The Master of Arts (MA) in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema provides a stimulating context for advanced study and immersion in all different aspects of cinema and moving image culture. Through coursework and thesis work, independent research, internships, conferences and lecture series, students explore historical, cultural and aesthetic understandings of cinema as well as the ever-evolving film and media digital practices, content streams and global distribution platforms. The program emphasizes critical methods specific to film studies but also incorporates a broad range of interdisciplinary scholarship, setting the scene for understanding the world through audiovisual images.
The School of Cinema is Canada’s largest university-based centre for the study and creation of moving images. In addition to the Master of Arts in Film Studies, it offers a PhD in Film and Moving Image Studies. These graduate programs attract students from across the country and around the world. The diverse backgrounds and perspectives of students and faculty members make for a lively and intellectually stimulating learning and research environment.
The School’s film and film and video collections are comprehensive and accessible to graduate students. Screening rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art digital projectors, as well as 16mm and 35mm projection, to ensure optimal viewing conditions. Supported by over 23 tenured and tenure-track faculty, a steady group of part-time instructors, and a growing number of students enrolled in the doctorate program, The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema is the place for looking at cinema under different lenses.
You are invited to take a look at our faculty pages for an idea of the rich diversity of innovative and award-winning research, teaching interest, and academic and professional achievement housed within our program.
The Film Studies program has extensive ties with the city’s leading film institutions, including the Cinémathèque québécoise, the National Film Board of Canada and all the Montreal-based film festivals, such as Fantasia, Festival de noveau cinema, RIDM, etc. It collaborates with many of the city’s private film and video production facilities. These, organizations provide students with unique opportunities for interdisciplinary and self-directed programs of study and research. They also provide internships or practicum placements that expose students to ‘real world’ experiences and career possibilities in the cultural industries, programming and exhibition and arts journalism.
In addition, the School of Cinema has an ongoing exchange program with the prestigious Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television (EICTV) in Cuba to explore collaboration in education and research for students and faculty. Other exchange possibilities include France, Germany and Italy.
Faculty members encourage students to explore the multidisciplinary nature of film, visual art and contemporary culture and to integrate new technologies and theoretical currents with traditional cinematic practices and perspectives. Collaborations with faculty members at Montreal’s three other universities are supported and encouraged for additional academic expertise.
The vibrant the culture of our program includes opportunities for students to get involved in Concordia-based film journals, research groups, yearly conferences and active reading groups.
The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture and the Advanced Research Team in History and Epistemology of Moving Image Studies host conferences, sponsor lecture series and provide support for interdisciplinary research groups that include students and faculty.
Graduate students have access to various other research centres, including the Hexagram Centre for Research-Creation in Media Arts and Technologies, Canada’s largest arts and design based new media lab. Hexagram was established by Concordia and the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and plays a significant role in shaping cultural debates on the national and international stage.
Film studies graduates join a thriving group of alumni who continue to distinguish themselves as leading critics, educators, curators and artists.
Credits. A fully qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits.
Residence. All options have a minimum residence requirement of three terms of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.
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.
Master of/Magisteriate in Arts With Thesis (Option A)
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.
Master of/Magisteriate in Arts without Thesis (Option B)
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.
Admission Requirements. 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.
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.
Faculty research interests include a diverse array of national cinemas, theoretical methods, and critical approaches, enabling students to pursue a wide variety of research objectives. Graduate students have the opportunity to work with internationally renowned scholars, both faculty and visiting scholars. Faculty areas of expertise includeCanadian, US, European, Russian, Arab, South American, Japaneseand transnationalcinema and media, experimental, documentary and ethnographic film, early cinema, feminist film theory and practice, cinema and the archive, teen media, sound studies, media convergence, film and media theory, queer film and video, film technology, and the study of cultural institutions such as museums and film festivals.
Our MA program, founded in 1998, has been a launching pad for many of our alumni who operate today in the media and cultural industries, working in the film, television, and the arts. Montreal is an ideal location for the film practicum courses that facilitate careers in the areas of cultural industry, programming and exhibition, curatorial work, arts journalism, and teaching at all levels. Graduates of our MA program 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.