Professional Communication

Study type:Part-time Languages: English
StudyQA ranking:814 Duration:24 months You need IELTS certificate


The MA in Professional Communication program consists of two years of study with an annual three-week on-campus residency at the beginning of each year. Faculty who have expert, real-world experience provide a solid foundation of advanced professional and technical skills that underpin effective leadership in an increasingly communication-driven world.

The MA in Professional Communication program provides a broad understanding of communication as a human activity. Graduates will be able to function in environments that require effective team-work, adaptability, strategic planning, intercultural mediation, and a sophisticated understanding of interpersonal discourse. Additionally, they will excel in the integration of written and verbal communications with digital technologies.

Students may pursue a thesis-based option or complete a research paper which is smaller in scope but allows for extra coursework.

Please speak to our enrolment advisors at 1.877.778.6227 for information about how you can apply your IABC accreditation to an MA in Professional Communication.

Graduates of the MA in Professional Communication are professionals with a broad understanding of communication as a human activity. They are leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators in the workplace. They are able to function in environments that require effective team-work, adaptability, strategic planning, intercultural mediation, and a sophisticated understanding of interpersonal discourse. Finally, they excel in communication that requires the integration of superior written and spoken skills with digital technologies.

Graduates of the program will be familiar with government, social, and business organizations and will have an understanding of how information exchange is fundamental to their operation.

Graduates will have:

* Knowledge of both the fundamental and advanced concepts related to human communication and interaction and an ability to communicate successfully (written and oral discourse).
* The ability to use computer-mediated technology to manage the processes required for information retrieval and dispersal.
* Knowledge of the mass media and the information society, including information technology, telecommunications, public policy, publishing, and the cultural industries.
* Knowledge of government, social, and business organizations and an understanding of how information exchange is fundamental to the operation of these.
* An understanding of the management of communication industries and of internal and external corporate communications (public relations, advertising, marketing).
* An understanding of culture, international and intercultural communication, negotiation and conflict management. An ability to communicate effectively in diverse and difficult circumstances.

* PCOM510: Introduction to Communication Theory
* PCOM520: Social Media and Digital Communications
* PCOM530: Technology and Interaction
* PCOM540: Communication, Culture, and Media
* PCOM550: Organizational Communication
* PCOM620: Research in Communication Studies
* PCOM630: Advanced Research Methods
* PCOM631: Professional Writing and Publishing
* PCOM632: Conflict Analysis and Management
* PCOM633: Strategic Communication Management
* PCOM634: Consulting
* PCOM635: Communication for Social Change and Development
* PCOM640: Communication Policy, Politics and Law
* PCOM660: Research Paper
* PCOM661: Thesis

Delivery Model
The MA in Professional Communication is a 36 credit, two-year program delivered through online courses and an annual three-week residency held on campus in Victoria, B.C.


The on-campus residencies at the beginning of each study year allow students to become acquainted with the Royal Roads University culture; faculty and fellow students. Students will also:

* begin the study of core elements of the program;
* attend interactive workshops in professional communication;
* listen to lectures and seminars by external experts in the field;
* develop team and leadership skills essential for future distance-delivered semesters;
* consolidate learning acquired during the program; and
* benefit from small-group mentoring and personal consultation.

Students can expect to work hard during the residency period. The normal classroom schedule is Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Team meetings, homework, and readings are done outside of these hours. In addition to the educational activities, there will be a number of planned recreational events.

Both residency periods are mandatory. However, you do not have to stay on campus, and off-campus housing is available through an off-campus housing registry.

Online Learning

The distance learning portions of the MA in Professional Communication program take place online. During the distance study periods, students typically take one distance course at a time for a period of approximately nine weeks each. Prior to commencing each course, students are provided with a package of materials and readings. Each course will require a level of effort of approximately 22 hours per week. This may vary at times throughout the course and from student to student. During the first distance courses, the amount of time required may be higher, as students familiarize themselves with our distance learning technologies. At their own convenience, students will work through the requirements of the course (although there are real time deadlines for assignments, exams, etc.).

Elective Courses

Students will take one or two elective courses, depending on whether they choose to end their program with a thesis or a research paper. (Thesis option = one elective, research paper option = two electives)

The elective courses are as follows:

* PCOM 631 Professional Writing and Publishing
* PCOM 632 Conflict Analysis and Management
* PCOM 633 Strategic Communication Management
* PCOM 635 Communication for Social Change and Development

We use a number of different delivery methods including textbooks, articles, case studies, videotapes, and interactive Internet learning using discussion groups (bulletin boards) for correspondence with classmates. Having already met their classmates during the first residency period, students continue to work in teams during the distance courses. This diverse and comprehensive approach to learning has proven extremely helpful to our students.


Working professionals who want to excel in the integration of strategic written and verbal communications in an environment that requires team-work, adaptability, intercultural mediation, and a sophisticated understanding of interpersonal discourse. Through our Flexible Admission process, significant professional experience in lieu of academic requirements may also considered. Please visit our program admission page for more admission information.

Standard AdmissionEligible applicants will have completed a four-year undergraduate degree in arts, education, science or other related field or a comparable degree from a recognized post-secondary institution in a related field, and have completed at least two years of paid or unpaid work experience, preferably in a leadership capacity.Flexible AdmissionUnder flexible admission a combination of work experience, education, and professional development is assessed. * Applicants without an undergraduate degree, but more than three years (90 credits) of communication- related post-secondary education, should have at least three years of related work experience preferably in a leadership capacity to be considered for this program. * Applicants with 2-3 years (60-90 credits) of communication related post-secondary education should have at least five years of communication related professional experience in a leadership role. * Applicants with less than two years of communication related post-secondary education should have at least ten years of high-level professional communication experience including leadership and management positionsEnglish Language RequirementsEnglish is the primary language of instruction and communication in all domestic programs at Royal Roads University.As part of the application process, all candidates whose first language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in English speaking, listening, reading and writing by one of the following means: * Submission of an official English language proficiency score report which meets one of the following minimum standards: * International English Language Testing System (IELTS) * IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall; 6.0 in each skill * Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) * Internet-based Test (IBT): 88 overall; 20 in each subsection * Paper-based Test (PBT): 570 * University of Cambridge English Examinations: * Advanced (CAE): Grade C * Accuplacer: Reading Comprehension: 70; Writing: 6 * Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL): 70 overall; 70 in Writing; 60 in other skills * CanTEST: 4.5 overall; 4.0 in each skill * Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB): 9+ * Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): 81 overall2. Graduation from a recognized diploma or degree program from a college or university at which English was the primary language of instruction in an English speaking country.3. Completion of the International Study Centre's undergraduate or pre-master's pathway program(s).An applicant who believes they are fully proficient in English may provide a written submission to the Admissions Office, demonstrating English proficiency through other means. Some programs may require additional or alternative verification of English competence. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 570 TOEFL iBT® test: 88

Royal Roads University Awards
There are a variety of awards, scholarships, and bursaries available to help offset your tuition fees.

Entrance Awards
Apply to a competition that falls before your first day of class

In-Course Awards
Apply to a competition that falls after your program begins

Convocation Awards
Recipients are selected by way of academic performance, application, or peer nomination

Student Research Awards
Major grants to support research training for masters and doctoral students

External Award Postings
Other award notices received by RRU are posted on MyRRU.

Funding Sources
The following external resources offer additional funding opportunities through loans, scholarships, or grants.

Government Student Loans
Information about program eligibility and application procedures

Student Line of Credit
A popular and flexible alternative to government student loans

Lifelong Learning Plan
This plan allows you to borrow from your RRSP's tax-free

Emergency Funding
This program assists students with short-term emergency needs due to unforeseen expenses

Aboriginal/First Nations
Funding resources and the President's Aboriginal Support Bursary

International Study
Links to helpful sites for international students studying in Canada and for Canadians wishing to study abroad

Canadian Forces and DND
Financial assistance is available to employees of the Canadian Forces and their family

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