Academic Calendar

Professional Communication Major - Bachelor of Communication Studies


The major in Professional Communication gives students a strong foundation in writing, editing, research and rhetoric. Option courses allow students to specialize in strategic communication, editing and publishing, or technical communication.

 Bachelor of Communication Studies

Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications

In our fast-paced world of evolving and conventional media, communication is key to interpersonal, organizational and career success. The Bachelor of Communication Studies program provides students with a solid foundation in the fundamental skills of critical thinking, writing, editing, and research. Common coursework for professional communication and journalism majors builds a foundation in language, composition, visual communication, communication theory, communication law and research methods, supported by a liberal arts framework. The courses in the majors offer depth, specialization, and choice. The minors provide additional scope and depth to your studies. The program offers many opportunities to integrate what you have learned in the classroom with real-life projects that engage the community and provide students with an enhanced learning experience. The field is forward-looking, and so is this program of studies.

Years 1 and 2 include common coursework for both professional communication and journalism majors that builds a foundation in language, composition, visual communication, communication theory, communication law, and research methods. Years 3 and 4 provide specialization in editing, strategic communication, technical communication or film studies (in the professional communication major), or in news gathering, digital media production, or film studies (in the journalism major).

Year 3 includes an ethical practice and portfolio course, followed by a professional field placement that includes BCSC 395 or BCSC 398. Students conclude year 4 with skills, experience and practical proof of their communication competency.

The Bachelor of Communication Studies program prepares students for strategic roles in business, traditional and new media, not-for-profit and public sector organizations: wherever clear, correct, and effective messages are valued. Confident in research methodology and contemporary communication theory, students are also ready for graduate studies in communication or a related field.

Career Potential

Graduates of MacEwan University’s Bachelor of Communication Studies will have competency in critical problem solving, global awareness and cultural sensitivity, creativity, information and research literacy, and ethical and professional practice. These competencies will bring career success in a variety of positions – writer, editor, researcher, journalist, reporter, marketer, client or community relations practitioner, communications advisor, communications coordinator, public information officer, producer, social media contact, reviewer, analyst, commentator – and in many roles that have yet to be created. 

Technology Integration for Creative Learning (TICL)

On entering the second year of the Bachelor of Communication Studies program, students in the Journalism major will need to purchase a Mac laptop and necessary software identified by the program. For specifications, refer to the program website or contact an advisor.

Contact Information

Degree Requirements

Program Element Description Credits
Core Requirements Students complete 30 credits of Communication courses and 6 credits of English courses. 36
Breadth Requirements Students complete 24 to 27 credits of breadth requirements, depending on their major and minor. In addition, students must take at least three credits of an Indigenous-related course to fulfill the breadth requirement. Consult your academic adviser for a list of approved courses. 24-27
Major Requirements Students complete 24 to 27 credits of required courses in their chosen major. The number of required courses varies by major. 24-27
Minor Requirements Students complete 12 to 18 credits in their chosen minor. 12-18
Options Students complete 15 to 21 credits of options, which vary by major and minor. 15-21
Total Credits 120

Core Requirements

BCSC 100Grammar and Composition Foundations3
BCSC 101Interpersonal Communication3
BCSC 102Introduction to Visual Communication3
BCSC 200Communication Theory3
BCSC 203Introduction to Research Methods3
BCSC 206Introduction to Audio and Video (BCSC 206 is now a shared core replacing BCSC 202)3
BCSC 302Online Content Production3
BCSC 306Ethical Practice and Portfolio3
BCSC 307Communication Law I3
BCSC 411Advanced Research Methods3
ENGL 102Analysis and Argument3
Choose 3 credits of ENGL from the following:3
Approaches to Literature: Trends and Traditions
Approaches to Literature: Narrative Across Media
Approaches to Literature: Contemporary Literature and Culture
Total Credits36

Course Substitutions

List of Course Substitutions
Credit Earned in: May Be Substituted for Credit in Program Course:
BCSC 301 BCSC 307
BCSC 433 BCSC 412
JOUR 106 BCSC 210
JOUR 108 or JOUR 156 BCSC 313
JOUR 150 BCSC 211
JOUR 152 BCSC 320
JOUR 154 BCSC 323
JOUR 155 BCSC 424
JOUR 251 BCSC 311
JOUR 257 BCSC 423
JOUR 258 BCSC 325
JOUR 259 BCSC 398
PROW 100 BCSC 100
PROW 102 BCSC 282
PROW 104 BCSC 253
PROW 115 BCSC 203
PROW 117 BCSC 102
PROW 135 BCSC 215
PROW 204 BCSC 221
PROW 205 BCSC 301 or BCSC 307
PROW 210 BCSC 100
PROW 211 BCSC 100
PROW 224 BCSC 241
PROW 226 BCSC 340
PROW 228 BCSC 440
PROW 235 BCSC 260
PROW 240 BCSC 332
PROW 250 BCSC 216
PROW 302 BCSC 202
PROW 304 BCSC 326
PROW 307 BCSC 328
PROW 308 BCSC 223
PROW 310 BCSC 343
PROW 315 BCSC 331
PROW 316 BCSC 342
PROW 317 BCSC 352
PROW 318 BCSC 441
PROW 330 BCSC 432
PROW 331 BCSC 341
PROW 335 BCSC 360
PROW 336 BCSC 361
PROW 337 BCSC 362
PROW 338 BCSC 461
PROW 343 BCSC 310

Major Requirements

Breadth Element Description Credits
Humanities * CLAS, CHIN, CRWR, ENGL (other than ENGL 102, ENGL 103, ENGL 104, ENGL 105), FREN, GERM, GREK, HUMN, HIST, NEHI, PHIL, JAPN, SPAN 6
Social Sciences * ANTH, ECON, GEND, INDG, POLS, PSYC, SOCI 6
Fine Arts/Performing Arts * AGAD, ARTE, CLAS (CLAS 252 or CLAS 353), CRWR, DESN, DRMA, MUSC, THAR, THPR 6

3 credits of the Indigenous course requirement must be fulfilled from the approved course list within the Bachelor of Communications department. Please consult your academic advisor. 

Major RequirementsCredits
BCSC 204Foundations in Sustainability Communication3
BCSC 215Proofreading and Copyediting3
BCSC 216Professional Communication3
BCSC 253Classical and Modern Rhetoric3
BCSC 310Strategic Communication Planning3
BCSC 395Professional Field Placement and Practice3
BCSC 400Intercultural Communication3
BCSC 418Organizational Communication Theory3
Minor Requirements
Students complete 18 credits from their chosen minor. The specific minor requirements are listed below.18
Major Options
Students choose 18 credits of major options.18
Breadth Requirements
Students choose 24 breadth requirements from the following categories: 6 credits from Humanities, 6 credits from Social Sciences, 6 credits from Sciences, and 6 credits from Fine Arts/Performing Arts. A minimum of 9 credits must be at the senior level.24

Minor Requirements

Digital Experience Design Minor

The Digital Experience Design minor is a competitive minor. Students will need to have completed or be enrolled in DESN 242 before declaring a DXD Minor. The program consists of 18 non-duplicative credits. Courses used for DXD minor cannot be used to fulfill other major or minor requirements. 

Minor Requirements
DESN 242Introduction to Digital Experience Design for Non-Designers3
DESN 342Digital Experience Design Theory, Methods, and Issues3
DESN 344Interaction Design I3
DESN 442Information Architecture3
Minor Options
Choose 6 credits from the following:6
Web Design & Development I
Web Design & Development II
Interaction Design II
Service Design
Total Credits18
Film Minor
Minor Requirements
Choose 3 credits from the following:3
Introduction to Film Studies and Narrative
Introduction to Film Narrative
Minor Options
Choose 15 credits from the following: 115
Introduction to Audio and Video
Documentary Film Principles and Practices
Introduction to Screenwriting
Popular Culture and Film Studies: Film Noir
Popular Culture and Film Studies: Science Fiction
Documentary Screenwriting
Classics and Film: Classical Reception in the Cinema
Studies in Screen Narrative
Studies in Film Adaptation
Topics in Film Studies
Scoring for Film and Other Visual Media
Philosophy of Film
Contemporary Spanish and Latin American Films
Magical Realism, Subversion and Sexuality in Hispanic Films and Literature
Total Credits18

¹ Year to year different topics courses may be permitted for use towards the 15-credit requirement. These courses include BCSC 426, CRWR 404, ENGL 219, ENGL 364, ENGL 368, ENGL 382, ENGL 391, ENGL 398, ENGL 401, ENGL 489, ENGL 498, MUSC 424, and MUSC 427. Please refer to the Film Minor webpage for more information.

Graphic Design 
The Graphic Design minor is a competitive minor that consists of 18, non-duplicative credits. Courses used for Graphic Design minor cannot be used to fulfill other major or minor requirements.
The following 4 courses are required:
DESN 110Design Studio I: Visual Organization, Composition and Visual Language3
DESN 120Design Software I3
DESN 131Typography I3
DESN 203Concept Visualization3
Students also choose 2 from the following options:
DESN 150Image Structure and Meaning3
DESN 171History of Visual Communication Design3
DESN 205Design Studio II: Process, Audience, and Context3
DESN 220Design Software II3
DESN 250Introduction to Photography3
DESN 260Introduction to Video3
Journalism Minor
Minor Requirements
BCSC 201Foundations of Journalism3
BCSC 210Introduction to News Reporting3
BCSC 322Interviewing Techniques 13
BCSC 397Digital News Publishing I3
Minor Options
Choose 6 credits from the following:6
News, Media and Democracy: Understanding Information in the 21st-Century
Online News Reporting: Journalism in the Digital Age
Reporting on Canadian Politics
Total Credits18

Major Options

Students choose options from the list below. Options may not be offered every year and are subject to space availability. If courses are required by a specific minor, they cannot also be used as options.

Professional Communication Major Options
BCSC 205Introduction to Film Studies and Narrative3
BCSC 207Documentary Film Principles and Practices3
BCSC 221Writing to be Heard3
BCSC 223Introduction to Screenwriting3
BCSC 241Introduction to Technical Communication3
BCSC 260Substantive and Structural Editing3
BCSC 282Short Written Forms3
BCSC 303Popular Culture and Film Studies: Film Noir3
BCSC 305Popular Culture and Film Studies: Science Fiction3
BCSC 308Communication Law II3
BCSC 322Interviewing Techniques3
BCSC 326Rhetoric of Popular Culture3
BCSC 328Documentary Screenwriting3
BCSC 330Intermediate Strategic Communication3
BCSC 331Corporate Narrative3
BCSC 332Writing and Publishing Prose I3
BCSC 340Technical Communication for Digital Applications3
BCSC 341Literary Journalism3
BCSC 342Writing for Periodicals3
BCSC 343Introducing Creative Nonfiction3
BCSC 352The Media and the Message3
BCSC 360Magazine Editing3
BCSC 361Book Editing3
BCSC 362Print Culture Studies3
BCSC 365Editing and Publishing Poetry3
BCSC 379Public Affairs Data Journalism3
BCSC 380Independent Study in Communications3
BCSC 430Advanced Strategic Communication3
BCSC 431Advanced Seminar in Strategic Communication3
BCSC 432Writing and Publishing Prose II3
BCSC 440Technical Communication: Safety Standards and Policies3
BCSC 441Technical Communication for Policy Writing3
BCSC 452Advanced Seminar in Technical Communication3
BCSC 461Production Editing and Publication Management3
BCSC 462Advanced Seminar in Editing and Publishing3
BCSC 480Advanced Independent Study in Communications3
BCSC 499Innovation and Entrepreneurship: New Ventures in Digital Media3

Degree Regulations

Students are strongly encouraged to seek advice from a faculty or university advisor about fulfilling these degree requirements.

Declaration of a Major and a Minor

Students declare their major and minor at the time of application. Students may redeclare their major and minor if required. Students are advised to redeclare by the time they have completed 45 credits or earlier. Students are advised to seek advice from the Academic Advisor before redeclaring their major and minor.

Breadth Requirement 

Students in the Professional Communication major complete 24 credits of baccalaureate-level courses and students in the Journalism major complete 24 to 27 credits of baccalaureate-level courses, as outlined in the Program of Study. A minimum of nine credits must be at the senior level in each major. In addition, students must take at least three credits of an Indigenous-related course to fulfill the breadth requirement. Consult your academic adviser for a list of approved courses. 

Core Field Placement Requirements 

All program students must successfully complete a field placement component to their Program of Study.

Journalism major students will complete BCSC 398, which is a three-credit, full-time or part-time 180-hour field placement, after successfully completing at least 84 out of 120 credits required for the degree, as well as BCSC 327 Online News Reporting. It is highly recommended, but not required, for journalism students to also complete BCSC 412 Advanced News Reporting.

Professional Communication major students will complete BCSC 395 Professional Field Placement and Practice, which is a three-credit, full-time or part-time 250-hour field placement with an academic course component, after successfully completing at least 84 out of 120 credits required for the degree.

The program will assist students in finding field placement opportunities; however, students are ultimately responsible for securing their own work placements, and all placements must be approved by the program. Students must comply with the Workplace Integrated Learning Policy regarding their field placement.

Junior- and Senior-Level Courses 

Courses numbered from 100 to 199 are considered junior level and courses numbered from 200 to 499 are considered senior level.

Senior-Level Coursework Requirements 

A minimum of 72 credits of the total 120 program credits must be at the senior level. Additional courses at the 100-level will be declared extra to the 120 credits required to complete the degree and will not be counted toward fulfilment of graduation requirements.

Option Requirements 

Students are required to complete between 15 and 21 credits of major options. Students in the Professional Communication major complete 15 to 21 credits of major options, depending on their chosen minor, and students in the Journalism major complete 18 credits of major options. Students must select from a list of BCSC option courses designed for each major and minor. Not all option courses are offered each term or year. These courses must be at the baccalaureate level.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements are governed by the date on which students declare their major and minor. The declaration deadlines for competitive and non-competitive majors and minors can be found on the Academic Schedule

Progression of Studies 

Students are responsible for ensuring they fulfill the prerequisite and/or co-requisite requirements of courses taken to complete the Bachelor of Communication Studies.

Minimum Transfer Grade for Credit

A minimum grade of D is required for any transfer credit granted for the program. Courses in the Program of Study require a minimum grade of C- when the course is used as a prerequisite. Transfer credit decisions are final and cannot be appealed (See Policies C2030 and E3103).


Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the discourses of communication and cultural studies.
  2. Employ research strategies to gather, evaluate, and integrate information into communication formats.
  3. Develop a sustained argument using appropriate rhetorical strategies and use generative and organizational heuristics to achieve clarity, precision, and coherence in all communication.
  4. Demonstrate effective decision making.
  5. Create original work that benefits from peer editing and the conscious integration of creative strategies.
  6. Communicate effectively, reliably, and accurately—orally, in print, and online—to a variety of audiences.
  7. Apply ethical frameworks and codes against which to evaluate personal judgments, moral reasoning, and best practice, including those related particularly to research, editing, journalistic standards, professional communication, and publishing.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of ethical practice through analysis issues such as fairness, truth, and responsibility.
  9. Demonstrate an informed understanding of the social consequences resulting from the widespread use of information, communication technologies, and media convergence.
  10. Study and demonstrate an understanding of best practice as a communication professional and professional journalist through a critical self-evaluation of individual competency and the formulation of an individual professional development plan to address this constructive self-analysis.
  11. Demonstrate initiative, personal responsibility, accountability, academic integrity, and social responsibility.
  12. Work collaboratively with others.

Professional Communication Major Learning Outcomes

  1. Use classical and modern rhetorical principles to assess the effectiveness of arguments and messages in their historical, cultural, political, and communication contexts, and to produce logical and compelling original arguments.
  2. Use tactical tools to produce and edit a variety of engaging messages in audio, visual, and written formats, in both print and digital media.
  3. Use strategic analysis to craft targeted messages and select appropriate media to serve a variety of prioritized audiences.
  4. Analyze and evaluate the impact of intercultural, legal, technological, and epistemological influences on individuals and diverse social groups and debate key issues and controversies in the discourses of communication, technology, and media studies.
  5. Build on foundational research methods and information literacy principles to a more advanced level so as to generate, interpret, and integrate qualitative and quantitative research from both primary and secondary sources into communication.
  6. Continue to build awareness and demonstration of the standards of professionalism and ethical practice required of professional communicators in civil society: self-awareness and initiative, interpersonal and intercultural communication, collaboration, organizational behaviour, and ethical practice.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may be admitted to one of the following:

Regular Admission 

To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Applicants must have a minimum overall average of 65 percent, with no course grade lower than 50 percent, in the following high school courses:

  1. ELA 30-1
  2. Four subjects from Group A, B, C, or D


  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to present a broad range of subjects in order to benefit from the breadth of learning and to increase flexibility of future program and course choices.
  • A maximum of two Group B subjects may be presented; they must be from different disciplines.
  • A maximum of one Group D subject may be presented. Group D subjects used for admission must be 5-credit or any credit combination of at least 5 credits (e.g., two 3-credit subjects).

Applicants with nine or more university-level credits must also present a minimum Admission Grade Point Average (AGPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Mature Admission 

To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Applicants must be 20 years of age or older and have been out of full-time high school at least one year by the beginning of the intake term. Applicants must have the following:

  • ELA 30-1 with a minimum grade of 65 per cent (or equivalent)


  • Six credits of university-level English with a minimum grade of C-

Applicants with nine or more university-level credits must also present a minimum Admission Grade Point Average (AGPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Previous Post-Secondary Work

To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Admission in this category does not imply or guarantee the transfer of any coursework and/or credential unless a block transfer agreement (internal or external) is in effect and published in the calendar by the Office of the University Registrar. In addition, transfer of coursework does not imply or guarantee that an applicant will be admitted.

Applicants must have successfully completed the following from a recognized institution:

  • A minimum of 24 credits of university-level credits with a minimum Admission Grade Point Average (AGPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale and must have completed the required core courses listed under the Regular Admission category.

Additional Admission Criteria

All applicants must meet the following:

1. English Language Proficiency

To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Applicable to All Admission Categories

All applicants must meet an acceptable level of English language proficiency. We will require official documents such as high school or post-secondary transcripts or proof of successful completion of standardized language evaluation. Full details are available in MacEwan University’s academic calendar or online at