Graphic Design Diploma - Advanced Entrance

The goal of this program is to prepare students for a career in the graphic design industry. This program will prepare students in three key areas necessary for working in the design industry: design principles, technical expertise, critical thinking and client relations.

Graduates will be proficient in the entire design process, from conceptual development to final delivery on various media, from print to pixels. Research, critical thinking, visual language, typography and layout, branding and corporate identity and technical expertise including the Adobe Creative Cloud applications.

This program is unique as it offers students the opportunity to develop working relationships with actual clients within a mentored studio setting in the second year. Students will then prepare a professional portfolio and conclude with a four week practicum.

We are currently accepting applications for the advanced entrance for the Diploma program. Acceptance into the program can be met by:

  1. Completion of VCC Graphic Design Certificate
  2. or
  3. Completion of a Graphic Design Certificate, Diploma, or Degree equivalent from another recognized institution (national or international) as determined by the program Department Head (please see our Admissions Requirement for the complete process).

Program Status:
Accepting applications

Start Length Credentials Campus Part- or Full-time
Jan, Sep 10 months 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

Students entering 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 15 courses for 55 credits in Year 2. 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

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements


This program welcomes applications from Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Program options for international students can be found at VCC International.

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.
Advanced Admission Requirements (Year 2):

Completion of VCC Graphic Design Certificate


Completion of Graphic Design Certificate equivalent (can be a Certificate, Diploma or Degree in graphic design) from another recognized institution (either national or international) as determined by the program Department Head. AND Interview with Selection Committee.

Selection Committee Interview Process:

  1. Prior to interview students are required to provide to the Department Head, Lorena Espinoza.
    • Resumé
    • 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
  2. Once the above has been received by VCC, then the Graphic Design Department will receive an email with your time and date for your portfolio interview (Please be sure to follow the directions in the email invitation). Preparing for the portfolio interview:
    • The portfolio should include a minimum of 10 and no more than 15 pieces of work.
    • The portfolio is a selected collection of drawings, sketches, photographs, or any other representation illustrating your artistic abilities, sensitivities, visual awareness, and interests through choice and presentation.
    • Your portfolio can be digital and/or include physical artifacts.
    • We do not require the portfolio in advance, but you are required to bring it with you for your interview.
    • It is strongly suggested you attend an Info Session prior to your interview so if you have any questions or concerned can be addressed then.

Recommended Characteristics:

  • A strong understanding of Adobe Cloud is essential when entering the Diploma program with Advanced Standing
  • 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

Fees and Other costs

Application Fee $35
Tuition Fee $7,931
Student Union Fee $59.54
College Initiative Fee $138.48
Student Union Health Plan Fee $146
Student Union Dental Plan Fee $146
U-Pass Fee $369
Other Costs Graduation Fee - $21.22
Campus Resource Fee - $158.62
Textbooks and supplies - $900

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 - Advanced Entrance program concentrates on conceptual thinking, understanding audience, problem solving, design theory, technical expertise in Adobe Creative Cloud, and both print and web development.

Advanced Entrance candidates require a certificate in a similar program from any other institution in Canada or abroad or a previous Digital Graphic Design certificate from VCC. Advanced entrants join the second year of this two-year, full-time program.

Classes take 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.

View all Info Sessions/Tours >>

Contact Us/Request Info

Contact Us/Request Info


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Program Highlights

Program Highlights


Course Schedule

Courses Schedule


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