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MA in Cinema & Media Studies

The MA is an extremely versatile degree that prepares students for futures in interdisciplinary academic research or the growing spectrum of jobs in the creative industries. Many of our graduates pursue PhDs after their MA training, and/or have gone on to successful careers as academics, festival programmers, archivists, curators, critics, and media producers.

The MA in Cinema & Media Studies offers a broad and comprehensive curriculum in the critical study of cinema and media arts (including film, video, augmented and virtual reality (AR, VR), and other media forms), to a small group of highly motivated students, ranging between 7-10 each year. The two-year (5-term) degree gives students time to consider future paths, including using the second year to research appropriate doctoral programs or taking a Field Placement internship as a bridge to future employment.

Our renowned faculty within cinema & media scholarship offer a diverse selection of courses and in-depth mentoring that provide students with a core formation in the critical, theoretical, and historical analysis of a broad range of cinema and contemporary media.Numerous faculty have been recognized with teaching awards (FGS, AMPD) in addition to research accolades (Royal Society of Canada, Canada Research Chairs, York Research Chairs).

We welcome applicants with educational backgrounds in Film/Cinema Studies, Media Studies, Communications, Cultural Studies, Digital Media, Art History, English, Women’s Studies, History, Queer and Sexuality Studies, Education, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, Area Studies, and other disciplines that nurture research in sound and moving image media.

Domestic Master's students receive $10,000/year in funding + York's $1000 FGS Healthcare Bursary. With York University’s emphasis on access in higher education, our graduate students pay the lowest graduate tuition in Ontario.

In recent years, more than 60% of Cinema & Media Studies (CMS) MA students have received additional funding through awards like CGS-M ($17,500/year) and OGS ($15,000/year), in part due to the Program's emphasis on strong professional development, including grant writing. For more information on funding, please visit York Graduate Fellowship page.

Cinema & Media Studies (CMS) faculty number among Canada’s finest CMS researchers and practitioners, providing students with a core formation in the critical, theoretical, and historical analysis of a broad range of cinema and contemporary media. Faculty members pursue wide-ranging research in cinema and cultural theory, media technologies, archives, documentary and experimental film and media, digital media (including augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and film history. York University’s mission of social justice is reflected in the Program’s strong commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in relation to the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, Indigeneity, and ability.

Many of our faculty pursue interdisciplinary research methodologies, including research creation. Four faculty members are current or former Canada Research Chairs and all of our faculty participate actively in international and Canadian conferences and publications.

In the first year, students take core courses in which they develop their research proposals (and CGS-M/OGS grant applications) into the Major Research Projects (MRPs) that will be the capstone of their degree at the end of the fifth and final term. Options for the MRP include scholarly essays, research-creation projects, or major field placement/internships.  Elective courses span topics in the Essay Film, Film and Capital, among others. MA students can apply to take courses in production and screenwriting if they have some background in these areas. Student may also take courses offered throughout AMPD (Art History & Visual Culture, Design, Digital Media, Music, Theatre, Dance & Performance Studies, Visual Art) or in the 100+ graduate programs at York University. In addition, we normally offer annual intensive Summer Institutes on special themes, often in collaboration with our AMPD partners.

Graduate students benefit from York University’s rich tradition of being at the vanguard of interdisciplinary research, social justice, knowledge mobilization and emerging technology, and directly participate in the many research-intensive initiatives and media labs housed in the School of Arts, Performance, Media and Design (AMPD) and across campus:

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The Graduate Program in Film at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.