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Delivery Model

The BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (BAIS) program consists of three modules:

  • Foundation courses
  • An academic area of focus
  • A professional focus

Foundation

You will begin your studies with two concurrent online courses. These foundational courses provide an introduction to the learning community, facilitate an understanding of basic program learning outcomes and guide you towards establishing career goals.

  • INDS300 Writing Across Disciplines provides instruction in writing for academic and professional fields of practice, and fosters critical reading skills.
  • INDS310 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies leads you into a thorough understanding of interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity. The course explores the benefits and challenges of integrating knowledge across professional fields and academic disciplines. 

After completion of these two courses, you will move into your 36-credit academic area of focus. These credits are a combination of pre-approved courses at Royal Roads, and up to 12 credits from an approved area of specialty at another, qualifying post-secondary institution.

Students who wish to take courses at another post-secondary institution must first request permission from the program head to apply these credits to the BAIS degree.

Academic Focus

You will select a total of 36 credits (up to 12 as transfer credits from other institutions and the balance from Royal Roads courses), in your area of focus. You may choose Royal Roads courses from the following four program areas, however, selection may be subject to availability and course prerequisites:

  • Environmental Practice
  • Justice Studies
  • Professional Communication
  • Business

You may complete up to 12 credits at the 300/400 level at other institutions as per your personal learning plan.

As a BAIS student, you are eligible to participate in Vancouver Island University’s international field schools in the Liberal Studies department, typically a 9-credit interdisciplinary study of European culture abroad.

Professional Focus

Once you have completed all of your coursework, you will move on to a 3-credit independent study and a 9-credit internship. The independent study focuses on the academic and professional literature in your area of concentration, and is self-paced and guided by a faculty member.

The internship offers an applied learning experience, and you will be supported in finding your own placement. If you have substantial professional experience you are eligible to file a course challenge for the internship.

Finally, you will complete a 6-credit capstone senior research paper/project to demonstrate your applied research skills and understanding of research ethics and methods. You may engage in primary or secondary research. The senior research paper/project constitutes approximately 200 hours of work, and you will be paired with a faculty member who has expertise in the particular subject area you are focusing on. This faculty member will supervise both your senior research paper/project and independent study.

Program Competencies

In addition to the individualized program learning outcomes, you will achieve basic competency or more in five knowledge domains upon graduation:

Communication

  • Effective interpersonal and public communication (speaking, listening and feedback skills)
  • Effective preparation and presentation of written and visual materials
  • Ability to communicate ethically in diverse and difficult circumstances

Knowledge

  • Application of subject-specific expertise to contribute to problem-solving in applied fields of practice
  • Identification and use of appropriate research, assessment and reporting methods for the investigation and analysis of an issue, problem or project

Leadership and Teamwork

  • Leadership in personal learning and decision-making
  • Facilitation of the learning and decision-making ability of others
  • Developing and modelling personal and team visions, values and practices

Critical Thinking 

  • Application of critical thinking to the integration of objective and subjective knowledge in practice
  • Identification of and use of values and ethics when formulating solutions and recommendations

Global Awareness

  • Use of disciplinary concepts and links among these to explain how global and local issues are interconnected
  • Demonstration of how a global issue can be reflected in local events, and vice versa
  • Understanding of cultural dynamics underpinning the formation of local, regional and national communities and cultural identities