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Your creativity and love for visual communication combined with your eye for aesthetics could lead you to a fulfilling and successful career in graphic design. In this age of information, organizations are expanding their communications and marketing departments, increasing the demand for graphic designers and communication professionals.

The Certificate in Communication Design Essentials, a partnership program between BCIT and Emily Carr University (ECU), provides you with a skillset preparing you for success in the graphic design field in 12 months. This intensive program combines technical expertise with a solid foundation in visual communication and the design process. This program provides you with the option of a block transfer of credits towards the ECU 4-year Communication Design bachelor’s degree. You may opt to continue your studies on a full or part-time basis, or launch your exciting new career immediately.

Fall 2021 delivery mode: online

  • This program will be delivered online for the fall semester.
  • We have put measures in place for your safety and well-being, ensuring that all safety protocols are addressed. Please see the BCIT COVID-19 page for details on the procedures that have been implemented.

Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

About the program

  • 12 month, full-time certificate program
  • All in-class courses, on two campuses (BCIT and Emily Carr University)
  • Classes run 3 to 4 times per week. This may include days, evenings and/or weekends
  • Covers the fundamentals of the skills and business necessities of communication design

Learn more about our unique program and how it prepares you for design success in the Program Details.

Who should complete the Certificate in Communication Design Essentials?

This program might be for you if you:

  • Have an interest in visual communication
  • Want to explore the field of graphic design
  • Are considering pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communication Design at ECU
  • May already have a degree, and are looking for complementary skills to become a full-time graphic designer

If any of these appeal to you, visit our Entrance Requirements page to apply today.

What grads can do

With BCIT’s certificate program in Communication Design Essentials, you’ll gain necessary skills to begin your career in graphic design. You will gain technical expertise combined with a solid foundation in visual communication and the design process.

Because of our unique partnership with Emily Carr University, you’ll combine the expert technical skills BCIT is known for with outstanding design skills and graduate with your credential from both institutions.

Additionally, the certificate program block-transfers into a four-year degree program so that you could complete your bachelor’s degree in less than three years after earning your certificate at BCIT.

Learn more about your options and benefits at the Graduating and Jobs page.

Entrance Requirements

Costs & Supplies


The courses in this one-year certificate program have been designed to give you the essential skills in graphic and communication design to begin your career or get a head start on furthering your education. All your studies, including vector graphics, digital media design, and packaging design, focus on the practical skills and knowledge you’ll need every day for a successful design career.

Program Details

In partnership with Emily Carr University, BCIT’s Certificate in Communication Design essentials gives you an ideal combination of design knowledge and technical skills to begin your entry-level career or accelerate your continued learning to earn a four-year degree.

Through this program, you’ll get the hands-on experience using the most up-to-date technology and techniques for graphic and communication design. You’ll study with working industry professionals to learn today’s challenges and skills and produce your own print and digital portfolios to help you showcase your work to your future employer.

Graduating & Jobs

By completing your certificate in Communication Design Essentials, you’re building the foundation of your knowledge for a lifelong career. The skills you’ll earn in this program prepare you to begin a career or accelerate your study of design in all areas, including print and digital, marketing and editorial, and more.

Some opportunities in graphic and communication design include:

  • Communication Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Creative Director
  • Digital Communication Specialist
  • Communications Specialist
  • Corporate Communication Designer
  • Editorial Designer
  • Publication Designer
  • Package Designer
  • Brand Strategist or Manager
  • Prepress Specialist
  • Production Specialist
  • Customer Service
  • Marketing Specialist

Graduates of the certificate program are also well situated to pursue further study to earn their bachelor’s degree. Our unique partnership with Emily Carr University gives you specially focused training that then means if you decide to pursue a four-year degree, you have less than three years of study to complete it.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Instructors in the Communication Design Essentials Program have extensive industry experience. Many of them remain active in the field. Many of the instructors are members of professional institutes and organizations that relate to the areas of study. These memberships allow instructors to remain current on new industry standards and offer fresh insight to students on recent developments.

Contact Us

Karen Harvey
Program Assistant
604-453-4032 |

Terri Carde
Assistant Instructor
604-451-7032 |

Have questions about:

  • Course selection and program planning
  • Application processes
  • Making changes to your approved program plan
  • Applying for transfer credit and advanced placement
  • Laddering options
  • Job placement and graduate outcomes
  • Student life

Contact a Program Advisor with the BCIT program name in the subject line.

Questions or comments?


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