Communications (Associate of Arts)

Admission Type
Open Enrolment - General Admission Requirements

Overview

The Associate Degree in Communications enhances your writing, speaking, communication and interpersonal skills to help you excel in careers in communications, business, marketing, journalism, media and public relations. You’ll take communication courses that cover practical writing, spoken communications, presentation skills, language studies, global media, workplace writing and more.

Is Communications a good career?

According to the BC Labour Outlook, careers in public relations, advertising and marketing are on the rise, with over 4,000 new jobs predicted from now until 2029.  Similarly, careers in the writing field are listed as a high opportunity occupation with over 1,500 new writing jobs predicted from now until 2029.

What is an Associate degree?

Associate degrees take two years to complete and concentrate on one area of study. If you plan your courses carefully with a university program in mind, you’ll be able to transfer all 60 credits to university. In most cases, an associate degree will allow you to enter the third year of a four-year bachelor's degree program. To ensure your courses transfer, see the BC Transfer Guide.  

Get paid, full-time work experience during your studies

Put your skills to work by joining the optional Co-operative Education Program, which alternates semesters of study with paid, full-time work in your field. You’ll earn money while gaining experience, building your resume and getting an employer reference, all before you graduate.

To participate in Co-op you need to plan two semesters in advance, so we strongly recommend contacting the Co-op Office at the start of your program.
 

Program Requirements

Curriculum Framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 60 credits as listed below
  • Require a minimum program GPA of 2.00

(Specializations will be noted on the transcript and will not be noted on the credential)

Course Requirements:

To complete an Associate of Arts Degree with a Specialization in Communications, students must complete:

  • 18 or more credits (of the 60 credits required for their associate degree) in Communications
  • nine of those 18 credits must be considered second-year courses. To qualify as a second-year course, a course must transfer to one of the research universities (SFU, UBC, UVic, or UNBC) at the second-year level.

The following are the general requirements for an Associate of Arts Degree at any B.C. college:

  • 6 credits (2 courses) first-year English* electives
  • 6 credits (2 courses) Humanities** electives
  • 6 credits (2 courses) Social Sciences** electives
  • 6 credits (2 courses) Arts** electives
  • 18 credits (6 courses) second-year Arts** electives in 2 or more subject areas
  • 3 credits (1 course) Lab Science elective
  • 3 credits (1 course) Math, Statistics or Computing Science elective
  • 3 credits (1 course) Math, Statistics or Science elective
  • 9 credits (3 courses) other University Transfer electives

English courses can include courses in written Communications and Creative Writing that transfer to one of the B.C. research universities (SFU, UBC, UBC-O, UVic or UNBC) as English credit. A maximum of 3 credits can come from such an equivalent; at least 3 credits must be earned in an actual ENGL course, so-named. For purposes of the Associate of Arts degree, English courses cannot be counted as Humanities courses. 

** Arts courses are available in the Faculty of Languages, Literature, and Performing Arts, and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. To confirm whether a course is designated as "humanities" or "social sciences", check with an Academic Advisor. Courses in Economics and Mathematics also may be used as Arts electives toward an Associate of Arts Degree. 

Definitions:

A University Transferable course is a course that transfers to one of the Research Universities - SFU, UBC (UBCV or UBCO), UNBC, or UVIC in the BC Transfer Guide.

  • An Arts course is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate of Arts Degree at one of the research universities.
  • A Science course is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate of Science Degree or Baccalaureate of Applied Science Degree at one of the research universities. 
  • The requirements specified above are intended to provide breadth of exposure to a variety of disciplines in both Arts and Sciences. In some instances there may be some ambiguity as to whether a course is in the Humanities or Social Sciences and is an Arts course or a Science course. Most Physical Geography and Mathematics would be designated as Science courses.
  • A course in an "other" area is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate Degree other than in Arts, Science or Applied Science at one of the research universities.
  • first-year course is defined as a course that has assigned or unassigned transfer credit at the 100-level at one of the research universities.
  • second-year course is defined as a course that has assigned or unassigned transfer credit at the 200-level or higher level at one of the research universities.
  • laboratory science course is one in which a substantial component of instruction involves the study of natural phenomena, either in the laboratory or in the field.

For detailed information you should meet with an Student Success Advisor.

Co-operative Education Option:

Students enrolled in this program may be eligible for a Co-operative Education designation. Co-operative Education involves alternating full-time academic and work terms. For information contact the Co-operative Education Office.

Admissions Requirements

Cost

You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

Career Pathways

Career opportunities include:

  • Advertising Executive 
  • Campaign Worker 
  • Census Clerk 
  • Communication and Event Assistant 
  • Fundraiser 
  • Marketing Coordinator 
  • Media Relations Coordinator 
  • Multimedia Specialist 
  • Public Relations Agent 
  • Volunteer Coordinator

Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

FAQs

  • To enhance your written, oral, and interpersonal skills in workplace and personal settings.
  • To meet the requirements of some programs at the College or (as designated) to apply them towards university degree studies.

  • To enhance interpersonal effectiveness in one-to-one and group settings.
  • To learn how to manage interpersonal conflict in personal and workplace settings.

Anyone who wants to develop constructive relationships in multicultural personal and workplace settings.

It will help you to manage your fears, as you will have opportunities to practice public speaking and develop vocal, verbal, and nonverbal speech delivery skills.

Check with Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) to determine whether you can gain credit for your knowledge or experience in the subject area. 

Evaluation varies depending upon the course. Evaluations might include written assignments, quizzes, research papers, video/audio tape projects or oral presentations.

Some programs require that you take certain Communications courses. You should check your program's requirements.

For written communications courses, you'll need to take an Assessment Test to help determine the best course for you. For other Communications courses, refer to the course descriptions, or you might want to speak with the course instructor to help you select the most suitable course. 

Please consult with the Assessment Centre for details. 

It is strongly recommended that you follow the advice you receive as it will likely help to make your learning a more enjoyable and worthwhile experience. Please refer to the Assessment Centre for more details. 

Written communication courses focus on workplace and business settings, while English courses are geared toward academic writing.

Interpersonal courses will offer you tools to manage yourself and others during situations of conflict. Many of these courses focus on workplace settings.

If the course is full, you may have the option to wait-list for the course using the online student registration system.  

Yes and No. If you are not a student in that particular program, you normally cannot register for that section of the course. 

However, if there is another section of the course that is not restricted and you meet the prerequisites, you may enrol in it. Do note, however, that the program restriction on some sections is lifted on a date identified on the course listing in your registration material. You may register in such sections after that date.