Agriculture and Food Production

Diploma
Agriculture and Food Production

Program Overview

With the world’s population at 7.9 billion people and growing, food security is becoming a critical issue. As one of the world’s most reliable producers of high-quality grains, oilseeds and pulse crops, Saskatchewan plays an important role in feeding the world. We have a long history of agricultural innovation, from pioneering zero tillage to implementing GPS-guided machinery and now AI-driven crop management.

Agriculture is about more than growing food—it’s about growing food sustainably, managing land and resources, understanding commodity trends and staying up to date on technology. Whether you enjoy being on the land, working with animals, figuring out logistics or working in finance, the new Agriculture and Food Production program can help launch your career. 

The three-year Agriculture and Food Production diploma program is offered at the Moose Jaw campus and includes three paid co-operative education work terms. You’ll get the foundational, technical, environmental and managerial knowledge you need to succeed in the evolving agriculture industry. In classes and hands-on labs, you’ll develop practical skills in:

  • Agricultural technology, including innovations in precision agriculture, global positioning, IoT devices, grain handling/storage/conveyance, food security and AI
  • Agriculture machinery, including general familiarity with the operation of tillage, seeding, spraying, harvest, haying and other standard ag equipment
  • Farm management, including business applications, financial record keeping, agricultural economics, commodity marketing, Indigenous resource rights, leadership and globalization
  • Production and land management, including crop production, beef cattle production, weed and insect control, soil and crop nutrition, yield management and rangeland management
  • Sustainability, including water management, meteorology, apiculture and environmental sustainability

The Co-op Work Term Advantage

The Agriculture and Food Production diploma gives you, hands-on learning in three co-operative education work terms. Co-op work terms are paid, so you’ll earn while you learn. Saskatchewan Polytechnic arranges your interviews; it’s up to you to shine. It’s also a chance to develop important “soft skills” in job interviewing, professional attitude, interpersonal communication and more.

Many of our co-op employers require both a valid Saskatchewan Driver's License and a clean Driver's Abstract. For international students, it can take up to 12 months to obtain a Driver's license; therefore, it is to your advantage to come with a Driver's License from your home country if possible.

Some co-op work placements require a Criminal Record Check and/or drug and alcohol testing.

Learning Environment

  • 30 students are accepted each year.
  • You will participate in lectures, labs and project work at Moose Jaw campus.
    • Classes and labs take 24–25 hours per week.
    • Expect to spend the same amount of time on homework and self-directed study.
    • Effectively managing your work time is important to your success.
  • You will get hands-on experience with agricultural machinery and field plot space.
    • Actual “seat time” on agricultural machinery will familiarize you with modern ag technology, including AI
  • You will participate in three paid co-operative work terms.
  • You will complete a capstone project that requires coordination and working with others.

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

The Agriculture and Food Production program opens many career doors. Use your skill set to run the show as a farm operator, manager or supervisor. Work your way up at a large-scale operation, join the family farm or build your own operation—farm, ranch, apiary, market garden or orchard.

Choose a career in the high-demand sector of crop and livestock production, management and logistics or in precision and smart agriculture. Explore opportunities in grain buying, marketing and transport, elevator or grain terminal operation, input sales, implement sales and marketing or agricultural research. Become an agricultural specialist in banking, finance or crop insurance.

Potential Careers

Sample Job TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
Farm ManagerManagers in Agriculture (0821)$30,200 - $72,800
Grain Marketing SpecialistAgricultural Representatives, Consultants and Specialists (2123)$46,100 - $137,500
Crop Inputs SpecialistAgricultural Representatives, Consultants and Specialists (2123)$46,100 - $137,500

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s):

September


Length: 80 weeks

Locations

  • Moose Jaw

Admissions

Admission Requirements

Alternative Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through an alternative admission assessment. Applicants are automatically considered for alternative admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met.



ACCUPLACER©

Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Alternative Admission using Accuplacer.

  • 250 Arithmetic
  • 254 Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics
  • 250 Reading
  • 245 Writing

Post-secondary

Some programs allow applicants to meet the admission grade level requirement using 15 approved post-secondary credits. Review additional information.

If the program applied to has specific course requirements, they may be met through alternative post-secondary courses. Review already approved courses that may be used for admission purposes for your programs.

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as approximate cost for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.

 

2022/23 Academic Year

$5,420

International Students

View tuition rates for international students.

Year 1 - Semester 1

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
AGMC 100
Agricultural Machinery 1
3
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You will receive an introduction to agricultural equipment and drive systems. You will become familiar with the function, operation and adjustment of selected equipment including tillage, spraying, cutting, harvesting, baling and forage equipment. You will also learn about tractor performance, driveline components, light duty transmissions, clutches and differentials.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): SAFE 105(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
AGRI 101
Introduction to Agribusiness
3
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You will discuss the nature of agricultural business from both a local and an international perspective. You will explore the global policy framework as well as national laws and programs which support agricultural enterprise. You will investigate selected sectors of the industry in relation to the various perspectives.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning
CHEM 102
General Chemistry 1
3
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You will study essential chemical concepts including atomic structure, nomenclature, stoichiometry, aqueous solutions, thermodynamics, quantum theory and chemical bonding. In the mandatory lab component, you will be introduced to standard laboratory techniques.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Prior Learning
COM 170
Professional Workplace Communication
3
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You will focus on specific skills, behaviours, and attitudes needed to work productively with others. You will examine the role and effects of social media and digital communications in and outside the workplace. You will also practice conflict resolution skills as well as teamwork skills.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
GIS 101
Geographic Information Systems 1
2
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You will achieve a basic understanding of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) concepts and principles. You will learn how to display spatial data, work with tables and create a map layout using GIS software.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Equivalent Course(s): GIS 350, GIS 440
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online, Prior Learning
GPS 100
Basics of Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
2
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You will receive an introduction to GPS for resource managers. You will review basic GPS theory and principles of geodesy (including positioning methods, errors and error management). You will gain hands-on experience using single-frequency GPS receivers. You will learn how to navigate using handheld GPS receivers. You must complete a small project from the planning stage to final data output. You will also learn how to put GPS data into different file formats.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Prior Learning
HIST 100
History of Agriculture in Western Canada
3
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You will be introduced to the history of agriculture in Western Canada from pre-contact to present day. You will examine climate and geography, Indigenous peoples, immigration, farm settlements and the formation of agricultural societies. You will also examine the historical context of new markets, product segmentation and diversification.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
MATH 114
Mathematics
3
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You will develop the required background in algebra, geometry and trigonometry that is necessary to do basic calculations in applied areas. The course content includes algebraic operations, solution of equations, functions, probability, statistics, graphing plane geometry, trigonometry, and vectors. Problem solving will be emphasized throughout the course.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): MAT 120, MAT 122, MATH 384
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning
SAFE 105
Safety Systems
3
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Your studies will address occupational health, safety and assurance systems, as well as electrical systems, driving, protective equipment and confined space. You will acquire the core requirements and responsibilities needed to work safely.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online

Year 1 - Semester 2

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
AGMC 101
Precision Agriculture 1
3
Show course details
Your studies will include a general overview of the farm machinery and technology used in Western Canada. You will become familiar with the uses and purposes of tractors and combines as well as tillage, seeding, spraying and forage equipment. You will also study precision farming principles and components.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): AGMC 100, GPS 100(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
AGRI 100
Agricultural Business Applications
3
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You will learn how to use a personal computer as a small business tool to conduct financial, statistical, and marketing research. You will discuss the process of business idea generation and opportunity identification, feasibility analysis and the importance of business planning. The course content includes methods of getting into business and forms of ownership.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
AGRI 102
Agricultural Entomology
3
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You will discuss beneficial insects and insect pests that affect crops. You will focus on the fundamentals of leafcutters, pollination, disease and parasite control.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
AGRI 103
Agronomy
3
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You will examine the basic components of plant growth, seed quality, plant parts, plant growth and development, plant classification, maturity systems and seeding rates. You will focus on cereal, pulse and oilseed crop production.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online, Prior Learning
AGRI 105
Principles of Crop Production
3
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You will be introduced to land preparation, crop selection and crop establishment. You will discuss soil characteristics, and plant morphology in relation to chemical application and harvesting. The major Canadian crops will be discussed.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
AGRI 106
Weed Management
3
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You will identify noxious and common weeds, examine methods of control, and evaluate herbicide performance and tolerance. You will consider the characteristics, formulations and application methods of herbicides and insecticides. Safety measures and proper handling of chemicals will be addressed.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
CLTR 200
Culture and Diversity
2
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Your studies will focus on the many dimensions of culture and approaches to promoting inclusion and innovation. You will explore culture in Canadian society as it pertains to Indigenous and immigrant populations. You will also examine the correlation between culture and diversity.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning
ETHC 100
Professional Ethics
3
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You will learn the appropriate approach to sensitive ethical and environmental issues.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
MKTG 101
Commodity Marketing 1
2
Show course details
You will examine strategies of commodity marketing of agricultural products. You will explore marketing principles in various market situations as well as work with forward contracts, basis contracts, futures contracts, and option strategies in agriculture commodities.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Prerequisites(s): AGRI 101
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online

Co-operative Work Term

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
COOP 101
Co-operative Work Term
0
Show course details
Your co-operative education term will provide you with the opportunity to consolidate theoretical and practical concepts learned in the classroom and gain valuable experience in a work setting.
Credit Units: 0
Course Hours: 640.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Coop Education Work Term, Prior Learning

Year 2 - Semester 3

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
AGMC 205
Harvesting, Hay and Forage Machinery
3
Show course details
You will examine the theory and operation of harvesting, hay and forage equipment and related attachments. Precision farming as it relates to harvesting equipment will be covered.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): AGMC 100
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
AGRI 200
Principles of Sustainable Agriculture
3
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You will discuss the principles of sustainable agriculture. You will learn about soil and water management and their application in sustainable agricultural systems. You will explore sustainable crop production, including the pros and cons. You will also examine biodiversity and the significance of public trust to agriculture.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
ANLT 200
Food Security
3
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This course explores global as well as local issue in food production, processing, distribution, and consumption. Students will examine food prices and food policy analysis; agricultural subsidies; international trade; and food interventions. Students will also explore the overall effect of income, policies, markets and prices as they affect food security.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
APIC 300
Apiculture
3
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You will be introduced to the science and practice of beekeeping. You will explore the development, morphology, physiology, genetics and social behaviour of the honey bee, as well as beekeeping equipment, management of bees, honey production, bee diseases and the role of bees in pollination.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
IRRI 200
Irrigation
3
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You will discuss the significant role irrigation plays in agriculture. You will examine soil characteristics, irrigation scheduling, drainage, and types of irrigation systems. You will develop an irrigation set-up for a test plot.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
PEST 200
Pesticide Management
3
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You will examine integrated pest management. You will interpret pesticide labels and acquire information on pesticides and their uses and safe handling and storage. You will discuss legislation as it relates to the human and environmental risks associated with applying pesticides.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): CHEM 102, SAFE 105
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online, Prior Learning
SOIL 200
Soil and Crop Nutrition
3
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You will examine the principles of soil formation, management and soil fertility. You will also learn soil sampling strategies, the interpretation of soil test reports and basic fertilizer blending.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
WTER 200
Water Management
3
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You will learn how water is managed at federal, provincial and municipal levels. With an emphasis on how water is valued, you will learn how decisions are made to protect consumptive and non-consumptive uses and how watershed planning is used to protect the quality of water.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online

Year 2 - Semester 4

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
AGMC 204
Agricultural Machinery 2
3
Show course details
You will study the equipment used in seeding, spraying and harvesting. You will also study some of the monitors and GPS systems used on the equipment as well as precision farming practices, components and software.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): AGMC 100
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
AGMC 206
Precision Agriculture 2
3
Show course details
You will gain an understanding of the hardware, software and management strategies of precision agriculture. Areas of study will include GIS, GPS, remote sensing, differential correction, yield monitoring, and grid mapping. You will use agriculture solutions software.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): AGMC 101
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
AGRI 104
Agricultural Business Planning
3
Show course details
You will gather relevant farm financial and agriculture market data to support development of an agricultural business plan. You will demonstrate data integrity and security.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): AGRI 100, MATH 114
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
AGRI 201
Beef Cattle Production
3
Show course details
You will study an overview of beef cattle production systems in Canada. You will discuss how beef cattle are raised on rangeland, in cow-calf operations and in feedlots. You will examine ways to safely maintain herd health and learn about appropriate beef cattle nutrition required in each production application.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
AGRI 202
Rangeland Management
2
Show course details
You will be introduced to the various types of rangeland sites, range condition and range health. You will identify the common plants that support livestock grazing. You will examine sustainable management practices to maintain natural resources and the impact of grazing on bird and wildlife habitat.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
ECON 200
Introduction to Agricultural Economics
3
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You will explore the economics of the food, fibre, and fuel industries. You will analyze consumer and business behaviour under various market and regulatory conditions, as well determine changes to supply and demand curves. Both microeconomic and macroeconomic factors will be defined and discussed in relation to agricultural value chains.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
IOT 200
Internet of Things: Applications in Agriculture
2
Show course details
You will be introduced to various applications of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the agriculture sector. You will study network options, commonly used sensors, and an overview of the primary electronic components of an IoT device. You will discuss practical applications of how collected data can be used to inform agricultural management practices.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
MKTG 204
Commodity Marketing 2
3
Show course details
You will explore various methods of commodity marketing of agricultural products. You will examine options on futures as well as contracts and strategies. You will also analyze market conditions and develop a marketing plan.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): MKTG 101
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
RLAW 105
Indigenous Resource Rights
3
Show course details
You will describe the treaties, Natural Resources Transfer Agreement, Constitution Act 1982 and case law with respect to the special rights of Indigenous people to the resources.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online

Co-operative Work Term

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
COOP 201
Co-operative Work Term
0
Show course details
Your second co-operative education term will build on the experience gained during your first work placement and provide you with additional opportunities to develop skills and techniques related to your field of studies in a real work setting.
Credit Units: 0
Course Hours: 640.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Coop Education Work Term, Prior Learning
COOP 301
Co-operative Work Term
0
Show course details
Your third co-operative education work term will round out the work term experience by adding related work knowledge through the application of theories and practices relevant to your field of studies.
Credit Units: 0
Course Hours: 640.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Coop Education Work Term, Prior Learning

Year 3 - Semester 5

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
AGRI 300
Agricultural Intelligence
3
Show course details
You will study the computer technology used with agricultural machinery. You will become familiar with the programs used to monitor, assess and diagnose field and crop conditions. You will also learn about intellectual property and data security strategies.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
AGRI 301
Grain Handling, Storage and Conveyance
3
Show course details
You will explore topics in harvesting, storage and quality evaluation of crops, types of conveyance systems and intellectual property. You will also examine maintaining the quality of crops while in storage, traceability and food supply chain safety, and the collection and protection of intellectual property.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GIS 101
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
AGRI 302
Post-Harvest Food Production
3
Show course details
You will examine the post-harvest system activities and operations extending from harvest to consumption. You will also explore the technical and economic activities including storage, processing, transporting and quality control.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): ECON 200
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
ANLT 301
Globalization
3
Show course details
You will examine the many elements that must be analyzed when considering the global business environment. You will be introduced to global and national business environments, international trade and investment, the international financial system and international business management.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
BLAW 281
Business Law
2
Show course details
You will acquire an introduction to business law. Your studies will include systems of courts, torts, contracts, form of business organization, employer/employee relationships, intellectual property, agency, negotiable instruments and consumer protection.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
CLIM 200
Meteorology
3
Show course details
You will study properties of the atmosphere and the conditions that produce and modify weather. Through practical exercises, you will interpret and forecast weather conditions.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Online
LEAD 301
Innovation and Leadership
3
Show course details
You will gain a strategic perspective on the emerging role of innovation. You will explore effective methods and practices to promote innovation. The role of the leaders and stakeholders, as well as change management and communication in the innovation and decision-making process will be examined.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online
PROJ 206
Capstone Project
2
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You will apply the engineering concepts and principles to develop a significant initiative or project. Working individually or in small groups, you will use interpersonal, problem solving, and project management skills to propose, conceptualize, design, and demonstrate an engineering project that is both significant and relevant to your field of practice. You will manage and schedule the project with minimal direction. You will develop a presentation appropriate for an industry client and demonstrate the communication skills necessary to defend the technical specifications and the relevance of project in relation to the initial engineering problem.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Lab, Online
TCOM 103
Technical Communication
3
Show course details
You will use research skills to find technical information and cite it correctly. You will conduct effective meetings and produce supporting documents. As well, you will discuss technical report purposes and formats, write short technical reports and present technical information.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): TCOM 102 or COM 170
Equivalent Course(s): COMM 181, COMM 190, TCOM 103CE, TCOM 106, TCOM 123, TCOM 141, TCOM 190
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning

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