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Communications (Associate of Arts)

Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Communications
Credits: 60.0
Length: Four semesters
Credential: Associate Degree
Admission Type: Open Enrolment - General Admission Requirements
curriculum framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 60 credits as listed below
  • Require a minimum 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, UBC-O, 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. 


A course is defined by the subject for which it is granted transfer credit at one of the research universities (SFU, UBC, UBC-O, UNBC, or UVic).

  • 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 Academic 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.

admission requirements

Applicants must meet the admission requirements listed below:

program 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.

curriculum 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.

Why should I take written Communications courses?

  • 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.

Why should I take interpersonal Communications courses?

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

Who takes courses in multicultural/intercultural Communications?

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

Will the oral communications course help me overcome my fear of speaking in public?

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.

What if I already have the knowledge or experience covered in a course?

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

How are students evaluated in Communications courses?

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

Are Communications courses prerequisites for other courses?

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

I need to improve or upgrade my written, oral, or interpersonal communications skills in my current work situation. What courses should I take?

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. 

How does the writing assessment work? Is it pass/fail?

Please consult with the Assessment Centre for details. 

Do I need to follow the advice given by the Assessment Test?

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. 

How are written Communication courses different from English writing courses?

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

Will a Communications course help me with unruly customers/clients? Supervisor/peers at work?

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, how do I get a place in it?

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

If a section of a course is restricted to students from a particular program, can I still register for it?

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 enroll 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.