Concordia University



Visual Journalism Graduate Diploma

Admission Requirements

The normal requirement for admission into the graduate Diploma is an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.00 on a 4.30 scale. Some experience in journalism, photojournalism or a media-related field is considered an asset. Applicants should understand that admission is contingent upon a sound undergraduate academic record, strong letters of recommendation, and a convincing letter of intent, which clearly describes their interest in the program. Students should be aware that course instruction and assignments are in English, and although it does not determine acceptance, applicants are advised that a working knowledge of French is important.

Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

Requirements for the Diploma

  1. Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 33 credits.

  2. Courses. All students are required to complete 33 credits in the following sequence:

    Summer Term (9 credits)
    JOUR 501 Research Methods for Journalism
    JOUR 502 Introduction to Reporting 
    JOUR 511 Introduction to Multimedia

    Fall Term (12 credits)
    JOUR 500 Critical Approaches to Journalism 
    JOUR 523 News and Feature Photography
    JOUR 527 Elements of Lighting for Visual Journalism
    JOUR 536 Advanced Video Journalism

    Winter Term (12 credits)
    JOUR 513 Journalism Ethics and the Law
    JOUR 535 Documentary and Photographic Series

    And two of the following courses:
    JOUR 503 Introduction to Visual Journalism
    JOUR 507 Basics of Digital Imaging
    JOUR 508 Research Project
    JOUR 521 Visual Story-Telling
    JOUR 528 The Digital Magazine
    JOUR 531 Visual Journalism Photo Editing
    JOUR 532 Documentary Video and Radio
    JOUR 537 Visual Journalism Portfolio

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.

  2. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.

  3. Graduation Requirement. To graduate, students must have completed all course requirements with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.70.


JOUR 500 Critical Approaches to Journalism (3 credits)
This course introduces students to a scholarly critique of journalism, both as a practice and as an institution. By interrogating specific readings, students are encouraged to consider the journalist as a cultural producer operating within overlapping social, political and economic contexts.

JOUR 501 Research Methods for Journalism (3 credits)
This course introduces students to research methods with a focus on primary sources, such as official documents, legal and financial records, access to information requests, electronic databases, as well as in-depth interviews. These methods are treated as both sources of story ideas and as essential elements of good reporting.

JOUR 502 Introduction to Reporting (3 credits)
This is a comprehensive lecture/laboratory course which lays the foundations for the writing and reporting demands of journalism. Students are introduced to the salient features of print and digital formats, and receive assignments in information-gathering and writing both in class and in the field.

JOUR 503 Introduction to Visual Journalism (3 credits)
This workshop course lays the foundation for the visual aspects of journalistic story-telling. Working with digital, single-lens reflex cameras, students acquire fundamental skills for the practice of visual journalism, becoming familiar with a variety of aesthetic, technical, ethical and theoretical concerns involved in the visual production of meaning.

JOUR 507 Basics of Digital Imaging (3 credits)
This workshop course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of editing news photographs. Working with actual news photographs and editing software, students learn to weigh aesthetic and technical considerations with the ethical and theoretical aspects involved in the visual production of meaning.

JOUR 508 Research Project (3 credits)
The project is to be a comprehensive study and report on some area of modern media practice, or on the interaction of media and society. The subject and method must be approved in advance by the instructor of the course.

JOUR 511 Introduction to Multimedia (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to the use of technology across audio and visual news platforms, including audio, visual and digital equipment and software. Students learn the necessary professional, technical and aesthetic skills to produce editorially sound audio and visual stories.

JOUR 513 Journalism Ethics and the Law (3 credits)
This course examines the journalist’s responsibility in terms of both ethics and the law. It introduces students to a representative cross-section of ethical theories and codes and takes an intensive look at the most common legal issues affecting the practice of journalism.

JOUR 521 Visual Story-Telling (3 credits)
This workshop introduces students to the dynamic and aural elements of visual story-telling in the context of multi-platform journalism. Students acquire technical skills of video and sound capture through instruction that brings to bear aesthetic, ethical and theoretical considerations.

JOUR 523 News and Feature Photography (3 credits)
This workshop course covers a range of journalistic topics – hard news, general news, features, arts, sports – to emphasize the thematic particularities of visual story-telling. The course requires students to consider and incorporate the narrative and representative dimensions of visual journalism through a variety of assignments.

JOUR 527 Elements of Lighting for Visual Journalism (3 credits)
This workshop course introduces students to lighting techniques for both still photography and video story-telling. Students learn to weigh technical and aesthetic aspects of lighting with the ethical and theoretical dimensions involved in the manipulation or alteration of the shooting environment.

JOUR 528 The Digital Magazine (3 credits)
This course requires students to produce the Department’s Digital Magazine. The course replicates the working conditions and journalistic experience of a digital newsroom. Students are expected to work in editorial teams to create current and update multimedia content throughout the term.
Note: Students who have received credit for this topic under a JOUR 525 number may not take this course for credit.

JOUR 531 Visual Journalism Photo Editing (3 credits)
This advanced workshop course covers the decision-making process for news, magazine and online photography, treating photo editing as a collaborative element of visual journalism. Moving beyond aesthetic and technical aspects, it situates editing within the larger context of news production, such as collaborating with reporters, editors and photo editors in the story-telling process.

JOUR 532 Documentary Video and Radio (3 credits)
This workshop allows students to perfect their skills in long format public affairs broadcasting in sound and pictures. Students learn the fundamentals of documentary production including story developments and treatment,cinematographic style, interviewing, editing and presentation.

JOUR 535 Documentary and Photographic Series (3 credits)
This advanced workshop course concentrates on the photo story, the editorial essay and the documentary essay. The course emphasizes pre-visualization, planning, logistics and realization as well as optimizing series for newspaper, magazine and online publications.

JOUR 536 Advanced Video Journalism (3 credits)
This course gives students the opportunity to perfect their skills in writing and reporting for video journalism and producing news and public affairs programming.

JOUR 537 Visual Journalism Portfolio (3 credits)
This advanced capstone workshop focuses on students creating professional portfolios, helping them create and establish their individual brands as professional visual journalists.

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