About the Program

Contemporary life is profoundly shaped by audiovisual media, which makes training in interpreting and analyzing film and other media directly relevant to a wide range of careers. This globally-focused and interdisciplinary program teaches critical, theoretical, and historical approaches to cinema and emerging media. Students learn to think analytically and express themselves clearly, while developing specialized knowledge about history, aesthetics, and film as a social and cultural practice.

  • Why Film Studies at Carleton?
  • What is the relationship between film studies and film production?
  • Practical experience
  • Career opportunities and graduate school

Why Film Studies at Carleton?

The Film Studies program at Carleton is one of the oldest and most respected of its type in Canada. The faculty in the program are leading experts who are engaged in research and publication in multiple fields, with an emphasis on topics in film theory, film history, digital media, and world cinema. We are known as a student-friendly program that emphasizes small class sizes and a commitment to mentoring students in and out of the classroom.

Over the course of their progress toward a degree in Film Studies, our students …

  • Acquire an extensive knowledge of cinema and moving image history through the study of a wide variety of types of audiovisual culture from around the world and from the historical past as well as the digital present. From animation to live action, commercial movies to avant-garde experiments, and silent films to video games, course offerings in Film Studies encompass the moving-image in its myriad forms.
  • Learn to analyze films and other moving image media in ways informed by discussion and debate on the cultural, social, and political impact of cinema and other moving image media.
  • Gain a working knowledge of key concepts and methods in film theory and historiography, and specialized skills in the analysis of films and other moving-image media.
  • Acquire hands-on experience through an array of film and media-related practicum placements and internships in institutions in the Ottawa area.

Visit our Undergraduate and Graduate pages to learn more.

What is the relationship between film studies and film production?

Technologies of moving-image recording and reproduction have become increasingly commonplace. What remains in rare supply is the artistic vision needed for the making of artistically innovative and socially responsive moving-image productions. In the spirit of learning through creative practice, the Film Studies program regularly offers moving image practice courses to supplement the core curriculum of film history and theory. While the technical elements of filmmaking go out of date fairly quickly, a solid historical and theoretical background remains enduringly useful. This is what we are committed to providing our students.

Practical experience

Each year the Film Studies practicum and internship programs place undergraduate and graduate students in film-related institutions where they put their academic training to work, from Library and Archives Canada to the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative of Ottawa, the Canadian Film Institute, the Saw Gallery (an artist-run collective with both a gallery and a video editing facility), and the Museum of Science and Technology. The core course in the fourth year includes instruction in practical, career-building skills such as applying for research funding and for admission into graduate programs.

Career opportunities and graduate school

The employment rate for our graduates is very high. Film Studies’ emphasis on analysis, writing skills, and communication prepare our students to work not only in film and video, but also in business, law, the arts, and the humanities in general. Our graduates have gone on to be the executive director of the Toronto International Film Festival, artistic director of the Ottawa Animation Festival, NFB producers, award-winning filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, visual effects designers, and video game designers, as well as authors, professors, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and many other professions.

With the well-rounded humanities education that a degree in Film Studies provides, our students are prepared to apply for a wide array of graduate programs–from a M.A. or Ph.D. in Film Studies to degrees in Business and Law.