Film & Media

The Department of Film and Media offers a unique undergraduate degree program that lets students learn from both sides of the camera on the premise that graduates should be versed in both the contexts and techniques of the medium. The Department integrates the practice of film and media with courses in history and criticism that range from Digital Media Theory to Hollywood Cinema to the Business of Media in Canada. Students learn digital design, scriptwriting, cinematography, directing, editing and sound recording and mixing for documentary, animation, multimedia, fiction and experimental production, while also studying the history and theory of cinema and media. They are exposed to media professionals, scholars and an extensive network of alumni. Film and Media is located within the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, with state-of the-art production facilities, a large screening room, and a Digital Lab.'

Top 5 Reasons to study Film:

  1. The department focuses on the history, theory, and criticism of film, television, and new media.
  2. Learn in our state-of-the-art facility, the Isabel Bader Centre.
  3. Students can apply to undertake a practical internship in media production, criticism, or curatorship.
  4. Address related issues, like ideology, communication, aesthetics, advertising, and economics.
  5. Get prepared for a variety of professional careers, including work in the film and television industries.
I loved my experience in Film and Media at Queen’s. The professors, my fellow peers, and the unique course  opportunities made for a fabulous undergraduate education.
                                                                                                                                   -Kat Kopiak, BAH ‘14
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
Room number: 
Department Head: 
Gary Kibbins
Departmental Assistant: 
Denise Arsenault
Undergraduate Chair: 
Scott MacKenzie
Undergraduate Assistant: 
Stephanie Wilson

Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

Specialization in Stage and Screen (STSC)
A specialization that incorporates an even count of courses between Film and Media and Drama, along with a introduction to either Art or Music with room for elective courses.

Specialization in Computing and the Creative Arts (COCA)
This specialization consists of the majority of the courses in Computing and a SubPlan such as Art, Drama, Music or Film and Media with room for elective courses.

Major in Film and Media
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Medial in Film and Media
A dual course of study in Film and Media and any other Arts discipline.

Minor in Film and Media
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.

For a full list of Degree Plans, see the Academic Calendar

Job and Career Opportunities for Film and Media Grads

Alumni Career Statistics

  • 5% of alumni work in BANKING & INVESTMENT
  • 6% of alumni work in MARKETING
  • 18% of alumni work in EDUCATION
  • 28% of alumni work in BROADCAST & FILM MEDIA

Many of our Film and Media alumni go into the film and television industries, and have won Oscars, Emmies and Genies. Film and Media courses, however, cover a wide range of educational areas and skills, and are designed to encourage students in the critical thinking that is important for graduate studies or for leadership in any profession.

Where could Film and Media students go after graduation?

  • Advertising
  • Animation
  • Art gallery management
  • Broadcasting
  • Casting director
  • Choreography
  • Composition
  • Costume design
  • Curation
  • Direction
  • Editing
  • Events management
  • Film archivist
  • Film making
  • Film production
  • Fundraising
  • Games production
  • Graduate school
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Make-up and costumes
  • Manuscript reader
  • Marketing
  • Non-profit administration
  • Photography
  • Public relations
  • Screenwriting
  • Set design
  • Sound editing
  • Special effects
  • Stage crew manager
  • Stunt coordinator
  • Talent representation
  • Teaching
  • Television production
  • Theatre management
  • Visual art consulting

Taking time to explore career options, build experience and network can help you have a smooth transition to the world of work after graduation Note that some of these careers may require additional training.

Undergraduate Course Highlights

Courses in Film and Media can be divided into three main categories: applied or production courses, such as Documentary Production, Animation Production, Screenwriting, or Video Production for Digital Media; courses in media and culture, such as Media and Popular Culture or Advertising and Consumer Culture; and courses in film and media criticism and history, including Hollywood: The Dream Factory or Creative Industries in the 21st Century.

Undergraduate Admission for Film and Media

Students apply to Queen’s Arts (QA) through the OUAC (Ontario Universities' Application Centre) website ( Secondary School prerequisites include six 4U and 4M courses, including a minimum of three 4U courses, one of which must be ENG4U. Applicants outside of Ontario may have additional requirements. Visit for additional information regarding requirements and admission to Queen's.

Film and Media (BAH)
OUAC Code:
QA (Kingston Campus)
QB (Concurrent Education, Kingston Campus)
QIA (The Castle)
QIB (Concurrent Education, The Castle)

Computing and the Creative Arts (BAH)
OUAC Code:
QA (Kingston Campus)

See Full Admission Requirements

After first year, in May, students will declare their area of study (major, minor, specialization, e.g.). The thresholds are competitive year to year and do change. The 2017-18 thresholds for Film and Media are: 0.7 Cumulative GPA with a minimum B- in FILM 110 for PENDING LIST or 2.8 Cumulative GPA with minimum B+ in FILM 110 for AUTOMATIC ACCEPTANCE.

Information on Plan Selection

Certificate in Media Studies

This online Certificate in Media Studies offers on-campus or distance students the opportunity to develop and accredit their fluency in the foundations of media and cultural studies. Students will build practical creativity, communication, and critical thinking skills that can be applied in academic and professional contexts.

Department Contacts: Arts and Science Online

Delivery Mode: Online or on-campus

Number of Units: 12 units (3-4 courses)

Open to:

  • Current Arts and Science students (online or on-campus)
  • Current Engineering, Business, Health Science students
  • Alumni
  • Future Queen's students
  • FILM 236/3.0
  • FILM 240/3.0
  • 6.0 units from: DRAM 205/3.0; FILM 260 /3.0 ; FILM 300/3.0; FILM 303/3.0; FILM 308/3.0; FILM 320/3.0; FILM 3 3 5/3.0; FILM 338/3.0 ; FILM 340/3.0; GNDS 125/3.0; MUSC 171/3.0 ; POLS 313/3.0; STSC 339/3.0


Current Arts and Science (online or on-campus) Students

Current Arts and Science (on-campus or online) Students Simply send an email  to the Student Services Team in Arts and Science and they will get it added to your student account.

Current Engineering, Business, Health Science Students

Simply send an email to the Student Services Team in Arts and Science and they will get it added to your student account.

Part-time, Off-campus, Future Queen's Students

If you aren't a Queen's student (yet) but would like to take the Media Studies Certificate, it is available online, part-time through Arts and Science Online. Click here to apply.

Queen's Alumni

If you are a former Queen's undergraduate student, or if you have earned an undergraduate degree from Queen's, please request your Certificate by filling out the Return to Studies Form found here.

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

Alumni Profile - Michael MacMillan

Michael MacMillan

Michael MacMillan. Photo: Markian Lozowchuk, Canadian Business

Creativity and hustle keys to success: Queen’s film grad
By Alec Ross

The film industry has a reputation for being hard to break into, but if you’ve got creativity and hustle, your chances of a job there are better than ever. So says Michael MacMillan, a Queen’s graduate who is one of Canada’s most successful film and television producers.

The reason, says MacMillan, ArtsSci ’78, is that the Internet and affordable video technology enable practically anyone to make a video, movie or video blog and distribute it to a potential an audience of millions. When MacMillan started out, only those with deep pockets could do that.

Today, says MacMillan, “the barrier to entry is no longer capital. It’s creativity.”

Still, when millions of videos are vying for attention on websites like YouTube and Vimeo, creativity by itself may not be enough. That’s when entrepreneurial smarts – something that MacMillan cultivated early on – come into play.

In 1976, when he was a second-year Film Studies student at Queen’s, MacMillan made a 20-minute documentary called The Academic Cloister. Its subversive message was that rather than encouraging critical thinking, Canadian universities simply reinforced the societal status quo through rote learning and intellectual conformity. Queen’s, to the dismay of its administrators, played a starring role. The film was a sensation on campus.

The audacious project illustrates the kind of passion and lateral thinking it takes to get a film made. MacMillan raised $3,000 in his spare time, partly by organizing three student screenings of the Peter Sellers classic, The Pink Panther. After the second showing of the 90-minute film, MacMillan turned back the auditorium clock to give himself time to fit in a third showing. The trick worked. The screenings raked in $800, the biggest single chunk of the film’s budget.

By fourth year, MacMillan was making films with several Queen’s friends. But he set his future course with fellow film students Janice Platt and Seaton McLean when the trio founded Atlantis Films, a student film production company. Initially, they wrote, produced, directed, shot, and edited their films themselves, but they quickly realized that elevating their craft would require professional cinematographers, directors, editors and many others. The students’ role would be to raise money and buzz and bring the right people together.

In a few short years, Atlantis evolved into one of Canada’s most successful film and TV production companies. It won an Oscar in 1984 for a short film called Boys and Girls and snagged an Emmy in 1992 for Lost in the Barrens, a TV drama based Farley Mowat’s young adult novel of the same name. It launched the Life Network in 1993, and five years later purchased another film company, Alliance, to form Alliance Atlantis, which went on to own and manage 13 television networks including Food Network, HGTV and Showcase. These have contributed to an overall output of Canadian TV and film that MacMillan describes as “astonishingly large.”

MacMillan retired from the business after CanWest Global Communications and Goldman Sachs acquired Alliance Atlantis in 2007. Two years later, with fellow Queen’s grad Alison Loat, Artsci ’99, he co-founded Samara, a charity that aims to increase political participation in Canada. (MacMillan and Loat recently co-wrote Tragedy in the Commons, a book that draws on exit interviews with 80 former members of Parliament to suggest how Canadian democracy can be improved.)

But MacMillan can’t resist the entertainment game. He now heads Blue Ant Media, a private media company that owns brands including Cottage Life, Outdoor Canada, Travel + Escape, and a number of other web, mobile, TV, magazine properties. The firm is based in Toronto, but its reach is global. 

After almost 40 years in the Canadian film and TV industry, MacMillan has some definite ideas about what it takes to succeed there. Creativity and talent head the list, along with the willingness to put in hard work and long hours to help your project succeed.

But even these may not be enough. “There’s a tsunami of creativity and creative expression available,” says MacMillan. “Today, the key things that will distinguish [an artist] are creativity, imagination and talent on one hand, and marketing skills – or power or clout or imagination – to draw attention to your film or documentary or whatever it is, as opposed to the gazillion other ones.”

Since film is a collective endeavour, MacMillan encourages people to imagine how their individual talents, or role, might fit in with those of others. Keeping abreast of technological change and the potential applications of new technology is also smart.

Finally, says MacMillan, the Internet and global trade has forced his industry, and those working in it, to adopt an international focus and attitude.

“If you believe the Internet is here to stay, then you’ll think that the geographical boundaries between one country and another – not political boundaries, but how rights are created and bought and sold and what a natural market is – are going to blur.” 

“If I were 22 years old,” says MacMillan, “I’d say, ‘Wow! That is a huge sandbox to play in!’”