School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

 Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies

Collage of students in film and media

Program Overview

Housed in the state-of-the-art Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, the new PhD in Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies is unique because of its linkage of adjacent disciplines: film and media studies and, more generally, the study of screen cultures, film and media production, and curatorial studies and practice.*

This multidisciplinary and professionally oriented program provides students with a wide range of course options and professional opportunities, including academia, arts management, programming, media production (from mainstream media, to artistic and activist production), and curation.

Program Contact

Melissa Shumaker
Graduate Assistant
Department of Film & Media

Phone: 613.533.2178




The program’s three strongly interconnected areas of focus – studies, production, and curation – are designed to stimulate creative dialogue in ways that ensure their mutual and respective influence, and in ways that open exciting points of access to multiple disciplinary formations are not offered in any other film, media, cinema or communications Masters or PhD program in Ontario.

Visiting scholars, film makers, artists, and curators in the core professional development course provide opportunities for practice-based learning, integrating new knowledge gained from other graduate level course work, and implementing some of their newly acquired skills in and beyond the gallery, festival, and museum.

Exhibition space is available to students at the Art & Media Lab in The Isabel Bader Center and the Union Gallery to accommodate curatorial projects.

The program is also uniquely offered in partnership with the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (AEAC), a university and public art museum with physical display space paralleled by an active online program presence. The slate of courses offered by this partnership provide robust opportunities to participate in and benefit from experiential, applied learning.

Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Master of Arts in Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies

  • MA (1 year, full-time). 3 mandatory courses + 2 elective courses + Thesis or Project (The MA thesis should be finished and defended before a committee within the year).
  • The MA thesis requirement can take the form of a written thesis; or a media work, curatorial project, or video essay, each with a complementary written component.

PhD in Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies 

  • PhD (4 years, full-time). Three core courses + two elective courses + qualifying exam + dissertation/project.

The structure of both programs is designed to maximize flexibility allowing students to do traditional academic research, engage in creative and/or community projects and develop professional profiles suitable to a wide variety of academic and non-academic career pathways.

Research Areas & Supervisors

Visit the Film and Media website to read faculty profiles and learn more about faculty members’ research areas. When you find a faculty member with similar research interests to yours, contact them and tell them about your interest in graduate work and related experience.

  • Film, Media and Screen Cultures
  • Experimental Media
  • Moving Image Curatorial Studies
  • Moving Image Production (Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, Animation, Open Media)
  • Film, Media and Performance Studies
  • Historical and Contemporary Film and Media
  • Archives, Curation, and Remediation
Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

Masters- The Department of Film and Media provides financial support for MA students. The current minimum level of funding is approximately $16,000 for the academic year. Financial support is derived from a combination of internal and external awards and teaching assistantships.

PhD - all eligible doctoral students at Queen's are guaranteed minimum funding of $18,000 per year throughout years 1-4. The funding package may be comprised of Queen's graduate awards, teaching assistantships, and named internal fellowships

We encourage all students to apply for external funding from OGS, SSHRC and other sources. Queen’s will automatically issue a $5,000 award to incoming Master’s students OR $10,000 award to incoming Doctoral students who have won federal government Tri-council awards. For more information on many external awards, see the School of Graduate Studies’ information on awards and scholarships.

Academic Prerequisites


  • BAH or BFA degree from a recognized university in film or media studies or cognate fields (e.g., communications, cultural studies, film and media production, visual art, art history, popular culture).
  • Grade requirements: minimum B+ average during undergraduate study.


  • MA or MFA degree from a recognized university in film or media studies or cognate fields (eg communications, cultural studies, flim and media production, visual art, art history, popular culture).
  • Minimum grad of A- in MA or MFA

Additional requirements

  • PhD only - Demonstrated proficiency in a language other than English (if needed)
  • If English is not a native language, prospective students must meet the English language proficiency requirements in writing, speaking, reading, and listening. The School of Graduate Studies requires the following minimum scores: TOEFL (paperbased): 550, (2) TOEFL iBT: Writing (24/30); Speaking (22/30); Reading (22/30); Listening (20/30), for a total of 88/120 (applicants must have the minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score), or (3) IELTS: 7.0 (academic module overall band score), or (4) PTE Academics: 65.

Key Dates and Deadlines

*Applications are now open.  Deadline to apply is January 31, 2021

Grad Maps

View the Grad Maps for this department and all graduate degrees on the Career Services website