Continuing Education

Get a taste of something new.

At The Art Institute of Vancouver, we believe that creative people never stop being curious, never stop looking for challenges, and never stop learning. And we offer a range of continuing education courses so students of all ages can explore new areas. The content and format of these non-degree classes are as diverse as the reasons for enrolling in them. You can explore areas from culinary arts to digital photography, from how to design kitchens and bathrooms to how to pair French wines. Some courses run for a full quarter, others meet just four times. But all these classes can lead to enriching experiences—or even help you prepare for a new career.

These courses are non-credit bearing and does not transfer into any program offered at The Art Institute of Vancouver.

English for Academic Purposes
Levels 1 & 2

Program Description

The English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is for students interested in improving their English prior to pursuing post-secondary education in Canada. This 11-week program consists of 24 hours of weekly instruction and introduces students to the writing, reading, and communication skills necessary for successful academic study in an English-speaking institution. As an additional benefit, the EAP program features a foundation-level academic course. Students who successfully complete the EAP program may be able to transfer up to three academic credits towards a diploma program after completing Level 1 or degree program after completing Level 2.

Completion Requirements


To receive a Certificate of Completion for the English for Academic Purposes program students must also receive a passing grade or credits for all required course work, and satisfy all financial obligations with The Art Institute of Vancouver.

Aspiring Chefs Series

Fundamental Skills for Aspiring Chefs

Develop your culinary talents with us. In this introductory course, we will take you from basic fundamental culinary skills such as caring for your tools through to studying about ingredients and cooking theories, and exploring techniques such as roasting, poaching, braising, frying, and sautéing. Later you will learn the cookery of vegetables and starch through to proteins such as fish, poultry, and meat. Learn to use local, fresh ingredients to prepare Pacific West Coast cuisine.

International Cuisine for Aspiring Chefs

This program teaches fundamental culinary skills that are typical of European, Mediterranean, South American cuisines. The focus is on the use of various ingredients, cooking theories and techniques. In each class the emphasis will be preparing, and creatively plating European, Mediterranean and South American Dishes. The overall goal is to develop culinary skills and techniques thereby allowing students to perform comfortably and creatively in the kitchen.

Asian Cuisine for Aspiring Chefs

This course emphasizes both the influences and the ingredients that create the unique character of selected Asian cuisines. You will be required to prepare, taste, serve, and evaluate traditional, regional dishes of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand. Importance will be placed on ingredients, flavour profiles, preparations, and techniques representative of these cuisines.

Completion Requirements

To receive a Certificate of Completion in Aspiring Chefs Series courses, students must complete a minimum of 20 hours of classroom time. Students must also receive a passing grade or credits for all required course work and satisfy all financial obligations with The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Vancouver.


Cross Disciplinary Studies

Upgrade your skills

The Cross-Disciplinary Studies program allows students to take individual courses within many of The Art Institute programs. These individual courses are primarily aimed at providing continuing education for working professionals who wish to enhance their skills or students who wish to further their knowledge and/or skill-base. Students earn a certificate of completion that may be redeemed for academic credit should the student enroll in a fulltime program.

Completion Prerequisites

Students are required to meet the prerequisites for each course or have the permission of the Academic Department Director responsible for the course to which they are applying.


Digital Photography - Level 1

This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts and techniques of digital photography. It combines basic photography principles of composition and lighting with digital concepts such as exposure evaluation, file formats and image manipulations. This is a perfect course for anyone who wants to improve their photographic skills to capture better photographs.

Completion Requirements

To receive a Certificate of Completion in Photography students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of classroom time. Students must also receive a passing grade or credits for all required course work and satisfy all financial obligations with The Art Institute of Vancouver.


Digital Photography - Level 2

This course builds on the fundamentals learned in Level 1. Students will gain and apply expanded knowledge of techniques and creative process to develop their visual expression in the art of digital photography. Image manipulation and layout is introduced as a fundamental aspect of a digital workflow. Students will also be exposed to various options for image transfer from camera to computer and importing them into various software programs. This course will also cover digital printing techniques, color management, and introduce students to the various industries in photography.

Completion Requirements

To receive a Certificate of Completion in Photography students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of classroom time. Students must also receive a passing grade or credits for all required course work and satisfy all financial obligations with The Art Institute of Vancouver.


Kitchen & Bath Design - Level 1

The Kitchen & Bath Design – Level 1 course is designed to introduce the basic principles of kitchen and bathroom design, colour theory, and lighting. At the completion of the program, students will be familiar with the kinds of materials that go best with their living spaces and be aware of how to accent rooms with fixtures, equipment, and cabinetry.

Completion Prerequisites

To receive a Certificate of Completion in Kitchen & Bath Design – Level I, students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of classroom time. To receive a Certificate of Completion in Kitchen & Bath Design – Level II, students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of classroom time. Students must also receive a passing grade or credits for all required course work, meet portfolio or other requirements outlined in the student handbook, and satisfy all financial obligations with The Art Institute of Vancouver.


Kitchen & Bath Design - Level 2

Students in the Kitchen & Bath Design – Level 2 Program learn to go beyond the basics to bring new life to an old room. From learning how to properly plan projects to construction basics and safety issues, students explore a variety of do-it-yourself renovation possibilities.

Completion Prerequisites

To receive a Certificate of Completion in Kitchen & Bath Design – Level I, students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of classroom time. To receive a Certificate of Completion in Kitchen & Bath Design – Level II, students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of classroom time. Students must also receive a passing grade or credits for all required course work, meet portfolio or other requirements outlined in the student handbook, and satisfy all financial obligations with The Art Institute of Vancouver.


Professional Event Management

Designed for professionals

The Professional Event Management certificate program is a part-time program designed for busy professionals that would like to upgrade their credentials in event management. This ten-course program allows professionals that already have related industry experience the opportunity to expand their existing skills and knowledge in the processes and procedures of successful special events.

Flexible schedule

Students entering the program can take courses in any order, providing the flexibility to fit the program into your work schedule. Please check with the Academic Director for upcoming schedules.

Entrance requirements
  • A minimum of 3 years of related professional work experience in Special Events, Meetings, Tourism or Marketing industries (Work experience in other areas will be assessed on an individual basis. In these cases, the prospective student should make an appointment with the Academic Director prior to submitting their application)
  • Experience using Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Completed interview with the Academic Director


Sommelier & Wine Studies

WSET Diploma Program

At The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Vancouver, we offer a wine education program for those interested in the culinary and hospitality industry. At the heart of our wine program is the internationally recognized Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) curriculum, widely-referred to as the gold standard in comprehensive training for the wine and spirits trade. The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Vancouver is proud to be the sole provider of the WSET diploma in western Canada, considered to be the stepping stone to the ultimate Master of Wine designation.

We have also build upon the core WSET syllabus by adding more instructional hours and content. This means increased focus on tasting, and more opportunity to work with instructors in developing your understanding of the wines and spirits industry.

French Wine Scholar

This program offers a comprehensive study of the wines of France with a focus on historical development and terroir. The appellations of eight major French winegrowing regions will be explored with reference to climate, soil, grape variety, viticultural and winemaking techniques.

Students gain an understanding of the importance of French wine in relation to food with reference to both classic and contemporary pairings. The correct service & storage of different French wines will also be discussed. Each class is enhanced with an extensive tasting of French wine styles and the course culminates in an optional end of course dinner paired with French wines

This program is offered in conjunction with the French Wine Society. A student who successfully passes the final exam may use the designation “French Wine Scholar” and post-nominal, FWS.

Course Prerequisites

Students must be of legal drinking age in order to enroll in Sommelier & Wine Studies courses.

Participation in any program involving the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages for those under the legal drinking age will be conducted in accordance with the law.


Level 1 - Foundation in Wine & Wine Service

This entry level program is designed to provide the basic product knowledge and skills in wine service for those in a junior position in the hospitality sector. It will hold equal appeal to those non-trade wine lovers who wish to gain some formal wine education. This is highly interactive program that introduces the student to the many different aspects of the wine world including wine types and styles, wine tasting, major grape varieties and food and wine matching.

This program is offered in conjunction with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and students will have the opportunity to gain the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines upon successful course completion.

Upon successful completion, graduates should have:
  • A basic understanding of the main types and wine styles available.
  • The ability to describe the characteristics of the principle grape varieties of the world.
  • An understanding of the fundamentals of food and wine pairing.
  • The ability to use a systematic approach to tasting and writing simple tasting notes.
  • Knowledge on the correct storage and service procedures for wine.
  • Knowledge of the professional responsibilities regarding the service of wine including the social, legal and health aspects.
Completion Requirements

To receive the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines, students must complete a food and wine matching exercise and pass a 30 question multiple choice exam.

Participation in any program involving the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages for those under the legal drinking age will be conducted in accordance with the law.


Level 2 - Intermediate Studies in Wines & Spirits

This program is designed to build upon the fundamentals learned in the Foundation course and features discussion on the classic grape varieties of the world. The factors that affect the character and quality of wines are explored and this program takes a basic look at viticultural and vinification techniques. The service and storage wine is covered from both a professional and non-professional perspective, as are the principles of food and wine matching. Each class is enhanced with a tasting that includes the benchmark wines discussed in the lecture.

This program is offered in conjunction with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and students will have the opportunity to gain the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines & Spirits upon successful course completion.

Upon successful completion, graduates should have:
  • A basic understanding of the major wines and spirits of the world, their production methods and region of origin.
  • The ability to describe the characteristics of the principal wines and give information on the key factors influencing style, quality and value.
  • The product knowledge required to underpin job skills required for advising customers in the hospitality and retail sectors.
  • An understanding of the principles of food and wine matching and how those principles are applied.
  • Ability to use the WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting to gain an appreciation of wine style and quality.
  • Knowledge on the correct storage and service of wines and spirits.
Completion Requirements

To receive the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines & Spirits, students must pass a 50 question multiple choice paper exam.

Participation in any program involving the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages for those under the legal drinking age will be conducted in accordance with the law.


Level 3 (Section 1)
Advanced Wines & Spirits Studies (1)

This program is designed to build upon the fundamentals learned in the Intermediate program and comprises the first half of the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines & Spirits. The course features detailed discussion about the classic wine regions of France and Italy. The factors that affect the character and quality of the wines are explored with specific classes on viticultural and vinification techniques. The service of wine is covered from both a professional and non-professional perspective, as are the principles of food and wine matching. Each class is enhanced with a tasting that includes the benchmark wines discussed in the lecture.

Upon successful completion, graduates should be able to have:
  • A thorough understanding of the principal wines of France and Italy and their commercial importance in the world’s market.
  • The in depth product knowledge required to underpin job skills required for product selection in the hospitality and retail sectors.
  • The ability to describe the characteristics of the principal wines and give information on the key factors influencing style, quality and value.
  • Ability to apply the principles of food and wine matching to the key styles of wine available.
  • Ability to use the WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting to produce tasting notes that will allow the identification of style, quality and price band of wines.
  • Knowledge to provide advice on the correct storage and service of wine.
Completion Requirements

This course is assessed in conjunction with Advanced Wines and Spirits Studies (II).

Participation in any program involving the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages for those under the legal drinking age will be conducted in accordance with the law.


Level 3 (Section II)
Advanced Wines & Spirits Studies (II)

This course comprises the second half of the Advanced Wines and Spirits program and is a continuation of the Level 3 course. This program features detailed discussion about the classic regions and wines of the world not covered in Level 3 Section 1, including specific lectures on production and types of spirits, sparkling and fortified wines. The key factors that affect the character and quality of the wines will be explored. Each class is enhanced with a tasting that includes the benchmark wines discussed in the lecture. 

This program is offered in conjunction with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and students will have the opportunity to gain the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines & Spirits upon successful course completion.

Upon successful completion, graduates should be able to have:
  • A thorough understanding of the principal wines and spirits of the world and their commercial importance in the world’s market.
  • The in depth product knowledge required to underpin job skills required for product selection in the hospitality and retail sectors.
  • The ability to describe the characteristics of the principal wines and give information on the key factors influencing style, quality and value.
  • Ability to apply the principles of food and wine matching to the key styles of wine available.
  • Ability to use the WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting to produce tasting notes that will allow the identification of style, quality and price band of wines and spirits.
  • Knowledge to provide advice on the correct storage and service of wine and spirits.
Completion Requirements

To receive the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines & Spirits, students must pass a 50 question multiple choice exam, a short written answer paper and a blind tasting of two wines.

Participation in any program involving the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages for those under the legal drinking age will be conducted in accordance with the law.


Level 4 (Section 1)
Global Business of Wine & Wine Production

This course consists of WSET diploma Units 1 and 2 which is the mandatory starting point for the qualification. The course begins with an overview of the global markets in terms of both production and consumption and major companies, with a detailed statistical analysis. The dynamics of the industry are then examined, with particular reference to the local market in BC. This is followed by an analysis of production issues relating to cost. The Unit 1 part is wrapped up with a discussion of topical issues in the business of wine and spirits. The Unit 2 part of this course features detailed analysis of the Production of Wine. The course includes a study of viticulture, vinification, maturation and handling techniques. The characteristics of the most commercially significant grape varieties are also studied.

Upon successful completion, graduates should be able to:
  • Apply knowledge of the dynamics of alcoholic beverages to commercial decision making.
  • Use knowledge of important industry companies and their influence on the production of wines and spirits when selecting products for consumers.
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the procedures used in the purchase, importation and sales of alcoholic beverages in the local market.
  • Understand the influences on marketing decisions in global and local markets.
  • Explain the factors that provide the necessary growing conditions for vines.
  • List the characteristics and attributes of the main vine varieties.
  • Describe the issues involved in vine growing.
  • Outline the factors that influence vineyard selection and establishment, and explain the activities involved in vineyard management.
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the factors that influence the production of wine.
  • Identify the choices available for maturation and treatment of wine.
Completion Requirements

Unit 1 is assessed by means of one coursework assignment of between 2500 and 3000 words in length and one closed book case study to be completed under exam conditions in 75 minutes. The assignment and case book study are on topics determined by WSET awards and will reflect the published learning outcomes of this Unit of the Diploma syllabus.

Unit 2 is assessed by a multiple choice examination paper of 100 questions. This paper is to be completed in 90 minutes.

Participation in any program involving the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages for those under the legal drinking age will be conducted in accordance with the law.


Level 4 (Section II)
Sparkling & Fortified Wine Studies

This course consists of WSET diploma Units 5 & 6. Unit 5 covers the world’s major sparkling wine styles including of their regions of origin, production methods and the commercial considerations of the sparkling wine market. Unit 6 covers the production of the main styles of Fortified wines and features discussion on the regions, production methods and the commercial considerations of Sherry, Port, Madeira and other fortified wines. During this course, students taste a wide range of fortified & sparkling wines and will create a portfolio of tasting notes.

Upon successful completion, graduates should be able to:
  • Explain the production processes for all types of sparkling and fortified wines.
  • Display in-depth product knowledge of sparkling and fortified wines and apply that knowledge in a business context.
  • Use the WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting to produce tasting notes on a range of relevant sparkling and fortified wines.
  • Identify style, quality and commercial value of sparkling and fortified wines using the information assembled from tasting notes.
  • Show an understanding of the commercial and economic importance of sparkling and fortified wines in both the global and local markets
  • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the factors affecting the production of fortified and sparkling wines and how these factors influence their style, quality and commercial value.
Completion Requirements

For each Unit 5 and 6, assessment is by written examination. This consists of a practical tasting question of three blind wines followed by a three-paragraph style question on product related knowledge.

Participation in any program involving the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages for those under the legal drinking age will be conducted in accordance with the law.


Level 4 (Section III)
Light Wines of the World (I)

This course, together with Light Wines of the World Section IV, makes up Unit 3 of the WSET diploma. These two courses focus on the light wine regions of the world with the goal of preparing students for their final Unit 3 examination. Each class involves practice of the WSET systematic approach to tasting at the Diploma level. Workshop classes focus on giving students the necessary framework to study for the Unit 3 exam whereas lecture classes will feature industry specialists presenting on key winegrowing regions of the world.

On completion of this course, a graduate will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the location of a wine producing region and display a broad understanding of its history of production.
  • Understand the viticultural, production and maturation practices of the region.
  • Explain the trade structure, distribution methods and main markets for the region.
  • Display knowledge of the local rules and regulations governing production.
  • Display in-depth product knowledge of the region’s light wines and apply that knowledge in a business context.
  • Use the WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting to produce tasting notes on a range of relevant wines.
  • Identify style, quality and commercial value of light wines, using the information assembled from the tasting notes.
Completion Requirements

This course is assessed in conjunction with Light Wines of the World (II).

Participation in any program involving the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages for those under the legal drinking age will be conducted in accordance with the law.


Level 4 (Section IV)
Light Wines of the World (II)

This course, together with Light Wines of the World Section III, makes up Unit 3 of the WSET diploma. These two courses focus on the light wine regions of the world with the goal of preparing students for their final Unit 3 examination. Each class involves practice of the WSET systematic approach to tasting at the Diploma level. Workshop classes focus on giving students the necessary framework to study for the Unit 3 exam whereas lecture classes will feature industry specialists presenting on key winegrowing regions of the world.

On completion of this course, a graduate will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the location of a wine producing region and display a broad understanding of its history of production.
  • Understand the viticultural, production and maturation practices of the region.
  • Explain the trade structure, distribution methods and main markets for the region.
  • Display knowledge of the local rules and regulations governing production.
  • Display in-depth product knowledge of the region’s light wines and apply that knowledge in a business context.
  • Use the WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting to produce tasting notes on a range of relevant wines.
  • Identify style, quality and commercial value of light wines, using the information assembled from the tasting notes.
Completion Requirements

This course is assessed by written examination. This consists of two practical tasting papers, each of six blind wines followed by one written answer paper of five essay questions on product related knowledge.

Participation in any program involving the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages for those under the legal drinking age will be conducted in accordance with the law.


Level 4 (Section V)
Spirits Studies

This course consists of WSET diploma Unit 4 and covers the production of the main types of spirits including Vodka, Whiskies, Gin, Rum, Brandies, Tequila and Fruit Spirits. The course includes detailed information on regions of production, methods of production, and legal and business issues. During this course, students taste a wide range of spirits and will create a portfolio of tasting notes.

On completion of this course, a graduate will be able to:
  • Demonstrating in-depth knowledge of the categories of spirits and the identified countries, regions and districts of production when making commercial decisions.
  • Describing the key factors affecting the production of spirits and how these factors influence the style, quality and commercial value of the spirits in the local market.
  • Demonstrating an understanding of the trade and legal structures for the identified regions and districts.
  • Making informed decisions based on knowledge and understanding of the local and global markets for spirits.
  • Using the WSET Level 4 Systematic Approach to Tasting Spirits® to analyse the characteristics of the principal spirits of the world.
Completion Requirements

Unit 4 assessment is by written examination. This consists of a practical tasting question of three blind spirits followed by three-paragraph style questions on product related knowledge.

Participation in any program involving the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages for those under the legal drinking age will be conducted in accordance with the law.


French Wine Scholar

This program offers a comprehensive study of the wines of France with a focus on historical development and terroir. The appellations of eight major French winegrowing regions will be explored with reference to climate, soil, grape variety, viticultural and winemaking techniques.

Students have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the importance of French wine in relation to food with reference to both classic and contemporary pairings. The correct service and storage of different French wines will also be discussed.

Each class is enhanced with an extensive tasting of French wine styles and the course culminates in an optional end of course dinner paired with French wines

This program is offered in conjunction with the French Wine Society. A student who successfully passes the final exam may use the designation “French Wine Scholar” and post-nominal, FWS.

On completion of this course, a graduate will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the major wine styles of France, their appellations and production methods.
  • Explain the characteristics of French wines and give information on the key factors influencing style, quality and value.
  • Show comprehension of the various classification systems used within the eight major French winegrowing regions studied.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of terroir in relation to the style and quality of French wines.
  • Display knowledge on the correct storage, service and appropriate food pairings for French wines.
Completion Requirements

In order to gain the French Wine Scholar designation, students must pass a 100 question multiple choice exam

Course Prerequisites

Students must be 19 years of age or older and have passed Level 2 Intermediate Wine Studies or possess relevant wine experience.

Participation in any program involving the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages for those under the legal drinking age will be conducted in accordance with the law.