The Bachelor of Media Studies (BMS) program at UBC is a direct-entry to first-year program with a limited number of available seats per cohort.
Those interested in the BMS program must complete a two-step application process:
- An online general application to UBC
- A supplemental application to the BMS program
All those interested in applying must submit their general online UBC application, and select the Bachelor of Media Studies as their first choice of program. If you select the BMS program as your second choice, your application will not be assessed. Alternatively, if you do not have a second choice program, we recommend that you select the Bachelor of Arts (BA).
Please keep in mind that you must submit all the required documents to UBC Admissions by the stated deadlines in order to be considered for the program.
BMS Supplemental Application
All applicants are required to submit a supplemental application in order to be considered for the BMS program. Applicants are encouraged to use the supplemental application as a way to express their current interests and involvement in all areas of media studies.
Supplemental applications consist of the following three components:
- Personal info and UBC student number
- Written response
- Digital portfolio and summary
After you complete your UBC application, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application. This email will contain your 8-digit UBC student number which you will need to submit in your BMS supplemental application.
Your written response will help the admission committee understand your approach and current interests and involvement in media studies. Please answer the prompts below in a double-spaced, typed, two-page document in PDF file format. Explain your ideas about the following three areas in a maximum of 600 words.
- Introduce us to your unique perspective by giving us your notion of the term ‘media’ and provide a detailed explanation of its role in our world. (100-200 words)
- Name important challenges of our times that media can have a role in, and describe what that role can be. Tell us how you see the roles and responsibilities of those who contribute to the scholarly study of media, as well as the roles and responsibilities as makers of media objects. Specify the ways you see the Bachelor of Media Studies program at UBC Vancouver guiding your intellectual and professional ambitions within the study paths it opens to you. (100-200 words)
- The final area of your written response should focus on one of your portfolio pieces and connect it to the ideas you explained in the first two components of this written response. Tell us about your interests, aims, goals and strengths demonstrated in the portfolio piece and how the work you chose to include reflects your values, outlooks and priorities you mention above. (100-200 words)
Applicants must submit an online digital portfolio (a website) that includes:
- Two samples of work
- A 300-word written media analysis
The two samples of work should illustrate your interest in media studies and your familiarity and experience with media. It should contain samples of your original work that demonstrate your best work and ideas from both a practical and theoretical perspective.
Your portfolio should highlight your intellectual and creative approaches to media studies, and should include works that display your knowledge, ideas, creativity, and relevant skills. Because the portfolio is a representation of you, there is no set format or way of putting together your portfolio. The primary goal of your digital portfolio is to show the admissions committee your ideas, interest, and experience in media studies.
The program recognizes that media encompasses many things. The list below are some examples - but not all - of the types of works that can be included in the digital portfolio.
- Artwork or graphics: drawings, sketchings, paintings, photography, typography, designs, illustrations, and technical drawings: and/or examples of work for theatre or film production. Digital submissions in .jpg, .pdf, format are preferred.
- Films, animation or motion graphics no more than 3 minutes long. Video content must be uploaded to a third-party site such as WordPress, Vimeo, YouTube, and SoundCloud. Video content should be viewable on the applicant's online portfolio. Content requiring a password will not be considered.
- Coding: please include and document at least 100 lines of original code that you created.
- Images from a sketchbook or concept/idea book (e.g. studies and examples of your media/tools experiments, process explorations)
- Interactive media: website design, game design, smartphone apps, and/or other interactive work.
- Creative writing samples, or papers or essays in subject or topic matter that may relate to media studies (all writing samples must be in English).
As part of your digital portfolio, applicants must include a 300-word written analysis of a media object. For example, you can choose a scene in a film, newscast, podcast, an artwork, a mural, a web-page, an advertisement, a youtube blog, a meme, etc. Please include an image, video, link, screenshot, or description of the media object alongside the written analysis. Please follow these guidelines for your written analysis:
- Start with a few sentences to describe and interpret the media object, giving background information or context.
- Give a description of how the media artifact functions as one of the following:
- A form of information
- A representation
- An intervention
- Choose to analyze it from a cultural, social, political or technological perspective through specific details. For example, you may wish to examine how power, control and other inequities might be perpetuated or questioned in certain components of the media artifact. Or you may wish to analyze how the object rearranges time, perception, iconography or relationships in its production or consumption. Be reflective and critically respond to how the media object connects, influences and shapes ideas of our world.
- Your writing may incorporate ideas from external sources. If you do, please be sure to give credit, quote or reference the original source you are using.
- Consider submitting samples in different mediums to illustrate your range of interests, skills and experience.
- Be creative and use your website to show your interest, experience and familiarity with media studies. Applicants do not need to pay for a domain name, instead they are encouraged to use free hosting and website builders such as Wix, UBC blogs, About.me or WordPress.
- Several pieces can be submitted together as one sample. For example, you can submit five photographs together as one sample of work. Please be mindful of submitting a reasonable number of samples.
- If a sample of work is a collaborative effort, please clearly state your role in its production.
- Physical portfolios and letters of recommendation will not be accepted as part of the supplemental application.
- Make sure all of your original pieces are not password protected or inaccessible in any way
Transferring into the BMS program
Transferring into the BMS program is an option, however, seats are limited and not guaranteed beyond successful application into year one. Current first-year UBC students can apply to transfer into the BMS program. However, this could potentially add one additional year at UBC. The program does not allow for transfer into years three and four.
Entry into the second year of the program is not guaranteed, and only available when a current student chooses to leave the program.
Students are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with an Arts Advisor before attempting to pursue this option. After meeting with an Arts Advisor, current BA students must submit a supplemental application by the application deadline to be considered for a transfer into the BMS program.
Students who are currently enrolled in similar programs at other post-secondary institutions can apply for admission into year one. Those interested must indicate in their supplemental application that they are currently attending a similar program at another institution. Any previously completed courses will be considered as elective credits. This will mean a minimum of four additional years of study at UBC, as all BMS students must complete their core courses together.
Those interested in this option must complete the same application listed above.