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Graphic Design Diploma


This program prepares students for a career in the field of graphic design. Students explore the graphic design industry, the role of the designer, design theory, industry standard tools and practical hands-on design techniques and challenges.

Print and web media are explored as students learn to develop concepts and solutions to graphic design problems through traditional design processes. Students produce a multitude of graphic design applications and work together to plan and deploy a public showing of their work completed.

Please note that completing the first-year of courses of the diploma will earn a certificate in Graphic Design.

Program Status:
Accepting applications

Start Length Credentials Campus Part- or Full-time
Jan, Apr, Sep 2 years Diploma Downtown Full-time

Apply Now

Apply Now

Online Mail In Person
If you're ready and know the program you want, apply now. Download and complete the (PDF) application/registration form and mail it to VCC Registrar's Office Visit us at one of our campus locations.

After you apply, you can check application status to see if all of the requirements have been met or to update contact information. Please use the temporary login ID and Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you used to complete your original online application.

Program Description

Program Description

The goal of this program is to prepare students for a career in the graphic design industry. Students will study the graphic design industry via seven key foundational pillars: conceptual thinking, workforce, studio practices, client interaction, client-centered project, curriculum, and flexible pathways.

The Conceptual Thinking pillar combines brainstorming, research and problem solving with creative and critical thinking. This allows students to work both collaboratively and individually to produce applicable and unique solutions for design problems via a group critique process.

The Workforce pillar ensures students graduate with the skills necessary to gain employment in the three common areas of graphic design practice:

  • working freelance
  • working in in-house corporate environments
  • working in advertising, marketing and interactive agencies

The Studio Practices pillar provides students an opportunity to train in a program built around a true studio experience.

The Client Interaction pillar requires students the opportunity to work directly with clients to experience a diverse range of expectations. Working directly with clients reinforces students’ understanding of their audience and provides opportunities to enrich communication skills necessary to meet client expectations.

The Client-Centered Project pillar allows students to work on projects that emphasize both conceptual understanding of modern design as well as production skills. The student projects also serve as exemplars that will be integrated into a professional portfolio.

The Curriculum pillar provides students with built-in complimentary courses to help enhance understanding of graphic material; each block complements the other concurrently and consequently.

The Flexible Pathways pillar affords students the option to gain a solid foundation in graphic design and exit with a certificate after nine months. Students who wish to cultivate their skills and ascend to a higher level of achievement can continue to second year, where they will be provided with an enriched client experience paired with advanced courses for a diploma.

Program Duration

The Graphic Design Diploma is two years (four semesters) in length and a total of 33 courses totalling 111 credits.

1) Certificate Program Exit: This is a full-time, daytime offering. After successfully completing 18 courses for 56 credits in Year One, students will have the option of exiting the program with a Certificate in Graphic Design. The maximum allowable completion time is four years for the certificate.

2) Diploma Program: Students continuing into Year Two and those who have been accepted with Advanced Standing into Year Two will apply skills to both advanced design courses and have the opportunity through a mentored lab to take on clients. Students will successfully complete 18 courses for 56 credits in Year 1 and 15 courses for 55 credits in Year 2 for a total of 111 credits. At the end of the program, students will be required to complete a 120-hour practicum, and graduate with a Graphic Design Diploma. The maximum allowable completion time is four years for the diploma.


Instructional Activities, Design and Delivery Mode

Both the Graphic Design Certificate and Diploma curricula are designed to provide context and mimic the real-world graphic design industry. Courses in this face-to-face program are delivered through a combination of instructional activities including but not limited to lectures, practical labs, seminars, demonstrations, guest lectures, videos, team activities, production simulations, computer labs, and field trips. To support the development of motivation and selfdiscipline, some of the theoretical and technical aspects of the program involve independent learning components.

The Digital Graphic Design lab, located at the downtown campus, is equipped with Apple iMac workstations with the latest software and OS. Students will use modern drawing tablets, digital cameras, and colour printers. The ratio of students to workstations is one-to-one and all classes have a capacity of 18 students per class. All courses take place in a modern computer lab.

Evaluation of Student Learning

Students are evaluated through the completion of assignments and projects, critiques, and quizzes (both written and performance-based). Most assignments and projects include the process of initial concept stage, work in progress, and final submissions, which can include reflections and client feedback. Professional conduct (which includes collaboration and teamwork, time management, organization, communication, participation and attendance) will also affect the final grade in each section. A minimum grade of C (60-64%)is required to achieve a passing grade in each course and to receive a certificate and/or diploma.


Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

General

VCC welcomes applications from Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

As Vancouver Community College is a post-secondary institution committed to educating adult learners, applicants should be 16 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school.

Please note that you must submit official transcripts and educational documents to support your application; unfortunately, we cannot accept photocopies or fax versions.


Program Specific

Missing prerequisites? VCC offers courses in Adult Upgrading and English as an Additional Language to help you meet your goals.

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the year, and students are admitted on a competitive selection basis. Applicants can apply to meet either the Standard Admission Requirements or the Advanced Admission Requirements for the program.

A) Standard Admission Requirements (Year 1):

  1. English 12 with a C grade or equivalent.
  2. Interview with Selection Committee.
    • Prior to interview students are required to provide:
      • Personal portfolio*
      • Resumé and letter of intent clearly listing reasons for pursuing the diploma*

B) Advanced Admission Requirements (Year 2):

  1. Completion of VCC Graphic Design Certificate.
  2. or

  3. Completion of Graphic Design Certificate equivalent from another recognized institution as determined by the program Department Head.

and

Interview with Selection Committee.

Prior to interview students are required to provide:

  • Professional portfolio*
  • Resumé and letter of intent, clearly listing reasons for pursuing the diploma*
  • Three references from people who have worked with the applicant in a relevant professional environment*

*For further information on the above, please view the Graphic Design Selection Guidelines available on the VCC website.


Recommended Characteristics:

  • Ability to work well in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment
  • Ability to work effectively in a team and independently with confidence
  • Customer service-oriented outlook and ability to work well with a wide variety of people
  • Ability to give and receive feedback
  • Motivation, curiosity, and research-orientation
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Enthusiastic, positive attitude
  • Initiative, self-starter work habits
  • Flexibility, adaptability
  • A basic understanding of Mac computers is strongly recommended

Course Schedule

Courses Schedule

Fees and Other costs


Application Fee $35
Tuition Fee Year 1 - $8,075
Year 2 - $7,931
Student Union Fee $29.77 per term
College Initiative Fee $80 per term
Student Union Health Plan Fee $73 - per term
Student Union Dental Plan Fee $73 - per term
U-Pass Fee $41.00 per month
Other Costs Graduation Fee - $21.22
Campus Resource Fee - $360.13
$900 Textbooks, supplies and printing

For book lists and prices, check Bookstore.


Fees are approximate and subject to change without notice. Students are responsible for any increase in fees if advanced payments are made. The application fee is non-refundable. Fees are refunded according to the refund policy. For further clarification, see withdrawals and refunds information page.

Info Sessions

Info Sessions

VCC’s Graphic Design Diploma program concentrates on conceptual thinking, understanding audience, problem solving, design theory, technical expertise in Adobe Creative Cloud, and both print and web development.

This two-year, full-time program takes place at VCC’s Mac lab overlooking beautiful downtown Vancouver. Courses are taught by experienced professionals using a practical curriculum relevant to today’s fast-changing graphic design industry.

Second-year diploma students will not only learn design and web theory, but also operate a hands-on design studio that is open to the public and will take on real clients.

Date Day Time Room Location
August 1, 2018 Wednesday 4 - 5 p.m. 819 Downtown
September 12, 2018 Wednesday 4 - 5 p.m. 819 Downtown


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Contact Us/Request Info

Contact Us/Request Info

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Program Highlights

Program Highlights

/programscourses/program-areas/program-highlights/digital-media-design/

Course Schedule

Courses Schedule

 

Term 1

(VCDP 1110) Design Foundation
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1111) Adobe Creative Cloud
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1120) Image Foundation
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1121) Photography Foundation
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1130) Typography Foundation
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1132) Writing for Graphic Designers
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1140) Composition
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1141) Client Designer Management
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits


Term 2

(VCDP 1242) Composition Intermediate
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1250) Brand Identity Foundation
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1251) Print Production Foundation
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1252) Image and Video
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1260) Brand Design Intermediate
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1270) Web Design Foundation
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1271) Web Development Foundation
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1280) Interaction Design Foundation
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 1282) Wordpress Foundation
course schedule schedule
4.0 credits
(VCDP 1290) Certificate Portfolio
course schedule schedule
4.0 credits


Term 3

(VCDP 2310) Advanced Image & Photography
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 2311) Studio Business Practices
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 2320) Advertising and Art Direction
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 2321) Studio 1 with Advanced Type
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 2341) Expressive Writing
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 2350) UX/UI and Web Design
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits


Term 4

(VCDP 2430) Editorial Design
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 2440) Wordpress & E-Commerce
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 2451) Studio 2 with Web Production
course schedule schedule
5.0 credits
(VCDP 2460) Advanced Web Development
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 2461) Studio 3 with Web Content
course schedule schedule
5.0 credits
(VCDP 2470) Packaging Design
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 2480) Web Marketing
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 2490) Diploma Portfolio
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(VCDP 2500) Practicum
course schedule schedule
4.5 credits