Life-long learning is not hard to find.

With the phenomenal growth of the technical communication field, you don’t have to go far to find courses to brush up and add to your skills. British Columbia, home of Canada West Coast chapter, is a hotbed of technical communication education, as reflected in the changes in curriculum at established and new institutions. Check out your options…

British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

Burnaby and Downtown campuses. Information: (604) 434-1610.

Launched in January 2005, BCIT’s Associate Certificate in Technical Writing is a part-time program offered through the Communication Department. All instructors are industry experts still active in the field and vetted for their teaching ability, not just the excellence and currency of their knowledge. Courses include:

  • Technical Writing Style (COMM 1007)
  • Technical Editing and Grammar (COMM 1008)
  • Technical Writing: Definitions, Instructions and Process Descriptions (COMM 1009)
  • Documentation Project Management (COMM 1013)
  • Technical Documentation Graphics (COMM 1040)
  • Writing for the Web (COMM 1110)
  • Designing and Writing Online Help (COMM 1260)
  • Writing for the Computer Industry (COMM 2206)
  • Single-Sourcing for Technical Writers (COMM 2207)
  • Industry Project for Technical Writers (COMM 2210)
  • Introduction to Web Development and Design (COMP 1850)**
  • Microsoft Office 2010 (COMP 2010)**
  • Microsoft Word 2010 (COMP 2369)**

BCIT also offers an array of computer, programming, web development/design, and graphics courses that freelancers and students alike may be interested in.

For more information, visit:

Associate Certificate in Technical Writing

British Columbia Institute of Technology

Capilano University

(formerly Capilano College)

North Vancouver. Call Extension Programs, (604) 984-1727.

Capilano University offers an Interactive Design diploma program. The curriculum of this two-year program is founded on the conceptual fundamentals of communication in interactive media. The first year of the program encompasses all of the skills necessary to plan, design and implement websites. The second year includes advanced studies in one of three specializations: web design and development; disc-based interactive multimedia; and e-Learning.

Douglas College

New Westminster. Call (604) 527-5292.

Douglas—Home of the well-respected, full-time professional writing program called Print Futures, Douglas College has bowed to increasing demand and opened up most of the course to part-time students. However, be warned, student intake for part-time courses is six months prior to the term and courses are available only from September to April each year.

Education Abroad

For links to courses and programs outside British Columbia or Canada, see Courses section on the Canadian Issues SIG web site.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Surrey/Langley. Call (604) 599-2100.

Kwantlen doesn’t have an established technical communication program per se, but offers an array of Applied Communication (CMNS) courses, including:

  • CMNS 1106: Interactive Communication for the Floristry Workplace
  • CMNS 1110: Introduction to Business and Technical Communication
  • CMNS 1115: Writing for the Specialized Workplace
  • CMNS 1120: Introduction to Business and Technical Oral Communications
  • CMNS 1130: Introduction to Communication Studies
  • CMNS 1140: Introduction to Professional Communication
  • CMNS 1160: Communications and Teamwork
  • CMNS 1170: Intercultural Communications
  • CMNS 1216: Writing for the Specialized Workplace 1
  • CMNS 1217: Writing for the Specialized Workplace 2
  • CMNS 1241: Professional Communications 1 (Interior Design)
  • CMNS 1242: Professional Communications 2 (Interior Design)
  • CMNS 2140: Communications for Design Professionals
  • CMNS 3100: Technical Report Writing
  • ENTR 3000: Professional Business Communications (Entrepreneurial Leadership)
  • INFO 3110: Professional Communications in Information Technology

For more information, check out the Applied Communications Department Homepage.


Langara College

City of Vancouver. Call Continuing Education at (604) 323-5322.

The two-year journalism program at Langara is well-respected and now offers some courses on a part-time basis.

Post Secondary Application Service

For links to all of British Columbia’s publicly funded post-secondary institutions, see the Post-Secondary Application Service web site.

Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Harbour Centre Campus, Vancouver. Call (604) 291-5093, 604.291-5077, or (604) 291-5073.

In addition to its well-established non-credit certificate programs in Technical Writing, Business Writing, and Publishing, SFU offers courses that can help you expand your abilities in writing, editing, design and print production. See the Writing & Publishing Program and the semi-online Technical Communication Certificate Program. Courses include:

  • Concepts and Practice of Technical Communication (TCOM110)
  • Technical Writing and Editing (TCOM120)
  • Research, Analysis, and Information Design (TCOM210)
  • Design and Production of Technical Publications (TCOM220)
  • Indexing: An Essential Art and Science (TCOM230)
  • Microsoft Word for Technical Writers: Advanced (TCOM240)
  • Adobe Framemaker: Creating Technical Documentation (TCOM250)
  • Fundamentals of Creating Online Documents (TCOM260)
  • Technical Writing: Advanced Workshop (TCOM310)
  • Documentation Project Management (TCOM320)
  • Final Project: Technical Communication Guided Practicum (TCOM410)

SFU also offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in information technology and interactive arts at their Surrey Campus.


University of British Columbia (UBC)

Vancouver. Call Continuing Studies, non-credit, (604) 822-1444.

UBC offers a plethora of choices in Computer Science; you can learn about software for various platforms, at differing levels and for a wide range of prices. Check out course offerings in Web Development, Word Processing, Database Applications, Integrated Software, Spreadsheets, Statistics, Project Planning, Desktop Publishing, Graphics, Presentation, CD-ROM Production, Digital Imaging and Audio, Digital Video and Animation, Authoring, Networks, Operating Systems, and much more.

Multimedia Studies Program

Project Management

Internet Marketing

Multimedia and Web Development

University of Victoria (UVic)

Victoria. Call the Department of Writing at 1 (250) 721-7306

The Professional Writing Program at the University of Victoria is jointly offered by the Department of English and the Department of Writing. All Professional Writing Students are advised to apply to the Arts and Writing Co-op to obtain on-the-job experience. The goal of the program is to develop skills required to succeed as a professional writer in business, industry, government, journalism and publishing.

Vancouver Community College (VCC)

City of Vancouver. Call (604) 443-8668.

Business and Technical Writing Certificate Program

Clear and concise writing can work for you! Learn to sell your ideas and present information in a variety of written forms. Technical communication requires special skills. Today’s professionals spend more of their time producing written documentation. Courses will be of interest to those in diverse fields, including science, health, technology and all business occupations. Assignments are designed to build your professional portfolio. This program consists of nine, one day courses. Participants may register for courses individually. Courses offered on Saturdays on a rotating basis.

VCC also seasonally offers written translation courses for bilingual individuals under its Interpreting (INTR) Program.

Contact Information:

Course Advisor: Jennifer Gossen, (604) 443-8670

Program Assistant: Crystal Kreschuk, (604) 443-8711

Vancouver Film School

City of Vancouver. Call (604) 685-5808

The Vancouver Film School is a private school offering a wide range of courses in multimedia and animation; many are available part time.

Writing for film, TV, and interactive media

Vancouver Island University (VIU)

Powell River. Call 1 (877) 888-8890 (toll free).

Technical Communication Certificate (Online) – Almost every product comes with documentation produced by technical writers.  Get started on this in-demand career path with our new non-credit Technical Communication Certificate Program conducted completely online.  Each course runs for six weeks.  Prerequisites:  Computer Basics or equivalent skills, internet and email access, complete a free “orientation to Online Learning” prior to the course.

Course discount ($25 off) for current STC members.