Placement Test Scores

Students registering for CMNS 115, 125, 145, 155, and 165 are required to have a Composition Placement Test score of 48 or better, or to present the appropriate alternative for satisfying the prerequisite. Students who have not written the CPT should contact Admissions and Records for information about when the tests are scheduled. Students who are unable to provide a CPT score, or whose score is below 48, will be withdrawn from the course by the department faculty.


As presentation is an important element of professional communications, several courses require all or a number of assignments to be typed or word processed.


For equivalencies of the prerequisites listed below, contact the department head.

CMNS 099:
Introduction to Written Communications 3 credits

Prerequisites: Recommended that ESL students have ESL WG84, ESL S76, ESL L87, ESL R80, or equivalent level.

Transferability: University of Manitoba

This course focuses on developing writing skills including grammar, organization, and sentence structure, so that students are prepared for advanced courses.

This course can be adapted to meet the education needs of specific learners (e.g., First Nations students, international education students, military personnel). The First Nations version provides an introduction to concepts in selected academic disciplines and First Nations literature. The international education version focuses on business applications, grammar, sentence structure, and word use. The military personnel version focuses on grammar and provides an overview of descriptive, narrative, and argumentative composition.

CSM 108 (CMNS 108):
Critical Analysis and Study Methodology 3 credits

(Reading and Study)

Prerequisites: Recommended that ESL students have ESL WG84, ESL S76, ESL L87, ESL R80, or equivalent level.

Transferability: none

If you are returning after a period of absence from student life, or if you need to improve your ability to understand university college material as well as improve your study efficiency, you should register for this course. CSM 108 covers the techniques needed to succeed in your other subjects: critical thinking, exam preparation and writing, stress and time management, essay writing overview, notetaking, study methods, fast textbook reading, and strategies for active learning in the content areas.

CMNS 115:
Technical Communications for Trades 3 credits

Prerequisites: CPT of 48 or acceptance into the Trades programs

Transferability: SFU

This course provides a practical introduction to effective written and oral communication for tradespeople. The course will examine some of the trade specific communication needs, such as incident reporting, report writing, field reports, and technical correspondence.

CMNS 125:
Business Communications I 3 credits

Prerequisites: CPT score of 48 or better, or CMNS 099 with C+ or better, ENGL 101 with C or better, or ENGL 081 or 091 with C+ or better

Transferability: UBC, UVic, WWU, BCIT, OU, CMA, CGA, TWU

An introduction to general principles of technical and professional communications. Emphasis is on the communications process, descriptive, expository, and argumentative messages, and speeches. Document design and electronic messages are also studied and practised.

Note: Accepted as an elective in the UCFV BA program.

CMNS 145:
Technical Communications for Drafting 3 credits

Prerequisites: CPT score of 48 or acceptance into Drafting program

This course provides an introduction to general principles of effective written and oral communication. The focus is on commonly used reports (e.g., progress, field, site investigation) and technical correspondence.

CMNS 155:
Communications for Human Services 3 credits

Prerequisites: CPT score of 48 or better, CMNS 099 with C+ or better, ENGL 101 C or better, ENGL 081 or 091 with C+ or better

Transferability: UVic, OU, UBC, TWU

Introduction to theory and practice of professional technical communications. Included are the communication principles of organization and structure, essay writing, narrative, exposition and argument in workplace writing, and presentations.

Note: Accepted for meeting the UCFV Bachelor of Arts literacy requirement or as an elective in the BA program.

CMNS 165:
Professional Communications for Kinesiology 3 credits

Prerequisites: CPT score of 48 or higher, or CMNS 099 with C+ or better, ENGL 101 with a C or better, or Engl. 081 or 091 with a C+ or better

Corequisite: KPE 103

An introduction to the principles of effective communications in academic and professional settings. Examines the use of various media as well as the processes of oral and written communications. Students will be required to develop and demonstrate research, summary, and organizational skills in oral presentations, letters, memos, and short reports.

CSM 208 (CMNS 208):
Advanced Critical Analysis and Learning Methodology 3 credits

Prerequisites: CSM 108; CMNS 125 or CMNS 155 or equivalent

A continuation of principles and skills learned in CSM 108, this course introduces students to the next level of critical thinking and higher education learning through course presentation and assignments. Students will learn effective strategies to enable them to work independently as well as work effectively in a group setting. Lecture examples and assignments will be linked, wherever possible, to academic content in other courses.

CMNS 212 (MACS 212):
Applied Communication 3 credits

Prerequisites: C or better in CMNS 125, CMNS 155, CMNS 165, or ENGL 105

Transferability: SFU, OU, TWU

This course assists students to develop practical strategies to communicate clearly to a variety of different audiences. Topics include the role and function of specialist languages in advertising, advocacy, and the media; social marketing; audience analysis; and desktop publishing.

Note: credit cannot be obtained for both CMNS 212 and MACS 212.

CMNS 235:
Oral Communications 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

Transferability: CGA, WWU, OU

This course focuses on the principles and psychology of effective speaking. Specific areas include informal presentations to small groups, formal presentations, meetings, the use of audio/visual aids, developing the voice, and improving body language. Videotaped feedback is an important part of the course.

CMNS 250 (formerly CMNS 225 and CMNS 255):
Report Writing for Business, Information Technologies, Social and Human Services 3 credits

Prerequisites: C in CMNS 155, or CMNS 125, or English 105

This course introduces the skills of report writing in a business and/or social sciences context. Students will develop the skills and principles learned in CMNS 155 or CMNS 125. The main focus is the formal research report, including a research proposal, progress reports, and formal presentations. Secondary research skills, project planning, documentation and citations, and data collection and manipulation are practised.

Note: Agriculture students register for a specifically designed section of CMNS 250 in Semester III as a co-requisite to AGRI 242, and this section continues until April.

CMNS 275:
Document Design, Desktop and Web Publishing 3 credits

Prerequisites: “C” or better in one of CMNS 115, 125, 135, 145, 155, 165 or one of English 105–150 with a “C” or better

This course focuses on elements of document design, typography, desktop and Web publishing. Students will apply their knowledge in design to flyers, proposals, newsletters, annual reports, online publications, etc.

CMNS 312:
Introduction to Public and Community Relations 3 credits

Prerequisites: A first-year Communications course, or English 105, or CMNS/MACS 212 with a C or better

Corequisites: none

This course provides an introduction to the principles and applications of public and community relations. Students will develop strategies to communicate to a variety of audiences. Students will work with clients to produce a press kit (press release, backgrounder, brochure) for a specific event. Students will also work as consultants to develop communicative strategies (e.g., media campaign) for projects and organizations.

CMNS 325:
Writing for the Sciences and Technologies 3 credits

Prerequisites: one of CMNS 125, CMNS 145 or English 105
with a C or better

An introduction to advanced principles and practical applications of written and oral communication for the Sciences. Emphasis is on professional, technical communications to a wide range of audiences, including popular newspapers and magazines, and scientific journals. Topics covered include the ethics of scientific communication, using computers in research and in the writing process, defining audiences, designing documents, using visual aids, and effective oral presentations.

CMNS 345:
Instructional Skills for Professionals 3 credits

Prerequisites: (CMNS 125 and 225) or (ENG 105 and one of 120 to 170) or (CMNS 155 and 255)

Transferability: none

This course provides an opportunity to design and teach using a variety of media, to a variety of audiences, in a variety of situations. Developing lesson plans, using instructional technologies, developing and using evaluation techniques, and conducting on-the-job training are the focus of the course.

Note: Some public speaking skills are assumed in this course. Note: Credit cannot be obtained for both CMNS 345 and ADED 345.

CMNS 360:
Advocacy and Proposal Writing 4 credits

Prerequisites: CMNS 155, or English 105, or CMNS 212 or MACS 212; and CMNS 225 or CMNS 255

This course will teach students proposal and advocacy writing at an advanced level. Examples of proposals are research proposals, funding proposals, persuasive requests to municipal and regional governments, service proposals, and writing campaigns to advocate social change. This course will teach students advanced and focussed secondary research skills, especially with government documents. This course will address the writing skills connected to larger social and political issues.

CMNS 385:
Language and Action:A Survey of Contemporary Rhetoric 3 credits

Prerequisites: 45 credits of university-transfer courses including a first-year Communications or English course.

Students will investigate major schools of contemporary rhetorical theory in an effort to understand the paradigms governing language use in contemporary social and linguistic environments. Rhetoric always includes study of the ways language serves as a call to action; in this course, the emphasis will be on the ways language acts — in itself, on the user, and on the discourse community.

CMNS 412:
Community Relations and the Media 3 credits

Prerequisite: CMNS 312

Corequisites: none

Advanced study of print, radio, TV, and electronic media techniques and applications in community and public relations. Considerations and effects of purpose, audience, the media, and the message are incorporated in a variety of practical assignments. A fundamental aspect of the course is incorporating language and design according to the requirements and limitations of the media, the message, and the audience. Print media assignments involve newsletters, brochures and flyers, press releases, press kits, print advertising, and articles. Radio and TV media assignments will consist of designed spots, while electronic media assignments will entail the design of a web page/site for an organization. Each student will be connected to an organization and produce assignments according to that organization’s directions and focus.

Note: Students interested in Communications might also want to check courses listed under “Media and Communications”.

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