Master of Fine Arts in Film Production (MFA)

Overview

Film Production is a major component of Vancouver’s economy, as well as in cities across the globe. UBC has an over 45-year history of training some of Canada’s (and the world’s) brightest filmmakers and technicians. The MFA in Film Production focuses on the areas of directing, screenwriting and producing live action narrative or documentary film for students who already have a comprehensive background in filmmaking and wish to pursue a specific creative or intellectual vision in an academic environment. Our graduate and student work has screened at film festivals across the globe, and graduates have had key roles in films as diverse as District 9, 65 Red_Roses, She's a Boy I Knew and The Editor.

What makes the program unique?

The film industry employs 36,000 people in Vancouver and pumps over $1 billion dollars into the local economy. UBC maintains partnerships and agreements with post-production facilities, rental houses, and professional and union organizations to facilitate student work, education, networking, and post-grad opportunities. Our faculty includes Rachel Talalay, a working director who has film and television credits in the US, the UK and Canada. Furthermore, students have the option to learn from and collaborate with UBC’s top-tier Creative Writing department and Theatre and Film Studies programs.

UBC offers the only Master's Degree in Film Production in Western Canada, and is one of the few MFA Film Production programs in the world to require an undergraduate degree in film production to be considered. Our courses are advanced and small; only 1-2 students are accepted every year out of the 30-40 that apply.

 

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Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

100
22
21
22
21
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

This program has not specified whether applicants should reach out to faculty members. Please review the program website for additional details.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
25 September 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 01 February 2021
Referee Deadline: 01 February 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 01 February 2021
Referee Deadline: 01 February 2021

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Options

UBC MFA Film Production graduates can be found working in the film industry as producers, screenwriters, and directors. Some also choose to pass on what they have learned by working as instructors and professors at educational institutions. Many serve on the boards of film organizations or serve on juries at film awards. 

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Master of Fine Arts in Film Production (MFA). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications4435352820
Offers 213 
New registrations 2 2 
Total enrolment33232
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots.

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Bourges, Antoine (Film Production)
  • Drljaca, Igor (Film Making, Political Culture, Society and Ideology, Video and New Media, Scripting, Mythology and World Portrayal, Documentary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Narrative Film, Society and Ideology, Film Production, Screenwriting, Eastern European Cinema, Canadian Cinema)
  • McGowan, Sharon (Planning of film productions from concept to completion)
  • Scholte, Tom (Theatre, film, and television)
  • Walsh, Shannon (Film Making, Production and Exploration in Visual Arts, AIDS / HIV, Political Culture, Society and Ideology, Ideological, Political, Economical and Social Environments of Social Transformations, Sexuality, Social Determinants of Health, South Africa, Indigenous studies, Afropessimism & Critical Race Studies, Documentary, Environmental justice, Affect Theory)

Further Program Information

Specialization

Film Production focuses on the areas of directing, screenwriting, and producing live action narrative or documentary film.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGMMFA-I7
 
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
25 September 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
15 January 2021
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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