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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.

Requirements for Graduation

To graduate, you must successfully complete the published certificate curricula from the year you registered in the certificate. Certificate requirements must be completed within six years from the time you were first admitted into 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 Tools and Applications I
CMPF 300   Film Studies:  Film Technology: Multi-Media
CMPF 423   Film Studies:  Film Technology

Electives (select three courses or 117 hours)

CDMP 109   Business of Film:  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 122   Film Studies:  Production Design for Film and Theatre
CDMP 123   Film Studies:  Art Direction for Film and Special Events
CDMP 125   Film Studies:  Fiction Screenwriting
CDMP 126   Film Studies:  Non-Fiction Screenwriting
CDMP 209   Business of Film:  Business of Film - Development
CDMP 215   Business of Film:  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 502   Film Studies:  Directing Screen Performance - Basic Principles
CFPN 531   Film Studies:  Cinematography and Lighting Design I
CFPN 631   Film Studies:  Cinematography and Lighting Design II
CMPC 101   Combined Media:  Visual Studies I

Note to registered certificate program students
Effective Fall 2017, the Certificate in Film Studies has been revised. Students who formally registered in the certificate prior to July 2, 2017, must complete the program requirements in effect at the time they registered.

Required Courses
CDMP 117, CDMP 118, and CDMP 223 deleted.
CMPF 107, CMPF 300, and CMPF 423 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