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FULL-TIME | WINNIPEG LOCATIONS PHAFF-CT Pharmaceutical and Food Manufacturing

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  • One-year certificate
  • September entry date
  • Notre Dame Campus, Winnipeg 
  • International applicants please visit Academic Program, Dates and Fees for a listing of programs for international students, current availability and online application instructions
This program was formerly Pharmaceutical Manufacturing.


This program provides the skills you need to gain employment in the production of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food products. This program provides specialized training in the pharmaceutical and food industry through hands-on learning in our pilot scale production facilities. These facilities include Solid Dosage Manufacturing, Applied Biopharmaceutical Production, and Food Processing.

You will acquire the skills used to produce pharmaceutical products such as over-the-counter and prescription drugs, vaccines, analgesics, and antibiotics. Additionally, the program will provide hands-on training and skill development in food processing and manufacturing.

Graduates find employment as technicians and operators within various pharmaceutical, natural health product, and food production facilities.

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.
The college requires transcripts verifying your complete academic history including any public or private high school, college, university, or technical institute you have attended.


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 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 for credential assessment information.

Submission of required documentation indicating proof of completion of admission requirements is due within 15 days of applying unless otherwise noted in the program's admission requirements.

However, if you apply within 6 weeks of the program start date, admission requirements are due within 5 days of applying.

Regular Admission Requirements

  1. Grade 12
    • Submit proof of graduation from or enrolment in Grade 12, including one credit in each of the following:
      • Grade 12 English
      • Grade 12 Pre-Calculus Math 40S or Applied Math 40S
      • Grade 12 Biology
      • Grade 12 Chemistry
    • 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
    • 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.

Mature Student Admission Requirements
If you are 19 years of age or older and have been out of high school for a minimum of one year at time of application, and you do not meet the regular admission requirements, you may apply under the Mature Student admission requirements.

  1. Grade 12 Courses
    • High school graduation is not required, but you must have successfully completed or be enrolled in one credit in each of the following:
      • Grade 12 English
      • Grade 12 Pre-Calculus Math 40S or Applied Math 40S
      • Grade 12 Biology
      • Grade 12 Chemistry
    • 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
    • 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. Meet Regular Admission Requirement 2

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.
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)
Please Note: 3 year expiry date for Nursing Program Applicants
LSI (Language Studies International)
PTE - Academic Online Assessment (Pearson Test of English)
Password Skills (An in person English Language Assessment hosted by RRC Polytech)
This in-person, computer-based test is composed of four test modules: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The test takes 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete and is conducted in two parts. The first part assesses reading, listening, and writing, and the second part assesses speaking in a separate room. Password Skills costs $139 to take through RRC Polytech. Password Skills is hosted by the RRC Polytech Testing and Assessment Centre: E440, Manitou a bi Bii Daziigae building, on the fourth floor. If you wish to do Password Skills remotely (not in-person), Password Skills Plus can be taken online. RRC Polytech does not offer Password Skills Plus, but we do accept the results for entry into program.
Password Skills Plus (Password Skills Plus is an online assessment that can be taken instead of Password Skills. )
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.

Locations, Dates and Fees

Next Estimated Term 1 Start Date (subject to change)

Location Start Date Apply Link
Notre Dame Campus Aug 26, 2024 Apply Now

Costs (estimates only; subject to change)

Program/Student Fees
Year 1
Books and Supplies
Year 1
Program/Student Fees (International)
Year 1

Students may apply for financial assistance through the Manitoba Student Aid program. For general information on applying please call 204-945-6321 or 1-800-204-1685, or visit their website at, which also includes an online application. For detailed information, please visit one of the RRC Polytech Student Service Centres or call 204-632-2327. Applicants requiring financial assistance should complete their student loan applications well in advance of the class start date.

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.

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 for additional contact information.
CBST-1009Careers and Trends in Biotechnology, Pharma and Food
More Information

Careers in Canada's emerging biotechnology industry are varied. This course is designed to help students decide on a profession that aligns with their unique skills and abilities. Through industry-led discussions and experiential classroom activities, students will develop a comprehensive perspective on biotechnology, pharma, food and their main industry sectors. They will be provided with an insider's view on each sector of the biotechnology industry, which will help them carve out a career path that fits with their interests and strengths.

Whether students are interested in a career in Manufacturing, Quality Control or Quality Assurance, they will benefit from this exploratory course that examines the day-to-day duties, and personal and professional development of people employed in biotechnology.

CBST-1013Fundamental Lab Skills
More Information

This course focuses on the fundamental applied skills that are required for a career in a science laboratory. This includes using and ensuring that basic lab equipment, such as balances, pH meters, and microscopes are used correctly. Students will also be taught aseptic techniques and learn how to appropriately handle reagents and prepare solutions in a variety of science and technology-based workplaces. Following an introduction to potential workplace health and safety hazards, students will be taught how to contribute to the day-to-day maintenance and operation of a lab. In addition, they will practice generating lab records that comply with regulatory requirements.

CBST-1016Instrumentation and Equipment
More Information

This course introduces students to the instruments, tools, and equipment used in a production setting. Through classroom lecture and demonstrations, students will experiment with the instruments used in a laboratory. They will also be provided with opportunities to develop the experience needed to install, use, inspect, dismantle, and service analytical and manufacturing equipment.

CBST-1018Measurements, Calculations and Physics Principles
More Information

In this course students will be taught the fundamental skills and concepts required to conduct measurements and calculations in a laboratory environment. Students will learn how to express measurements using the metric system, to convert between different metric units, and to calculate solution concentrations in units such as molarity and parts per million (ppm). They will also review some basic concepts of chemistry, such as the mole, and discuss various aspects of statistics as well as the use of linear regression as applied to calibration. This course will also introduce students to the study of light and electricity to help them effectively use laboratory instruments and equipment.

COMM-1173Communication StrategiesRPL
More Information

Everyone communicates, but are they doing it well? Communicative competence takes practice and self-awareness. By developing their communication skills, the student will improve their interpersonal ability, intercultural competence, and digital fluency to prepare the student for success in the workplace. In Communication Strategies, the student will learn through discovery and project-based activities to practice approaching situations critically and collaboratively. The strategies the student will gain in this course will be useful throughout their program and in their chosen industry.

COMM-2172Communication for the WorkplaceRPL
More Information

This course reinforces the communication strategies practiced in COMM-1173 to provide students with the communication skills needed to apply for, stay in, and progress in the world of work. Students will further develop their interpersonal skills and digital fluency by seeking college, industry and community supports. Additionally, they will apply speaking, writing, and collaboration strategies to getting the job, adjusting to the job, and developing long-term career goals. Communication for the Workplace is a creative and active learning opportunity to set students apart in today’s competitive job market.

MBIO-1002Applied Microbiology
More Information

In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of microbiology. Through classroom discussions, demonstrations, and guided practice, they will develop the skills to required to perform various operations in a microbiology lab. Students will build the competence to accurately observe, cultivate, and identify selected bacteria and fungi and will learn how to apply different sterilization methods in a microbiology lab to maintain a safe and sanitary environment.

PHAR-1031Tooling and Machinery in Fabrication
More Information

This hands-on course introduces students to the equipment used in pharmaceutical and food manufacturing environments. Students will learn how to safely operate and maintain the equipment used in the biofermentation process, in solid dosage manufacturing, and to transform raw materials into consumable food products.

Through classroom demonstrations and independent practice, Students will acquire the technical skills to troubleshoot common equipment problems in compliance with standard industry practices and procedures. Throughout this course, they will work in a small collaborative groups in settings that represent actual industry environments.

PHAR-1032Solid Dosage Production
More Information

In this course, Students will learn how to manufacture pharmaceutical drugs, specifically tablets and capsules. They will follow written instructions and document their activities to ensure that quality standards are met throughout the entire production process. Students will perform basic tests to assess the quality of raw material, in-process material, and product used in tablet or capsule manufacturing operations and generate and interpret the results to determine product quality. While honing their practical skills, they will also refine their ability to document their lab work using good documentation practices.

PHAR-1033Bioprocessing Pharmaceutical Production
More Information

This course emphasizes the theoretical and practical aspects of microbial fermentation for the production of biopharmaceuticals. Students will acquire hands-on experience setting up and monitoring biofermentors. They will also learn the basics of various filtrations in downstream processing. A major portion of this course will focus on the microbial laboratory procedures, aseptic laboratory practices, and purification techniques used in biotechnology drug manufacturing. Special emphasis will be placed on drug manufacturing using biotechnology processes to produce recombinant protein therapeutics.

PHAR-1034Food Processing
More Information

In this course, students will be introduced to the basic principles and practices of food processing and packaging. Through hands on practice in a manufacturing environment, they will learn different food processing methods while discovering the functionality and purpose of various raw materials and ingredients. Students will also learn to distinguish between the processing and packaging of different food groups and products to determine how their physical and chemical properties are modified during the food processing and packaging processes.

QUAL-1003Introduction to Quality and Compliance
More Information

This course introduces students to the concepts of quality and the basics of compliance, providing them with the building blocks for eventual success in the workplace. Students will evaluate their expectations of product quality and learn about good data and records management, good manufacturing practices, standard operating procedures and food safety to develop experience with the regulations, guidelines, and industry standards used to ensure quality and compliance.

Computer/Laptop Requirements

Online learning is a critical component of course delivery in all Red River College Polytechnic programs. To ensure each student has the tools they need to achieve their academic goals, all Red River College Polytechnic students require, at minimum:

1.  Off-campus access to a current computer with a webcam

2.  A high speed internet connection

• Recommended minimum speed: 10 mbps for download, 3 mbps for upload
• Slower internet connection speeds may result in audio and video issues. Please keep in mind that if others in your home are using the same internet connection at the same time as you are, you may also experience audio and video issues.
• Please refer to for further information on Computer Requirements for Students.

Please note that any anticipated costs are not included in Books and Supplies estimates.

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

Graduation Requirements

For students registered in the Pharmaceutical and Food Manufacturing program with a 2020-2021 Catalogue year, the requirements to graduate are as follows:

  • A minimum grade of C in each of the Core/Compulsory courses in the program content
  • A minimum program GPA of 2.00
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.
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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.