The ability to communicate clearly, effectively, and persuasively is a critical skill in today’s workplace—no matter what industry you are in. A 2015 survey of Canadian workplaces across industries lists communication skills and writing as the top two most sought after skills in job postings (as reported on Workopolis.com). The UBC Certificate in Professional Communication is designed to build these skills, as well as the soft skills that come with strong communication such as teamwork, critical thinking, and adaptability.
The UBC Certificate in Professional Communication provides you with a toolkit of writing skills and strategies to help you communicate more effectively, with the choice of following either a General Track or a Leadership Track.
- Delivered part time at the UBC Point Grey campus, in downtown Vancouver at UBC Robson Square, or online
- Requires completion of 5 (General Track) or 8 (Leadership Track) core courses, plus a minimum of three electives
- Costs vary by course and are paid separately on a course-by-course basis
- Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
- After this program you can expect to be able to write in a variety of media, communicate in contextually specific ways, and use digital tools to share and record information
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The program draws from traditional professional writing approaches as well as techniques from creative and academic writing to provide you with a complete, adaptable toolkit of writing skills and strategies to help you communicate more effectively and persuasively. It offers a flexible learning environment with classroom-based and online courses.
By the end of either track of the program, you will be able to:
- communicate effectively using appropriate grammar, style, and tone
- tailor your writing to a specific audience
- edit and revise your own work
- write more efficiently to meet deadlines
- apply business writing strategies for producing emails, letters, reports, and other documents
- build confidence and skills for preparing and delivering effective presentations
- employ techniques for using narrative and storytelling to share knowledge, engage employees, and lead teams or organizations
- develop skills in collaborative writing and working with teams
- demonstrate critical thinking, creativity, writing, and editing skills for producing polished documents
- use technical and scientific writing skills to produce publications
- employ new technologies and use social media.
In addition, those pursuing the Leadership Track will be able to:
- use emotional intelligence as a basis for stronger communication with employees and teammates
- build stability and trust in teams through strategic communication
- understand and be able to navigate conflict situations effectively.
Who It's For
The program's General Track is suitable for recent college graduates, working professionals, internationally educated professionals, managers, business owners, consultants, and those who handle large volumes of information in different media.
The Leadership Track is designed for those who are currently in a leadership role in their industry or company, or preparing for a role in which they will be directly responsible for teams and/or projects. It is designed for those who wish to boost their communication skills within a leadership-specific context.
Classes take place at the UBC Robson Square campus, the UBC Point Grey campus or 100% online for General Track students. Students in the Leadership Track will need to take courses that are only offered in an in-class format (face-to-face). You can choose which location and format is most convenient for you from the available course offerings. You learn from a variety of methods, including peer discussions, input from instructors and professional tutors, and hands-on experience.
This option includes five required courses for a strong foundation in professional communications and related competencies, plus a minimum of three elective courses that allow more focus on specific topics and skills. You register for courses at your own pace and complete the program within two years.
This option focuses on the core competencies of the General Track, as well as courses and workshops focused on strengthening leadership through developing interpersonal communication skills. You complete eight required courses and a minimum of three electives. In addition to writing and presentation skills courses, the Leadership Track includes courses offered by UBC Continuing Studies Life and Career Programs on such topics as emotional intelligence, building resilient teams, and having strategic conversations.
Assessment is based on how well you meet the project and participation requirements set out in the individual outlines for each course.
To be granted the UBC Certificate in Professional Communication, students must successfully complete required courses and demonstrate ability in professional communications through completion of the portfolio. Students are assessed in each course by instructors; assignment criteria are made clear in the individual course materials. In addition, there is a final assessment of the student’s e-portfolio incorporating one revised artifact and a learning reflection piece from each course. Students must earn a minimum passing grade of 60% in each course and on the final e-portfolio to complete the requirements of the program.
An Internet connection is required to take this program, including the ability to play audio as some courseware may include voice lectures.
UBC Continuing Studies strongly suggests that students have the following technology and expertise in order to keep up with the program and complete projects and assignments online:
- familiarity with basic Internet applications (email and web browser)
- a recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or other web browser.
Your computer operating system must meet the following minimum specifications:
- PC: Windows XP SP2 Home/Pro
- Mac: Mac OS x 10.4.
This option includes five required courses for a strong foundation in professional communications and related competencies, plus a minimum of three elective courses that allow more focus on specific topics and skills.
|Plus choose one of the following:||Format(s)||Next Offering||More|
|Introduction to Business Writing (AW589)||Online||May 2-Jun 23, 2017||More|
|Persuasive Business Writing (AW811)||In-class||Jul 6-Aug 24, 2017||More|
|Plus choose one of the following:||Format(s)||Next Offering||More|
|Writing Well: Grammar (AW105)||Online or In-class||May 2-Jun 6, 2017||More|
|Writing Well: Style (AW106)||Online or In-class||Jun 20-Jul 25, 2017||More|
Plus choose one of the following:
|Writing Under Pressure (AW666)||In-class||May 4-Jun 22, 2017||More|
|Writing 099: Advanced Composition (AW099)||Online||May 16-Jun 23, 2017||More|
You also choose at least three electives from a wide variety of options. One of these courses must focus on creative communication and one must be a professional writing course.
Almost all of the writing courses offered by Writing Programs may be taken as electives for the certificate. The following are some of the upcoming possible electives, but a full list of writing courses currently available can be viewed here.
|Elective Courses||Format(s)||Next Offering||More|
|Corporate Storytelling (AW651)||In-class||
|Strategic Conversations and Meetings (AW657)||In-class||
|Writing Your Blog (AW635)||Online||
Jul 4-Aug 25, 2017
|Freelance Writing: Introduction (AW518)||Online or In-class||
May 2-Jun 23, 2017
|Fundamentals of Great Writing (AW556)||Online or In-class||
May 2-Jun 23, 2017
|Copywriting: Introduction (AW593)||Online or In-class||
Jul 4-Aug 25, 2017
|Writing for Content Marketing (AW808)||Online||
May 2-Jun 23, 2017
|Plain Language Writing (AW684)||In-class||
|Copyediting and Proofreading: Introduction (AW686)||In-class||
This option focuses on the core competencies of the General Track, as well as courses and workshops focused on strengthening leadership through developing interpersonal communication skills. You complete eight required courses and a minimum of three electives.
Click on More in the table below to see dates for the next offering.
|Emotions and Behaviours at Work (LC367)||Blended Online/In-class||More|
|Communicating on the Edge: Managing Emotion, Conflict, and Change (LC207)||In-class||More|
|EQ for Smart Leadership (LC507)||In-class||More|
|Courageous Conversations for Leaders (LC119)||In-class||More|
|Report and Business Writing (AW504)||In-class or Online||More|
|Preparing Presentations (AW656)||In-class or Online||More|
|Strategic Conversations and Meetings (AW657)||In-class||More|
|Assertiveness Training 1 (LC102)||In-class||More|
|Assertiveness Training 2: Emotional Intelligence Inside Out (LC122)||In-class||More|
|Scientific Writing (AW109)||Online||More|
|Corporate Storytelling (AW651)||In-class||More|
|Writing Under Pressure (AW666)||In-class||More|
|Group Leadership and Dynamics (LC522)||In-class||More|
|Copyediting and Proofreading: Introduction (AW686)||In-class||More|
|Plain Language Writing (AW684)||In-class||More|
The courses that make up the certificate program may change over time to reflect the changing needs of participants and the evolution of the program.
Program instructors and professional tutors come from a variety of professional backgrounds. All of our instructors have industry as well as writing expertise, and are up-to-date on the latest requirements for professional communication.
Please note that instructors may vary from year to year.
A $175 application fee is payable upon acceptance into the program. Individual courses are paid separately, on a course-by-course basis, at the time of registration.
All fees are in Canadian dollars and are subject to change. Fees may be paid by Visa®, MasterCard®, cash, money order or certified cheque.
Cancellation and Withdrawal Policies
Part-Time and Online Courses: If you would like to withdraw from a course, in order to be eligible for a refund (less a $50 administration fee), please submit written notice at least three business days before the course begins. An email is considered adequate written notification. No refund will be made for withdrawals received later than three business days before the course begins.
UBC Continuing Studies is sometimes forced to cancel courses due to insufficient enrolment or other reasons. If this occurs, you will be contacted by email or by phone and provided with a full refund.
Before applying to this program, you must read and understand the terms and conditions in the Program Handbook. Read the handbook carefully as it contains important information about the program.
If you would prefer to receive the handbook in the mail, contact us by email with your complete name and full mailing address.
The UBC Certificate in Professional Communication has a formal admission procedure designed to ensure a match between participant interests and the program objectives.
Applicants to the UBC Certificate in Professional Communication must have a high school diploma and must submit a letter of intent and resumé to help program staff advise you on the best courses for you. A representative from Writing Programs may speak with you to discuss the program's fit for your needs. An inbox or in-person writing assessment may also be required.
Please note that English is the primary language of instruction for Writing Programs courses. All prospective students are required to have a minimum level of English. Non-native English speakers may be asked to demonstrate a score of 570 or higher on the paper-based TOEFL exam (88 or higher on the Internet-based TOEFL), or equivalent English language proficiency test results.
To discuss eligibility, prior experience and program relevance, please contact us.
You must apply and be accepted into the program before registering for courses.
Applications are accepted year-round. Applicants are advised to apply at least three weeks before they wish to start the certificate program. A non-refundable program application fee of $175 is required in addition to the application materials, payable upon acceptance into the program.
All courses are priced individually and tuition is due at the time of course registration.
Complete the following steps to submit your application:
- Complete the online application form. You will need to include a letter of intent (max. 500 words). This should include personal and/or career goals, interests and program expectations.
- Once you have been accepted into the certificate program, return to this page to pay the $175 non-refundable application fee.
It may be possible to apply course hour credits for required or elective courses taken within the past year to the UBC Certificate in Professional Communication. Please contact the program administrator for more information.
If you have questions about the UBC Certificate in Professional Communication, please contact us.