Critical approaches to cinema extend far beyond the limits of the silver screen. The relationship between the viewer and the moving image has never been more complicated, with practices like gaming and online videos altering our understanding of the medium’s role in society. Engaging with the complexities of current moving image culture, and the practices of active engagement around objects as diverse as urban screens, transnational media, Japanese anime, and film festivals, we nurture students’ ability to develop dynamic social critiques of film and its global ubiquity.
The MA in Film Studies provides you with a stimulating environment to examine film as a political, social, cultural and artistic medium. Students benefit from the School’s proximity to Montreal’s dynamic film, new media and visual arts communities. Montreal is a vibrant cultural metropolis with an exceptional range of film venues and museums, galleries and artist-run centres.
Develop connections with a dynamic group of students as you discover areas of interest that coincide with the research strengths of our internationally renowned faculty, including five research chairs. You’ll also benefit from some of the best research labs in Canada that bring together a network of academics from a multitude of disciplines and institutions.
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.
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.
Film Studies with Thesis (Option A) MA
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.
Film Studies without Thesis (Option B) MA
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.
Master of/Magisteriate in Arts With Thesis (Option A)
Master of/Magisteriate in Arts without Thesis (Option B)
For students interested in developing a thesis (option A), the Graduate Program Director will ensure that a potential supervisor exists within the faculty for the research area in question. The onus is on the student, however, to secure a member of the faculty to supervise the thesis during their studies.
Priority will be given to those who apply within the official deadlines listed above. Some programs may continue to accept applications after these deadlines. For more information, please contact the department.
Our diverse course curriculum offers opportunities for the advanced study of film by incorporating multidisciplinary materials from fields as varied as gender studies, archival science and philosophy. Visit the department website for a current list of course offerings.
Students may receive practicum credits for work at film institutions (e.g. festivals, archives), periodicals, educational or production establishments.
1. Do I need to select an advisor before applying? If so, how do I select my advisor?
No, it is not necessary to select an advisor before you apply. You will have time in your first semester to select an advisor. You can mention a professor you feel would be a good fit in your statement of purpose.
2. How many years does a full-time student typically takes to complete this program?
Typically, full-time students finish either the thesis or non-thesis track in two years: 45 credits.
3. What should I include in my Statement of Purpose?
The Statement of Purpose should be around 3-4 pages in length, and include the following information. It should briefly explain your background, elaborate on your past and present research interests as well as research output (papers written, or, if applicable, published or presented at conferences), and what draws you to the Film Studies program at Concordia. This last aspect may include brief mention of professors you feel are pertinent to your research project and/or interests, and courses you feel useful for your studies. To do this we urge you to look closely at our program and professors' profiles. You do not need to contact professors to list their names here; we discourage you from doing so. While you may have many research or subject interests at this point, we suggest you present one or two of them in depth, and note briefly your other interests.
4. What is recommended for the writing sample for the application for admission?
The writing sample is meant to show your ability to write academically. Most applicants use a previous work either form a class or published work they feel represents their best work. The writing does not have to be a published work. The recommended length is 8-20 pages.
5. Letters of recommendation: Do they need to be submitted by Feb 1st or is there a grace period for the referees to submit the letters?
It is recommended that the letters arrive by February 1, but about a week grace period will be given for the final letters to come in after the February 1 deadline.
6. Do I need to get my previous university to send my transcripts?
8. Financial Aid: If admitted to the program, am I eligible to apply to any type of financial aid and/or work study?
Funding is available to MA students on a competitive basis through a range of fellowships, scholarships, and other awards. Approximately 60% of incoming MA students receive some kind of funding, fee remission, teaching assistantship, or research assistantship. The funding is allocated on the basis of a student’s application materials, including prior academic record, letter of intent or statement of purpose, scholarly writing sample and letters of recommendation. Funding also depends on yearly university allocation, though we strive to support our incoming and continuing MA students. Canadian students are also highly encouraged to apply to SSHRC and FQRSC MA scholarships before entering the program. You are also encouraged to find your own funding.
9. Do I need to have a BA in film studies to apply?
It is recommended but not necessary to apply. Other BA degrees that are often considered are: art history, film production, English, French, sociology, philosophy, history, political science communications, anthropology, social science, literature and sociology. It may be necessary to undertake up to 6 undergraduate courses in these cases depending on your admission decision.
Many of our alumni have gone on to successful careers in the media and cultural industries, through their work in film, television, and the arts. Practicum courses facilitate careers in the areas of programming and exhibition, curatorial work, arts journalism, and teaching at all levels. Graduates are also qualified to pursue film studies at the doctoral level. Concordia has an excellent track record in placing graduates in the best PhD programs in film and media studies in Canada and the United States.