Course Description

This online course is 36 learning hours over twelve weeks. It is recommended that students spend a minimum of 3 hours each week on course work. Students may choose to complete more hours of work on the course in order to explore the content in more depth. 

This course introduces students to the general elements of local government and governance. It explains how municipalities fit into the constitutional framework, discusses the various reforms that have occurred throughout the years, discusses the processes and institutions of local government, and explains the context in which the governments exist.

Course Outline

Module 1: What are Local Governments

Module 2: The Evolution of the Local Government System

Module 3: Local Government and Governance

Module 4: Municipalities in a Wider World

Module 5: Future Prospects for Canadian Local Government

What You Will Learn

  • The link between municipal government and democracy
  • The pressures of growth and change, especially those associated with urbanization, and the impact of these pressures on traditional municipal systems
  • Approaches taken to municipal restructuring in the various provinces
  • The main challenges facing local governments today


The Faculty of OLCD recommends an intermediate level of English language proficiency for the most effective learning and participation in our online and face-to-face courses. A list of minimum recommended scores on some common English tests can be found on our website. If you have questions about your English language proficiency and ability to succeed in this course, please contact openlearning@dal.ca.

Recommended For

  • Municipal employees looking to advance their career
  • Individuals looking to transition to a career in local government
  • Individuals who interact with municipal staff and politicians
Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Local Government
Online - Self-Paced
Apr 05, 2024 to Jun 28, 2024
Total Learning Hours
Instruction Delivery Method(s)
Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit $1,045.00
Required Software
Students will require a webcam and microphone to participate in live sessions.
Section Notes

This course has scheduled written assignments and discussions within the term time frame. The syllabus will be available on the course site. The course site on Brightspace will be available by 4:00 PM AT on the course start date.

Days and times of scheduled meetings will be announced at a future date. Students who are unable to attend live sessions will be able to view a recorded version. 

Participants in this course are eligible for a T2202 tax receipt. T2202 tax receipts will be available for you to download from your account at the end of February of the following calendar year.

Required fields are indicated by .