Site Accessibility Statement
Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 24, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Film Studies

Film Studies at Laurier 

Through regular screenings, discussions and essays, the Film Studies program at Laurier provides the opportunity for students to write and think critically about films and their place in society.

Our aim is to provide students with:

  • an understanding of the history of film and various modes of film practice
  • a practical knowledge of key methods of critical analysis and film theory
  • an appreciation of the relationship of film style to its modes of production
  • an awareness of film styles, genres, and various national cinemas
  • a critical vocabulary & framework within which to discuss and write about film

Program highlights 

  • The Film Studies Program provides students with not only an intellectually innovative and interesting study of the history, art, and business of film but also key and transferable skills to prepare them for careers in our media-centred world. 
  • Film Studies offers students over 40 courses to choose from.
    • from first-year intro courses to fourth-year small seminars
    • from film history courses to those that explore film theory
    • from topics like youth culture to genres like the Western
  • The Honours in Film Studies degree is offered in combination with another Honours program, including English, Communication Studies, Global Studies, History, Women and Gender Studies.  

Courses offered 

First year

  • Film and Narrative
  • Film and the Image
  • Film and Genre
Popular courses
  • Film Comedy
  • The Gangster
  • Horror and Gothic Film

Admission requirements 

Honours BA Film Studies  (in combination with another Honours BA)

 4U Requirements IB Requirements  Admission Range
English at 60% HL or SL English at 4 


 IB Minimum score: 28 


Graduates of Laurier’s Film Studies Program have gone on to pursue teacher’s college, film production programs, and graduate programs in film and related media. They have found work in diverse areas, such as teaching, film and television, sales, advertising, and journalism.

Student experience 

000_Jeffries_headshot.jpgAfter taking a media studies course in high school, Dru Jeffries developed a passion and appreciation for film that brought him to Laurier to study it critically. 

“The professors here are great and have a wide range of specialities, from the early days of cinema to more contemporary trends and genres,” he says. “They have a personal stake in your success and go out of their way to help you.” 

In addition to his studies, Jeffries wrote film reviews for Laurier’s student newspaper The Cord, film editorials for the student magazine Blueprint and was a tutor at the Writing Centre. 

In his last year, under the guidance of a professor, Jeffries designed his own directed study course in which he researched superheroes in movies. He went on to present his completed paper at the Comics Arts Conference in San Francisco. Jeffries’ research won him a SSHRC grant to complete his MA in Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto and, more recently, a CGS grant to pursue hi PhD in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University. 

“Film is on the rise as one of the more important media in our culture,” he says. “Nothing else appeals to the masses in the same way. It disguises itself as popular entertainment but it’s much more.”

Faculty experience 

000_Gates_headshot.jpgToronto-born Dr. Philippa Gates began her university education majoring in archaeology and English. 

“After two weeks in a film class I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she says. Gates earned her degree in Cinema Studies with a minor in English, then obtained master’s and doctoral degrees at England’s University of Exeter. 

As a full-time professor in Laurier’s Film Studies department, Gates brings her considerable love of film to the classroom. “We study mainstream films as well as art films,” she says. “There is the misconception that popular film is not worthy of academic study. However, that is not the case and popular film can be as illuminating as more artistically motivated ones. In one course, we look at adaptations and use the film Clueless to discuss the novel Emma.”