Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication

Fine & Applied Arts, IDEA School of Design


Program Highlights

Want to be part of the next generation of creative professionals? Learn your craft and develop your skill in visual expression at CapU.

The world of visual communication moves fast. At CapU we make it our business to keep up with industry trends and innovations – and take you with us. The curriculum is rigorous, industry-focused and responsive to cultural change and technology advances. You'll learn a broad range of design specialties such as branding, illustration, and interactive design. You'll engage with instructors who are professionals with years of experience and broad networks across the industry. Bring your talent, passion and goals to a program with a reputation for industry-ready graduates.

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of current visual communication practice
  • Identify and solve communication problems using a strategic process, with an emphasis on design thinking, creativity, original solutions, and clarity of communication
  • Describe and respond to the audiences and contexts that communication solutions must address, including recognition of the physical, cognitive, economic, cultural, and social human factors that shape visual communication decisions
  • Demonstrate proficiency with the tools and technologies that support visual communication practice and apply concepts across a range of media platforms
  • Utilize professional development and industry work experience to enter the field as visual communication professionals
  • Apply visual communication expertise for societal and environmental benefit
  • Work collaboratively with other disciplines in business, industry, and the broader community
  • Recognize the importance of life-long learning and responsiveness to change


Campus Terms Full/Part Time
North Vancouver Fall Full-Time

Program Requirements and Outlines

First Term

DSGN 121 Creative Thinking I 3.00 credits
ENGL 100 Academic Writing Strategies 3.00 credits
IDES 131 Survey Illustration I 3.00 credits
IDES 133 Visual Studio 3.00 credits
IDES 141 Survey Design I 3.00 credits
First Term Credits Required 15.00

Second Term


ENGL or CMNS 100-level or higher

DSGN 122 Creative Thinking 3.00 credits
IDES 132 Survey Illustration II 3.00 credits
IDES 142 Survey Design II 3.00 credits
IDES 151 Digital Media I 3.00 credits
Second Term Credits Required 15.00

Third Term


Breadth Elective 100-level or higher

IDES 211 Technology Intensive I 1.00 credits
IDES 235 Illustration Studio I 3.00 credits
IDES 243 Design Studio I 3.00 credits
IDES 247 Survey of Typography 3.00 credits
IDES 252 Digital Media II 3.00 credits
Third Term Credits Required 16.00

Fouth Term


Breadth Elective 100-level or higher

IDES 212 Technology Intensive II 1.00 credits
IDES 236 Illustration Studio II 3.00 credits
IDES 237 Digital Illustration 3.00 credits
IDES 244 Design Studio II 3.00 credits
IDES 249 Brand Identity 3.00 credits
Fouth Term Credits Required 16.00

Fifth Term


Breadth Elective 100-level or higher

DSGN 325 Design Thinking & Research I 3.00 credits
IDES 313 Technology Intensive III 1.00 credits
IDES 340 Visual Comm. Workshops I 3.00 credits
Choose 6.00 credits from the following list:
IDES 360 Vis. Communication Studio I 6.00 credits
IDES 361 Studio I Illustration Conc 6.00 credits
IDES 362 Studio I Branding Conc 6.00 credits
IDES 363 Studio I Interactive Conc 6.00 credits
Fifth Term Credits Required 16.00

Program Notes

Students starting in their baccalaureate degree on or after Fall 2018 and graduating on or after June 2022 must meet Cap Core graduation requirements in addition to their program requirements.

Students may obtain a concentration by completing 24.00 credits in one of the following areas:

  • Illustration Concentration: 9 lower-level credits: IDES 235, IDES 236 and IDES 237; 15 upper-level credits: IDES 361 and/or IDES 381, and DSGN 441.
  • Branding Concentration: 9 lower-level credits: IDES 243, IDES 244 and IDES 249; 15 upper-level credits: IDES 362 and/or IDES 382, and DSGN 442.
  • Interactive Design Concentration: 9 lower-level credits: IDES 243, IDES 244 and IDES 252; 15 upper-level credits: IDES 363 and/or IDES 383, and DSGN 443.

Note: Breadth elective credits must include a minimum of 3 credits designated as Quantitative/Analytical and a minimum of 6 credits at the 300/400 level.

Continuation Requirements

Year 2: Successful completion of all 100-level IDES/DSGN courses with a 2.67 GPA on these courses. Year 3: Successful completion of all 200-level IDES/DSGN courses with a 2.67 GPA on these courses. Year 4: Successful completion of all 300-level IDES/DSGN courses with a 2.67 GPA on these courses.

Important Dates


Fall 2018

Application & Document Deadline

May 1

Course Registration & Waitlisting

July 9-20

Fee Payment Deadline

August 27

NOTE: Dates are subject to change.

Admission Requirements

  • BC Secondary School graduation (Grade 12) or equivalent; or Mature Student status
  • A minimum grade of C in either English 12 or English 12 First Peoples
  • Capilano English Language Requirement for students whose primary language is not English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): paper=560, internet=83, or English Language Assessment (ELA)=145, or International English Language Testing System (Academic IELTS)=6.5 overall, and no one score less than 6, or Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)=70, or Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic)=56 or Capilano University EAP 100 and 101 with a minimum B+ grade in each course.
  • Interview required if portfolio review is successful
  • Two letters of reference, written submission documents, and an online portfolio. Portfolios are reviewed by an admissions committee on the basis of drawing, design, use of colour, creativity, media variety, skill and presentation. Applicants whose portfolios meet the standards of the program will be required to submit a sketchbook for review, attend an interview, and complete tests in drawing, written communication, and creative thinking.


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Have questions about this program? Get in touch with an admissions advisor.

Student Information Services

Admissions Advisor
604 984 4900
604 984 1798 (fax)
Birch Building, room BR230

IDEA School of Design

604 990 7820