Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response

Full-time Advanced Diploma 5240advdip

Technical Arts

Fall 2020 Delivery Mode: ONLINE

  • This program will be delivered online for the Fall semester.
  • Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

With BCIT’s Advanced Diploma in Technical Arts, you will develop the skills to become a creative problem solver, who can visualize and deliver solutions that bridge the technical and content side of visual effects, game, and animation projects.

Technical Artists are in high demand in the digital entertainment and interactive media industry for their ability to integrate and synthesize the artistic vision and technical aspects of projects. They collaborate with artists and programmers to set up and maintain the art production workflow, and identify and develop tools to improve, troubleshoot and streamline the production process.

BCIT’s Advanced Diploma in Technical Arts was developed with extensive industry input to provide you with the applied skills for success in this fast-growing field, including techniques, methodologies and scripting to create production and shading tools, procedural operations and assets for game, film and animation projects.

The Advanced Diploma in Technical Arts program was developed with the support and collaboration of:

About the program

Employers value BCIT’s applied, job-ready approach to education and years of experience training students for success in the digital arts sector.

  • One year to complete – start your technical arts career in 12 months
  • Weekend and blended course delivery – earn an advanced level credential while you continue working
  • Cohort delivery – build a professional network that will last long after you graduate
  • Hands-on, applied courses – develop and refine your technical art and scripting skills
  • Project sequence – complete a series of team projects that reflect the day-to-day work environment of a Technical Artist
  • Industry instructors – learn from industry professionals with real-world experience in technical arts

Learn more about program goals and how this program prepares you for a career in technical arts on the Program Details page.

Who should apply for the Advanced Diploma in Technical Arts?

This program is right for you if:
  • You want a career that combines creativity and imagination with technical expertise
  • You are a programmer with a creative bent, or an artist with an affinity for logic and detail, ready to launch a new career in an exciting field
  • You are already working in the digital entertainment industry and want to expand your skillset and capitalize on growing job opportunities in this emerging area
  • You hold a diploma, degree or equivalent credential, or have a minimum of 5 years work experience in a related field, such as gaming, animation, film, TV, visual effects or programming, and have completed some post-secondary coursework.
  • You are well organized and enjoy collaborating with others and working in teams

If this sounds like you, apply today on the Program Entry page, where you will also learn more about entrance requirements for this program.

What graduates can do

Technical Artists work in a broad range of positions related to video game production, animation and visual effects for TV and film, and interactive experiences across all digital platforms, in small boutique studios through to large multinational companies.

Learn more about career opportunities awaiting you on the Graduating and Jobs page.

Program Entry

COVID-19 Notice to Applicants

Please visit Admission during COVID-19 to learn how BCIT Admissions is supporting applicants. At this time, there are no program-specific changes for applying to this program.

Application processing

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

Entrance requirements

This program has a two-step admission process. Applicants must meet all entrance requirements and will be accepted on a first qualified basis as long as space remains.

Step 1: Meet the following entrance requirements

Applicants who have completed post-secondary studies outside of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand will require a basic evaluation of their credentials by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES). A comprehensive report may be required under certain circumstances. If you wish to clarify which report is required, please contact Credential evaluation reports from other Canadian services may be considered.

*Alternate entry: If you do not meet the post-secondary education requirement listed above you may qualify for admission if you meet the English requirement, and the following:
  • Post-secondary education: 30.0 credits in any discipline from a recognized institution

  • Work experience: 5 years in a related field or sector such as gaming, animation, film, visual effects, or computer programming, in one of the following roles (or similar):
    • Animator
    • Effects artist
    • Lighting artist
    • Character modeling
    • Props modeling
    • Game level artist
    • Game designer
    • Game developer
    • Producer
    • UI/UX designer

  • Complete the following form for submission with your online application:
Contact the Program Head to discuss your particular situation.

Read more about how to meet BCIT’s entrance requirements

Step 2: Department assessment

Once you have met the entrance requirements, the program area will review your application and contact you for the following:

  • In person or online face-to-face interview session

  • A digital portfolio or reel demonstrating aptitude in technical or artistic skills consisting of 4-7 pieces of the applicant's best work including, for example: drawings, paintings, photography, graphic design, storyboards, visual effects, 2D image composition, 3D artwork, models, or animation, or programming projects related to web, mobile, games, or desktop applications.

Recommended for success

Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an information session before applying to this program.

Apply to program

To submit your application:

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

Learn more about how to apply

Scheduled intakes

September each year.


Within two business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal and myBCIT e-mail addresses. All correspondence regarding your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at We'll send you an e-mail when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these e-mails or regularly check your account online.

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

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please see the Full-Time Studies Tuition & Fees page for full-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies

The approximate cost of books and supplies for this program is $500. This is a general estimated cost and is subject to change.

We recommend that students in the Technical Arts program have a Windows compatible laptop or PC desktop. Costs for a computer will vary depending on the configuration chosen. Please see below for recommended specifications.

System Requirements for Technical Arts
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit) version 1809 or later
Processor 64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor with SSE4.2 instruction set
Memory 8 GB minimum, 16 GB or higher recommended
Graphics A GL4.0 compliant graphics card is required. GL3.3 cards will have missing features. Graphics card must support OpenCL version 1.2 or higher.
Maya Certified Hardware [PDF]
NVIDIA Card Highly Recommended!
Storage 500GB SSD or higher
Monitor 1920 x 1080 or better
Internet Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.

Financial assistance

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


As a student in this program, you’ll have access to the most up-to-date, relevant instruction by working industry professionals, and expert consultation. The program incorporates a blend of hands-on lab time, industry-standard projects, collaborative learning opportunities, and individual assignments. All this is designed to give you the most current, job-related skills to help you successfully launch your career as a technical artist.

Class hours

Courses will be scheduled during the day, for full days, on Saturdays and Sundays at BCIT’s Burnaby campus, with the occasional evening class. There is one course each term that is delivered in a blended delivery mode – partly in a computer lab and partly online – using BCIT’s online learning management system, the Learning Hub (formerly D2L).

Program delivery

The program is a 15-course advanced diploma delivered in a cohort model over three, 15-week terms. Once you are accepted in to the program, you will complete all 15 courses with your cohort. Each of the three, 15-week terms is split into two equal parts — Part A and Part B — with two courses completed in Part A (over seven weeks, in a computer lab) and two courses completed in Part B (over seven weeks, in a computer lab), with a one week break between the first and second half of each term. In addition, one project-related course will be delivered each term in a blended delivery mode over the full term (15 weeks).

Program matrix

Term 1 Credits
  TECA 5000 Technical Art Foundations: Scripting 3.0
  TECA 5100 Technical Art Foundations: 3D Applications 3.0
  TECA 5200 Technical Arts 1 3.0
  TECA 5600 Project Management for Technical Arts 3.0
  TECA 6300 Visual Scripting 3.0
Term 2 Credits
  TECA 5300 Game Art Assets 3.0
  TECA 5400 Effects and Dynamics 3.0
  TECA 5500 Scripting in 3D Applications 3.0
  TECA 6100 Technical Arts 2 3.0
  TECA 6700 Technical Arts Team Project 3.0
Term 3 Credits
  TECA 6200 Technical Arts 3 3.0
  TECA 6400 Data Structures for Technical Arts 3.0
  TECA 6500 Advanced Scripting 3.0
  TECA 6600 Team Skills for Technical Arts 3.0
  TECA 6800 Technical Arts Capstone Project 3.0
Total Credits: 45.0

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 Advanced Diploma in Technical Arts program was developed with the support and collaboration of:

Program goals

Upon successful completion of the Advanced Diploma in Technical Arts, you will be able to:

Design and Creation
  • Design and develop tools for 3D modeling, texturing, and animation.
  • Create procedural shaders for 3D applications and game engines.
  • Create animator-friendly rigs for 3D models.
  • Perform visual scripting in game engines to automate and enhance the asset pipeline.
  • Produce an industry standard project (animation, tools, rigs, and game).
  • Apply a broad range of software techniques and methodologies used by studios.
Project Management
  • Plan, design, troubleshoot and carry out a technical art project, from start to finish, with well-defined objectives.
  • Track project deliverables and ensure that milestones are met.
  • Streamline processes at different stages of art production.
  • Communicate effectively with all stakeholders and departments to clarify and advise on goals and actions pertaining to visual effects, animation or game projects.
Communication and teamwork
  • Demonstrate effective teamwork and problem-solving skills.
  • Demonstrate a professional work ethic.
  • Use effective communication strategies for presenting technical arts project proposals related to, for example, development of tools, user interfaces, and assets.

Program length

One year cohort program, delivered over 12 consecutive months, on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) with some blended course delivery.

All program requirements must be completed within three years.

Program location

Burnaby Campus
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC

Graduating & Jobs

The Advanced Diploma in Technical Arts gives you the applied technical skills instrumental for success in this fast-growing field and responsive to the needs of the global marketplace. The demand for technical artists is growing rapidly.

There are a wide variety of potential job categories/titles for future students. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Technical Artist
  • Technical Animator
  • Computer Graphics Supervisor
  • Shader Artist
  • Rigging Expert
  • Tool Developer
  • Game Designer
  • Dynamics and Effects artist

Apply for graduation

Students in this program will be required to complete an Application for BCIT Credential [PDF] and submit to Student Information and Enrolment Services. Students who successfully complete all courses are eligible to attend convocation.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Our instructors are well-connected industry professionals. All instructors bring current, relevant experience and first-hand knowledge to the classroom. The artistic and technical knowledge you gain, mixed with hands-on training, prepares you with the foundation for a successful career as a technical artist.

A program advisory committee (PAC), made up of some of BC’s top technical artists and representing a diverse range of companies and sectors, helps keep the Advanced Diploma in Technical Arts up-to-date with the latest industry trends. The PAC also provides guidance regarding the strategic direction of the program, overall trends affecting the curriculum, and the employability of our graduates.

Contact Us

Karen Harvey
Program Assistant
604-453-4032 |

Terri Carde
Assistant Instructor
604-451-7032 |

Ramin Shadmehr
Program Head, Technical Arts
604-432-8614 |

Contact a Program Advisor with the BCIT program name in the subject line if you have a question about:
  • Program selection and program planning
  • Applying for transfer credit and advanced placement
  • Job placement and graduate outcomes
  • Student life

Questions or comments?

Please ensure you have reviewed the detailed information on this site, using the navigation to the right, before submitting the form below.

As well, if you meet any of the following criteria, please follow the links for more information, instead of sending the form:

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 Information Access and Privacy.


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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 Information Access and Privacy.

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