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Advertising Copywriting

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Program Code: 11621 Credential: Ontario Graduate Certificate Program Length: 3 semesters
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Program Overview

So, you want to work in advertising … as an art director, copywriter, or account manager. Where can you learn what you need to know to get into the game?

At Humber, we offer one-year Ontario Graduate Certificate programs in Advertising Copywriting, Advertising - Account Management and Advertising - Art Direction. Here you can learn the necessary skills in a new, innovative format that replicates the business you are about to enter.

Students from these three advertising disciplines take classes and work together in teams to learn every aspect of the industry. Your networking begins day one.

Just like in the real world.

The Advertising Copywriting Ontario Graduate Certificate gives you the specialized skills to develop creative solutions to real business problems. Over two intense semesters, you will develop a variety of strategic, conceptual and practical skills. You’ll learn how to write powerful, effective, engaging copy for all media. As well, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of advertising art direction, marketing, branding and strategic development. This unique combination of skills will enable you to build a comprehensive portfolio of creative work that reflects the industry standards required for field placement and entry-level copywriting positions.

Courses Program Standards

Upon successful completion of the program, a graduate will:

  1. Resolve advertising and marketing communications* challenges by developing creative copywriting solutions.
  2. Conceive, write, edit and defend advertising and promotional materials in compliance with Canadian legislation, industry standards and accepted business practices.
  3. Identify and select creative writing techniques relevant and applicable to various media
  4. Implement creative advertising and marketing communications* initiatives to support the proposed communications strategy.
  5. Analyze historical and current issues and emerging trends affecting advertising and marketing communications* to design effective creative campaigns and advertising and marketing communications* plans.
  6. Complete all work in a professional, ethical and timely manner.


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Work Placement

Students will gain practical, hands-on experience in the industry by completing a mandatory work placement in their final semester of study.

After completing a work placement preparation course, students will be supported in marketing themselves to prospective employers in order to find a work placement that aligns with their personal career goals.

The Humber Advantage

BuildingF (formerly the AdCentre) brings marketers and agencies together with advanced students from virtually any Humber program to produce strategic creative content and technology solutions.

Instead of just being given a grade for assignments, students are provided with a chance to work with real clients, on actual accounts, receiving first-hand experience in the field.

The disciplines that can be accessed through BuildingF include anything found in a modern advertising, design or PR agency, including brand experience design, communications marketing, advertising design, writing, production, and much more.

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"Humber gave me a great foundation for copywriting and what a creative idea looks like. The attention I got from instructors really helped me build my portfolio. If you're looking to get into the creative industry, the Ad Copy program is the right place to start." 
Sucheta Shankar, Associate Creative Director, Wunderman Thompson, Graduated 2014

"The Humber Advertising Copywriting program was the perfect training ground. There, I learned how to ideate, write headlines, evaluate layouts, and more. After I had all the building blocks down, I was able to create a strong student portfolio which led to my first internship, first job, and the career I have today. I would absolutely recommend this program to all aspiring copywriters!"
Morgan Starr, Associate Creative Director, Ogilvy Canada, Graduated 2015

"This program is about so much more than a piece of paper. The instructors help you discover what makes your writing style unique and guide you as you use that to build a killer portfolio. Along the way, they also introduce you to dozens of industry professionals and do everything they can to set you up for success. Anyone interested in turning a passion for writing and big ideas into a career should apply."
Ethan MacDonald, Copywriter at McCann Canada, Graduated 2021

"I enrolled in Humber’s Advertising Copywriting program after a former student recommended it to me – and I’d gladly pass that recommendation along to anyone looking to get into the industry. The entire program is centred on preparing students for real-life applications of what is being taught. I still use techniques I learned in school daily. My favourite textbook lives on my work desk. During my time as a student, I got to visit agencies, work on live briefs, meet industry professionals, and create a portfolio. And once I was ready to shop my portfolio around, I gained access to a huge network of alumni who were eager to help a fellow Humber grad. I learned about an internship opportunity through the school which has since become my permanent, full-time position. I’m glad I took the leap and enrolled at Humber."
Justina Elias, Copywriter at Target Marketing and Communications, Graduated 2020

"I adored my time in the Humber College Advertising program because it opened my eyes to how an incredible idea in advertising can change the world. I learned how to create integrated campaigns and build a portfolio for myself, which helped me get hired within a year of graduating. The connections I made and the concepts I learned continue to help me immensely in the industry. I recommend this program to anyone interested in writing professionally."
Wendy Fox, Sr. Copywriter at Junction59, Graduated 2017

"The Advertising-Copywriting course at Humber is as rewarding as it is challenging. It pushes you to be creative beyond your boundaries and equips you with all the necessary skills that are needed to excel in the advertising industry. When I graduated, I had all the tools under my belt that readied me to take on the challenges of the advertising world. I had some of the most inspiring instructors who I revert to for advice, even to this day. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to channel their creativity straight into a career and learn how to do it great."
Karishma Wadia, Copywriter at Zulu Alpha Kilo, Graduated 2021

"Coming into Humber, my goal was to just land a job where I could sit down. I didn’t know a thing about advertising, how the industry worked, and had no idea how it was possible to break in. This program gave me all that and more. The instructors didn’t just help me build a portfolio to get my foot in the door or give my what I needed for once I was in, they showed me I could build a career far beyond anything I’d ever imagined for myself. All by learning a skill that doesn’t even really feel like work - being creative."
Kohl Forsberg, Creative Director, Leo Burnett, Graduated 2013

"Humber’s Ad Copywriting program did an amazing job preparing me to work as a copywriter in an advertising agency. I believe that the best way to learn is by doing. And at Humber, I got to work on projects that are directly applicable to what I’m doing today. The program constantly encouraged and supported me to think of big ideas, hone my skills, build a portfolio and evolve it into something I’m truly proud of. It was such a privilege to be taught by instructors who have had a tenured career in the industry. Their insightful guidance paired with learning alongside my über-talented classmates was truly a blast and pushed me to do my best work. I’m really grateful to have been surrounded by so many like-minded, inspiring and creative people."
Emma Lorenzi, Junior Copywriter, John St, Graduated 2021

"I walked into Humber knowing little about advertising. A year later, I left with the tools and a portfolio to break in and stay in."
Jordan Darnbrough, Associate Creative Director, Rethink, Graduated 2015

Want a career in advertising AND free tuition?

Looking to get your foot in the door at one of Canada’s top creative companies? Zulu Alpha Kilo founder Zak Mroueh created the 20Doors Scholarship Fund to open doors for new voices to enter the advertising industry. This scholarship is open to BIPOC students and covers the tuition for a one-year post-graduate program in copywriting or art direction. Zulu Alpha Kilo will provide mentorship to kickstart a successful career in advertising.

To apply, send us an email at 20Doors@zulualphakilo.com with:

  • A video about yourself. In 2 minutes, introduce yourself and tell us why you think you’d be great for the ad industry.
  • An example of your creativity. Never made an ad? No problem! Send us anything from a video to music to something you wrote. We’re looking for your creative potential.

Be part of the next generation of great creative thinkers. Apply today at 20Doors.ca.

Expert Faculty

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Noreen Santilli

Noreen Santilli is a recognized and respected creative director and copywriter with 25-plus years of experience in the marketing and advertising industry. She is currently a freelance creative director and digital/social media content writer and has been teaching and developing curriculum for 10 years at Ontario colleges and universities. With keen strategic abilities, she has created original campaigns for national and global brands at some of Canada's most respected advertising agencies, including TAXI, DDB, Cheil Canada and KBS+. Noreen is known for her impactful copywriting and concepts and for her ability to inspire and direct the written and visual elements of advertising and online content. Having accumulated numerous industry awards, she knows that it takes dedication, perseverance and original thinking to succeed. She prefers a hands-on, experiential model of teaching that calls on students to become experts at ideating and writing for all media, especially digital and social media. Noreen challenges everyone in her classroom to be brave and inventive and has proudly watched many of her students and alumni win awards at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, the D&AD/New Blood Awards, The One Show Awards, the Advertising & Design Club of Canada (ADCC) Awards and the National Advertising Challenge (NAC). Noreen has a master's degree in professional communication with a focus on digital and social media and cause-related marketing. The program covers the field of communication holistically, giving her a theoretical and applied understanding of marketing, advertising, digital and social media and public relations. A self-proclaimed word nerd, she is compiling a list of words that should be removed from the English lexicon that so far includes "sateen," "hey," "gamut" and "lady."

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Mary Secord

As a copywriter, in roles such as associate creative director, creative director and senior copywriter, Mary Secord has close to 30 years of experience working for agencies, big and small, on countless brands across a spectrum of categories – everything from financial services and packaged goods to hospitality and retail. 

Mary holds an MA in English from the University of Toronto – Victoria University, and has been an instructor in Humber’s Advertising Copywriting program since 2011.

Your Career

Graduates are prepared to work as copywriters in advertising agencies, marketing communications agencies, digital agencies, in-house creative departments and other businesses that provide creative solutions to business challenges.

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Social & Media Communications Programs

Program Availability

Start dates between Sept 2023 - Aug 2024
START DATE LOCATION STATUS
September 2023 Lakeshore Open
Start dates between Sept 2023 - Aug 2024
START DATE LOCATION STATUS
September 2023 Lakeshore Open

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Every attempt is made to ensure that information contained on this website is current and accurate. Humber reserves the right to correct any error or omission, modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable or campus location at any time without prior notice or liability to users or any other Person.

On October 21, 2019, the Provincial Government of Ontario announced the renaming of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU). Both names may appear on this website.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet all the requirements below in order to meet minimum program eligibility. Meeting minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee an offer of admission. Admission decisions will be available via MyHumber, or by email and mail. Admission decisions will not be released by phone.

Admission selection is based on the following 5 requirements:

  • Academic

    To be eligible for admission, you must possess the following:

    • A bachelor’s degree, advanced diploma or diploma

    Mature Applicants

    Diplomas and Certificates

    An applicant is considered a mature applicant if they have not completed secondary school or other postsecondary school, and will be 19 or older as of the first day of classes. Humber will invite you for testing to demonstrate that you meet all listed course requirements.

    Degrees

    An applicant is considered a mature applicant if they have not completed secondary school or attended postsecondary studies, and will be 21 or older as of the first day of classes. Mature applicants for degree programs will be required to meet course requirements at the U/M level or equivalent.

    College Transfer Applicants

    Diplomas and Certificates

    An applicant is considered a college transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a college-level credential. Humber may use a combination of secondary school and/or college courses and grades to determine program eligibility.

    Degrees

    An applicant is considered a college transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a college-level credential. Humber may use a combination of secondary school and/or college courses and grades to determine program eligibility. Applicants must have an overall minimum grade point average (GPA) of 65 per cent in the program. Applicants are required to disclose and provide academic transcripts for all course work completed at the postsecondary level.

    University Transfer Applicants

    Diplomas and Certificates

    An applicant is considered a university transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a university-level credential. Humber may use a combination of secondary school and/or university courses and grades to determine program eligibility.

    Degrees

    An applicant is considered a university transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a university-level credential. Humber may use a combination of secondary school and/or university courses and grades to determine program eligibility. Applicants are required to disclose and provide academic transcripts for all course work completed at the postsecondary level.

  • Letter of Introduction

  • Applicants must submit a 50-word introduction of themselves. 

  • Advertisement Submissions

  • Applicants must submit the following:

    • a 300-word description of an advertisememt you love and explain why you love it.
    • a 100-word "ad" for a product called Water®. Try to persuade a Gen Z audience to drink colourless, odorless, refreshing Water®. Using words only, how would you convince someone to drink water?

    Submission Instructions

  • English Language Proficiency

    All applicants whose first language is not English must meet Humber’s English Language Proficiency Policy.

  • International Credit Evaluation

    Canadian citizens or permanent residents with international education are required to provide a WES or ICAS evaluation.

INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC EQUIVALENCY

Admission equivalencies for Humber depend on your country of study. Please enter your location or choose detect my location to see the requirements for your country below.

Post-Admission Requirements

Once you have been accepted, and have confirmed your offer, you may need to complete a further set of requirements related to your program (Post-Admission Requirements).

Not available

Fees

The 2022-2023 fee for two semesters was:

  • domestic: $5,834.26
  • international: $18,058.00

Fees are subject to change.

Fees by Semester

Domestic Fees International Fees

Additional Costs

$500 – textbooks; $10 to $20 – print cards (each); cost for software (Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign) which can be purchased at significantly discounted educational prices.

Note: Macintosh is the industry standard, however, identical software can be purchased for PC. Humber Macintosh labs are available for students without computers.

Scholarships

Humber Scholarships

Find out more about scholarships and bursaries that you may be eligible for, visit Student Scholarships. International students can visit International Student Scholarships.

Humber Bursaries

Bursaries are available for Certificate, Diploma and Degree programs primarily based on financial need, visit Humber Bursaries.

External Awards, Bursaries & Scholarships

Find out more information about external scholarships and bursaries, visit External Awards.

Indigenous Student Awards, Bursaries & Scholarships

Humber offers a variety of bursaries and scholarships for Indigenous students, visit Indigenous Student Awards.

Explore Opportunities through Humber Pathways

Humber Pathways include:

  • Opportunities to build on your college education and complete your diploma or degree at Humber.

View Pathways into this program  

  • Degree and graduate study opportunities at other institutions in Ontario, Canada and abroad.

Contact Us

Admissions Questions

Domestic Students  

Phone: 416-675-5000
Email: enquiry@humber.ca

International Students  

Contact the International Centre

Want More Info?

Sign-up for more info on Humber, including programs, special events and more!

Contact Information

Mary Secord, program co-ordinator
416.675.6622 ext. 3027
mary.secord@humber.ca

How to Apply

Applications to Humber are made through ontariocolleges.ca. Be sure to submit your application by the equal consideration deadline of February 1. You may apply after February 1, however, post-February 1 applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis depending on the availability of the space in the program. To check program availability refer to the Campus/Availability listing on Humber's program pages or ontariocolleges.ca.

Admissions Road Map

Apply through Ontario Colleges

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

If you’re an international student, you can apply directly to Humber via our International Centre.

Apply through the International Centre

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