Investigative Sciences and Police Studies

Seneca College Certificate


In an ever changing society, the demands placed on our police forces and security firms are diverse and complex. Professionals in this field must not only be sensitive to the socio-cultural environment in which they work, but must also keep abreast of the latest technological and legal developments. A career in law enforcement and security offers many rewards including attractive salaries and benefits. The wealth of life experiences and good judgement adults possess is highly valued by public police and corporate security recruitment offices. The specialized curriculum in this 6 course certificate program proves invaluable to those wishing to pursue careers in the dynamic field of policing.

This is an entry-level program designed to meet the training needs of individuals with little or no background in the field of police studies. It is also suitable for those contemplating a career change.

This program has been designed for those seeking new career opportunities. The Police Studies program provides students with an understanding of the Canadian Justice System and its public enforcement. The primary objective is to provide students with a background in fundamental areas of knowledge required for public law enforcement and corporate security. The courses offered assist those students who are preparing for a career in police services or in private security.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program may pursue careers in the following areas:

  • Public Police Services
  • Private Security and Investigation Firms
  • Transportation Police
  • Bylaw Enforcement

Entry Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma with Grade 12 English.
  • Or Mature Student Status (age 19 or Older). Mature students are recommended to enrol in College/University Prep - English course to meet academic requirements for entry into ISPS program.
  • Those who have not successfully completed Grade 12 English or its equivalent should consider upgrading their English language skills via the College/University Prep courses or the English as a Second Language program.
  • Students may begin the Police studies program in the Fall, Winter or Summer semester.
  • It is highly recommended that students have good English wrting skills.


  • Although not required for admission, basic computer knowledge, a moderate degree of physical fitness and completion of a secondary school law course is recommended.
  • Students are required to be highly literate and have good analytical skills to be successful in the program.

The Importance of Learning Skills:

Student success in college requires well developed learning skills (such as being able to work independently, participate in a team, be well-organized, develop good work habits, and show initiative). These skills are as important as prior academic achievement. While it is expected that applicants would have developed these skills through previous education and life experiences, Seneca offers support to assist students with further development of these important skills. Seminars, workshops and tutoring are available at Seneca's Learning Centres.

Filter Classes: In Class     Online     Correspondence     Hybrid     Availability   

Due to COVID-19, all Part-time Studies courses are being offered online until further notice, in one of the following two formats: online virtual classroom and online self-directed. Click Availability below to see current offerings.


Mandatory Courses (5 Required)

Criminal Justice System & Community Services

The maintenance of social order and control is fundamental to contemporary society and is exercised through a system of justice. The administration of justice encompasses a number of agencies, each of which necessarily interacts formally with the others. These agencies are the police, the courts and corrections. Additionally, various community and volunteer services assist in the broad justice role. The justice system is dynamic, and attempts to reflect the wishes of the society it serves, but opposing issues are always present. This foundation course examines the roles and inter-relatedness of the three agencies and discusses current issues.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Criminal Law & The Charter of Rights & Freedoms

The basis of and responsibility for criminal law in Canada is discussed, and the Criminal Code is examined as to its purposes, structure, format and uses. The concept of criminal responsibility, and the classic defences to a criminal charge are analyzed. The implementation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 has had a dramatic effect on criminal law in its emphasis on individual rights, and especially those of an accused person. This has compelled the police to be meticulous in their adherence to such procedures as providing information to an accused person, obtaining evidence and conducting searches in a manner sanctioned by statute and precedent law. The principles and purposes of the Charter, its override powers by the state where necessary and appropriate, and the remedies to a Charter breach, are discussed as an integral preface to further criminal law studies.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.


This course focuses on the enhancements of communication skills frequently used by law enforcement officers. Students write notebook entries and complete forms and reports following guidelines used by law enforcement agencies.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Arrest, Search and Force

Few courses are as integral to the police and security roles as those of arrest, the use of force, and search. In these vital areas, the circumstances under which arrest is justified are discussed, together with the related topics of the use of force in arresting, the immediate search of the person arrested, and the rights of the person arrested. The protections available to the person arresting, and the various situations under which the accused person must be released or may be detained are studied. The broad function of the search of a person, place or vehicle with or without warrant is examined and the law as it pertains to the lawful use of force, and the limits placed on that use.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Rules of Evidence

Fraud investigators engage in just about any type of investigation, including criminal or civil, and must always work within the limits of the law. Students are introduced to the rules of statutory, civil and criminal laws relevant to the conduct of forensic investigations. They gain an understanding of the Canadian legal system and familiarize themselves with the rules of evidence; federal and provincial statutory, civil and common law systems; the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; the court systems in Canada; and the Canadian Criminal Code and the Criminal Justice System. Differences between direct and circumstantial evidence are also explored.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Professional Option - Select 1

Principles of Ethical Reasoning

This course focuses on ethical issues faced by the individual as a person and more particularly as a professional in a position of authority and responsibility. It helps students clarify values and establish a framework for ethical decision making. It also stresses the importance of moral philosophy as a component of the decision making process.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Interpersonal Relations and Conflict Management

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts, theories and practices involved in effective interpersonal relations and conflict management. The goal is to enable students to become more understanding, sensitive, skillful and self-assured in dealing with the many difficult interpersonal situations that they encounter both personally and professionally. Additionally, this course serves to familiarize students with the expanding area of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

  1. LAS102 or CTM106 acceptable for graduation purposes.
  2. LAS110 or DMS106 acceptable for graduation purposes.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the Canadian Criminal Justice System.
  2. Explain the purpose, structure, and implementation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  3. Explain police and security roles related to arrest, the use of force, and search.
  4. Document in report formats, facts, investigative actions, events, people, places and objects.
  5. Use appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication to apply effective conflict resolution strategies.

Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.

The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.

Transfer Credit

Many students who enter Seneca College will have earned academic credits in post-secondary educational institutions which they may be able to apply toward completion of a Seneca College program.

Requests for Transfer Credit must be for a specific course and must be accompanied by an official transcript and course outline. A minimum grade of "C" (60 percent) is generally required for a course to be considered for Transfer Credit.

Download a Transfer Credit Request form. An official copy of your transcript and applicable detailed course outlines should be attached and submitted. Please note it may take 4 to 6 weeks for a Transfer Credit decision.

More Information

Please visit the Office of the Registrar.


The Centre for Flexible Learning offers students this alternative method to learning that is free from the traditional classrooms. Fees vary from course to course. For complete information and course descriptions, refer to our website.

All of the courses are available online except:

LAS102 – Law Enforcement Communication
LAS110 – Decision Making - Training for Police Officers


When you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a certificate, diploma, or degree, you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the graduation and alumni fee. Certificates, diplomas, and applied degrees are issued twice a year in the Fall (October) and Spring (June).

For further information including deadlines and fees, please visit the  Convocation website or contact the Convocation Office at 416-491-5050 ext. 77461.

Minimum Performance for Graduation

A student will be eligible to graduate from a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or graduate certificate program if they have achieved a minimum graduating GPA of 2.0.

A student will be eligible to graduate from a degree program if they have achieved a minimum graduating GPA of 2.5, which includes a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the courses in their main field of study and a minimum GPA of 2.0 in breadth courses.

Program Contacts

Jacqueline Bar
Program Assistant
416-491-5050 ext.22505

Lisa Harfield
Academic Program Manager
416-491-5050 ext.22526

For more information about this program, fill out the following form.