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School of Journalism and Communication
(Faculty of Public Affairs)

Media Production and Design (MPAD) Courses

MPAD 1001 [0.5 credit]
Introduction to Storytelling: The Context

Theories, origins and evolution of story within society as the digital age shapes the way we construct and consume narratives. How stories are conceived through words, sound and images, and how they resonate with and influence audiences.
Lectures three hours a week.

MPAD 1002 [0.5 credit]
Introduction to Storytelling: The Practice

Finding and telling stories in engaging ways using text and basic images. Assignments build basic skills in research, interviewing, writing, storytelling, editing and ethics. How to structure and pitch for publication.
Workshop three hours a week.

MPAD 2001 [0.5 credit]
Basics of Visual Communication I

Introduction to visual storytelling through video. Students develop editorial and technical skills to produce video stories that include scripting to images. Students will also learn the basics of video shooting on a range of equipment as well as basic video editing skills.
Workshop three hours a week.

MPAD 2002 [0.5 credit]
Basics of Visual Communication II

This course expands from video theory and practice to still photography and multimedia projects, with emphasis on hands-on work with a theoretical underpinning, giving students the practical and technical skills to tell stories in multiple formats.
Workshop three hours a week.

MPAD 2003 [0.5 credit]
Introductory Data Storytelling

Governments use data for tracking. Numbers guide public policy and can become powerful and important stories. Students will gain a theoretical understanding of the promise and pitfalls of data availability alongside the practical skills needed for powerful data-based storytelling.
Workshop three hours a week.

MPAD 2004 [0.5 credit]
Writing for Media

This course tests student baseline skills, then develops writing capabilities tailored to specific media formats. Coursework is based on the principle that the best way to improve technique is through regular writing and timely constructive critiques.
Workshop three hours a week.

MPAD 2501 [0.5 credit]
Media Law

A survey of laws that affect the Canadian media. Specific areas include the development of freedom of expression, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and statutory and common law limitations on freedoms of the press, including publication bans, libel and contempt of court.
Also listed as JOUR 2501.
Lectures three hours a week.

MPAD 3001 [0.5 credit]
Storytelling and Social Media

Social media in storytelling. Theory-based lectures, hands-on course modules, discussions and presentations. Students will learn tactics to apply social media for research, gathering information, finding contacts and promoting their own work.
Lecture three hours a week.

MPAD 3002 [0.5 credit]
Civic Engagement and Public Institutions I

Expert sources from Canadian institutions discuss covering the economy, justice, environment and security. How public policy is made, the role of the public and how the media analyze information, develop ideas, and produce stories.
Lectures three hours a week.

MPAD 3003 [0.5 credit]
Civic Engagement and Public Institutions II: Minor Design Project

Group work building on the fall term course. Production of a public institutions mini-project involving the various development stages that will be employed in the final year capstone project, including the creation of a detailed design document to guide group projects.
Workshop three hours a week.

MPAD 3300 [0.5 credit]
Media Ethics in a Digital World

An examination of ethical issues relating to production of news and other forms of information content, particularly as they relate to digital environments. Discussion of various approaches to ethical decision-making, application in contemporary settings.
Also listed as JOUR 3300.
Lectures three hours a week.

MPAD 3501 [0.5 credit]
Internet and Big Data Law

The legal use of big data to create content and analyze information. Who owns data; privacy and security implications within a legal landscape fraught with legal concerns and policy challenges.
Lectures three hours a week.

MPAD 4000 [1.0 credit]
Capstone Project

Student groups develop a capstone project beginning with story development and planning, completion of a story design document including project description, research, key vistas and sketches or storyboards. Group presentations leading to final media project at the end of second term.

MPAD 4001 [0.5 credit]
Media Industries Now and Next

Changes in the media, the public’s relationship with the media and how journalists, news organizations and other media players respond. Practical issues and challenges in the professional life of an information producer.
Also listed as JOUR 4001.
Lectures and discussions three hours a week.

MPAD 4200 [0.5 credit]
Freelance Media Survival Skills

Preparation for freelancing to publications and production houses. Resumes, finding potential buyers, interviews, establishing and marketing an individual as a business, accounting and management and dealing with taxes and benefits. Pitching stories, ideas and services.
Lectures three hours a week.

MPAD 4300 [0.5 credit]
Special Topic

Students will choose a topic from a list of journalism options, to be announced each year.
Also listed as JOUR 4300.

Summer session: some of the courses listed in this Calendar are offered during the summer. Hours and scheduling for summer session courses will differ significantly from those reported in the fall/winter Calendar. To determine the scheduling and hours for summer session classes, consult the class schedule at

Not all courses listed are offered in a given year. For an up-to-date statement of course offerings for the current session and to determine the term of offering, consult the class schedule at