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Athabasca University

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Instructional Design Program Structure

Students are required to complete nine credits (three courses) in the PBCID.

Program Status

To maintain program status, students must complete six credits of course work during each academic year (September 1 to August 31). In core courses, the lowest acceptable grade is B-. Students who receive a grade lower than B-, or receive more than one grade of B- or lower, may be required to withdraw from the program.

In elective courses, the lowest acceptable grade is C+. Students who receive a grade lower than C+, or receive more than one grade of C+ or lower, may be required to withdraw from the program.


To meet the residency requirements, students must complete a minimum of two courses (six credits) through Athabasca University.

Relationship to MEd Program

Students who complete the PBCID program successfully, may apply for admission to the MEd program. If admitted, credits completed by the student towards the PBCID will be accepted for credit towards the MEd degree in accordance with the MEd program regulations.

Students should be aware that admission to the MEd program is highly competitive. PBCID graduates must compete with other qualified applicants for admission to the degree program.


PBCID students take their courses alongside MEd students, and are required to complete the same activities and achieve the same standard. Courses are designed to encourage self-study either at home or in the workplace. Students will be supplied with a basic course package of print and other media, if required, and access to a course website for each course. Students are expected to use computer mediated communications for the following purposes:

  • instructor and student-to-student interactions in computer conferences;
  • email, both within and outside of the course structure;
  • file transfer or file attachment of assignments and feedback between instructor and students and between students on joint projects; and
  • accessing electronic databases (for example, Athabasca University's Library).

Required Core Courses

MDDE 603 Foundations of Instructional Design: Systems Analysis and Learning Theory (3)
MDDE 604 Instructional Design in Distance Education (3)
MDDE 617 Program Evaluation in Distance Education (3)

PBCID courses are generally available as follows:

Fall term: 603, 604, 617
Winter term: 603, 604, 617
Spring/Summer term: 603, 604, 617

Permission of the program director is required before courses are taken for PBCID program credit outside Athabasca University.

Advanced Standing

Some students may have completed course work at other post-secondary institutions that is applicable to the PBCID program. After admission, a committee will review such work to determine if the student should be awarded advanced standing, and whether “not to take” restrictions for equivalent specific courses in the PBCID program should be imposed. Students seeking advanced standing will be required to submit official transcripts (if these were not submitted in support of their application for admission) and the appropriate evaluation fee to the PBCID program director for review.

Students will also be required to submit detailed course descriptions for such courses. Failure to supply the transcript or detailed course descriptions (if required) shall result in no advanced standing being awarded. Students will not be awarded advanced standing for courses previously used towards the granting of another credential. For more information, email the Centre for Distance Education.

Transfer Credit

Students enrolled in the PBCID program may take courses from other post-secondary institutions in fulfilment of the program requirements, provided such courses are applicable to Athabasca University's PBCID program.

Students wishing to take courses from other institutions must submit

  • a Letter of Permission Request Form and applicable fee
  • a written request, and
  • detailed course outlines

to the program director for review. If approved, the Centre for Distance Education will issue a Letter of Permission. To allow for mailing time, requests for a Letter of Permission should be made at least one month before the registration deadline at the institution where the student will be taking the course. Upon completion of the course, the student must submit an official transcript to the Centre for Distance Education in order to obtain credit for the course.

Program Delivery

The program is offered during three semesters each year. The fall semester begins the second Monday in September. The winter semester begins the second Monday in January. The spring/summer session begins the last Monday in April. Each semester is 13 weeks in length. All course work should be completed during the semester periods. Extensions to these timelines may be granted, if circumstances warrant (refer to Course-Related Procedures).


Information effective Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017.

Updated January 04 2017 by laurab

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