Emphasis in Law and Policy

Coordinator: Devin Penner


Knowledge of law and policy is essential for many career paths and for informed citizen participation in public affairs. The Emphasis in Law and Policy is intended for students interested in career preparation, critical reflection on legal and policy questions, and advocacy on public issues.

To be eligible, students must successfully complete the requirements of both the Emphasis Program and the Honours or General program in which they are enrolled. The transcripts of students graduating with an Honours or General degree, who have successfully completed the requirements of the Emphasis Program, will contain the notation “with an Emphasis in Law and Policy.”

Eligibility for the Emphasis is determined when students complete their application to graduate. No other registration procedures are required during the student's undergraduate programme. If you have completed the required courses, the Emphasis should be added automatically to your transcript. Still, it is a good idea to make a note on your application to graduate that you qualify for the Emphasis.


The Emphasis in Law & Policy consists of six credits from the courses listed below. These must include at least 1.5 credits from Category A – Policy and at least 1.5 credits from Category B – Law.

Category A – Policy

CAST-HIST-POST 2215H – “Empire Ontario,” 1867-1945

CAST-HIST-POST 2225H – Ontario since 1945: From “the common good” to “common sense”

CAST-GEOG-POST-WMST 2245H – Social and political economy of contemporary Canadian immigration

CAST-HIST-INDG 2255Y/2256H – History of the Indians in Canada

CAST-POST-SOCI 3000Y – Reading the Social: Space, Difference, and Power in Canada

CAST-HIST-INDG 3335H – First Nations and the welfare state 1940-1980

CAST-POST-SOCI 3665H – Canada: State, society, power

CAST-SOCI-WMST 4550Y/4551H – Gender and disability in Canada

CAST-HIST-POST 4771H (4770Y) – Canadian Social Policy, 1830–1950

CAST-HIST-POST 4772H – Canadian Social Policy, 1951–2014


ECON-CAST 2610H – The Canadian economy

ECON 3020H – Financial economics
ECON 3110H – International trade
ECON 3120H – International Finance
ECON 3160H – Public Economics

ECON-ADMN-IDST 3310H – The economics of developing countries

ECON-ADMN-IDST 3330H – The economics of global interdependence
ECON 3410H – Industrial organization

ECON 3510H – Labour economics

ECON-ERST 3810H – Environmental economics

ECON 3840H – Health economics 

ERST-POST 2100H – Environmental science and politics

ERST-CAST 2525H – Critical environmental thinking: Political economy and policy process

ERST-CAST-POST 3120H – Canadian environmental policy
ERST-IDST-POST-SAFS 3602H – Environment and development

ERST-CAST 3780H – Canadian renewable resource economics and project planning

ERST-IDST-POST-SAFS 4610H – Global environmental policy
ERST-CAST-HIST 4670H – Environmental history

HIST 3150Y/3151H – Culture and politics in the international history of the United States, 1900-1989

IDST-ANTH-GEOG-SAFS-SOCI 2500H – World food system

IDST-ANTH-SAFS 2600H (2210Y) – Peasants, food agrarian change
IDST 3100Y – International development studies in an economic context
IDST-POST 3220H – Global political economy

IDST 3790Y – Local dynamics of change

IDST-POST-WMST 3881H – Gender, globalization, and resistance

IDST 4120H – Global migration

IDST-GEOG 4130H – Global metropolis
IDST 4220Y – Assessment of development projects
IDST-POST-SOCI 4230H – Global civil society

IDST-CAST-POST 4240Y – Canada, globalization, and international development

IDST-POST 4260H – Global governance and social justice

INDG-POST 2000Y – Politics and Indigenous communities

PHIL-POST 3180H – Social and political philosophy

POST 1001H (1000Y) – Power and politics in the global era: Introduction

POST 1002H – Power and politics in the global era: Issues

POST-CAST 2011H (2010Y) – Governing Canada: Issues and Challenges

POST-CAST 2012H – Democratizing Canada: Contemporary Issues
POST 3015H – Urban Governance in Canada

POST 3170H – U.S. Politics

POST 3200H – Ordering world politics I: US foreign policy in the 20th century
POST-CAST 3210H – Ordering world politics II: Canadian foreign policy in the 20th century

POST 3280H – Critical security studies

POST-WMST 3360H – The body politic/the body in politics

POST 3420H – Poverty, politics, and protest: A comparative perspective

POST 3605H – Policy Analysis: Methods and Applications

POST-CAST 4055H – Contemporary Canadian problems

POST-CAST 4081H (4080Y) – Canadian politics and public policy

POST-CAST 4082H – Federal and provincial power in Canada

POST-CAST-GEOG 4555H – City, economy, and society: Urban restructuring and the global economy

SAFS 4100H – Canadian food and agriculture policy

SOCI 2220H – Social inequality

SOCI 2610H – Deviance and social control

SOCI 2630H – Sociology of health and illness

SOCI 3410H – Sociology of education

SOCI 3601H – Critical criminology

SOCI 3631H – Sociology of health care

SOCI-CAST-POST 3661H – Race, ethnicities and multiculturalism

SOCI-POST 3820H – Social movements and protest

SOCI 4620H – Studies in social policy


WMST-NURS 2121H (2120Y) – Women and health

WMST-CAST-HIST 2711H – Acting Up! Feminism and History in Canada

WMST-CAST-POST 4430Y/4431H – Growing gap: Gender (in)justice in Canada

Category B – Law

ADMN 3250H – The legal environment of business

ANTH 2040H – Law and order in ancient and contemporary cultures

CAST-POST 4460H – Security, surveillance, and the making of the contemporary Canadian State


ERST 3110H – Environment impact assessment: A case study approach
ERST 3250H – Introduction to environmental law
ERST-IDST-POST 3603H – Transnational environmental justice

ERST 4250H – Environmental law and regulation


FRSC 1100H – Introduction to Canadian justice

HIST 3381H – Espionage and national security in North America

HIST-FRSC 3711H – The history of incarceration

HIST-FRSC 3751Y/4751Y – The history of crime in England


IDST-SOCI 3120H – Law, rights, and development

IDST-SOCI 3121H – Human rights—Theory and practice

INDG 3401H (3400Y) – Law and Indigenous Peoples: Foundations

INDG 3402H – Law and Indigenous Peoples: Litigating Aboriginal Rights 


PHIL 1200H – Critical thinking

PHIL-POST 2150H – Philosophy of law

PHIL-POST 3140H – Justice & rights


POST-CAST 3091H – Law and constitutional issues

POST-CAST 3092H – Law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

SOCI 4270H – Sociology of law


WMST-CAST-POST 3962H – Gender, Sexualities, and the Law

WMST-CAST-SOCI 3966H – Criminalizing and punishing women



The Emphasis in Law and Policy does not give undergraduate students a significant advantage in applications to law schools. Law school applications are viewed most favourably when a student has an Honours degree with high standing in an undergraduate programme, typically in the humanities or social sciences, and a good score on the standardized law school admissions test (LSAT). The Emphasis provides a foundation in law and policy that is useful for many careers.

Departments and Programmes may not offer all the courses that qualify as credits in the Emphasis in any given year. Students should be aware that planning beyond the current academic year may require corresponding with the Chairs of the Departments and Programmes whose courses interest them. The Coordinator of the Emphasis does not make the decisions as to which courses will be offered.

Courses in the Law and Policy Program may have prerequisites. In planning their Emphasis, students should carefully take this into account.

The course listings in the 2016-2017 Calendar entry for the Emphasis (p. 231) were compiled in the Winter of 2016. Errors, revisions and additions to the listings will be posted on this page as they are confirmed. Departments and Programmes will offer Special Topics courses from time to time that may qualify as either Law or Policy courses. Since these are occasional offerings, they are not permanent listings in the Calendar but students should consult with the Coordinator to determine whether they can be counted on a one-time basis.

Both the Trent University Calendar and the lists on this web site may refer to courses that have been discontinued or have not been offered for some time. Students should be aware that newer courses may exclude older courses which covered similar course material (i.e., if you earned credit for the excluded course in the past you may not earn additional credit for the newer course) and should consult the Calendar or correspond with the Chair of the Department or Programme to ensure that they can receive credit for the newer course.

The Trent University Calendar and lists on this web site of courses that may be counted for credit in the Emphasis will always include a number of courses that are no longer offered to accommodate students who may take longer than the usual time to complete a degree, or re-enter the University after an absence.