Full-time Diploma 6175diplt

BCIT Graphic Communications Technology

Note: New admission procedures. View summary of changes

The world of printed communications is expanding and evolving at a rapid pace. Traditional print products are supplemented by digital delivery and technology advances in high-tech digital imaging. Graphic communications companies need highly skilled individuals and BCIT graduates are driving print media into the future.

The BCIT Graphic Communications Technology (GTEC) diploma program provides students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the business of digital imaging. In this program, you will design and produce marketing materials such as posters, large format signage, labels, brochures, books, and other finished products that organizations need to communicate with a connected and informed audience. You learn the latest graphic design software, business processes, art direction, production management, and how to operate high-tech imaging and finishing technologies.

As a BCIT Graphic Communications student, you learn these career-ready skills:
  • Devise business and marketing strategies incorporating print media
  • Use the latest graphic design software for effective visual communication
  • Design and create a variety of printed media projects
  • Use fonts and typography professionally
  • Operate many different high-tech imaging technologies
  • Use modern finishing techniques to complete real-world projects

Print & Imaging Job Placements

You will participate in a two week work experience at the end of the first year of study and a six week job placement in your graduating year. You will work with an established company to demonstrate your job ready skills and develop connections in the design, print imaging and publishing industries.

A Career in Printed Media

Graduates of the BCIT Graphic Communications program have extensive experience in operating, the latest in high-tech imaging systems. Graduates get hands on experience with digital, ink-jet, lithographic and flexographic processes in our modern lab. Design, print, large format, digital, label, and packaging companies are all hiring from the Graphic Communications Technology program.

Entry-Level Positions:
  • Entry-level Press Operator
  • Preflight Operator
  • Print Estimator
  • Bindery Operator
Mid-Level Positions:
  • Print Shop Manager
  • Printing Press Operator
  • Commercial Printing Plant Manager
  • Account Manager

Program Entry

Application processing

Open to applications beginning November 1st (or next business day)

Entrance requirements

Applicants must meet all entrance requirements and will be accepted on a first qualified basis as long as space remains.

Read more about how to meet BCIT’s entrance requirements

Recommended for success

  • It is strongly recommended that you assess your fundamental mathematical skills. The Mathematics Self-Diagnostic Test [PDF] is voluntary. If you find these problems difficult, we strongly recommend that you attend OPMT 0199. You should be able to do this exercise in about an hour, after which you should compare your answers with the correct ones supplied. If you scored less than 20 out of 26 correct, you should seriously consider upgrading your mathematical skills.

  • Applicants are encouraged to attend an information session before applying to this program. To view upcoming information session dates, please visit the overview page for this program.

  • Previous post-secondary study in fine arts and sciences will prove valuable.

  • Proficiency in keyboarding and applied computer skills is essential for program success.

  • Paid or volunteer experience in a traditional workplace will prove valuable.

Apply to program

BCIT accepts only complete applications. In order to apply:

  • Include proof of meeting all entrance requirements prior to submission
  • Convert all transcripts and supporting documents to PDF files
  • Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee
Apply Now

You can check the status of your application online at any time using the Student Information System.

Scheduled intakes

September each year.


Within 2 business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal e-mail and your myBCIT e-mail address. All correspondence about your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at my.bcit.ca. We'll send you an email when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these emails, or regularly check your account online.

You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within 4 weeks.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition cost [PDF] for the 2012-2013 year.

Tuition fees

Please see the Fees, Payments and Refunds section of the website for more information on full-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies

Approximate cost for books and supplies is $1,200 (general estimated cost, subject to change).

Steel-toed boots are required.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.


Located on the BCIT Burnaby campus, the facilities for the program include classroom space, fully networked Apple Computer labs, and a large warehouse/lab incorporating our graphic arts print shop with our high-tech pre-media, prepress, imaging and binding equipment. Classes range from theoretical to technical, with student time distributed between lectures, labs, and project work.

Class hours

Up to six hours a day, courses may be scheduled on some Saturdays and some may be scheduled in the evenings.

Program delivery

Approximate infrastructure facilities include a 16,000 sq. ft. fully networked facility with classroom and warehouse space that will provide a hands-on experience using industry standard equipment.

Program matrix

Level 1 Credits
  BUSA 1005 Introduction to Business 3.0
  COMM 1100 Business Communication 1 3.0
  FMGT 1152 Accounting for the Manager 3.0
  GTEC 1000 Industry Operations 2.0
  GTEC 1364 Press Operations 1 3.0
  GTEC 2150 File Construction and Page Layout 5.0
  GTEC 2180 Image Manipulation and Color Correction 3.0
  MDIA 2325 System Administration PC and MAC 4.0

Note: During the first week of Level 1, a math skills assessment test will be administered to all students. Based on the outcome, students may be required to attend a weekly Business Math Success workshop.

Level 2 Credits
  COMM 2200 Business Communication 2 4.0
  GTEC 2005 Electronic Prepress 1 3.0
  GTEC 2010 Term 2 Final Project 2.5
  GTEC 2160 Creating and Editing Graphics 3.0
  GTEC 2363 Digital Printing 1 3.5
  GTEC 2364 Press Operations 2 3.0
  GTEC 2365 Bindery and Finishing 1 5.0
  GTEC 2400 Term 2 Job Placement 3.5
  GTEC 3110 Estimating 3.5
  MDIA 2140 Color Management Systems 3.0
Level 3 Credits
  ECON 1150 Economic Issues 3.0
  GTEC 3005 Electronic Prepress 2 3.0
  GTEC 3200 Professional Practice in the Workplace 2.0
  GTEC 3360 E-commerce for Printers 2.0
  GTEC 3364 Press Operations 3 3.0
  GTEC 3367 Large Format Digital Signage 2.5
  MDIA 3049 Advanced Page Design and Construction 2.0
  MKTG 1102 Essentials of Marketing 3.0
  OPMT 1198 Operations Management Fundamentals 3.0
Level 4 Credits
  GTEC 3365 Bindery and Finishing 2 4.5
  GTEC 4010 Term 4 Final Project 2.0
  GTEC 4100 Account Management and Production Fundamentals 2.5
  GTEC 4363 Digital Printing 2 4.5
  GTEC 4364 Press Troubleshooting 3.0
  GTEC 4366 Print Process 3.0
  GTEC 4367 Process Control for Digital Workflows 2.5
  GTEC 4400 Term 4 Job Placement 10.5
  MKTG 1219 Professional Sales Skills 3.0
Total Credits: 119.0

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

The Graphic Communications Technology Program focuses on three core areas.
  • Business practices: including accounting, operations management, marketing and communications
  • Computer software: learn the Adobe Creative Suite, leading to pre-media, PDF production, imposition, proofing, and color management
  • Output: with hands-on experience in lithographic, flexographic, digital and ink jet print processes and bindery operations.
Application Software includes Adobe CS6: (Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Acrobat); Kodak Preps (Imposition); Kodak Prinergy (Workflow); Kodak CPS (Proofing); EFI PSI (Print Management); xRite profiling suite (Colour management); Fiery Command Workstation (RIP-Raster Image Processor); Onyx Productionhouse (RIP).


The program gives you a foundation in the latest in prepress software including the Adobe Creative Suite 6, proper PDF creation, Preps imposition software and Prinergy electronic Prepress workflow.

You have an opportunity to process a project from input right through to print-ready proofing

Print and Imaging

In every term, you take courses in the effective operation of a variety of print devices. From printing large-format banners and wraps, to running a lithographic press, the course delivery model for the manufacturing processes is primarily hands-on.

Post Production/Bindery

You receive a thorough orientation to bindery and finishing procedures. During these courses, you receive hands-on bindery and finishing experience in cutting and folding; as well as learning the basic setup and running of a saddle-stitcher and a Perfect Binder.

You learn how to read job dockets, plan work processes, run machines to production standards, consistently monitor work quality, and work in a team environment.

Marketing and Sales

An understanding of marketing and sales skills development are vital to a successful business. Within a team environment, you receive an overview of marketing concepts within today’s print and imaging companies and learn how to build specific marketing tactics and strategies. The emphasis is on the practical application of sales and marketing concepts to real-life business needs.

Program length

Two years, full-time


Minimum passing grade is 50 per cent.

Program location

Burnaby Campus
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC

Graduating & Jobs

Job Opportunities

The Graphics Communication Industry is currently demanding more jobs each year than BCIT can supply. You can expect to choose employment opportunities from many areas of design, print media and graphic communications businesses:
  • Graphic design
  • Pre-media
  • Production art
  • Prepress
  • Production management
  • Production planner
  • Customer service representative
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Estimating and pricing
  • Digital print operator
  • Press operations
  • Bindery and Finishing operations
  • Signage and vehicle wraps
  • Label manufacturing
  • Packaging design

Graduate employment outcomes

The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2011-2013 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2010-2012 Graduates and for Degree 2009-2011 Graduates. The reports are organized into two-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.

To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Instructors are industry professionals, usually in senior management or supervisory roles in Vancouver’s top Graphic Communications firms.

Current Faculty:

  • Mike Winteringham, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Metropolitan Printers
  • Grant Bailey, Vice President Pre Press, Rhino Print Solutions
  • Alan Martin, Product Support Manager, Kodak
  • Roberto Medieros, Production Print Solution Engineer, Ricoh Canada
  • Bieu Williams, Senior Solutions Specialist, Konica Minolta
  • Rob Kondratowski, Bindery Supervisor, Mitchell Press
  • Marty McKewan, Bindery Supervisor, Hemlock Printers
  • Daren McKewan, Director, Production & Workflow, Hemlock Printers
  • Stephen Tomljanovic, Metropolitan Printers
  • Mark Bitz, IT, Prepress & Digital Printing Manager, C2 Imaging
  • Stephen Zmetana, Global Product Support Specialist, Kodak
  • Vijay Chand, Metropolitan Printers
  • Dave Swartz, Technical Services Manager, Tapp Label

Advisory committee

  • David Allan, Rhino Print Solutions
  • Jeff Taylor, Hemlock
  • Kathy Forrest, Thunderbird Press
  • Kris Bovay, Pacific Bindery Services
  • Marilyn Knoch, BCPIA
  • Nikos Kallas, Metropolitan Fine Printers
  • Rob Varnel, R&M Laminating
  • Alan Martin, Kodak
  • Jag Sangha, Kirk Marketing
  • Troy Naber, Heidelberg Graphic Equipment
  • Neil Cusati, Konica Minolta
  • Alfie Karmal, Westkey Graphics
  • Mark Stahr, C2 Imaging
  • Dave Fraser, OCE Canada
  • Tim Jones, Ricoh Canada
  • Murray Todd, Total Graphics

Contact Us

Wayne Collins
Program Head, Graphic Communications Technology
604-412-7518 | Wayne_Collins@bcit.ca

Judy Phipps

Administrative Assistant
604-432-8863 | Judy_Phipps@bcit.ca

Questions or comments?

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy.

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The time spent in the BCIT graphic communication program was invaluable to my career. With the instructors being mostly industry professionals, the information and training is always current and relevant. Job placements every year also ensure a high percentage of students find work immediately after graduation. And with such a wide variety of courses within this program, you're sure to find your true calling.
Clark Tomlinson


When I decided to return to school as a mature student it wasn’t simply to get a job, but to get a better job. The Graphic Communications Technology program has given me the education needed to find a solid, stable career. Even before completing the two-year program I have received a job offer from a very reputable company.
Thom Hamilton


I like being able to work hands-on to produce real print projects using the same high-tech equipment that is being used in the industry.
Abby Almonte