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Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Arts in English

The English program offers students a chance to study British, American, Canadian, and World literatures. English courses offer exciting ways to explore the widest range of great books, emerging works, media, and culture, all within their many and varying contexts. The program, through its progressive curriculum design and innovative teaching, represents the most enlivening and significant developments in literary studies and creative writing. By taking literature and writing courses, you will develop skills and knowledge which provide a strong foundation for many professional fields, ranging from arts, media and culture, to education, law, business, information management, public relations and administration.

Learning Objectives

Undergraduate English programs in the Department of English and Film Studies encourage the development of skills in:

  • Interpreting literary and cultural works, including fiction, drama, poetry, non-fiction, and visual and graphic media;
  • Understanding the cultural, historical, and discursive frameworks determining the production, consumption, and critical reception of these works;
  • Using a cross-cultural approach to literary study, particularly with non-Western, postcolonial, and global texts;
  • Analyzing the language and forms of complex texts;
  • Engaging strategically with a variety of interdisciplinary theories of writing, reading, and representation;
  • Expressing clear critical arguments, both in scholarly writing and in discussion;
  • Conducting independent research by drawing on diverse resources; and
  • Applying this foundational knowledge to successful careers and lives after university.

Minor in Writing for Career and Community

Our new Minor in Writing for Career and Community draws on a mixture of courses in English, Political Science and History, and is open to Arts and non-Arts students. To take a Minor in Writing for Career and Community, you need to take 3.0 credits. If you are already an English major, you can’t be a minor as well, but the courses are still open for you to take, and all English (EN) credits count towards your English major.

The Minor in Writing for Career and Community has two main goals:

  1. To support you in your own major by providing you with the writing skills crucial to ensuring success in your program of study; and
  2. To encourage you to build a more extensive writing “toolkit” through courses which encourage additional applications relevant to a variety of careers and communities after graduation.

Minor in Youth and Children: Culture and Texts

The Minor in Youth and Children: Culture and Texts will give you a chance to explore how young people are represented, marketed to and treated in contemporary society, and how young people and children understand and shape their own experiences through various modes of creative expression, acts of cultural performance and digital fluency.

If you choose this minor, you will have the opportunity to understand youth as:

  • A developmental stage in both individual and group experience; and
  • A construct deeply impacted by cultural, educational and literary practice.

This minor will provide analytical tools and critical thinking skills strategies for students who may be interested in working with and for young people in the arts, in advocacy positions, in health and wellness, and in education-related fields.

Creative Writing Courses

The English program offers popular courses in Creative Writing. Several department members are highly distinguished creative writers.

Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies

Films and visual media play a prominent role in our experience of the world today. The Film Studies program at Laurier addresses that experience with an emphasis on international film history, film industries, the art of film, and individual films as texts. Through regular screenings, discussion, and assignments that draw on close textual analysis, our courses provide opportunities for students to write and think critically about film, and to explore issues of aesthetics and representation. Students also investigate the commercial, historical, political, and economic contexts that affect and govern the production of film.

Highlights of the Film Studies Program

  • We offer a wide-range of courses from film history, national cinemas, theory, and genre to industry courses on the business of film and film fandom to film practice courses in video editing and screenwriting.
  • The new Film Production Option is designed for students who seek to combine a foundational knowledge of Film Studies with a practical understanding of the techniques of video and film production, from script to screen.
  • Our exciting new partnership with the Vancouver Film School means that Film Studies students can fast-track their education, completing the Honours BA in Film Studies at Laurier and their one-year diploma in Film Production, Writing for Film and Television, or Acting for Film and TV at The Vancouver Film School in only four years (instead of five).  
  • Ongoing community engagement, including partnerships with Kitchener-Waterloo’s Multicultural Cinema Club and the Grand River Film Festival.
  • Two undergraduate film clubs: WLU Film Society (for those who love to watch films), and the Golden Hawks Film Club (for those who love to make them).

Learning Objectives

The Film Studies program has been designed to provide students with essential knowledge of the field through the required courses in film history, film theory, and national cinemas, but also the freedom to explore their own interests though the elective topics and genre courses.

Students graduating with an Honours BA in Film Studies should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the overall discipline of Film Studies through:
    • An understanding of the history of film and modes of film practice.
    • A knowledge of key methods of critical analysis and film theory.
    • An appreciation of the relationship of film style to modes of production.
    • A broad knowledge of film styles, genres and national cinemas.
    • A critical vocabulary with which to discuss and write about film.
  • Demonstrate the acquisition of key and transferable skills by being able to:
    • Identify, distinguish, and critically evaluate complex arguments, the assumptions behind them, and their theoretical and ideological elements.
    • Conduct independent research, using scholarly search tools, archives and databases, and various media (print, electronic, audiovisual, etc.).
    • Identify and critically assess relevant primary and secondary sources in answering research questions.
    • Be able to work with others in a group setting and on group assignments.
    • Communicate knowledge in written form, producing and expressing coherent and persuasive written arguments.
    • Communicate knowledge orally to a variety of audiences, including both instructors and peers.
    • Demonstrate an empathetic and critical understanding of past and contemporary cultures, with a respect for diverse perspectives and disparate ideas.
  • Apply acquired knowledge of film studies to everyday life and to future employment by being able to:
    • Articulate the complexities of film and contemporary media culture to others within and outside of the academic community.
    • Engage in a collective critical dialogue around issues in film studies in Canada and globally.
    • Recognize the relevance of these skills to personal growth, to interdisciplinary thinking, and to successful careers after university.
    • Pursue careers in such areas as creative media production and post-production, teaching, outreach, events organization, festival programming, or continue in graduate studies in film and media studies, communications, and cultural studies.

Film Production Option

Yes! We offer courses on the film industry and film practice for Film Studies honours students and students who want to complete the Film Production Option. The Film Production Option and courses are designed for students who seek to combine a foundational knowledge of Film Studies with a practical understanding of the techniques of video and film production, from script to screen. While these courses are not restricted to Film Studies majors and Film Production Option students, those students are granted priority registration in Film Studies (FS) courses.

Vancouver Film School Pathway

Laurier Film Studies and the Vancouver Film School — Canada’s premier film production school — have created a pathway through which Film Studies students interested in combining their wide-ranging understanding of film with hands-on training in film production can fast-track their education, completing the Honours BA in Film Studies at Laurier and their certificate at the Vancouver Film School in only four years (instead of five). There are three cerftificates you can choose from:

  • Film Production
  • Writing for Film and Television
  • Acting for Film and TV

Laurier students applying to the Vancouver Film School must be registered as a student at Laurier in the Film Studies program and have completed a minimum of 2.5 credits in Film Studies. Laurier students may start the Vancouver Film Studies programs after completing 10.0 credits at Laurier (normally Year 3) and then return to Laurier to complete Year 4.

For more information on how to take the Vancouver Film School Pathway and to be eligible for the Vancouver Film School scholarships, please see the Film Studies program coordinator/undergraduate advisor.

“Excellence in Media” Scholarships

Film Studies majors interested in attending Vancouver Film School (VFS) and wishing to compete for the “Excellence in Media” scholarships will notify the Film Studies program coordinator/undergraduate advisor by the end of fall term. The three Film Studies majors with the highest GPA will be invited to submit proposals to the selection panel that will assess submissions and award the scholarships based on academic excellence, future potential as a filmmaker, and financial need. Laurier will consult with VFS in the awarding of the top and second "Excellence in Media" scholarships each year.

Scholarship and tuition discounts are not cumulative (i.e. maximum discount is one of a scholarship or tuition discount).

Domestic Students

VFS Diploma ProgramTop Scholarship (awarded to one domestic Laurier Film Studies student annually)Second Scholarship (awarded to one domestic Laurier Film Studies student annually)Tuition Discount (available to all domestic Laurier Film Studies students)
Film Production $10,000 $7,000 $2,000
Writing for Film and Television $3,000 $2,000 $1,000

International Students

VFS Diploma ProgramTop Scholarship (awarded to one international Laurier Film Studies student annually)Second Scholarship (awarded to one international Laurier Film Studies student annually)Tuition Discount (available to all international Laurier Film Studies students)
Film Production $15,000 $10,000 $5,000
Writing for Film and Television $6,000 $4,000 $2,000

Contact Us:

E: English and Film Studies
T: 519.884.0710 x3257
Office Location: 3-120 Woods Building

Chair

Robin Waugh

Graduate Program Co-ordinator

Jing Jing Chang

English Program Advisor

Jenny Kerber

Film Program Advisor

Russell Kilbourn