Core Courses

The Bachelor of Media Studies program is an interdisciplinary program with a core curriculum across seven different disciplines:

  • Art History and Visual Art
  • Creative Writing
  • Journalism
  • Film Studies and Film Production
  • Information Studies
  • Media Theory (in English and German)
  • Computer Science

The core curriculum ensures a broad foundation in the field of media studies with a focus on theory, research, and application both in and outside of the classroom. Each year consists of a required number of Core Courses, which must be completed within the cohort model.

To graduate in 4 years, students typically take 30 credits each Winter Session (Sept – Apr). When selecting core plus credits and electives some requirements and restrictions apply. See the UBC Academic Calendar for full details

Contact an Academic Advisor for further advising.

 

Year One Outline

Core Required Curriculum
21 credits | 6 courses

Recommended Electives + Core Plus
9 credits | 3 courses


In Year One, students take the Media Studies stream of the Coordinated Arts Program (CAP). By registering in CAP and selecting the Media Studies stream, students are automatically registered into 5 of the 6 core courses required in the first year of the Bachelor of Media Studies.

ASTU 100A: 1st Year CAP Seminar
6 credits | Mandatory Terms 1 & 2

  • Coordinated Arts Program (CAP)
  • Seminar focusing on writing and reading
  • Introduction to literature and academic scholarship
  • Focus on disciplines addressing media issues

CRWR 213 : Introduction to Writing for the New Media
3 credits | Term 1

  • Exploration of and practice in writing for new media
  • Includes podcasting, blogging, writing for website, games, and online environments

VISA 110: Studio Three: Digital Media
3 Credits | Term 2

  • Foundation instruction in techniques and approaches to digital practice
  • Examines the nature of digital technologies and their role in contemporary culture, including the machine’s role in creation and reception of representation and it’s change in art history
  • Covers historical, political, theoretical, practical and technical issues in art and image making through the studio production of artwork focusing on photography and the moving image within digital media
  • Weekly hour long lectures and three hours of lab time

*Students must obtain a score of 72% or higher in VISA 110 to continue to VISA 241. 


FIST 100: Introduction to Film Studies
3 credits | Term 1

  • Basic aesthetic, economic, sociological, and technological aspects of film

JRNL 100A: New Media and Society
3 credits | Term 2

  • Development of new media technologies, their applications, and their cultural, political, and social impacts

*Students must register in ONE of the below Computer Science (CPSC) courses in first year

CPSC 103: Introduction to Systematic Program Design
3 credits

  • Computation as a tool for systematic problem solving in non-computer-science disciplines
  • Introductory programming skills
  • No programming experience expected

*It is recommended that students complete 12 credits when taking CPSC 103. 

CPSC 110: Computation, Programs and Programming
4 credits

  • Fundamental program and computation structures
  • Introductory programming skills
  • Computation as a tool for information processing, simulation and modeling, and interacting with the world
  • Recommended for students who may be interested in pursuing a Computer Science minor, or are confident in their math skills

Year Two Outline

Core Required Curriculum
15 credits | 5 courses

Recommended Electives + Core Plus
15 credits | 5 courses


ENGL 232: Approaches to Media Studies
3 credits

  • Approaches to the study of media philosophically, technologically, culturally, and theoretically

FIPR 133: Introduction to Film and Media Production
3 credits

  • Camera operation including lighting, sounds, and editing for video production

FIST 240: Media Industries
3 credits

  • Overview of today’s film and media industries, and of the concepts governing their practices

INFO 250: Networks, Crowds, and Communities
3 credits

  • Introduces network concepts and methods for exploring social and organizational connectivity for work, socializing, and knowledge production
  • Examines impact of social media on connections and span space and place; peer production on authority structures; ubiquitous mobile connectivity on daily life

VISA 241: Introduction to Digital Photography
3 credits

  • Introduction to digital photography image creation in relation to contemporary art
  • Emphasis on digital camera use, file management, and digital print production

*With the completion of VISA 110 in their first year, students are exempt from VISA 241 pre-requisites of VISA 180, VISA 182, and VISA 183


*If students are unsuccessful in their CPSC course in Year 1, or if they were allowed to delay taking CPSC (with permission from the Program Advisor), they must register in one of the below CPSC courses in Year 2. The CPSC requirement must be completed before Year 3. 

CPSC 103: Introduction to Systematic Program Design
3 credits

  • Computation as a tool for systematic problem solving in non-computer-science disciplines
  • Introductory programming skills
  • No programming experience expected

*It is recommended that students take 4 courses when taking CPSC 103. 

CPSC 110: Computation, Programs and Programming
4 credits

  • Fundamental program and computation structures
  • Introductory programming skills
  • Computation as a tool for information processing, simulation and modeling, and interacting with the world

Year Three Outline

Core Required Curriculum
15 credits | 5 courses

Recommended Electives + Core Plus
15 credits | 5 courses

Experiential Learning Opportunity
In Year 3, Term 2, students are encouraged to participate in a number of experiential learning opportunities available to BMS students, such as Go Global or the Arts Co-op Exchange Program. All required Core Courses are scheduled in Term 1 to accommodate these opportunities.


ARTH 380: Art as Technology
3 Credits

  • Touches on the relationship between artistic practice and media
  • Examined through the lens of the historical paradigm shifts in technology

ENGL 332 : Approaches to Media History
3 Credits

  • History of media and technological change including literary, rhetorical, or linguistic methods of inquiry

CRWR 302: Writing for Podcast
3 Credits

  • Exploration of and practice in writing for a podcast

FIST 340:  Media Audiences
3 Credits

  • Overview of approaches for studying audiences and receptions of film and contemporary media

VISA 210: Digital Arts
3 Credits

  • Examination of current art practices and issues related to digital technologies and contemporary culture
  • Technical instruction in image and sound manipulation with an emphasis on the theoretical conceptualization of digital artistic media

Year Four Outline

Core Required Curriculum
15 credits | 5 courses

Recommended Electives + Core Plus
15 credits | 5 courses


ARTH 480: Visual and Digital Media Theory
3 Credits

  • A thematic examination of key arguments in visual and digital media theory
  • Focusing on developments in lens-based and digital media in relationship to twentieth-century and contemporary artistic practice

CPSC 344: Introduction to Human Computer Interaction Methods
3 Credits

  • Basic tools and techniques, teaching a systematic approach to interface design
  • Includes task analysis analytic and empirical evaluation methods

GERM 412: German Media Studies (In English)
3 Credits

  • Major themes and methods in German media studies

INFO 419: Information Visualization
3 Credits

  • Basic theory and practice required to visually represent information
  • Introduces design principles and practical skills to create effective information visualizations
  • Examines effect of different visual representations on understanding and meaning

INFO 456: Information Policy and Society
3 Credits

  • Develops capabilities required to assess the need for information policies in professional contexts
  • Evaluates relevant socio-technical dimensions and envision likely implications for specific communities and practice settings