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  •     One-year post-graduate diploma
  •     September entry date
  •     Annual application Deadline: May 10
  •     Exchange District Campus (formerly Princess Street Campus), Winnipeg
  •     Laptop delivery (buy your own laptop)
  •     Credit transfer opportunities: Athabasca University, University of Manitoba
  •     The International Applicant Early Application Deadline is November 21. The International Applicant Early Portfolio Submission Deadline is January 4.


Students in the Communication Design program will develop investigative and exploratory work that challenges ideas about what is traditionally accepted as output from a graphic design school. Through a series of thoughtful projects that casually blur disciplinary boundaries, the Communication Design program continually breaks new ground in building future generations of design thinkers at Red River College Polytechnic.

Admission Requirements

Your Academic History
If your academic history includes any of the following, please visit My Education for important information: post-secondary studies at an institution other than Red River College Polytechnic; Modified (M), English as an Additional Language (E), or GED high school courses; or home schooling; international secondary (high school) studies.


Upload Through Your Future Student Account

  • Scan your document(s) and save the file. Ensure you keep your original documents as the College may request to see them at any time.
  • Go to apply.rrc.ca and log in.
  • Click on your application, then Supplemental Items & Documents.

If you do not have a Future Student Account or require assistance, please contact our Student Service Centre at 204-632-2327.

Internationally Educated Applicants - visit www.rrc.ca/credentials for credential assessment information.

Submission of required documentation indicating proof of completion of admission requirements is due within 30 days of applying unless otherwise noted in the program's admission requirements.

This is a special selection program. Your portfolio will be evaluated and assigned a score based on your demonstrated ability to express yourself in visual form and explore concepts and ideas at an advanced level. If your portfolio score is within acceptable range you will continue through the admissions process. If your portfolio score does not fall within the acceptable range, your application will be cancelled.

Offers of admittance will be made to qualified applicants based on portfolio scores in descending order until all available seats are filled. This means not all applicants whose portfolios scores fall within acceptable range will be offered a seat.

Applicants not offered a seat may reapply for a future intake by submitting a new application, application fee, and new portfolio based on the portfolio specifications for that application year.

Annual application deadline: May 10

Regular Admission Requirements

  1. Academic Requirement
    • Submit proof of graduation from or enrolment in the final year of:
      • RRC's Graphic Design program
      • An equivalent program from a recognized school of design:
        • Completion of a 2 year diploma or a 3 or 4 year degree in Graphic Design
        • Training must include coursework in concept development, corporate/editorial publication, campaign strategy/branding, typography, website, illustration, and prepress/production skills
        • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator), along with basic HTML and CSS is required
    • If you provide proof of enrolment at time of application, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter
    • Post-secondary transcripts must have been issued within 6 months prior to your application date, and submitted in a sealed envelope directly from the post-secondary institution.
    • If you are required to complete an English language assessment, do not submit your transcripts until requested to do so.  See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.
  2. English Language Requirements (ELRs)
    • Answer this question to determine if you meet this program’s ELRs:
      Have I successfully completed 3 years of full-time high school (secondary) education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country where English was the language of instruction?
      • If YES, you meet English language requirements.  Apply and then submit your transcripts* for review
      • If NO, submit proof of meeting an ELRs option.  If you choose the English language assessment option, review this program's approved assessments and required levels.
      • If you completed all of your education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country in English but you did not graduate high school, submit your transcripts* for review. 
    • * If your transcripts are from the USA or an ELR exempt country, we will assess an International Credentials Assessment Fee to be paid before your transcripts will be reviewed.
  3. Portfolio
    • Submit a specified portfolio of art work that demonstrates advanced skills in graphic design
    • Full portfolio requirements are available here
    • This item is not due within 30 days of applying.  Submission of this item is due by May 20.

English Language Assessments

English Language AssessmentMinimum Required Levels
L - Listening, S - Speaking, R - Reading, W - WritingLSRW
AEPUCE (Academic English Program of University and College Entrance )
Requirement: Submission of a parchment (certificate) indicating successful completion of the AEPUCE program, including language levels achieved if available.
CAEL and CAEL Online (Canadian Academic English Language)
CLB (LINC) (Canadian Language Benchmark - Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada)
Canadian Citizens: LINC programs are not available.
CanTEST (Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees)
The Official CanTEST was discontinued in 2021, and as of October 20, 2021 the RRC CanTEST is no longer offered at RRC Polytechnic. CanTEST results dated within 2 years of your application date will still be accepted to meet English language proficiency requirements. Please note the Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) program requires the Official CanTEST (The RRC Institutional CanTEST will not be accepted).
Duolingo (Duolingo English Test)


There are no minimum required levels for L,S,R,W.

Only Duolingo English Test scores that have been verified through the Duolingo English Test Portal will be accepted.

IELTS - Academic (International English Language Testing System)
LSI (Language Studies International)
PTE - Academic Online Assessment (Pearson Test of English)
Password Skills ()
Password Skills Plus ()
TOEFL-iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet Based Test)
To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT® test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test in selected areas.

Who Should Enrol?

Choose this program if you are interested in pushing the boundaries of graphic design, expanding skills in critical thinking and design, and looking to acquire new skills in video, motion graphics, and UI/UX.

Locations, Dates and Fees

Next Estimated Term 1 Start Date (subject to change)

Location Start Date Apply Link
Roblin Centre (Prev. PSC) Aug 28, 2023 Apply Now

Costs (estimates only; subject to change)

Program/Student Fees
Year 1
Books and Supplies
Year 1
Other Fees
Year 1
Year 2
Program/Student Fees (International)
Year 1
1Includes estimate of $3500 for purchase of a laptop.
2Includes estimate of $200 for art supplies.
3Includes estimate of $600 for printing.

Red River College Polytechnic is a participating institution in the HigherEdPoints program. Through this program, students are able to convert Aeroplan® Miles and TD Points into funds to help cover their tuition. Family members and friends can also contribute to a student’s education by converting their loyalty points - anyone can donate their points to an individual student.

Visit the HigherEdPoints website for more information about the program and/or to set up an account to convert your points.

Program Outline

Communication Design post-graduate diploma - 51 CR total

Term 1 - 25 CR

Advanced Typography 1 (5 CR)
Media Exploration 1 (5 CR)
Communication Design 1 (6 CR)
Mentorship 1  (2 CR)
Interaction Design 1 (5 CR)
Community Design 1(2 CR)

Term 2 - 26 CR

Advanced Typography 2 (5 CR)
Media Exploration 2 (5 CR)
Communication Design 2 (6 CR)
Mentorship 2 (2 CR)
Interaction Design 2 (5 CR)
Community Design 2 (2 CR)
Portfolio Presentation (1 CR)

Courses and Descriptions

(Click the course name to view the description of the course)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
In addition to Transfer of Credit from a recognized post secondary institution, other RPL processes are available for RPL courses. Click here for more information. For courses with no RPL, please check www.rrc.ca/rpl for additional contact information.
CDES-4001Media Exploration 1
More Information

This course will challenge students to create intermediate visual problem-solving projects, as well as provide students with a practical, working knowledge of software for new media. Students will conceptualize and create well designed animations, motion graphics, videos and interactive projects that will help broaden their experience and skills in the areas of visual problem solving and communication. The focus in this term will be learning theory and application of software for projects using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Premier, Audition, and After Effects as well as other animation, video and audio editing tools.

CDES-4002Advanced Interaction Design 1
More Information

Emphasis in this course is placed on intermediate level creation of web page design and development, UI/UX, and prototyping. Through a series of hands-on assignments that encourage serious exploration of new media design and tools, students will be able to apply UX and UI guidelines and design theory. Software includes XD, Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Invision/prototyping tools.

CDES-4003Mentorship 1
More Information

The mentorship program was developed to provide a vehicle for mutual exchanges between practicing professional graphic designers and design students. Through these exchanges, students have the opportunity to receive feedback on their work, learn from the Mentor's expertise, and expand their knowledge of, and make connections within, the industry. These meetings allow students to prepare for and find future employment. Working with a mentor, students will rework past assignments or develop new ones to improve and expand their portfolio.

CDES-4004Community Design 1
More Information

Students will be tasked with creating a community focused design campaign aimed to bring issues and challenges faced by their selected community into focus. Students will present a statement of purpose highlighting the existing issues and a proposal outlining their approach. They will identify resources required to realize their solution. Students will present their design solutions to the issues facing their communities and back up their solutions with research, data, and visuals.

CDES-4005Communication Design 1
More Information

This course presents a unique opportunity for students to demonstrate advanced-level skills based on a foundation of research, strategy, and conceptual thinking. Students identify subject matter that is meaningful to them, and then ideate, design and produce several projects - across mediums and technologies - to validate their research. The work that is produced in Communication Design 1 forms the basis for continued exploration and refinement in Communication Design 2.

CDES-4006Advanced Typography 1
More Information

Students conduct in-depth research into the personality of type and how it can affect communications in a print, electronic, and environmental context. They have the opportunity to experiment with type in a variety of unconventional methods while focusing on how the theory of deconstruction applies to design and type. Students study how type and image interact with each other in a variety of different ways while developing an advanced knowledge of typographic syntax and application to a design system.

CDES-5001Media Exploration 2
More Information

This course challenges students to create advanced visual problem-solving projects, and teaches students about the advanced application of software for new media and interactive projects. Students experiment with and deliver unique solutions to motion graphic-based projects in design, while conceptualizing and creating in-depth animations, motion graphics, videos and interactive projects. This term broadens their skills in the areas of visual problem solving and communication, advancing students abilities for projects using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Premier, Audition and After Effects as well as other animation, video and audio editing tools.

CDES-5002Advanced Interaction Design 2
More Information

Emphasis in this course will be placed on advanced level creation in web page design and development, interactive and App design, prototyping, and Wordpress. Through a series of hands-on assignments that encourage serious exploration of new media design and tools, students will be able to apply UX and UI guidelines and design theory. Software includes HTML, CSS, Wordpress, CMS, themes and child themes of Responsive Wordpress templates.

CDES-5003Mentorship 2
More Information

Mentorship 2 is a continuation of the Mentorship 1 course. Drawing on their Mentor's expertise, students to continue to develop new assignments to expand their portfolio and make connections within the industry. Emphasis will be on networking and preparing students to enter the workforce after graduation.

CDES-5004Community Design 2
More Information

Students build on what they have learned from Community Design 1 to collaborate with a real-life client in creating a community focused design campaign. Students work with the client to research, visualize, and execute an effective design solution that addresses a specific need. They also coordinate production and deal with budgets. Students present design solutions to the issues facing their communities and back up their solutions with research, data, and visuals.

CDES-5005Communication Design 2
More Information

This course presents a unique opportunity for students to demonstrate advanced-level skills based on a foundation of research, strategy, and conceptual thinking. Students will build on the work completed in Communication Design 1, with a shift towards the realization of a fully-developed product supported by branding, marketing, communications and formal presentations. Conceptual exploration and technical execution will come together to showcase students' advanced skills across the spectrum of the design process.

CDES-5006Advanced Typography 2
More Information

Building on the research and practical knowledge gained in term 1, students will create an original working typeface from start to finish. While further exploring letterforms and the technique of hand lettering, students will go through the process of designing and building a font using interchangeable parts. The finished typeface will be implemented in a series of compositions demonstrating the breadth of the font's capabilities and personality.

CDES-5007Portfolio Presentation
More Information

This course is designed to assist students in the development of their portfolio and enhancement of their personal presentation skills. Project work will be reviewed and edited throughout the semester in preparation for presentation. Students will develop a prototype for a 3-dimensional display system to showcase their work at the annual grad show. Once the display is finalized, students will research and cost supplies and manage the building of the structure. Work will be mounted on the display, and a panel of instructors along with industry mentors will meet with students to review the work and provide feedback.


Computer/Laptop Requirements

All students will be required to purchase their own laptops for use throughout the program. Red River College Polytechnic will provide the software, and there will be a software fee associated with this.

The use of laptop computers is an integral part of this program. It will enhance your learning and competitiveness in the job market. This universal-access approach to learning is a shared one between students and the College. Laptop and software specifications will be provided to you by the College after you are accepted into the program to ensure the laptop complies with the program requirements.

Do not purchase a laptop until you have been accepted and registered in the program. Laptop specifications will be provided with letters of acceptance. You will have on-campus access to e-mail, College networks, and the Internet.

The College will also provide a detailed list of required software, network access, and help desk support if you require assistance. Off-campus access to the Internet is the responsibility of the student.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes

The Communication Design post-graduate diploma graduate will be able to:

  1. Design products and communications based on strategy and conceptual thinking;
  2. Explore advanced visual storytelling techniques to create motion graphics;
  3. Design and develop advanced interactive projects;
  4. Collaborate and communicate professionally;
  5. Communicate using advanced typographic methodologies;
  6. Define problems, determine target audience, manage project scope, apply research methods to determine design focus;
  7. Isolate an approach and implement into an effective design solution;
  8. Manage, evaluate and execute projects using appropriate industry standard tools and best practices;
  9. Showcase advanced skills across the spectrum of the design process;
  10. Apply lifelong learning habits: accept responsibility, take ownership, learn from mistakes, and show humility in order to build professional practices.

Transfer Credit Opportunities

The following universities offer credit for the Communication Design program.

University of Manitoba

  • Graduates of this program can receive one year of credit toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Athabasca University

  • Graduates of this program can receive advanced credit toward the Bachelor of Professional Arts (Communication Studies).

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process which documents and compares an individual's prior learning gained from prior education, work and life experiences and personal study to the learning outcomes in College courses/programs. For more information, please visit www.rrc.ca/rpl.

Employment Potential

Graduates of this program may find employment in the following fields:

  • Graphic design
  • Motion Graphics
  • Interactive Design - App design, UI/UX design
  • Website design and development
  • Print design
  • Branding and campaign
  • Illustration

Working for:

  • Advertising agencies
  • Graphic design studios
  • In-house design departments
  • Publishing Houses

Some graduates may choose self employment as freelance artists.

Contact Information

For general information about this program or how to apply, contact Enrolment Services at 204-632-2327.

For detailed program information, contact:

Krista Lawson
Program Coordinator // Graphic Design 
Red River College Polytechnic W302-160 Princess Street Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 1K9
E-mail: klawson@rrc.ca

College Support Services

Red River College Polytechnic is committed to student success and provides valuable support services to assist in helping students make the most of their time at RRC Polytech.

Visit www.rrc.ca/supports for more information.

Academic Advising Service
Our academic advising service can provide information about our full-time programs, explain program admission requirements, and help you select the right program to meet your career and academic goals. We can also connect you with helpful people, resources, and supports.
Page produced on 2023-02-01 09:12:35
Red River College Polytechnic endeavours to provide the most current version of all program and course information on this website. Please be advised that classes may be scheduled between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, process, or procedure without notice or prejudice. Fees may change without notice.