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Certificate in
Film Studies

The Certificate in Film Studies provides a good basic grounding in the principles, contemporary theories, and techniques of the motion picture medium. Courses range from an introduction to basic filmmaking to specialized courses such as screen writing; cinematography and lighting workshops; directing screen performance; production design; sound design; and the business of developing, producing, and marketing motion pictures. It is an excellent starting point for people who want to pursue a career in the film industry or satisfy their curiosity about film and film production. The program will be of interest to various individuals:

  • those working in the film industry who want to improve their qualifications
  • those new to the industry, or others such as actors, who want to understand more fully all aspects of production
  • those working in other fields who want to make a career change
  • those working in allied fields who seek a better understanding of film production
  • elementary and secondary school teachers who will apply the theoretical and practical knowledge they receive to their own teaching

The Chang School showcases the talents and recognizes the skill and dedication of continuing education film studies students at the annual Peter Gerretsen Film Awards.

For detailed certificate and program information, please visit

See more courses and programs relating to Communication and Media.

Admission Criteria

It is recommended that applicants have the following:

OSSD with six Grade 12 U or M credits (including English), or equivalent, with a minimum average of 60 percent, or mature student status with relevant professional experience.

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible restrictions; please refer to Curriculum Advising for complete details.

Program Open House

Students who have questions about the admission criteria and/or would like to know more about this certificate are invited to attend a Program Open House. Please see Open House for dates, times, and location.

Certificate Requirements

The successful completion of eight courses (five required courses and three electives (or 117 course hours)), with a cumulative grade point average of 1.67 or higher, is required for the certificate.

Certificate Registration

Students may be registered in only one certificate program at any one time. To allow maximum flexibility in crediting external courses and/or courses previously taken at Ryerson, students should register in the certificate at the beginning of their first course (see also Courses and Programs FAQ). For complete details on the advantages of early registration, registration deadlines, and Transfer Credit restrictions, all students should read Registration in a Certificate Program.

Awards and Financial Aid

If you require financial assistance, you may apply for merit-based awards and/or need-based financial aid. As well, students officially registered in a Chang School certificate program may be eligible for funding through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). For a complete list of certificate programs approved by OSAP, visit the Student Financial Assistance website.

Requirements for Graduation

To graduate, you must successfully complete, within your official timespan, the published certificate curricula from the year you registered in the certificate program. In some circumstances, certificate requirements may change, resulting in courses no longer being available. In such cases, Course Substitutions/Directives may be requested. Also, you must apply on RAMSS to graduate, prior to the appropriate application deadlines (see Important Dates). For complete details, all students should read Graduation.

Note: Students who register in courses for which they do not have the stated prerequisites will be withdrawn from those courses, unless they have been given prior permission by the academic coordinator.

Equipment/Facilities Use

Please note that equipment and facilities use outside of class time will not be provided. Extra time may be purchased.

Required Courses

Please consult the course descriptions for prerequisites.

CDMP 129   Film Studies:  Motion Picture Production I
CDMP 229   Film Studies:  Motion Picture Production II
CMPF 107   Film Studies:  Film Technology I
CMPF 300   Film Studies:  Film Technology IV
CMPF 423   Film Studies:  Film Technology III

Electives (select three courses or 117 hours)

CDMP 109   Film Studies:  Business of Film - Producing
CDMP 114   Film Studies:  Post-Production Sound
CDMP 119   Film Studies:  Digital Film Production I
CDMP 120   Film Studies:  Film History
CDMP 121   Film Studies:  Film Theory
CDMP 125   Film Studies:  Fiction Screenwriting
CDMP 126   Film Studies:  Non-Fiction Screenwriting
CDMP 209   Film Studies:  Business of Film - Development
CDMP 215   Film Studies:  Movie Marketing and Distribution
CDMP 231   Film Studies:  Short Filmmaking: On Location
CDMP 232   Film Studies:  Documentary Filmmaking in Cuba
CDMP 700   Film Studies:  Advanced Screenwriting
CFPN 501   Media Studies:  Scenography I: Art Direction
CFPN 502   Media Studies:  Directing Screen Performance - Basic Principles
CFPN 531   Media Studies:  Cinematography and Lighting Design I
CFPN 601   Media Studies:  Scenography II - Production Design
CFPN 631   Media Studies:  Cinematography and Lighting Design II
CMPC 101   Combined Media:  Visual Studies I

Note to registered certificate program students
CDMP 122 and CDMP 123 deleted.
CFPN 501 and CFPN 601 added.

An intensive, integrated, 12-week program

Students have the opportunity to obtain the Certificate in Film Studies over 12 intensive, six-day weeks in the Spring/Summer term. This unique fast-track program covers all required motion picture production, technology, and digital editing courses, plus three electives.

CDMP 999   Film Studies:  Summer Film School