Media Arts Fundamentals

Kingston Campus | Program Code: 0981 | Open for International Students
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This one-year certificate program in Media Arts Fundamentals provides students with an opportunity to explore the exciting variety of disciplines and careers in media, design, and the arts.

Courses in professional communications, digital media applications, and academic preparation provide a foundation for the program, while a variety of media-arts electives allow students to earn credits toward specialized two- and three-year diploma programs in Graphic Design, Visual & Creative Arts - Fine Arts, Music & Digital Media, Advertising & Marketing Communications, and General Arts & Science.

Courses in the final semester focus on professionalism, career exploration and the preparation of a media-arts portfolio that students can tailor to academic or career pathways that interest them most. Interesting community partnerships with Kingston's rich and vibrant arts community, as well as guest speakers and mentors with careers in the media arts will help students decide their next steps into this vibrant sector of the economy.

Program Details

Code 0981
Start Date September
Credential Ontario College Certificate
Campus Kingston
Program Length 1 Year
Delivery Full-Time
Open for international students

Program Outline


This course is designed for students who are not professional designers or photographers but who have a personal interest in photo and image editing. BCOM17 explores a range of Photoshop tools, palettes, and functions used for creating, editing, capturing, repairing, resizing, and enhancing digital images. The course includes modules on selection techniques, layers, paint and colour techniques, type elements, filters, sharpening and softening, actions, lighting, repairing and retouching, and printing and publishing. (3 hrs. per week)

Prerequisite: None

This course is designed to help students develop and practice the communication skills needed to succeed in college and workforce environments. Emphasis is placed on improving foundational communication strategies-reading, writing, listening, and speaking—and on developing research and critical thinking skills. 

In this course, students learn introductory design fundamentals and the basics of professional practice for graphic designers. Learners explore the visual forms used to create design compositions as well as approaches to ideation and iteration as components of the design thinking process. This studio course uses hands-on projects and incorporates terms and techniques that are taught in other courses including typography, colour theory, and writing. Course content is delivered using a lecture/discussion format and develops the student's critical thinking/analysis skills through group critique sessions. Fundamentals of professional practice are also explored, including the language of design, time management, and self-care.
An introductory course the fundamentals of digital photography, elements of composition, and basic image editing. Also examined are photography's role in society, and a brief overview of the history of photography. You will learn the practical side of digital photography by exploring the various camera parts, functions and photographic techniques that will lead to producing technically sound images. Digital workflow, including image editing and optimization for various purposes is also covered. There will be series of photographic assignments, which will be edited and optimized in our computer lab, culminating in the production of visually compelling images. You will also gain an appreciation of aesthetics and composition, through discussions, critiques and writing an artist statement.
This course introduces students to the field of media, design, and the arts. Students examine the basic concepts of visual literacy needed for the development of work in various digital media. In surveying the history of mass/digital media in the past century, students also learn how various forms of media and messaging contribute to communicating cultural meaning. The course emphasizes critical thinking, media criticism, and analysis.

Each semester, students select one elective course. The available electives change somewhat each semester. In semester 1, options often include:

  • DESI 141
  • MUSC 3R
  • MCOM 15
  • GENE 25
  • GENE 179
  • GENE 304

This course is a computer lab based practical course that is a study and introduction to video editing and post-production. Students will demonstrate through the Adobe Creative series basic non-linear editing techniques to produce visual montages and sequence-based instructional videos.

In this course, students continue to develop their basic design fundamental skills towards competence as professional graphic designers. Students explore how various conceptual approaches communicate meaning to an audience by completing hands-on projects. Learners focus on research, ideation and iteration as components of the design thinking process, the development of design layouts, and the role of the critique process. Further topics of professional practice are also explored, including communicating design to other designers, self-direction, and self-care.

This course addresses the question: what media arts career would be a good fit for me? Students achieve a deeper understanding of self: personality, passions, values, interests, aptitudes and aspirations. Students explore leading-edge careers in media, design, and the arts in Canada, as well as general workplace trends and opportunities. Further, individual research focuses on finding a realistic academic or career option that is a good personal fit, reflecting both an understanding of self and the changing nature of the media/design industry, work, and the economy.
This course gives students the opportunity to develop a personal portfolio for the preparation for entry into diploma programs in Media Arts. Reflecting on personal strengths, academic interests and career goals, students generate a digital portfolio that demonstrates their skills in the use of digital media tools, professional communication, and college- and career-readiness. Peer and instructor critiques, as well as feedback from industry mentors, guide the personal, professional, and portfolio development of each student.

Each semester, students select one elective course. The available electives change somewhat each semester. In semester 2, options often include:

  • DESI 142
  • MUSC 8R
  • MCOM 5
  • GENE 165
  • GENE 300
  • GENE 304


Admission Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with the majority of Grade 11 and 12 courses at the C, U or M level including the following prerequisites:

  • Grade 12 English at the C or U level
  • Grade 11 Math at the C, U or M level

For OSSD equivalency options, see Admission Requirements.

If you are missing prerequisite courses, enroll in the Career/College Prep program - free for Ontario residents who are 19 years or older.



Program Fees
Ancillary Fees
$2,721.36 CAD
Program Fees
$0.00 CAD
Ancillary Fees
$1,498.52 CAD
$4,219.88 CAD

Fees are estimates only.  Tuition is based on two semesters.

Program Fees
Ancillary Fees
$15,960.00 CAD
Program Fees
$0.00 CAD
Ancillary Fees
$2,273.85 CAD
$18,233.85 CAD

Fees are estimates only.  Tuition is based on two semesters.


Our Kingston campus has seen significant renovation over the past few years, including a brand new Student Life and Innovation Centre that houses a new gymnasium, fitness centre, pub, and more.

Kingston Campus

Career Opportunities

  • Advertising
  • Art History
  • Gallery/Museum Curation
  • Art Conservation
  • Animation
  • Digital Media Marketing
  • Fine Arts/Creative Arts (painting, sculpture, printmaking, digital art, etc.)
  • Game Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Interaction Design (Web Design)
  • Multimedia Design
  • Photography/Photojournalism

Program Contacts

Program Contact
Jonathan Sugarman

Admissions Information
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