Academic Calendar

BCSC – Bachelor of Communication Studies

BCSC 100
Grammar and Composition Foundations
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students learn how to write with clarity and precision, and to communicate successfully with a variety of audiences. Building on an understanding of traditional grammar, students examine the relationship between language structures and the expression of an author’s intentions. By studying various writers and genres, students learn to identify and manipulate sentence elements to produce clarity, drama, power and other rhetorical effects. They also consider how media, technology and culture are influencing language and writing in general and grammar in particular.

BCSC 101
Communication and Human Interaction
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course introduces students to basic concepts and principles of human communication and interaction.  It includes an examination of processes of communication in three common communication settings: interpersonal relationships, group gatherings and public gatherings. Other topics to be covered include nonverbal communication, listening, and public speaking.

BCSC 102
Introduction to Visual Communication
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students communicate using visuals. Evaluating historical and contemporary examples of visual communication, students assess the meaning and impact of visual design. Students identify elements of visual communication design and evaluate their effect on message creation and interpretation. They develop skill in the basic functions of key digital applications widely used today for creating and combining text, photos and graphics files. Students leave the course with the knowledge and digital skills needed to start collaborating on communication projects.

BCSC 200
Communication Theory
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Students survey major theoretical perspectives and contemporary research in communication. The course examines historical and current political, social and economic contexts in the study of communication, including the contributions of Canadian thinkers. Theory is demystified, and students develop an appreciation of the intellectual traditions in communication research through the study of key concepts, models and issues.

BCSC 201
Foundations of Journalism
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course introduces students to Canadian news media through the historical development of the craft, business practices and technological elements of journalism. It also introduces students to professional and business practices of the field from the earliest news sheets to the modern international online news services, and explores key concepts and issues facing the craft and the business of journalism today.

BCSC 202
Online Communication
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Online publication is changing the way journalists and communicators engage their audiences. From self-publication tools to social media, students examine and experience how communications professionals use various forms of online publication to achieve a wide variety of goals. The course connects traditional mass media to the practices and issues of emerging technologies and tools. Students are introduced to information architecture through user behaviours and site features.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 102.

BCSC 203
Introduction to Research Methods
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course introduces quantitative and qualitative research methods including empirical research, ethnography, narrative analysis, phenomenology, and grounded theory within the context of communication research questions. Specifically, students learn to evaluate secondary sources, gather accurate and meaningful information from primary sources through methods such as surveys, and examine the concepts of reliability, validity, generalizability, and professional ethics. In a collaborative project, they interpret and report the data they gathered from primary sources.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in ENGL 102.

BCSC 204
Foundations in Sustainability Communication
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In the spirit of our namesake, Dr. J.W. Grant MacEwan, and our university’s focus on sustainability, this course introduces fundamental concepts in human communication about our natural environments in the face of rising ecological, social and economic threats to the sustainability of the Earth’s ecosystems, all life on it and the societies we have created. Students will explore how human communication constructs the environment and our relationships to it, and apply strategies appropriate to creating and disseminating messages about sustainability. They will study and apply ethical considerations in sustainability communication, including the role of advocacy in scholarship and practice. Also, students will provide critical evaluations of sustainability messages in diverse fields, while building a foundation to create their own sustainability communications.

Prerequisites: BCSC 101 or SUST 201.

BCSC 205
Introduction to Film Studies and Narrative
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course is designed to acquaint students with the history of narrative film, with the fundamentals of how film communicates ideas, generates narratives, and evokes emotions, and with various other kinds of cinema including documentary and animated film. It also aims to enable students to watch films more closely so that their viewing will become more active and hence, a richer experience.

BCSC 210
Introduction to News Reporting
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course introduces the practice of news reporting and the principles of writing a news story. Students focus on the reporter's core skills and abilities: story development and research, the interview, verifying facts, handling quotations and writing for publication in the variety of contemporary news media. The standards of accuracy, fairness, balance and journalistic responsibility are emphasized. Discussions include the role of the journalist as a purveyor of news and an arbiter of social issues, and the rapidly changing face of the news business.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 100.

BCSC 211
News Production Process
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course examines the aesthetics and design principles of news production for both print, online and other publications.  A central focus throughout the course is the ways in which new technologies are transforming news reporting and publishing and the opportunities and challenges arising from these new technologies. Working in a hands-on learning environment, students prepare stories for publication in a number of mediums, paying particular attention to how a story changes as it migrates to different platforms. The impact of clear writing, effective visual and multimedia elements will also be explored.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 102 and BCSC 210.

BCSC 215
Applied Communications
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students learn to use the tools and resources necessary to copyedit and proofread according to prescribed professional standards. Students learn to distinguish proofreading from copyediting, increase the speed and accuracy of their editing, and select and follow a style guide for a particular project. They also examine some of the larger issues in editing: authorial intention versus editorial responsibility, in-house versus freelance employment, copyright, professional conduct and ethics, and the importance of deadlines in the publishing process.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 100.

BCSC 216
Professional Communication
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Professional communication is a new and evolving field that considers information and the way it is created, distributed, managed and consumed. In this course, students learn and apply the theories of professional communication. They analyze information and develop strategies and techniques for internal and external communication. Considering print and oral formats but with a focus on digital formats, students plan, execute, and evaluate communication, then adapt their practice to meet dynamic and evolving organizational or institutional needs. Recent trends will be considered, contributing to students' understanding of the context of professional communication. Throughout, students explore what constitutes professionalism and ethical practice in the context of contemporary professional communications.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 101.

BCSC 221
Writing to be Heard
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students learn to write for the ear. They closely examine speeches and presentations for key messages and persuasive technique, then prepare and deliver a presentation or speech. Theories of writing and listening are applied as students determine communication objectives, write and rehearse a speech or presentation that engages, inspires and motivates an audience. By the end of this course, they offer constructive, critical analysis of the content and delivery of a speech or a presentation.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 100.

BCSC 223
Introduction to Screenwriting
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Students are introduced to writing for film, television and video productions. Screenwriting genres are examined and students work with essential elements of a screenplay such as theme, character, story structure, dramatic objectives, conflict and resolution, scene creation and sequencing, the relationship between audio and video elements, and screenplay formatting. Each student presents a key concept in screenwriting and script analysis, and students exchange feedback in a workshop simulation of the working environment of a story department in a production studio.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 100.

BCSC 241
Introduction to Technical Communication
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course introduces students to the many professional contexts in which technical communicators practise. By considering various elements of technical communication and communication theory, students learn and practise adapting specialized information for global audiences, and expert and non-expert audiences. Students also examine professional ethics required of technical communicators and the potential consequences of unethical practice.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 200.

BCSC 253
Classical and Modern Rhetoric
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Students use tools of persuasion to build arguments on a variety of topics. They learn to construct written arguments and arrange those arguments in effective and appropriate patterns. Looking at persuasive techniques going back to the Ancient Greeks, students search for and evaluate similar strategies in contemporary texts. By the end of this course, they understand the ethical, aesthetic and political dimensions of persuasion.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 100.

BCSC 260
Substantive and Structural Editing
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students examine the objectives and techniques of stylistic, substantive, and structural editing by working through large, complex projects. Throughout the course, students engage with editorial and rhetorical theory, refining their editorial skills and applying independent critical analysis to scenarios involving print and online publishing.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 215 or PROW 135.

BCSC 282
Short Written Forms
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students expand their creativity and problem-solving skills to address writing and editing contexts requiring tightly written prose. They study the history and context of short forms and develop potent samples, relying on scholarship and accurate and effective audience analysis, diction, structure, tone and form. Students learn to produce tight, effective prose that communicates in few words with great power.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 100.

BCSC 301
Communication Law
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Contemporary law and communication technologies have significantly affected how information gets to the public: how information is produced, paid for, presented and circulated. In this course, students examine the influence of media convergence on communication law and the effects of public policy on the development and use of technology and media. Although modern communication has no borders, this course emphasizes Canadian laws within a global context.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 200.

BCSC 302
Multimedia Authoring
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In today's rapidly changing media convergence environment, professional communicators are increasingly required to author texts in multiple forms for multiple audiences. Building on BCSC 202, this course emphasizes the authoring of texts for a variety of forms, audiences, channels, and purposes. Projects include work with visual, audio, and verbal content, drawing on communications fundamentals applied effectively and ethically across a global, multi-channel environment.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 202.

BCSC 306
Ethical Practice and Portfolio
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course examines common ethical and practical considerations as students prepare to enter the workplace. Students reflect on the knowledge and skills they have gained in their classroom study and explore their readiness to work. They then apply their skills and interests to identify employment opportunities and develop employment materials. The ultimate goal of the course is to develop a portfolio to present to internship employers.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 301.

BCSC 310
Strategic Communication Planning
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students gain critical information, insights and skills in strategic communication research and planning. They learn to apply research and planning skills in solving communication issues or problems. They also learn how to apply S.O.P. (analyzing situation, organization, and the public) as part of the strategic communication planning process. Students gain practical experience in developing and crafting key messages as well as producing formal strategic communication plans that are vital to advancing organizational and institutional interests and goals.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 216.

BCSC 311
Online Journalism
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course examines the production of knowledge within the field of online journalism. It builds on students’ experience of creating online news in other courses and compares it with the challenges and realities of professional journalists around the world. Students examine the production processes in newsrooms and the evolving impact of technological developments on those processes such as verification of fact and inclusion of user-generated content. They examine the ideals and values of journalism and contrast them with actual journalistic practices, questioning whether those practices reinforce dominant cultural/social/political/economic influence.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 210 and BCSC 211.

BCSC 312
Multimedia News Production
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course introduces students to the best practices and principles of multimedia news production. Students create interactive stories and engaging online news features under deadline and working in a convergent newsroom environment. They analyze online readership behaviours to design user-friendly multimedia news products. They also manage and deploy user-generated content.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 311.

BCSC 313
Intermediate News Reporting
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Building on the fundamentals of news reporting, this course emphasizes thorough research, effective interviewing, and clear, concise writing as the foundation of good news production. Students confront increasingly challenging story assignments as they take their ideas from pitch to production for online or print media. The course will also emphasize new ways of multimedia storytelling and community engagement, using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogging. Journalistic ethical standards are examined in complex, real-world case studies.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 210 and BCSC 322.

BCSC 320
Canadian Press and Society
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course focuses on the evolution and current state of media and journalism in Canada. Students explore how newspapers, magazines, radio and television developed. They also evaluate and analyze the influence of digitization and new media on journalism. The symbiotic relationship between media and society is analyzed as students examine themes such as investigative journalism, women and the media, First Peoples media, the influence of advertising and ‘infotainment’.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 201.

BCSC 322
Interviewing Techniques
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students hone their interviewing skills and gain self-confidence through assignments of increasing complexity. Of central importance is to instill in the student a sense of professionalism and proper interview etiquette. Topics include pre-interview planning and research, types of interviews, interview principles and techniques, choosing and attributing sources, and producing interviews for multimedia platforms. Legal and ethical responsibilities of a journalism are also covered.

Prerequisites: BCSC 100.

BCSC 323
Photojournalism
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Journalism includes the special talents of photojournalism, telling the news story through compelling and meaning-filled images. This course focusses on the photojournalist's research into and interpretation of the news story, planning and taking of photographs. On completion of this course, students are able to engage a reader and arouse emotion as they combine the reporter’s skill and photographic technique with creative effort to report the news through a journalistic lens.

Prerequisites: BCSC 210.

BCSC 324
Arts and Culture Reporting
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Students prepare to be reporters and observers of arts and culture and focus on constructing authoritative and fair evaluative judgements. Students continue to deepen their journalistic competencies, including research methods, interview skills, and narrative writing. During this course, students are encouraged to expand their knowledge of and areas of interests in the arts and culture.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 313.

BCSC 325
Radio News and Documentaries
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course explores narrative construction in a variety of radio story formats in news and current affairs, including documentary. Students examine sound theory, paying close attention to how sound constructs meaning for the listening audience. They develop competencies in professional and technical skills unique to the medium, including radio interviewing skills, broadcast writing conventions, audio recording and editing, voice delivery, news and radio show lineup, and podcasting practices.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 210.

BCSC 326
Rhetoric of Popular Culture
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Students critique popular culture as a form of rhetoric, deconstructing its arguments and their social and commercial effects. They apply rhetorical theory in major pop culture contexts and investigate the effects of current media and communications convergence on the forms and content of popular culture. The course contrasts pop culture derived from mainstream and alternative media, and examines hierarchies of cultural forms, assessing the significant of "high" and "low" culture. Ultimately, students develop the ability to overlay rhetorical principles onto pop culture media to create powerful tools for change and control.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 253.

BCSC 327
Online News Reporting: Journalism in the Digital Age
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course examines the gathering and production of news and information for an Internet audience. It builds on the reporting, editing and writing skills students have developed in basic reporting, and intermediate reporting, and adds web-specific methods of research, storytelling and news presentation. Students also examine new-media ethics, process and production, and the evolving impact of technology – such as fake news, fact-verification and user-generated content.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 313.

BCSC 328
Documentary Screenwriting
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course focuses on the theory and practice of writing documentary screenplays, and the history of this genre. Students examine historical and contemporary documentaries, emphasizing Canadian productions and their influence on the documentary form. Students also consider the ethical decisions requiring filmmakers to align their messages with information, fact and reality. A brief survey of treatments and functions of a documentary (such as training and education, political, social activist, and cultural and art-house films and videos) provides the foundation for a story idea and treatment, industry-standard outline and professional shooting script that students will develop in this course.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 223.

BCSC 330
Intermediate Strategic Communication
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course focuses on the implementation phase of a strategic communication project or campaign with an emphasis on tactics. Using case studies as a foundation, students examine an organization’s goals and propose a communications plan to ensure communication effectiveness. Students explore a range of communication tools, both conventional and emerging, and reflect on the implementation process from the perspective of various communication theories.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 310.

BCSC 331
Corporate Narrative
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students examine the types of corporate ‘storytelling’ with a strategic role and function in communications planning. This course focuses on the early stages of strategic process including research, goal setting, objectives and creative risk taking. As students examine organizational narrative and develop the ability to identify and capture memorable, innovative and effective stories, they will translate stories into design and media concepts, including audio/visual, multimedia, reports, newsletters, social media and presentations for the organization’s audiences.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 216.

BCSC 332
Writing and Publishing Prose I
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Students develop knowledge of the theory and skills in the practice of writing prose for publication. In this course, students read and write widely in prose forms and genres. The emphasis is on literary forms, specifically fiction and creative nonfiction. Students develop the know-how to publish their work in recognized national and international publications.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 343.

BCSC 340
Technical Communication for Digital Applications
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students become familiar with software development processes and learn about technical communication documentation for custom digital applications and commercial software. Students determine the characteristics of successful documentation for digital applications, including procedural, tutorial, and reference materials for internal and external audiences, and online user assistance such as help, guided tours, and in-depth articles. They examine options in methodology, with an emphasis on task orientation, and discuss how the fast-changing and multi-platform nature of this field affects their tasks. Students replicate a full digital application documentation project cycle, organizing a development team, producing a documentation plan including user analysis, assessing the effectiveness of their documentation through usability tests, creating and presenting a prototype print version, and developing appropriate online user assistance functions.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 241.

BCSC 341
Literary Journalism
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Students delve into the art form of literary journalism, reading historical and contemporary examples as well as essays on the craft by contemporary practitioners. Through their readings, students recognize that the engine of literary journalism is the journey, which drives the process of research and informs the content and structure of the narrative. Students analyze the genre’s definitive characteristics and practice its techniques, and as they do so, grapple with the ethical issues inherent to bringing traditional journalism and creative writing together. Students also examine the value and future of literary journalism in an age of the 24-hour news cycle and sound bites.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 210 or BCSC 253.

BCSC 342
Writing for Periodicals
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Whether in print or online, the editorial content of periodicals comprises various forms of articles. Students learn the forms and ingredients of articles written for newspapers, magazines, and newsletters in local, regional, and national contexts. Starting with editorial and readership analysis, students embark on the article-writing process: they shape topics into story ideas, identify appropriate primary sources, carry out interviews, and incorporate the formal elements of article writing into publishable copy. Students also consider the market for print and online periodicals in both a Canadian and a North American context, examine the effects of media ownership on magazine publishing, and, throughout the course, examine the ethical issues that arise in the periodical industry.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 210 or BCSC 253.

BCSC 343
Introducing Creative Nonfiction
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In creative nonfiction, writing the human experience meets art and truth. In this course, students examine the literary forms of creative nonfiction, including the personal essay, literary diaries, and memoir, and the sub-genres of creative nonfiction, including literary travel writing, nature writing, science writing, and cultural criticism. Students also look at current and emerging trends in the genre. By reading extensively and broadly, analyzing what they read with a particular focus on the theory and craft of writing creative nonfiction, students gain a broad understanding of what is sometimes known as the fourth genre.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 100 and ENGL 103.

BCSC 352
The Media and the Message
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students examine media relations from both administrative and critical perspectives. They learn to place media relations within the practical and theoretical communicative frameworks of identity, image, and reputation; risk, issues, and crises; and various definitions of the public sphere. They analyze the effects of media logic upon an organization’s choice of message channel, formulate strong recommendations and effective key messages, and evaluate organizational structures and paradigms for their network and communicative power. Overall, the course provides the student with a deeper understanding of the power, ethics, and responsibilities of her or his future role as a professional participant within today’s complex media ecology.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 100.

BCSC 360
Magazine Editing
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Building on skills learned in previous editing courses, students have an opportunity to model professional practice in the planning, execution, and production of a magazine that will be published by the School of Communications. As members of an editorial board, they set editorial policy, calendars, plots, timelines, and costing; determine style guides, recurring elements, and publication standards; and manage external contractors, print production, and distribution. Throughout the course, students refine their abilities to apply their creative processes in a team setting and provide constructive criticism of their own and others' work.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 260.

BCSC 361
Book Editing
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students develop as editors by investigating the field of book editing. They consider the evolution of North American book culture and contrast it with that of other Western societies. Students analyze current issues in book editing as they examine the processes of publishing a book, from manuscript acquisition and development to purchase in a bookstore or on a website, with a focus on the Canadian publishing context. Throughout the course, they continue to improve their editing knowledge, judgment, and skills through readings, discussions, exercises, written assignments, and guest speakers.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 260.

BCSC 362
Print Culture Studies
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students survey the development of print-based communications and critically analyze the cultural context of newspapers, magazines, and books as material objects. Students examine the history of print technologies, the rise of a literate marketplace through mass education and the concomitant rise of professional writers to serve that audience, the structure of cultural classes, and the possible disappearance of print in a global society that is embracing digital media and encouraging communications convergence.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 200.

BCSC 395
Professional Field Placement and Practice
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Students gain work experience typical of an entry-level professional communicator. Under the guidance of a faculty supervisor, students apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired in their first three years of study to a work situation. Concurrent or following the field placement, students reflect on aspects of professional practice and conduct research into a topic related to their career plans.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 306.

BCSC 398
Professional Field Placement
3 Credits          Total (0-0-180)

Students gain work experience in tasks and assignments typical of an entry-level journalist or professional communicator. Under the guidance of a faculty supervisor, students apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired in their first three years of study to a work situation. The field placement is a crucial component of the program, integrating theory and practice and demonstrating the values and attitudes acquired through classroom study.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 306.

BCSC 400
Intercultural Communication
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course is designed to examine the principles and processes of communicating from one culture to another. Students will identify and assess the major challenges presented by intercultural interactions both at home and abroad. These challenges include developing cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, and intercultural communication competence. Students will apply what they have learned in developing strategies and skills to communicate effectively with people from other cultures, a capability that is critical in the increasingly culturally diverse workplace and globalized society.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 200.

BCSC 411
Advanced Research Methods
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students build on skills and knowledge acquired in the introductory research course and expand their applied knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research. The course covers at a senior level the principles and ethics of scientific inquiry, hypothesis construction, research design, data collection, sampling, interpretation of statistics, ethnographic research, and evaluation of results. Students collaboratively plan and deliver one group research project, as well as design and deliver one individual research project.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 203.

BCSC 415
Global Media Systems
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students survey media ‘systems’ hailing from various countries. Such systems include business sectors, communication technologies, government policies, and ideologies. Particular attention is paid to Canadian institutional strategies and audience receptions, as these operate at global scales or within global contexts. Students analyze mutual influences between global media and related contemporary developments - from cultural trends and political events to economic and technological changes. Students direct special focus at tensions between globalization and national/local concerns, so as to determine how these interrelationships play out in today’s mass-media messaging and manoeuvring.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 320.

BCSC 417
Professional Practice
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Building on the field placement, this course invites students to explore and reflect on aspects of professional practice. Students apply critical analysis skills to develop self-awareness of their identities as professional communicators. They compare and contrast key aspects of professional identity with a focus on interpersonal effectiveness and examine theories of collaboration and principles of leadership. Finally, they examine an issue of professional practice and are encouraged to prepare their findings for presentation or publication.

Prerequisites: BCSC 398.

BCSC 418
Organizational Communication Theory
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students examine the major theories in organizational communication scholarship. They apply these theories to empirical case studies in projects such as presentations and a final paper. Specific subjects to be worked on include: the ethical and ideological implications of strategic organizational communication; intercultural and gender relations and contestations in organizations; communication as central to organizational systems and culture/climate; and how communication technology such as social media are impacting organizations, and vice versa. Covered scholarly content will trace historically back to classical organizational theories, focusing on their communicative aspects or implications. Modern and contemporary theoretical traditions will then be surveyed, such as: administrative; critical, feminist, postmodernist, network-theoretical, risk-theoretical, and discourse-analytical (rhetorical) approaches to the study of communication in and by organizations.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 200 and in BCSC 310.

BCSC 420
Online Journalism Workshop: News Production for Digital Platforms
6 Credits          Weekly (3-3-0)

Journalists today are required to be masters of all trades. That means, whether working in a newsroom setting or as independent agents, they must be a competent storytellers in a variety of media: print, video, audio and still photography. They must also be able to use various data-gathering and graphic storytelling technology to research and bring value-added material to their stories. This course aims to provide students with a professional-quality setting in which they can hone all these skills in the production of a weekly news site that will provide a public service to the communities around the university.

Prerequisites: At least a C- in BCSC 433.

BCSC 421
Advanced Online Journalism
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course extends the student's experience of news gathering, writing and production of stories and features published online. Students are engaged in critical discourse and they focus on 'enterprise skills' to meet the changing circumstances of online journalism. Students examine theoretical frameworks for technological innovation in the field of communication, and through teamwork, they propose solutions and innovations to the challenges of the contemporary newsroom.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 311.

BCSC 422
Advanced Reporting and Writing: The Feature
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course focuses on long-form narrative journalism. Students identify and develop solid feature story ideas ranging from the short newspaper "page brightener" to the in-depth narrative. They experiment with various techniques of literary journalism to build engaging narratives that are emotionally and intellectually compelling.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of B- in BCSC 313.

BCSC 423
Broadcast News Current Affairs
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course students re-purpose their reporting skills to create visually compelling stories for a variety of platforms, including television news, public affairs programs and social media channels. Storytelling that incorporates video broadcast elements requires a dramatically different approach to reporting than a story in print. Critically examining the opportunities and limitations of the medium, particularly as a conveyer of social issues, students examine industry values, standards and assumptions implicit in decisions made concerning digital news content. They also gain familiarity with techniques of shooting, writing, editing and producing digital news for visual channels.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 313.

BCSC 424
Reporting on Canadian Politics
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course offers a twofold approach to Canadian political reporting, focusing on both the processes and institutions of government and on journalistic methods to cover politics at all levels. Students learn how the Canadian government operates at the federal, provincial and municipal levels and discuss the role of political parties, elections and the electoral system, interest groups and legislative and executive branches of government. In examining the often symbiotic relationship between politicians and media, they analyze the ways in which governments and journalists interact to produce today's news. The role of the journalist as a democratic watchdog is emphasized. This course addresses the question of whether reporters can cover a political beat effectively, impartially and ethically. Students produce news reports and also consider new forms of political reporting such as blogging, which enable journalists to facilitate public discourse.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 313.

BCSC 425
Investigative Journalism
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Investigative journalism requires patience, resourcefulness, clear thinking, meticulous attention to detail and a dogged determination to uncover the truth. This course examines the importance of, and risks associated with, investigative reporting in democratic societies such as Canada. Students focus on how to start and sustain a prolonged investigation, investigative interviewing, researching public records, the pros and cons of anonymous sources and filing access to information requests.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 313.

BCSC 426
Advanced Seminar in Journalism
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This seminar engages students in an in-depth and focused study of a significant topic or issue in journalism. Course content varies each year depending on contemporary concerns and interest of faculty as well as students. The seminar topic is announced prior to registration. As an outcome of the course, students are able to demonstrate application of practical and/or theoretical knowledge of the field through a project or a research paper. This course will be especially helpful to senior students wishing to pursue graduate studies.

Prerequisites: Minimum of C-in two of the following: BCSC 312, BCSC 313, BCSC 320, BCSC 322, BCSC 323, BCSC 324, BCSC 423, BCSC 415, BCSC 425.

BCSC 430
Advanced Strategic Communication
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students examine communication theory in the context of complex communications practice. Students advance their research, organizational analysis, and rhetorical skills in the evaluation of a real-world communication campaign. Depth of analysis and academic insight are emphasized. Ultimately, students make and defend original assessments and recommendations about communication effectiveness.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 310.

BCSC 431
Advanced Seminar in Strategic Communication
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This seminar engages students in an in-depth and focused study of a significant topic or issue in strategic communication. Course content varies each year depending on contemporary concerns and interest of faculty as well as students. The seminar topic is announced prior to registration. As an outcome of the course, students are able to demonstrate application of practical and theoretical knowledge of the field through a project or research paper. This course is especially helpful to senior students wishing to pursue graduate studies.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 430.

BCSC 432
Writing and Publishing Prose II
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course builds on students’ work in BCSC 332 and is intended for students with strong interest and demonstrated skills in creative prose. The emphasis is on literary forms, specifically literary fiction and creative nonfiction. This course provides an intensive workshop experience and culminates with the production of a polished portfolio of work ready for submission to publishers.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of B- in BCSC 332 and portfolio review.

BCSC 433
Advanced News Reporting
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Today's news environment requires that journalists be adept in a variety of story-telling media. Whether in a newsroom environment or as an individual agent, the journalist must be able to think in terms of video and audio reporting and story-telling as well as print. This course build on skills students have acquired in their basic, intermediate and online reporting pre-requisites by adding blogging, TV news production and podcasting to the mix.

Prerequisites: BCSC 327.

BCSC 440
Technical Communication: Safety Standards and Policies
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students survey industries that rely heavily on safety documentation, and consider the role of policies, practices, and procedures in creating a safety culture. They analyze safety processes and documentation and discuss the role of the three levels of safety controls to mitigate hazards. Students consider ethics and track the evolution of safety in industry. They review the safety- and engineering-related laws and standards in Canadian and international jurisdictions and determine how to locate pertinent safety regulations and standards for a specific topic. They assess methods for creating or revising documentation for safe work policies, practices, and procedures; safety orientations and training; emergency preparedness and response; quality assurance and control; and securing certificates of recognition from certifying safety partnerships.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 340.

BCSC 441
Technical Communication for Policy Writing
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Policies act as the rudder steering the people and processes of organizations and government agencies toward their stated goals. Technical communication can be the key to ensuring that these documents are clear and effective and encourage compliance. Students in this course describe the differences among policies, practices, and procedures and identify the characteristics of written goals that are implementable and measurable. They look at the legislation and regulations often related to policies, and address the effect of globalization on policy writing. Through critical analysis of samples of policies and human resource handbooks, students learn to anticipate potential consequences of policy wording, including the impact on organization culture. They also identify the role of policies and goals in defining responsibilities, coping with organizational change, and treating sensitive issues in human resources.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in BCSC 340.

BCSC 452
Advanced Seminar in Technical Communication
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This seminar engages students in an in-depth and focused study of a significant topic or issue in technical communication. Course content varies each year depending on contemporary concerns and interest of faculty as well as students. The seminar topic is announced prior to registration. As an outcome of the course, students are able to demonstrate application of practical and/or theoretical knowledge of the field through a project or research paper. This course is especially helpful to senior students wishing to pursue graduate studies.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in two of the following: BCSC 340, BCSC 440, BCSC 441, BCSC 411.

BCSC 461
Publication Editing and Management
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course examines production processes, which are the hub of publishing activity. The work of editors, designers, marketers and managers intersects in production, and the focus of this course is on production at a time of transition as publishers weigh print and electronic options. Students develop their creativity and problem-solving skills as they prepare specifications, source suppliers, compile costing sheets, buy print, develop schedules, and evaluate quality. They benefit from interacting with industry materials, technologies, and experts in the classroom and on field trips.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in BCSC 260.

BCSC 462
Advanced Seminar in Editing and Publishing
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This seminar engages students in an in-depth and focused study of a significant topic or issue in editing and publishing. Course content varies each year depending on contemporary concerns and interest of faculty as well as students. The seminar topic is announced prior to registration. As an outcome of the course, students are able to demonstrate application of practical and theoretical knowledge of the field through a project or research paper. This course is especially helpful to senior students wishing to pursue graduate studies.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in at least two of the following courses: BCSC 260, BCSC 360, BCSC 361, BCSC 362, BCSC 461.