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Combine Critical and Practical Learning

The Vancouver Film School (VFS) pathway gives you the opportunity to enrich your critical study of cinema with practical training in film production, writing, or acting at Canada’s leading school for filmmaking.

In only four years, you'll complete an honours Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Laurier and a diploma from VFS.

You'll attend Laurier in Years 1 and 2, then VFS in Year 3 (starting in early May, late June, or late August), and then Laurier in Year 4.

Film Studies students may attend one of three VFS programs:

  • Film Production
  • Writing for Film, Television and Games
  • Acting for Film and Television

VFS’s 12-month program counts as 5.0 credits toward the 20.0 required credits for your honours BA in Film Studies from Laurier.

The Difference

Laurier's VFS pathway does not award a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, but rather both a BA degree (from Laurier) and a diploma (from VFS). Equipped with a BA, you are positioned to pursue further education after graduation, including law school, graduate school or teacher’s college. For admission to Laurier, no portfolio is required, no prerequisites are required, and the intake of students is not restricted.

Applying to VFS

You'll declare your intent to apply for the VFS pathway at the end of Year 1. You must be in good standing in your program, and you must have completed a minimum of 10.0 credits, with 4.0 credits being from your Film Studies major, before you start a VFS program.

To enrol in courses at VFS, you must obtain a Letter of Permission by submitting the online request form.

Effective March 2021, VFS has waived the portfolio requirements for students in the VFS-Laurier Pathway program. For more information, visit vfs.edu/admissions.

Tuition and Scholarships

VFS Tuition and Scholarship Rates

Student Status

VFS Program

Tuition (2019)1

Top Excellence in Media Scholarship2

Second Excellence in Media Scholarship

Tuition Discount

Domestic

Production

$36,750

$10,000

$7,000

$4,000

Domestic

Writing

$20,750

$5,000

$3,500

$2,000

Domestic

Acting

$20,500

$5,000

$3,500

$2,000

International

Production

$53,250

$15,000

$10,000

$7,000

International

Writing

$28,250

$7,000

$5,000

$4,000

International

Acting

$30,500

$7,000

$5,000

$4,000

1 Tuition rates are subject to change. The above figures do not include a mandatory application fee of $75. The scholarship and tuition discount may not be combined.

2 A total of six Excellence in Media Scholarships are allocated to pathway students.

Scholarships and Tuition Discounts

Tuition discounts ranging from $2,000 to $7,000 are available to all pathway students. Program majors with the highest GPAs (in their major and overall) at the beginning of fall term of Year 2 will be invited to participate in a pitch competition to determine the allocation of six Excellence in Media scholarships.

As part of the competition, students present their idea for a major film project (or other project approved by the selection committee) to the selection committee. Scholarship allocation is as follows:

  • One top and one second level for a Film Studies student for the Film Production program, whether
    domestic or international at each level.
  • One top and on second level for a Film Studies student for the Writing or Acting program, whether
    domestic or international at each level.
  • One top and one second level for an English student for the Writing program, whether domestic or
    international at each level.

Combined English and Film Studies students compete in either the English or Film Studies category based on their GPA in both majors.

Cost Comparison (for Domestic Students)

Prior to the creation of the pathway, Laurier students seeking a career in film production required five years of study: four years at Laurier and one year at Sheridan or another college to complete a diploma in production or a related field.

The figures below reflect domestic school tuition and living costs for students living “like a student” (i.e. on a restricted but reasonable budget). In addition to the cost savings of the pathway, students also gain income from an additional year of employment. Note that VFS offers a fee-based service for helping students find housing in Vancouver.

Cost Comparison to Non-Pathway Programs

Institution

Average Annual Tuition, Fees, Books

Average Annual Living Cost Estimate

Total Annual Estimate

Honours Bachelor of Arts + Production Diploma

Total Estimate

Laurier

$8,6551

$12,4462

$21,101

N/A

N/A

Sheridan

$17,1693

$15,6004

$32,769

Laurier + Sheridan (5 Years)

$117,173

VFS Production5

$32,825

$20,0006

$52,825

Laurier + VFS Production (4 Years)

$116,128

VFS Writing

$18,825

$20,000

$38,825

Laurier + VFS Writing (4 Years)

$102,128

VFS Acting

$18,575

$20,000

$38,575

Laurier + VFS Acting (4 Years)

$101,878

1 Tuition and Finances, Laurier.

2 Assumes first year of on-campus residence and subsequent years of off-campus residence. See "The cost for students who move away form home," Maclean's.

3 Tuition for 2019/20 in Sheridan’s Advanced Television and Film program is $14,669, and students are expected to spend $2,500-$5,000 on supplies.

4 Housing, Sheridan College.

5 All VFS tuition figures include the application fee of $75 and the tuition discount granted to pathway students.

6 Estimate is based on www.numbeo.com and Cost of Living, University of British Columbia.

 

Articulations: Film-Related Diplomas from Vancouver Film School 

Graduates from a one-year diploma program in Acting for Film and TV, Film Production or Writing for Film, Television and Games from the Vancouver Film School, can apply to Film Studies within the Faculty of Arts on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. To be considered for admission to the Faculty of Arts, graduates must have an overall average of 75% in their program.

Transfer students admitted into our Film Studies program based on these requirements will be granted 5.0 credits towards their Laurier degree. Students taking a typical full-time course load (5.0 credits per academic year) will take approximately three years to complete their four-year honours Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.

To graduate with your BA in Film Studies, you will need to complete the following courses at Laurier:

"[VFS] has enhanced my love of film in an all-encompassing way. I find it makes me want to refer to my academic knowledge to see how I can successfully construct my performance technically. The work will be intense moving forward, but the program, combined with Laurier, has defined my passion for life in a way I could never imagine."

– Aruba (current student)

Film Studies Required Courses

  • FS240: Film History to 1950
  • FS241: Film History since 1950
  • FS341: Film Theory to 1968
  • 0 FS credit at the 400-level

Two of:

  • FS238: Bollywood Film
  • FS239: Japanese Film
  • FS244: Canadian Film
  • FS246: German Film
  • FS250: French Film
  • FS301: Contemporary European Film
  • FS330: Italian Film
  • FS333: East Asian Film
  • FS355: Indigenous Film
  • FS360: World Cinemas
  • FS365: Spanish Film

One of:

  • FS342: Film Theory Since 1968
  • FS345: Film Theory and Mass Media
  • FS346: Gender in Film
  • FS348: Film Theory in the Digital Age
  • FS349: Film Melodrama
  • FS363: Brecht, Godard, Hollywood

Note: Of the 10.0 required Film Studies credits, a maximum of 1.0 credit may be at the 100-level. For these articulations, 1.0 credit at the 100-level in Film students is already granted.

Electives

  • 5.0 additional credits in Film Studies courses at the senior level.
    • Students may count up to 1.0 credit from senior English courses.
  • 6.0 credits in any other discipline.*

*Note: A maximum of 5.0 elective credits at the 100-level is allowed.

  • For Acting for Film and Television: 4.0 credits at the 100-level are already awarded. Only 1.0 electives credit at the 100-level may be taken.
  • For Film Production: 2.0 credits at the 100-level are already awarded. Only 3.0 elective credits at the 100-level may be taken.
  • For Writing for Film, Television and Games: 3.0 credits at the 100-level are already awarded. Only 2.0 elective credits at the 100-level may be taken.

Awarding of Transfer Credits

Below comprises of a list of transfer credits you will receive in your offer letter if you are admitted into this specific pathway:

Transfer Credits

Acting for Film and TV:

  • 1.0 credit: Film Studies (100 level)
  • 4.0 credits: Interdisciplinary (100 level)
  • Total: 5.0 credits

Film Production:

  • 1.0 credit: Film Studies (100 level)
  • 2.0 credits: Interdisciplinary (100 level)
  • FS275: The Business of Film
  • FS370: Intro to Video Editing
  • FS371: Advanced Video Editing
  • FS374: Screenwriting and Directing

Writing for Film, Television and Games:

  • 1.0 credit: Film Studies (100 level)
  • 3.0 credits: Interdisciplinary (100 level)
  • FS275: The Business of Film
  • FS374: Screenwriting and Directing

Articulation: Writing for Film, Television and Games Diploma from Vancouver Film School (English and Film Studies)

Graduates from a one-year diploma program in Writing for Film, Television and Games from the Vancouver Film School, can apply to Combined Honours BA English and Film Studies within the Faculty of Arts on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. To be considered for admission to the Faculty of Arts, graduates must have an overall average of 75% in their program.

Transfer students admitted into our English and Film Studies combination program based on these requirements will be granted 5.0 credits towards their Laurier degree. Students taking a typical full-time course load (5.0 credits per academic year) will take approximately three years to complete their four-year honours Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.

To graduate with your combined BA in English and Film Studies, you will need to complete the following courses at Laurier:

English Required Courses

Two of:

  • EN214: Medieval Poetry of the Fantastic
  • EN233: Shakespeare’s Comedies and Romances or EN234: Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Histories
  • EN245: British Literary Tradition I
  • EN344: 18th Century Fiction – Sex, Shopping and Scandal
  • EN372: History of the English Language
  • EN388: 18th Century Literature – Strange Wonders
  • EN390: Chaucer and the Middles Ages
  • EN392: Diversity in the Middle Ages
  • EN393: Elizabethan Poetry and Prose
  • EN394: Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama
  • EN395: 17th Century Literature

Two of:

  • EN246: British Literary Tradition II
  • EN292: Romantic Radicals
  • EN293: Romantic Dystopians
  • EN298: British and Irish Writers 1900-1920
  • EN299: Modernism and British Literature Between the Wars
  • EN345: The British Novel in the 19th Century
  • EN346: The British Novel in the 20th Century
  • EN396: Mid-Victorian Literature: Culture and Anarchy
  • EN397: Later Victorian Literature: Dissonance and Decadence
  • EN399: Postmodern Narratives

Two of:

  • EN211: Roots, Race, Resistance – Post-Colonial Literature
  • EN213: The Child in Africa Literature and Popular Culture
  • EN218: Contemporary American Literature
  • EN252: Multiculturalism and Literature
  • EN261: Sport Literature
  • EN263: Canada Then – Exploring Canadian Literature
  • EN265: American Literature to 1900
  • EN266: American Literature of the Early 20th Century
  • EN267: Canada Now – Contemporary Canadian Literature
  • EN280: Introduction to Indigenous Literature
  • EN313: West African Literature and Cultures
  • EN322: Modern Drama – Experiments in Form
  • EN324: Canadian Women’s Writing
  • EN330: Human Rights in Contemporary Cultural Forms
  • EN335: Literature of 9/11 and Beyond
  • EN347: The Narratives of Empire

Two of:

  • EN200: The Pleasures of Poetry
  • EN201: Children’s Literature
  • EN203: Tragic Drama
  • EN207: Comic Drama
  • EN210: Literature and Social Change
  • EN220: Reading Culture – Strategies and Approaches
  • EN222: Literary Adaptation
  • EN225: Contemporary Women’s Writing
  • EN231: Arthurian Traditions
  • EN237: The Fairy Tale
  • EN238: Tolkien and Fantasy
  • EN239: Classic Science Fiction
  • EN240: Critical Reading and Writing
  • EN249: Mystery and Crime Fiction
  • EN250: Literature, Nature, Ecocriticism
  • EN271: The Creative Process
  • EN272: Introduction to Creative Writing
  • EN281: Contemporary Science Fiction
  • EN285: Tween Literature and Culture
  • EN286: Young Adult Literature
  • EN301: Literary Theory
  • EN303: Advanced Academic Writing
  • EN310: The Politics of Transgression and Desire
  • EN369: Creative Writing – Nonfiction
  • EN370: Creative Writing – Poetry
  • EN371: Creative Writing – Short Story
  • EN381: Gaming and Narrative Theory

An additional 2.0 credits in English to meet 7.0 required credits for the English portion:

  • A maximum of 1.0 credit may be from non-designated writing courses (EN206, EN304)

Note: Of the 7.0 required English credits, a maximum of 1.0 credit may be at the 100-level. For this articulation, 1.0 credit at the 100-level in English is already granted.

Film Studies Required Courses

  • FS240: Film History to 1950
  • FS241: Film History since 1950
  • FS341: Film Theory to 1968
  • FS342: Film Theory Since 1968

Two of:

  • FS238: Bollywood Film
  • FS239: Japanese Film
  • FS244: Canadian Film
  • FS246: German Film
  • FS250: French Film
  • FS301: Contemporary European Film
  • FS330: Italian Film
  • FS333: East Asian Film
  • FS355: Indigenous Film
  • FS360: World Cinemas
  • FS365: Spanish Film

One of:

  • FS443: Topics in Gender and Genre
  • FS444: Topics in Film and the Other Arts
  • FS489: Directed Studies

Additional 2.5 credits in Film Studies at the senior level.

  • Exclusions: FS275, FS370 and FS 371

Note: Of the 7.0 required Film Studies credits, a maximum of 1.0 credit may be at the 100-level. For this articulation, 1.0 credit at the 100-level in Film Studies is already granted.

Electives

  • 1.0 additional credit in any discipline at the senior level.

Awarding of Transfer Credits

Below comprises of a list of transfer credits you will receive in your offer letter if you are admitted into this specific pathway:

Transfer Credits

  • 1.0 credit: English (100 level)
  • 1.0 credit: Film Studies (100 level)
  • 2.5 credits: Interdisciplinary (100 level)
  • FS374
  • Total: 5.0 credits
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