Programs & Courses

Visual Communications

About This Program

Medicine Hat College is redesigning the online display of programs and courses and some content on this page may no longer be accurate. For official program information, please refer to the current academic calendar.

Learn about tuition and fees or download a program planning guide.

Today’s visual communications professionals are often required to be involved in the entire creative and technical process, from concept through production. Today’s media and art forms are no longer just two-dimensional, static, and print-based, but now include virtual space, digital media, and interactivity. This program helps prepare you to enter this dynamic and ever-changing career field.

Perhaps the most unique element of this program is a careful blending of fine art and design. Both aspects are viewed as integral parts of the total visual communications field, and our Visual Communications program strives to integrate and interrelate the fine arts with design.

The program also integrates the most recent advances in digital technology. This combination of fine art, design and technology will help prepare graduates for the contemporary visual communications workplace.

The core Visual Communications program is the Bachelor of Applied Arts (Visual Communications) degree. In addition, Medicine Hat College offers 2 one-year certificates: the Post-Degree Visual Communications Certificate, available if you have already completed an art, design, or related degree; and the Post-Diploma Visual Communications Certificate, if you have already completed a two-year diploma in art, design, or a related field.  

At the core of our applied degree is the work term component, which consists of two three-month paid work placements. These placements help you hone the skills you develop in college and build a resume that will be attractive to potential employers upon graduation.

Our graduates have launched successful careers in a diverse range of visual communications fields. The skills and knowledge you develop may be applied in just about every industry or location. Alternatively, many graduates choose to refine their entrepreneurial skills and develop their own businesses.

Visual Communications graduates have excellent success in securing employment, both in a freelance or self-employment capacity, and as employees within existing firms and industries.  Employment opportunities are available in a variety of workplace locations, including print shops, design studios, publishing houses, film studios, televisions stations, theatres, museums and art galleries, and other places involved in visual and digital production. Many Visual Communications graduates have gone on to start their own graphic design, photography, and video production businesses.

High School

  • ELA 30-1 or ELA 30-2
  • or C or better in MHC English 30
  • or placement in post-secondary (diploma or university transfer) English as determined by the MHC Academic Assessment Test

Academic Transition Plan (ATP)

If you do not possess all of the admission requirements, the Academic Transition Plan (ATP) may provide conditional acceptance to this program, provided space is available. ATP is individualized to meet your needs.

First Year

ARFN 231 2D Fundamentals 
ARDR 241 Drawing I
ARVC 213 Typography I
One of
ARHI 200 Introduction to Social and Historical Art
ARHI 201 Survey of Western Art I
One of
ENGL 123 Fundamentals of Writing and Speech
Junior English

ARDR 243  Drawing II
ARFN 233  3D Fundamentals
ARFN 234  2D Fundamentals
One of
ARHI 203 Survey of Western Art II
ARHI 317 Modern Art
One of
ENGL 125 Introductory Report Writing and Speech 
Junior English

Second Year

ARVC 327 Print Production
ARHI 309 Design History
ARVC 331 Graphic Design I
ARVC 394 Portfolio and Work Term Preparation
Art Studio Elective
Art Studio Elective

ARHI 300 Critical Theory 
ARVC 333 Graphic Design II
Art Studio Elective
Art Studio Elective
Art Studio Elective

ARVC 395 Applied Visual Communications - Work Term I

Third Year

ARVC 396 Applied Visual Communications I
Art Studio Elective
Art Studio Elective
Art Studio Elective
One of
MGMT 270 Entrepreneurship
MKTG 171 Marketing 
MKTG 206 Advertising and Promotions
MKTG 355 Creating Brand Intelligence

*University of Lethbridge Dual Admission Students must take an Approved Elective, please consult an Academic Advisor for a list of approved classes.

ARVC 496 Applied Visual Communications II
ARVC 498 Special Projects and Exhibition I
ARVC 499 Special Projects and Exhibition II
Art Studio Elective
Art Studio Elective


ARVC 495 Applied Visual Communications - Work Term II

Art Studio Elective Course List
ARDR 341 Drawing III 
ARDR 343 Drawing IV 
AREL 370 Sound Design I 

AREL 467 Video II 
AREL 475 The Studio Portrait
ARFA 304 Sculpture I
ARFA 305 3D Design I
ARFA 351 Painting I 
ARFA 353 Painting II 
ARFA 357 Illustration I 
ARFA 372 Relief Printmaking I 
ARFA 373 Lithography I 
ARFA 375 Lithography II 
ARFA 377 Serigraphy I 
ARFA 378 Serigraphy II 
ARFA 379 Intaglio I 
ARFA 380 Intaglio II
ARFA 407 3D Design II
ARFA 408 Sculpture II
ARFA 490 Directed Study 
ARPH 335 Photography I 
ARPH 337 Photography II
ARVC 315 Typography II 

Electronic & Related

AREL 329 Design for Web I
AREL 338 Interactive Media I
AREL 365 Video I
AREL 429 Design for Web II
AREL 438 Interactive Media II

Note: When selecting courses, be sure to choose your required courses first. In the event that a required course is in timetable conflict with an elective course that you desire, the required course is your first priority and you must therefore choose it. Because of scheduling complexities, high demand, and classroom or studio space constraints, we cannot guarantee the availability of all electives. If your first choice is full or unavailable for other reasons, you must be prepared to select an alternative. If there are special circumstances that require you to have a course that is full, you may appeal to the Visual Communications Coordinator to override your exclusion. You may consult the Visual Communications Coordinator to assist you with course selection at any time.

Field Study

The BAA (VC) program requires the completion of two, 3 to 4 month Work Terms (ARVC 395 and ARVC 495).  These Work Terms can only be completed after Academic Term IV and at lease one of the two Work Terms must be completed prior to the last academic semester (Academic Term VI).  These requirements may be adjusted in exceptional circumstances, with the permission of the Dean. 

The two applied degree Work Term courses are paid work semesters designed to extend the learning process into the work environment.  Medicine Hat College will make every effort to place students; however, work opportunities may fluctuate with a changing labour market.  Moreover, you should be aware that work placement opportunities in Medicine Hat are limited, and that you may have to relocate to complete your twork term  semesters (work terms can be completed anywhere in Canada or even abroad).  You should be prepared to cover your expenses for placement and should also be prepared to receive trainee or entry-level compensation at your place of employment.

You register for two Work Term semesters in addition to your academic requiremenets.  Each Work Term is equivalent to 15 credits.

Graduation Requirements

To successfully complete the Bachelor of Applied Arts (Visual Communications) degree you must

  • Attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 throughout the program.
  • Achieve passing grades in both Work Terms.
  • Obtain no more than one D or D+ grade in the program.
  • Obtain no D or D+ grades in any core design and Visual Communications courses (ARVC 331, ARVC 333, ARVC 396, ARVC 496, ARVC 498 and ARVC 499). Should you receive a D or D+ grade in any such core design or Visual Communications course, you will only have one opportunity (excluding "W" grade attempts) to repeat that course and raise its grade.
  • Please note that only one "W" grade allowed for each of the required core design visual communications courses (ARVC 331, ARVC 333, ARVC 396, ARVC 496, ARVC 498 and ARVC 499)


University of Lethbridge
Graduates may be admitted to the 15 course Post-Diploma BFA (Art), 20 course Post-Diploma BFA (multidisciplinary), or 35 course Pre-Post Diploma BFA (Art) BEd.

University of Lethbridge - Dual Admission
Students may apply for dual admission to both Medicine Hat College and the University of Lethbridge for the Bachelor of Fine Arts - New Media or Pre-Bachelor of Fine Arts - New Media/Bachelor of Education. Students must satisfy current admission standards at both institutions to be eligible. For more information, contact a Medicine Hat College Academic Advisor.

International Transfer Opportunities

Griffith University
Graduates with a diploma in Visual Communications are eligible to receive advance standing toward a Bachelor of Design or a Bachelor of Digital Media degree at Griffith University in Australia. For more information, contact a Medicine Hat College Academic Advisor.

International Exchange Opportunities

You can explore short-term education abroad opportunities in countries such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Ecuador. Visit the International Mobility Program section to find out more.

Scholarship Info

Medicine Hat College distributes over $300,000 in scholarships and bursaries each year. Applying online is easy!

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Funding Your Education

There are several options to assist you in funding your education at MHC. Find out what option is best for you.

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