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Applied Media and Communication Arts

Discover the possibilities of visual and media arts.

A group of students are seen sitting at a round table discussing a creative solution to their work.
AMCA students have many opportunities for group work and creative collaboration.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

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Media Arts have a powerful impact on our daily lives, influencing our understanding of culture and society. This one-year exploratory program prepares you for further study in creative and media arts by helping you identify your interests, passions and strengths.

Explore the foundations of various creative industries, including photography, graphic design, digital animation, printing, video, interactive design and audio production. With a hands-on approach, you work collaboratively on projects that develop your creative and artistic process. 

You learn industry-standard software skills and gain awareness of the technology and processes used in various creative mediums. In addition, you strengthen your visual, oral and written communication abilities, develop critical thinking skills and learn with other creative-minded students in a supportive learning environment. Along the way, you’ll discover what motivates and inspires you, and leave with a diverse portfolio of your work.

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Choose NSCC

  • You explore different media to achieve unique solutions that promote creativity and innovation.
  • You gain practical experience using industry-standard equipment and technology.
  • You develop an understanding of how to take direction, how to take initiative and how to be responsible for deadlines, presentations and other project parameters.
  • You learn from instructors with industry experience who are available for support and guidance.
  • Regular one-on-one advising is available throughout the program.


Seats are available at Ivany and Sydney campus for domestic applicants only. International applicants will be waitlisted.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.
Sydney Waterfront Campus
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.
Seats available

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Future study options

When you graduate, you have the knowledge you need to continue your studies in the creative industries, including enrolling in:

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

AMCA 1020 - Collaborative Project I
This course introduces you to applied media and communication arts by immersing you in the creative design process through a collaborative experience. You will be encouraged to explore and experiment throughout this intensive week of discovery. You will also be encouraged to share your strengths, knowledge and experiences with your team in order to find creative solutions to a multi-discipline project. The emphasis will be on the process and your creative potential within a set of given parameters. This experience is also designed to introduce you to the other learners in the Applied Media and Communication Arts program and learn about yourself and others in a respectful and inclusive teaching and learning environment. Further, this course will highlight the professional expectations in a variety of applied arts disciplines and lay some foundation skills for the courses that will follow.

AMCA 1035 - Graphic Design I
Students will be introduced to the software, tools and creative processes required to develop visual communication solutions for printed graphic design materials. Students will begin to develop problem-solving skills and gain an understanding of the broad application of graphic design.

AMCA 1040 - Interactive Design I
This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of storytelling, visual communication and the use of industry standard software as development tools. Students will identify what constitutes interactive media and the design, usability and accessibility principles used.

AMCA 1052 - Video and Sound Design I
This course introduces learners to the various roles, principles and processes associated with video and sound design and production. Learners will explore and experiment with the elements that comprise a video production such as writing, framing, editing and sound. They will explore elements of sound design such as levels, noise, editing, mixing and effects. They will also be introduced to the concepts of storytelling and create basic video and sound productions.

AMCA 1055 - Photography I
This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of photography, including how to operate a DSLR camera. Students will explore their potential and aptitude for a career in photography through practical application and theory.

AMCA 1065 - Creative Connections I
This course introduces students to the many careers available to them as future practitioners in the creative industries field. Students are exposed to the various avenues they may take to become successful in the field, including further study.

AMCA 1075 - Professional Practices for Creative Industries I
This course introduces students to the professional practices and processes applied across all areas of the creative industries. In addition, students will begin to build professional portfolios which will be used to present creative work and demonstrate skills.

AMCA 1080 - Illustration
This course will introduce learners to the theory and practice of storytelling and visual communication through the practice of drawing. In this course, learners will learn the differing approaches to perceiving the world around them and translating that through the practice of drawing.

AMCA 2035 - Graphic Design II
In this course students learn about the fundamental principles of design and associated technologies, along with idea development and creative problem solving. Students work on real world graphic design projects and create strategies and visual solutions for communicating messages.

AMCA 2040 - Interactive Design II
In this course students will plan, create and present interactive media projects using a variety of software. Students will also design and develop original assets for media projects.

AMCA 2052 - Video and Sound Design II
Learners will work in a collaborative environment to brainstorm, write, plan and create short media productions. Working in small groups, they will follow the standard model of pre-production, production and post-production used in the television, film, and sound recording industries. Learners will create original music, environment sounds, radio productions, and sound effects using recording techniques and standard audio software.

AMCA 2055 - Photography II
Students will compose, shoot and process photographic images using a DSLR camera and standard processing software. Students will apply skills and knowledge (theory and practice) from prerequisite courses to express their own ideas and interpretations in photographic media.

AMCA 2065 - Creative Connections II
This course explores cultural diversity associated with creative industries and how it informs the creative process and output. Students will discuss current media, art and design and discover the connections and influence of historic movements and styles.

AMCA 2075 - Professional Practices for Creative Industries II
In this course students explore personal goals and options for careers in the creative industries and refine creative portfolios in readiness for showcasing work and achievements for the next phase of career or study.

AMCA 2080 - Animation
This course will introduce learners to the theory and practice of storytelling and visual communication through the practice of drawing. In this course, learners will analyze movement and break it down into a sequence of drawings to better understand the relationship of movement over time and how it impacts an audience.

AMCA 2500 - Collaborative Project II
This course is designed to demonstrate the learning and skills acquired throughout the year. It will involve a variety projects and give opportunities to demonstrate individual strengths, skills and personal academic focus. There will be opportunities for learners to work in groups on larger projects, but there will also be room for personal focus that will give the learner the opportunity to develop personal work for inclusion in their portfolio.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

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