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Introduction to the Communication Professions

Course Code: CMNS 3000
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Communications
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course provides an introduction to the roles, practices, and contexts of professional communicators, with an emphasis on professional writing and professional readiness.

Course Content

1. Learning about Contexts for Professional Communication

 Students will

  • examine concepts of communication as a political, social, and cultural activity
  • interview a professional communicator regarding his or her writing process and the influence of workplace culture
  • write a profile and prepare a presentation based on the interview
  • understand how technological change affects writers

2. Analyzing and Producing Professional Writing

Students will

  • examine models of the writing process and diversify their own process as needed for different writing tasks
  • analyze selected genres for their textual and situational features
  • examine the functional importance of recurring patterns within selected written genres
  • assess the appropriateness of language choices
  • demonstrate their understanding of traditional English grammar, punctuation, and style in their own written work
  • gain a practical understanding of the value of feedback on written work and be able to use that feedback effectively 

3. Developing Professional Readiness

Students will

  • review current and emerging job markets and work opportunities
  • research  key business and industry sectors
  • identify key features of effective resumes and portfolios for professional communicators
  • prepare satisfactory mini-portfolios (cover letters, resumes, other material) in preparation for professional experience coursework
  • understand the basics of contracts and work plans for professional communicators

Methods of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  • lecture/discussion
  • group work
  • peer review
  • independent research or project
  • instructor feedback on students’ work
  • individual consultation
  • presentation (individual or group)
  • guest speakers
  • field trips

Means of Assessment

Students are expected to be self-motivated and to demonstrate professionalism, which includes active participation, good attendance, punctuality, effective collaboration, ability to meet deadlines, presentation skills, and accurate self-evaluation.

Evaluation will be based on this general format:

Short essay 10%
Report on professional association 10%
Interview-based profile and presentation 25%
Mini-portfolio 20%
Final exam 25%
Professionalism/participation (as defined above)                              10%

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will

  1. understand the role of professional communicators in different contexts
  2. write intensively to develop skill, style, and speed
  3. become aware of the ethical responsibilities of professional communicators
  4. be introduced to and expected to demonstrate professional readiness skills
  5. learn about the current and emerging job markets and other work options for professional communicators

course prerequisites

Acceptance into the Post-Degree Diploma in Professional Communication

or a minimum of 45 credit hours including a university-transfer course in English, Communications, or Creative Writing with a grade of B or higher

or permission of the Professional Communication program coordinator



curriculum guidelines

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

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.