Family Studies and Human Development

Program Modules


As a student in Family Studies and Human Development you will gain the background to help you become a professional in one of the many careers that positively affect the well-being of Canadian families.

You will learn about many different aspects of family life and your classes will include material on everything from the diversity of families, to how individuals and families change and grow through the life course, to how laws and policies impact different kinds of families. Our students study diverse aspects of families: parenting; marriage; divorce; immigration; family violence; family finances; and more. Our approach is interdisciplinary, drawing upon psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, and other fields.

The Bachelor of Arts (Human Ecology) in Family Studies and Human Development gives you a foundation to pursue professional careers that work with families, through coursework in Family Studies and Human Development, Human Ecology, and the Social Sciences.

The Bachelor of Science (Human Ecology) Family Studies and Human Development offers an opportunity to develop a foundation in the study of the family and the food and nutritional sciences, combining courses in Family Studies and Human Development, Human Ecology, Foods and Nutrition and the Sciences.

With a degree in Family Studies and Human Development, you may choose to pursue graduate work in education, social work, or marriage and family therapy.

Professional Designation

Students who complete Human Ecology 2222F/G Professional Perspectives as part of a Family Studies and Human Development module are eligible for the Professional Home Economist (PHEc) designation offered by the Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA). This designation is endorsed by the Ontario Family Studies/Home Economics Educators Association (OFSHEEA) and the Ontario Family Studies Leadership Council (OFSLC).

Guaranteed Admission to the Faculty of Education at Western

Brescia University students can apply for guaranteed admission to the Faculty of Education. This applies to students interested in teaching at the Intermediate/Senior level with a first teachable in Family Studies and Human Development (plus a second teachable).

Application Requirements/Process:
If you are in year 2 or year 3 of a 4-year program, please complete the Expression of Interest for Guaranteed Admission Pathway to Western Education’s Bachelor of Education. This form can be submitted at any time during your 2nd or 3rd year.

If you are in year 4 of a 4-year degree, please complete the Application for Guaranteed Admission Pathway to Western Education’s Bachelor of Education. If you are in your final year, this application is due no later than September 30 of your final year, along with the two required Reference Letters and the Applicant’s Teaching Profile Statement. Additionally, you must complete the OUAC/TEAS application online by December 1 of your fourth year.

For more information, please contact Melanie Molnar, Associate Registrar, Student Success


Contact Us

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Edward Bell, Chair, School of Behavioural & Social Sciences at or 519-432-8353 x28236.


To learn about prerequisites for the Family Studies program, please click on the appropriate category below:


Application: Family Studies Practicum Application

Modular Changes

Please note that we have had some modular changes to our Foods and Nutrition program-Hons Spec in Nutrition and Dietetics as well as the Nutrition and Family program for students joining us in the 2019/2020 academic year. If you have visited the academic calendar recently, you might have noticed these changes. Please be advised that these changes do not affect anyone who started their studies at Brescia before September 2019.

If you started your studies prior to September 2019, we would suggest that you visit the archived version of the academic calendar which will have the appropriate module requirements that reflect the program to which you were accepted to:

More information regarding the modular changes, and outlining the program differences, can be found in the Modular Changes for Foods and Nutrition and Family Studies spreadsheet.

Modular Combinations

Students wishing to complete the BSc (Human Ecology) or BA (Human Ecology) must be registered at Brescia University. Students from other affiliated university colleges or the constituent university may complete the Major or Minor in Family Studies and Human Development as part of their degree requirements. Brescia students registered in the designated Honors Specialization, Specialization, or Major earn a Bachelor of Arts (Human Ecology) or a Bachelor of Science (Human Ecology).

Career Opportunities

The Family Studies and Human Development programs include aspects of family sociology, child psychology, clothing and textiles, foods and nutrition, housing and interior design, and personal economics and management.

These programs provide the basis for a diversity of careers in education, human services, government, health service, retail business, sales agencies, food service industries, marketing boards, and volunteer agencies and organizations.

Our graduates find rewarding careers in positions, such as:

  • Consumer relations
  • Curriculum planner, administrator
  • Laboratory technician
  • Liaison officer
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Sales, buying
  • Teacher, instructor, guidance counsellor

Further education and/or experience beyond the Family Studies and Human Development degree program may be required for some of these careers.

“During my time at Brescia, I always felt part of a community that actively showed they were interested in my future. I was able to get to know my classmates better due to smaller classroom sizes which led to lively discussions in and out of the classroom. My professors knew my name which made me feel I was a somebody not just a number. Sr.Corona particularly had a great impact on me and when she spoke to my mom and grandmother at Baccalaureate, I was floored when she said I had impacted her as well.  When I decided to come back to school, to obtain my second degree; the academic advisors remembered me and encouraged my dream to become a teacher. The Family Studies Program and my work history enabled me to fulfill that goal. Brescia’s mission statement to become a bold female leader spoke to me in such visceral way that I continue to encourage students to embrace whatever dream they may have, supporting them to become bold leaders as well.”

– Lisa Haagsma ’92 ’07


The full-time faculty members are:

The contract faculty members are:

  • Ms. Mary Kay Arundel
  • Ms. Darlene Balandin
  • Ms. Bridget DeMarchi
  • Ms. Michelle Gibson
  • Dr. Stephen Lin
  • Ms. Susan Toth
  • Ms. Maureen Reid