English and Film Studies (MA)

Laurier’s Master of Arts (MA) in English and Film Studies offers courses and faculty expertise in literature and global cultures, film and media studies, and professional skills. You'll develop your understanding of the discipline, and improve your critical thinking and communication skills through analysis and research.


Program Highlights

  • Our students speak highly of faculty engagement, the tight-knit student community, and our caring teacher/student environment.
  • Students gain invaluable teaching experience as tutorial leaders in our first-year courses.
  • Students can curate the MA to match their interests and career goals (coursework only, research option or professional skills option).

Program Details

Program Structure

The Master of Arts (MA) in English and Film Studies may be completed in an intensive eight-month option (course work only) or in a one-year option consisting of course work plus either a Major Research Paper or the Professional Skills Option.

The department offers graduate courses in both English Literature and Film Studies. Each student has the flexibility to choose an area of concentration: either a single focus on English literature or film, or a combined focus on English Literature and Film Studies. Students undertaking the Major Research Paper option also have the opportunity to customize their degree work according to their area of interest under the close supervision of one of our dedicated faculty members. Students undertaking the Professional Skills Option have the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge acquired during coursework in professional working environments engaged with literature or film.

The MA degree is offered on a full-time or part-time basis. Most full-time students complete the program in two terms (eight months) by choosing the course-work stream, which consists of seven one-term courses and a required course in Research Methods, Theory, and Professional Issues (graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory).

Students who wish to pursue the three-term (12 months) degree may do so either by choosing to write a Major Research Paper under the supervision of a faculty member with the relevant expertise or by taking our new Professional Skills Option in the spring term.

Program Options


Studies in Gender, Nation, Media

Our research focus is on Gender, Nation and Media. The cross-pollination of literary, film and media studies, combined with our department’s exceptionally strong record of publications and expertise in gender, diaspora and postcolonial studies, makes us particularly well-suited for students wishing to engage with these intersecting fields of specialization.

Ideas relevant to our fields of study include gender, representation, aesthetics, narrative, adaptation, memory, identity and genre. Our faculty has a diverse range of expertise in areas such as global culture, periodical culture, music, memory, animation, gaming, youth culture, ecocriticism, human rights, media history, life writing and diaspora.

Works to be studied may include: fiction, film, poetry, autobiography, drama, graphic narratives, digital and visual media, travelogues and essays.

The program teaches you to apply your critical thinking and communication skills in concrete situations, through practical assignments and projects such as organizing debates and class colloquia, and through producing conference papers, chapbooks, book and film reviews, author interviews, blogs, reports and media releases.

"I made use of many of Laurier's resources over the course of my degree such as the Writing Centre and the Career Centre. However, the most beneficial resources were my professors. Every professor in the department was available and willing to offer advice, discuss research and provide feedback. I felt well supported and at home at Laurier."

Kristen Schiedel (2019). Kristen began her PhD program in English at Dalhousie University in fall 2019. Her project explores the female agency and gothic conventions in contemporary women's writings.


Take the first step in your graduate education and apply to one of our graduate programs. Follow our three-step admission process — we’ll walk you through how to apply and prepare for your first day as a graduate student.

  • Start: Fall (September)
  • Format: Full-time and part-time
  • Application deadline: Jan. 15 (domestic applicants first consideration deadline); Mar. 30 (international applicants) or Aug. 15 (domestic applicants). Applications will be considered until the program is full.

Your Next Steps

Questions? Contact Tamas Dobozy, graduate coordinator, at tdobozy@wlu.ca. For general inquiries, contact Joanne Buchan, at ENFSGradProgram@wlu.ca or call 548.889.4879.

"Laurier's program gave me the flexibility I craved to pursue a variety of literary interests while developing marketable skills and gaining a competitive degree. The interdisciplinary nature of the program and its course-based approach allowed me to explore different areas of research, resulting in a truly fulfilling and challenging experience."

Catherine Brunskill (2017). Catherine works as Marketing, Recruitment and Outreach Officer at Renison University College, affiliated with the University of Waterloo, and volunteers as Publicity Director for The New Quarterly, one of Canada's leading literature magazines.

Waterloo Campus

This program is available on Laurier's Waterloo campus.

Laurier's Waterloo campus is home to more than 19,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Tucked into several city blocks, this campus is walking distance to your classrooms, food, and various campus amenities.

Laurier is a leading force in research among Canadian universities, and many of our research centres and institutes are housed in Waterloo.

Learn more about Laurier's campuses.


Our program offers master’s students first-hand teaching experience in the form of teaching assistantships in English or Film Studies courses. We offer our master’s students a highly competitive guaranteed funding package, ranging in value from $14,000 to $19,000.

Financial Assistance and Support

Students are expected to apply for any financial awards for which they are eligible. Consequently, some students may enter the Master of Arts (MA) program with a SSHRC or OGS award. Students who enter the program with an external award are eligible for an incentive scholarship.

Financial support for students (Canadian and permanent residents) in the MA in English and Film Studies Program is available from several sources, including:

  • Teaching assistantships for the fall and winter terms, which are available to all full-time students.
  • Laurier Graduate Scholarships, awarded on a competitive basis to full-time graduate students who achieve high academic standing. These scholarships are tenable for study at Laurier while enrolled as a full-time student.
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarships, competitive awards for which all students seeking graduate admissions should apply. Awards are based on merit and subject to provincial funding levels.
  • SSHRC CGS MA Scholarships, competitive awards that should be considered as a potential source of funding for all students seeking graduate admissions. These scholarships are awarded based on merit, and are subject to federal funding levels.

Travel Funding

  • MA and PhD students who are attending a conference may apply to the department for travel funding once a year (May 1 to April 30).
  • The department will subsidize travel costs for the amount of $350 if you are presenting a paper and $150 if you are attending a conference or performing administrative duties (such as chairing a session).
  • If you attend a second conference in the same year, you may apply for further funding, which may be granted if funds are available.
  • If eligible to do so, students should apply first to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (consult their internal scholarships and awards website for details).
  • Students may also apply for funding from the Graduate Students' Association.


Our department takes great pride in its students’ accomplishments while they are in our program, and also in the productive, successful and fulfilling careers they build with the skills they have acquired in the course of their degree.

Those of our graduates who wish to pursue a career in academia are very successful in winning external awards and scholarships, as well as securing a place as doctoral candidates in the leading PhD programs across the country. Those who pursue careers beyond the academy prove how versatile and highly valued the Master of Arts (MA) in English and Film Studies continues to be in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive global job market.

Our graduate students have launched successful careers in the publishing industry, education and government, the media and entertainment industry, the information technology sector, law, journalism, the business sector and much more. Graduates find employment in areas that require creativity, writing and oral presentation skills, and research abilities.

Your Path to Post-Degree Success

ASPIRE is Laurier's professional skills development training program for graduate students. The program helps you craft an individualized, extracurricular learning plan tailored to your professional journey and entry to the workplace.


Learn about the interests and ongoing research of our faculty members. If their research interests you, email the professor directly to set up a meeting. Include information about yourself, your skills, your experience, and why you’re interested in their research.