit in?
You may be able to get credit for relevant course work completed at another institution. Please review the JIBC’s policies and procedures as they relate to transfer credit.

I’ve worked in the field for 15 years, can I get credit for that?
You may be able to get credit for relevant experience. Please review the JIBC’s policies and procedures as they relate to Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).

One key PLA concept is that learning can and does take place in many ways and in many places in an adult’s life, including work and other kinds of experience. A second key concept is that credit is NOT awarded for experience in itself, but only for the demonstration of learning gained through those experiences. Learning takes place through different kinds of experiences such as working, training, reading, traveling, community involvement and family responsibilities, but learning does not come automatically with experience and may differ from person to person. In PLA, it's the learning that counts. Not only that, what's important is whether the knowledge or skills learned up to the present time are relevant to a particular educational credential. Credit is awarded only when the demonstrated knowledge, skills and attitudes match pre-determined outcomes of the particular course.

So, for example, if you were to apply for PLA for ESMS-1400 Foundations of Safety and Security you would need to submit evidence that demonstrates that you have learned the required knowledge, skills, and attitudes. There are three categories of evidence. When we assess a PLA request we look for alignment between all three forms:

  • Self assessment – what you say you know and can do
  • Direct evidence – artifacts that you have produced that demonstrate the knowledge and skills
  • Indirect evidence – what others say or observe about your knowledge, skills, and attitude in regard to the course requirements (e.g., a letter from your supervisor)

So what does that mean in terms of what you need to actually do? You would need to request the course outline and review the learning outcomes. You would then need to submit evidence (as defined above) that demonstrates you have mastered at least 75% of those outcomes. You would also need to provide indirect evidence that you were the author of these materials.

I graduated from high school 25 years ago; do I need an official transcript?
We require an official (sealed) transcript(s) confirming that you meet the admission requirements of high school graduation (or equivalent), English 12 with a minimum grade of C (or equivalent), and Mathematics 11 with a minimum grade of C (or equivalent). If you have completed credit courses (not continuing education) at another post-secondary institution you should submit official transcripts reflecting all post-secondary work. In this case you may not need to submit your secondary school transcript, it will depend on the type of courses you have completed and the institution’s admission requirements. 
If you have not completed courses at another post-secondary institution, contact the Ministry of Education. They should be able to provide you with a secondary school transcript.

Do you have a mature student policy?
Students who are at least 25 years of age who do not have BC Grade 12 or any of the equivalencies listed in the Grade 12 equivalency procedures but meet all other admission requirements may, with the approval of the Registrar or designate, be admitted into the program based on other qualifications or experience. However, all students are required to meet specific course prerequisites. Students without Mathematics 11 or English 12 are required to complete the appropriate equivalent. For more information see the JIBC’s Admissions policy and procedure.

Can I start the program in January/May?
Yes. Deadlines to apply are as follows:
September start: June 30
January start: October 31
May start: February 28

Will I need to buy textbooks?
Textbooks and/or course packs are required for most, if not all, courses. You can order these from the JIBC bookstore before the start of the semester.

Do I need to be employed in the field?

Does this program qualify for BC student loans?
Yes. Please see information on JIBC Financial Aid & Awards.


Graduates of the Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies program can expect to apply for professional and leadership positions in emergency management, public safety, business continuity and security with:

  • Municipal, provincial, regional and federal emergency programs
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Educational institutions
  • International organizations, such as the Red Cross
  • Private security agencies
  • Crown corporations
  • Utilities
  • Private businesses in areas such as transportation, natural resources, gaming, hospitality and recreation

Typical Job Titles Could Include:

  • Emergency Program Manager
  • Emergency Program Coordinator
  • Emergency Planner
  • Security Coordinator
  • Director of Safety and Security
  • Manager, Public Safety
  • Director of Emergency Management
  • Disaster Planning Coordinator

For specific job opportunities, visit our Facebook page where new positions across Canada are posted or follow us on Twitter.

Last updated March 23, 2020