Continuing & Professional Education

Writing & Communications

Courses for everyone

Explor­ing the clear expres­sion of ideas and improv­ing your writ­ing abil­i­ties can help you get ahead.

Start by exploring connected careers: — get insights into Alberta salaries, job forecasts, and more

Editor
62 positions open annually
employment snapshot
Author and Writer
125 positions open annually
employment snapshot
Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Manager
67 positions open annually
employment snapshot
Corporate Sales Manager
107 positions open annually
employment snapshot
Professional Occupation in Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations
401 positions open annually
employment snapshot
Administrative Assistant
817 positions open annually
employment snapshot
Supervisor, General Office and Administrative Support Workers
82 positions open annually
employment snapshot
Administrative Officer
1,162 positions open annually
employment snapshot
Other Manager in Public Administration
104 positions open annually
employment snapshot

Clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion is essen­tial wher­ev­er life takes you. With email and tex­ting becom­ing the new nor­mal for com­mu­ni­ca­tion, we are increas­ing­ly rely­ing on writ­ing to go about our every­day (and pro­fes­sion­al) business.

The Fac­ul­ty of Exten­sion offers aca­d­e­m­ic, pro­fes­sion­al, and per­son­al devel­op­ment cours­es in writ­ing and edit­ing to sup­port you in achiev­ing your goals. Our class­es are guid­ed by pro­fes­sion­al writ­ers, many of whom have won nation­al and inter­na­tion­al awards for their work.

Par­tic­i­pants in our cours­es come from all walks of life, with one thing in com­mon: they want to improve their writ­ing skills, whether it is for work, their nov­el or mag­a­zine arti­cle, or their studies.

                                                                               

No application or prerequisites required – just register in a course.

Communicate your ideas clearly and effectively.

Learn how to generate ideas and adapt them to the requirements of the audience, the genre, and the situation.

Explore strategies for composing, drafting, and revising your writing.

Master the principles and conventions of organizational writing, including grammar, punctuation, and usage.

Daytime, evening, and weekend courses held at Enterprise Square, downtown Edmonton, Alberta.

Credential opportunity: Social Media Marketing and Communications program is available for those interested in earning a credential

Essentials

Learn the process to writing - which many writers follow naturally. If you're just getting started as a writer, or if you always find it a struggle to produce written work, whether it is a business report, a business letter, an essay, short story or blog, following the writing process will help. This course will explain what each stage of the writing process involves, and you'll be offered some tips for each stage that will help if you're feeling stuck!
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Correct and elegant writing depends upon considerations of genre, audience, rhetoric, and subject matter, in addition to knowledge of the writing process (prewriting, writing, and rewriting). This course will consider the role of grammar at all stages of the writing process and how grammar changes in different contexts. Discuss word choice, sentence craft, and how to avoid the most common grammatical problems. Practice the grammatical rules by applying them to your own writing in exercises that will be critiqued by the instructor. Note: This course stresses the process of learning writing in a hands-on approach. Only selected key principles of grammar will be discussed and applied to your writing.
September 7
starts in 1 month
Online learning, synchronous. With Silvia Sgaramella
This course builds on grammar and writing skills by focusing on clarity, correctness, and the development of a compelling writing voice. Correcting for style, content, and format are integrated into formal studies in grammar. By focusing on these essential elements of writing, this course aims to prepare (or refresh) writers for the process from first draft to final product. In-class exercises will be used to take complex, sophisticated sentences and paragraphs and look at the underpinning logic of what the writer is trying to say.
November 2
starts in 3 months
Online learning, synchronous. With Silvia Sgaramella
Your job description may not say "writer", but somehow you spend a large part of your day writing memos, letters, and proposals. The biggest problem in workplace writing is not necessarily bad grammar, but too many words per thought. Wordy writing lacks clarity. Learning to avoid certain grammatical constructions will help you process prose that makes your meaning crystal clear. This workshop will focus on George Orwell's six rules of good writing and the necessary grammatical information to put them into practice. Ample time will be devoted to in-class reinforcement exercises.
October 26
starts in 2 months
Online learning, synchronous. With Paula Goebel

March 8
starts in 7 months
Online learning, synchronous.
Overcome stylistic faults in your business, professional or academic writing. Learn to assess your readers, evaluate your intent and write clear and graceful text that engages your audience's interest. Topics will include developing a vocabulary for analyzing style, creating a coherent point of view, removing redundancy and controlling long sentences. The course includes exercises and writing assignments. This is a required course for the Qualified Administrative Assistants Program. For more information on the Association of Administrative Assistants go to: www.aaa.ca/
September 16
starts in 1 month
Online learning, synchronous. With Thea Bowering

February 1
starts in 5 months
Online learning, synchronous.

Editing

Develop fundamental editing skills for a range of fields with a focus on the editor's "bread and butter:" substantive and copy editing. Learn the theory and get practical, hands-on training. Ensure correct and consistent punctuation, grammar, word usage, and spelling, and improve the writing so it's clear and concise. We will explore the editing process, the author-editor relationship, the readers' needs, and the business of editing.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Learn how to avoid costly and embarrassing errors by sharpening your proofreading skills. A Practical Guide to Proofreading covers proofreading marks, comparing copies, the errors to look for when proofreading, and the differences between proofreading and editing. A variety of exercises will help you learn to avoid common proofreading errors.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.

Creative

Write and develop a collection of short fiction toward building a finished portfolio. Review elements of storytelling and explore the formal possibilities of short fiction. Assigned readings, in-class discussions, and short exercises will help you tap into approaches that excite you, deepen your understanding of process, and amass material needed for story drafts. You will be asked to share and critique manuscripts: this is an opportunity to test your work on a focused audience while sharpening your editing and revising skills.
February 2
starts in 6 months
In-person (face-to-face) learning. With Thea Bowering
Living in a world that poses challenges and even greater uncertainty requires increasing self-awareness and accountability about our responses to unforeseeable events. We know from reading literature that great writers have captured difficult and painful moments in history by writing about it and inspiring resilience in people. Emotional resiliency is defined as an ability to adapt and to respond to difficult life circumstances without losing control. The more resilient you are the better you can cope with stress and change. In this workshop, we will learn how to make writing a daily practice that complements meditation, relaxation, and intention-making.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
This is a course for writers who are starting out and want to experience the range and potential of the various forms of writing. We will look at poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Facilitated through a discussion of the literature of the past and present the main focus of this course will be on exploring your own creative writing.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Explore the nature of the novel and its essential craft elements-plot, structure, characterization, point of view and sense of place. You will gain perspective on your writing process, which will help you conceptualize your novel and begin writing in manageable size pieces. You will also have the opportunity to share your work with others for feedback and refinement.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Writing creative nonfiction begins with an intensive exploration of people, places and events we already know but often ignore. Join us for an exciting and interactive workshop, exploring our lives through writing and reading, techniques and critiques. Journaling, memoir, food and travel writing will be included.
October 20
starts in 2 months
Online learning, synchronous. With Wendy McGrath

Professional

Learn how to develop a career in independent journalism, as well as how to manage your business. Find out what types of journalism work are available to freelancers and explore topics such as finding, developing, and organizing ideas; selling stories and yourself; and market research techniques. Discuss digital tools that can reduce time, errors, and the chaos of self-employment, as well as life skills that foster a healthy work-life balance. We’ll wade into the business nitty-gritty—who pays, how much, and what’s in a contract—as well as best practices.

October 21
starts in 2 months
Online learning, synchronous. With Omar Mouallem
This course is for all those who need to use the written word in online correspondence at work to get results. Explore the general principles that apply to writing in every workplace and learn how to write with clarity, precision, and brevity while producing regular email messages, memos, business letters, and summaries of meetings.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Leading teams in a remote environment depends upon new ways of working together. It requires leadership that can overcome physical distance to create environments of deep belonging and engagement. Learn how to intentionally create a sense of connection and keep your team productive, accountable, and performing at its best while working from home. Explore the tools and strategies you need to navigate the transition to leading remotely. Find out how to do so in a meaningful and human way, creating lasting team engagement and productivity.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Learn how to secure media coverage to place your organization, project, or campaign in the headlines, generating sales and awareness as well as strengthening your positioning, credibility, and SEO. Understand how to identify media outlets that will reach your target audience, how to approach a journalist, and how to develop a newsworthy hook to capture their attention. You will have the opportunity to write your own press release and pitch to receive constructive critique, setting you up for success in future media outreach.
September 8
starts in 1 month
Online learning, synchronous. With Janis Galloway
Acquire the skills and confidence necessary to articulate your ideas, show people your expertise, and market yourself and your businesses in-person or virtually. Enhance your ability to craft and deliver messages and speeches, create an online personal brand, and come across as a skillful communicator in any setting. Explore a comprehensive toolkit of presentation crafting, public speaking, and executive presence, and learn how to use your body language, vocal variety, visuals, and technology to better communicate your message to audiences of one to hundreds.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
Have you been asked to write a set of procedures, a manual, or a user's guide? Does this task seem daunting because you don't consider yourself a technical writer? This course is intended for anyone who must write procedures or manuals for others, or for anyone exploring the technical writing profession. Examine the tasks, processes and techniques for writing instructions and guides that are useful and easy to read. Learn how to conduct "audience analysis" and how to use this analysis to guide your writing. Experiment with document design and appreciate how design plays an important role in the writing process. Learn how to estimate the cost and schedule for producing your guides. Create an outline for a guide, write procedures and conduct feedback testing to improve the usability of your guide. This course provides an overview of technical writing processes and practical hands-on exercises; no technical writing experience is required.
October 18
starts in 2 months
Online learning, synchronous. With Angela Wiens
Transform scientific research, theories and term papers into clear and concise writing with a more broad-based appeal. This course will focus on structuring and telling a story, understanding what a general audience is looking for, and on specific tools and techniques to communicate engaging content related to science, technology, and the environment, including general reporting best practices. This course is designed for anyone interested in writing about science including: technical writers, scientists, medical professionals, journalists, and students.
February 2
starts in 6 months
Online learning, synchronous.
Your job description may not say "writer", but somehow you spend a large part of your day writing memos, letters, and proposals. The biggest problem in workplace writing is not necessarily bad grammar, but too many words per thought. Wordy writing lacks clarity. Learning to avoid certain grammatical constructions will help you process prose that makes your meaning crystal clear. This workshop will focus on George Orwell's six rules of good writing and the necessary grammatical information to put them into practice. Ample time will be devoted to in-class reinforcement exercises.
October 26
starts in 2 months
Online learning, synchronous. With Paula Goebel

March 8
starts in 7 months
Online learning, synchronous.
Take your writing to the next level as you find out how to write compelling nonfiction for hungry magazine markets. Learn techniques for researching who may be interested in your writing, how to submit it, and ways to make editors take notice. Explore best practices of good magazine/newspaper article-writing and understand how blogging and social media can be used as brand-building tools. Develop a publishable magazine story of your own.
September 15
starts in 1 month
Online learning, synchronous. With Trent Wilkie
In this workshop, students will learn how to assess their qualifications and skills to best present themselves in writing. Students will learn about the two most popular styles of resumes (functional and chronological) and understand which one is best suited for their individual needs, as well as how to construct a successful cover letter.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.
A grant from a respectable funding agency can open new possibilities for you as a professional in any industry, and can take your career to the next level. In this workshop, we will learn best practices in writing a successful grant application for research-based projects and discuss strategic ways of answering fundamental questions that interest grant-adjudicating committees.
Not currently scheduled – new schedules announced each June and November.

Social Media

Learn how to measure where your web traffic is coming from, how much web traffic you are receiving, which messages are most effective at driving users to your desired destination, and how to report on these measures. Explore various approaches to use analytics including Google Analytics and ROI analysis.
September 28
starts in 1 month
Online learning, asynchronous. With Dana DiTomaso

January 11
starts in 5 months
Online learning, asynchronous. With Dana DiTomaso

Build an effective online presence through a strong marketing strategy that reflects your organizational culture. Learn about best practices for social media and marketing across various platforms, building and strengthening organizational reputation and brand online, strategic planning and development, how to build a social media following, and steps for executing an integrated strategic social media marketing plan.

June 15
already started
Online learning, asynchronous. With Bryan Leung, Brian Siddle

September 14
starts in 1 month
Online learning, asynchronous. With Bryan Leung, Brian Siddle

January 11
starts in 5 months
Online learning, asynchronous. With Bryan Leung, Brian Siddle

Learn about how social media has provided new ways to create and experience media-rich narrative, as well as how the creative use of digital tools can offer exciting new possibilities for collaboration and sharing. Explore the essentials of storytelling and its use as an educational and marketing tool in this online environment. Discuss issues related to quality of content, memes, what it means to go viral and the quality of writing specific to the online environment.

June 22
already started
Online learning, asynchronous. With Linda Brown

October 19
starts in 2 months
Online learning, asynchronous. With Linda Brown

February 1
starts in 5 months
Online learning, asynchronous. With Adam Rozenhart

Explore the etiquette, ethics, and various legal and policy issues that affect how we use social media. Discuss topics like copyright, privacy, intellectual property, fair dealing, creative commons, and the public domain. Learn how these issues play out differently nationally and internationally, as well as the implications of those differences for social media use.

February 1
starts in 5 months
Online learning, asynchronous. With Jessica Laccetti
Learn how to secure media coverage to place your organization, project, or campaign in the headlines, generating sales and awareness as well as strengthening your positioning, credibility, and SEO. Understand how to identify media outlets that will reach your target audience, how to approach a journalist, and how to develop a newsworthy hook to capture their attention. You will have the opportunity to write your own press release and pitch to receive constructive critique, setting you up for success in future media outreach.
September 8
starts in 1 month
Online learning, synchronous. With Janis Galloway
Explore key concepts used by professionals to help grow your business or personal brand through online marketing and social media. Increase your knowledge of social media tools, website development and maintenance, web analytics, search engine utilization, basic content creation, and copyright. These transferable skills and strategies offer you the foundation needed to start engaging audiences across popular social media platforms.
August 31
starts in 29 days
Online learning, asynchronous. With Linda Brown

October 26
starts in 2 months
Online learning, asynchronous. With Adam Rozenhart

February 15
starts in 6 months
Online learning, asynchronous. With Linda Brown
Learn how to plan and create a complete sales and marketing campaign for an online store selling consumer goods. Plan a campaign based on the eight stages of the customer journey, creating content assets for various tactics including website product pages, marketing emails, and creative copy for interruptive marketing ads. By the end of this course, you will have a roadmap of the essential eCommerce tactics needed to plan a real-world campaign.
October 26
starts in 2 months
Online learning, asynchronous. With Scott Cunningham, Simon Trafford

Learn how to identify, prepare for, and manage the risks inherent to a professional presence on social media, as well as to recognize the impacts of emerging problems elsewhere online. Explore best practices for policy, procedures, and guidelines for social media within an organization. Draw on learnings from traditional media and public relations concepts to prepare for and respond to emerging issues.

September 14
starts in 1 month
Online learning, asynchronous. With Adam Rozenhart

February 15
starts in 6 months
Online learning, asynchronous. With Adam Rozenhart

Understand why and how decisions are made around visual communications and acquire the tools you’ll need to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of social media. Learn basic design principles that will inform your decisions and help you create an effective and visually-pleasing online presence. Explore ways of using these principles to emphasize the message that is being delivered.

September 14
starts in 1 month
Online learning, asynchronous. With N Kathleen Van Dusen

January 11
starts in 5 months
Online learning, asynchronous. With N Kathleen Van Dusen
  • Tuition is paid on a course-by-course basis as you reg­is­ter for your classes.
  • Some cours­es require a text­book at an addi­tion­al cost.
  • Eli­gi­ble for the Cana­da-Alber­ta Job Grant.
  • Cor­po­rate mul­ti-reg­is­tra­tion pack­ages are avail­able for most Exten­sion cours­es. Con­tact us at excorp@​ualberta.​ca for pre­ferred pricing.
Bursaries and funding opportunities
Funding source
Eligibility
Amount
Apply by
Canada-Alberta Job Grant 

Available for businesses in all sectors across Alberta

Two-thirds of the training costs (up to 100% if hiring an unemployed Albertan)
any time
Canada Training Benefit 

Residents of Canada, 25-65 years old, who have $10,000-150,000 in earnings for work.

$250+
income tax return
Skilled Immigrant Micro-Loan 

Whether you intend to work in the same field you trained in outside of Canada, or you wish to apply your transferable skills to a new career, this low-interest loan helps you cover the cost of education and related living expenses.

Up to $15,000 loan
N/A
Alumni Professional Development Grant 

Any alumnus of the University of Alberta

75% of course fee
monthly deadline
HRDF 

Employed by the University of Alberta as Non-Academic Staff (NASA)

$750 annually
Dec / Mar / Jun / Sep

You may also be interested in

Related credentials and series:

The Social Media Certificate provides an in-depth understanding of how to use various social media platforms for communication and marketing. Explore tools used to...

The Editing and Proofreading Series provides students with the opportunity to develop fundamental editing and proofreading skills for a range of fields spanning...