Film Studies MA
Incoming students will be expected to have a degree in film studies with a minimum B average (GPA 3.00) in their undergraduate degree. Applicants may be requested to attend an interview with the graduate committee. All applicants will be required to submit an example of their writing on cinema, and a letter of intent.
Some applicants who have undergraduate degrees in other programs will also be considered. These students must have a strong interest in cinema from the perspective of other disciplines such as art history, film production, communications, English, French, sociology, philosophy, history or political science. Students applying from non-film studies programs must demonstrate to the committee that they have a basic knowledge of core film studies materials. Qualified applicants lacking prerequisite courses may be required to take up to 12 undergraduate credits (or the equivalent, to be approved by the Department’s Graduate Studies Committee) in addition to the regular graduate program.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
Requirements for the Degree
- Credits. A fully qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits.
- Language. All students are expected to have a reading knowledge of English and French at the time they begin classes. Courses will be conducted in English, although French texts may be assigned on occasion. Written and oral assignments may be submitted in either English or French. Students who cannot read both French and English texts comfortably should begin their remedial language work before starting classes. A test will be administered by the department to ensure a functioning competency in French for those students whose first language is English or another language. All students must pass this test before receiving their degree, except those who demonstrate to the Graduate Program Director that they are fluently bilingual. A student may also apply to be exempted from the French language test should competency in a language other than English or French be pertinent to the student’s research. This competency must be verified by the GPD.
- Courses. The program offers two different options to fulfill degree requirements. All students may take 9 of their required additional course credits in graduate courses offered by other departments in the university. Such courses must be approved by the Department’s Graduate Studies Committee, with permission of the other department concerned. Both program options outlined below require original research.
- Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.
- Residence. All options have a minimum residence requirement of three terms of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.
- Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.
- Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.70.
Candidates are required to take 6 credits in Methods and 3 credits in either Canadian Cinema or Cinéma Québécois, plus 9 additional course credits. They will also take 27 credits of Research and Thesis. The maximum value of practicum (internship) credits allowable in this option is 6.
In admitting students to this option, the Graduate Program Director will ensure that a potential supervisor exists within the faculty for the student’s research area. The onus is on the student, however, to secure a member of the faculty to supervise the thesis. Theses must be submitted to the department at least six weeks prior to the submission deadline given in the graduate calendar. The examination committee will consist of three faculty members, and will be chaired by the Graduate Program Director, who will remain a neutral member of the committee. The GPD may appoint an alternate chair if he or she is a supervisor or reader of the thesis.
Candidates are required to take 6 credits in Methods and 3 credits in either Canadian or Québécois Cinema, plus 36 additional course credits. In each course, students are required to submit a research paper and make an oral presentation. In this option, students would become familiar with a broad range of methodologies and film practices. Within this framework, they may also be able to pursue specific areas of interest by enroling in independent studies, internships, or taking courses in other departments in the university. The maximum number of practicum (internship) credits allowable in this option is 12.
A student may receive credit for work at film institutions (e.g. festivals, archives), periodicals, educational or production establishments and for academic professional internships. Each internship must be approved in advance by the Program Director and the student must consult with an academic supervisor. The duties will be supervised by an individual within the sponsoring organization, in consultation with an academic adviser, to ensure that the student’s responsibilities are in keeping with aims of the MA program. The academic advisor will determine the credit value of each internship, which will be evaluated on the basis of the student’s written report. The report should demonstrate the student’s understanding of the organization’s social and cultural role as well as an analysis of the activities and functioning of the organization. The 3-credit practicum should involve at least 135 hours at the host institution. The 6-credit internship has the same requirements and provisions as the 3-credit internships, except that the student is expected to do twice the work (270 hours). This may occur in a concentrated period of time (one semester), or may be taken over two consecutive semesters.
Each year the program will offer FMST 600, either FMST 605 or FMST 610, plus a selection of courses from those listed below.
FMST 600 Methods in Film Studies (6 credits)
FMST 605 Topics in English Canadian Cinema (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 805.
This seminar explores the spectrum of Canadian cinema and video produced in English, and features screenings of historical and contemporary works within fiction, documentary and experimental areas, and in some instances, video and television as well. The culture, political and institutional contexts of production and reception are emphasized, with textural analysis at the core.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 605 may not take that same topic under FMST 805 for credit.
FMST 610 Topics in Cinema Québécois (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 810.
The course explores Québécois cinema culture. Emphasis is placed on the cultural and political contexts of production and reception. Topics may include the structure of the film industry in Québec, the role of the NFB and other institutions, avenues of distribution and exhibition, also particular groups of films, such as cinema direct, or on specific time periods, or the work of specific filmmakers.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 610 may not take that same topic under FMST 810 for credit.
FMST 615 Topics in European Cinema (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 815.
This course covers topics in Russian, German, French, Italian, British, Spanish and Eastern European Cinemas. Questions of national culture, patterns of film production, distribution and reception, and aesthetic histories are covered. The course incorporates future experimental and documentary films as well as readings in specific cultural histories.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 615 may not take that same topic under FMST 815 for credit.
FMST 620 Topics in Non-European Cinema (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 820.
This course focuses on Asian, African and South American filmmaking, film cultures and film industries, and comparative studies of issues pertinent to more than one of these cultures.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 620 may not take that same topic under FMST 820 for credit.
FMST 625 Topics in Film History (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 825.
This course explores specific problems and methods of film historiography, and examines the practices associated with one or more of these methods. Course topics emphasize various historiographic methods and theories, problems of methodology and analysis.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 625 may not take that same topic under FMST 825 for credit.
FMST 630 Topics in Film Theory (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 830.
This course is devoted to close readings of key tests in film theory, examining their background, intellectual histories, and analyzing their significance. Topics may concentrate on historical developments in film theory, or they may address a given method or approach.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 630 may not take that same topic under FMST 830 for credit.
FMST 635 Topics in Aesthetics and Cultural Theory (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 835.
This course examines the broader cultural and aesthetic histories relevant to film theory and practice. These theories are studied in depth, beyond the limits of film studies, in order to situate film history and theory within other interdisciplinary perspectives. Topics may include postmodernism, modernism, philosophical aesthetics, sexual representation, Frankfurt School theory, postcolonialism, Marxism, deconstruction, and psychoanalysis.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 635 may not take that same topic under FMST 835 for credit.
FMST 640 Gender Issues in Film (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 840.
This course provides an opportunity to contextualize a range of historical and theoretical feminist positions, and women’s film practices. Sample course topics include pornography, experimental feminist praxis, gender and race, or constructions of gender in specific historical periods or countries.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 640 may not take that same topic under FMST 840 for credit.
FMST 645 Topics in Film Genres (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 845.
This course explores specific narrative film genres, such as the musical, the western, comedy, horror, melodrama and film noir. In each case, the history of the genre and its socio-historical dimensions is explored. Questions of genre transformation, popular mythology, cultural sources and parallel media, institutional analysis (studio practices) and spectatorship are addressed.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 645 may not take that same topic under FMST 845 for credit.
FMST 650 Topics in Experimental Film and Video (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 850.
This course examines the history, aesthetics, theory and practice of experimental/avant-garde film and video, and may be organized around specific bodies of work, or theoretical issues such as the politics of representation, pure cinema, poetic structures, reflexivity, or documentary representation. Questions of medium specificity, modernism/postmodernism, performance art and theory, exhibition, distribution, canonization and criticism are addressed.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 650 may not take that same topic under FMST 850 for credit.
FMST 655 Topics in Documentary (MA) (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 855.
Documentary history, aesthetics and theory are addressed in this course Questions of ideology, narrative and style in the context of specific groups of films are studied. Topics may relate to specific countries, histories, methods, institutions and cultural issues and methodological and theoretical problems arising from the concomitant evolution of television journalism, rapidly evolving technology, and changing patterns of exhibition and reception are examined.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 655 may not take that same topic under FMST 855 for credit.
FMST 660 Topics in Film Directors (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 860.
This course examines the work of one or more specific directors from stylistic, aesthetic, cultural and historical perspectives. Directors that may be studied include Welles, Dreyer, Eisenstein, Hitchcock, Lang, Pasolini, Godard, Von Sternberg, Akermann and Arzmer, have been the foundation of extensive film studies scholarship.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 660 may not take that same topic under FMST 860 for credit.
FMST 665 Topics in Film Studies (3 credits)
Cross-listed: FMST 865.
From time to time, courses in topics that do not fit into any of the topics courses listed above are offered. These courses may include technical studies such as film acting, or special topics related to an instructor’s research project.
Note: Students who have received credit for a topic in FMST 665 may not take that same topic under FMST 865 for credit.
FMST 670 Independent Study (3 credits)
FMST 675 Practicum (3 credits)
FMST 680 Practicum (3 credits)
FMST 685 Practicum (6 credits)
FMST 690 MA Research and Thesis (27 credits)