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Professional Writing

Algonquin College
Program overview
2 years
Diploma / certificate
Scholarships available

Start dates
September 2023

September 2024

September 2025
Algonquin College

About this program

Professional Writing

Learn highly-marketable skills in writing for a career in digital and print media.

With a focus on organizational and creative writing, the two-year Professional Writing Ontario College Diploma program teaches you the skills and flexibility to work as a writer in a variety of fields. You learn writing skills for electronic and print media from nationally recognized writers, authors and communications experts.

Acquire the necessary skills to write independently and collaboratively in freelance and organizational settings. With attention to detail, learn to research, write, edit and proofread.

Many writers balance freelancing with other employment, so the program focuses on the development of creative skills along with knowledge of the existing market for fiction and creative non-fiction in Canada. You gain highly-marketable communications, writing, and editing skills that are useful in many industries, in both for-profit and non-profit sectors.

During the program, local writers lead workshops and may mentor you in the field. You participate in a work environment for a 180-hour field placement, where you have the opportunity to apply your writing skills while building connections with potential clients and employers.

Admission requirements

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Have a solid foundation in the basic rules of English grammar.
  • Have strong written and oral communications skills.
  • Are inquisitive, well-organized and have an analytical nature.
  • Can work independently.
  • Enjoy researching topics and gathering information.

College Eligibility

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or Mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $50 (subject to change) will be charged.

Program Eligibility

  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent)with a grade of 70% or higher.
  • Direct entry into second year: Applicants with a degree in a field that demands a high level of writing (e.g. English literature, Creative Writing, History, Journalism, Political Science), may enter directly to the second year of the program. Holders of other degree types may be asked to complete an eligibility test. During the Fall semester, direct-entry students receive three hours of coaching per week, to review material from Level One and Level Two. Applicants should contact the coordinator directly for more information.
  • Applicants with international transcripts must provide proof of the subject-specific requirements noted above and may be required to provide proof of language proficiency. Domestic applicants with international transcripts must be evaluated through the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS) or World Education Services (WES).
  • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service (Academic) Overall band of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band; OR TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 88, with a minimum of 22 in each component: Reading 22; Listening 22; Speaking 22; Writing 22.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the college website.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

Level: 01

  • Communications I
  • Role of the Writer in North American Culture
  • Creative Writing 1
  • Introduction to Research
  • The Fundamentals of Writing
  • Choose one from equivalencies:
    • General Education Elective

Level: 02

  • Interpersonal Skills for Personal and Career Success
  • Design for Public Relations I
  • Creative Writing II
  • Professional Writing I
  • Issues in Canadian Society and Media
  • Introduction to Editing
  • Choose one from equivalencies:
    • General Education Elective

Level: 03

  • Design for Public Relations II
  • Professional Writing II
  • Narrative Non-Fiction
  • Writing for the Web
  • Substantive and Literary Editing
  • Creative Writing III

Level: 04

  • Field Placement
  • Preparation for Placement
  • Production Projects
  • The Business of Writing and Publishing
  • Scriptwriting for the Online Environment
  • Plain Language Tune Up
  • Creative Writing Workshop

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the college website for more information.


For more information about tuition fees, please visit the college website. 


The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Recognize the fundamental concepts of storytelling.
  2. Write for media in Canada with an awareness of historical and cultural contexts.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of the production process of print, live events, broadcast, the Internet and film.
  4. Employ computers and writing software proficiently.
  5. Work in independent, collaborative, and organizational settings.
  6. Write in a broad range of styles appropriate to a variety of media.
  7. Write scripts for presentations, live events and speeches.
  8. Create plots, characters and themes that engage audiences.
  9. Effectively edit their own and others` writing.
  10. Demonstrate superior time management skills.
  11. Manage their writing career on sound small-business principles.
  12. Market their writing skills in their chosen field.
  13. Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.

Career paths

Graduates may be employed at a junior level as communications officers, copy editors, researchers, proofreaders and web content writers. They also have the skills to be hired on contract or as a freelancer to write magazine-type articles, booklets, brochures, training materials and manuals.

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About this institute

Algonquin College

Consider Algonquin’s unique campuses Algonquin College, located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, offers an experience that includes personalized learning and industry-ready skills through field-work, work placement and co-op.  With more than 300 programs, including degrees and graduate certificates, we have the...

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Why study at Algonquin College

Canada ranked #1 study abroad country

Canada has been ranked the #1 study abroad country in the world for 2020! Known for its untouched natural beauty, friendly and welcoming locals, and a culture of tolerance and diversity, Canada is a clear choice for students looking to study abroad.

Contact info

Algonquin College

1385 Woodroffe Avenue
K2G 1V8 Ottawa Ontario

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