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Advanced Professional Communications Certificate

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  • Objectives
    Students learn how to write a wide range of professional business documents, to write and market freelance articles, to plan media strategies for business or non-profit organizations, and to develop and deliver presentations. The program also gives students the chance to study the foundations of communications theory.
  • Academic Title
    Advanced Professional Communications Certificate
  • Course description
    First Term    Course Credits
    Required:    15.00
    • CMNS 112    Introduction to Communications Studies    3.00
    • CMNS 132    Explorations in Mass Media    3.00
    • CMNS 170    Presentation Skills for Public Speaking    3.00
    • CMNS 190    Article Writing    3.00
    • ENGL 100    Academic Writing Strategies    3.00
    Credits    15.00

    Second Term    Course Credits

    Choose 3.00 credits from the following list:    3.00
    • CMNS 220    Advanced Business Writing and Editing    3.00
    • CMNS 250    Introduction to Technical Writing    3.00
    Required:    12.00
    • CMNS 222    Decoding Media Strategies    3.00
    • CMNS 231    Cultural Industries in Canada    3.00
    • CMNS 270    Visual Communications    3.00
    • CMNS 360    Strategic Communications    3.00
    Credits    15.00
    Total Program Credits    30.00

    CMNS 112    Introduction to Communications Studies
    3.00 credits    (3,0,1) hrs    15 wks
    This course is intended to introduce students to the history and theory of communication and media. It examines changes in communication technologies and symbol systems starting with the emergence of speech in human society and considers the relationship between the development of new media and forms of communication and patterns of social, political, and cultural development.

    CMNS 132    Explorations in Mass Media
    3.00 credits    (3,0,1) hrs    15 wks
    This course examines the emergence and importance of mass media in society. It explores theoretical considerations and approaches to communications studies including the role of media in democracy, political economy of media, critical studies and media structures. A number of media industries are examined in detail, including print, broadcast and film, and the course considers other issues including new media and globalization. This is a writing intensive course.

    CMNS 170    Presentation Skills for Public Speaking
    3.00 credits    (4,0,0) hrs    15 wks
    This course focuses on the dynamics of organizing material, overcoming shyness and developing poise as a speaker in a variety of contexts. Attention to research, voice training, nonverbal communication, and strategies for timing presentations are key components of this course. In addition, this course uses video equipment, enabling students to see themselves on camera, as well as to benefit from feedback from others, as they refine their ability to project, to organize their thoughts, and to address audience needs.

    CMNS 190    Article Writing
    3.00 credits    (4,0,0) hrs    15 wks
    This course covers researching and writing articles for publication in news media and magazines. In addition, this course emphasizes the analysis of magazine readership, techniques of researching and interviewing, the current market for articles, and development of an effective prose style. Students write three articles in suitable format and submit them for publication in established periodicals.

    CMNS 220    Advanced Business Writing and Editing
    3.00 credits    (4,0,0) hrs    15 wks
    Prerequisite: ENGL 100
    This course focuses on researching, organizing, writing and editing extensive business documents: reports, proposals, memoranda, and media releases. Emphasis is on clear style and logical organization.

    CMNS 222    Decoding Media Strategies
    3.00 credits    (3,0,1) hrs    15 wks
    Prerequisite: CMNS 112 and 132
    This course offers a critical introduction to the study of popular culture and popular media. This course explores the development of contemporary popular culture as an expression of the tensions unleashed by the emergence of mass consumer society, post-industrialism, and media. Popular culture is seen as a mode in which modern societies play out tensions between consumerism and citizenship, democracy and social control, ethical and social responsibility and individualism, creative expression and political-economic domination. We explore critical issues in popular culture and media through an examination of key debates, historical trends, and ethical issues.

    CMNS 231    Cultural Industries in Canada
    3.00 credits    (3,0,1) hrs    15 wks
    Prerequisite: CMNS 112 and 132
    This course provides an overview of the cultural industries in Canada - those industries that create and disseminate meaning. The course introduces students to print, broadcasting, film, the Internet, and other cultural industries in Canada and internationally. It explores the business structure and economics of principal sectors, and key regulatory and policy issues in their social, political, cultural and global contexts. This course utilizes cultural theory and political economy approaches to study and critically analyze these industries and their role in society.

    CMNS 250    Introduction to Technical Writing
    3.00 credits    (3,0,1) hrs    15 wks
    Prerequisite: ENGL 100
    The course includes the examination of technical reports and the study of the role of technical writing in corporate and scientific settings. It covers technical writing for science, engineering and the professions and emphasizes definitions, process analysis, writing instructions, resume preparation, and an extended formal report.

    CMNS 270    Visual Communications
    3.00 credits    (4,0,0) hrs    15 wks
    Prerequisite: ENGL 100 or CMNS 120
    This course is intended for students of communications and business who are interested in examining what we see in the mass media and how we see it. Using photography as the basis, the course explores vision as a physiological and psychological phenomenon, examines the history and use of the camera and develops a number of perspectives for analyzing images. Students then examine in detail different aspects of visual media, including topography, newspapers, magazines, advertising, movies, television/video and computer images, analyzing the "framed" world in mass media representation. Assignments are practical projects.

    CMNS 360    Strategic Communications
    3.00 credits    (3,0,1) hrs    15 wks
    Prerequisite: CMNS 112 or 132 or 220
    This applied course provides an overview of the range of skills and strategies required for working in corporate, community and government communications fields. The focus is on practical information and media design, and utilizes a case-study approach in which students work both alone and in groups in simulated communications projects. The course covers topics such as relations with the public, media and government, internal organizational communications, working with stakeholders/investors, crisis communications, corporate advertising and public branding. Students will create communications pieces, develop corporate/organizational identities, and develop and present complex strategic communications plans for a business, government, or non-profit/NGO client.
    Note: Prerequisite may be waived by permission of instructor or coordinator.

    ENGL 100    Academic Writing Strategies
    3.00 credits    (4,0,0) hrs    15 wks
    Prerequisite: See information on English Diagnostic Test in the Registration section of the College Calendar.
    This course emphasizes academic research and essay writing skills in a lively context that encourages and enhances both critical thinking and critical reading expertise.
    Note: For the focus of the course each term, see the "Courses" page on the English Department website.

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