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Combine Critical and Practical Learning

The Vancouver Film School (VFS) pathway gives you the opportunity to enrich your critical study of cinema with practical training in film production, writing, or acting at Canada’s leading school for filmmaking.

In only four years, you'll complete an honours Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Laurier and a diploma from VFS.

You'll attend Laurier in Years 1 and 2, then VFS in Year 3 (starting in early May, late June, or late August), and then Laurier in Year 4.

Film Studies students may attend one of three VFS programs:

  • Film Production
  • Writing for Film, Television and Games
  • Acting for Film and Television

VFS’s 12-month program counts as 5.0 credits toward the 20.0 required credits for your honours BA in Film Studies from Laurier.

The Difference

Laurier's VFS pathway does not award a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, but rather both a BA degree (from Laurier) and a diploma (from VFS). Equipped with a BA, you are positioned to pursue further education after graduation, including law school, graduate school or teacher’s college. For admission to Laurier, no portfolio is required, no prerequisites are required, and the intake of students is not restricted.

Applying to VFS

You'll declare your intent to apply for the VFS pathway at the end of Year 1. You must be in good standing in your program, and you must have completed a minimum of 10.0 credits, with 4.0 credits being from your Film Studies major, before you start a VFS program. The application to VFS includes a program portfolio:

  • Production: A one-page synopsis and a one-page outline of a film project idea.
  • Writing: A one-page synopsis of an original project and two to four creative writing samples.
  • Acting: A recorded audition.

For detailed portfolio information, visit

Tuition and Scholarships

VFS Tuition and Scholarship Rates

Student Status

VFS Program

Tuition (2019)1

Top Excellence in Media Scholarship2

Second Excellence in Media Scholarship

Tuition Discount





































1 Tuition rates are subject to change. The above figures do not include a mandatory application fee of $75. The scholarship and tuition discount may not be combined.

2 A total of six Excellence in Media Scholarships are allocated to pathway students.

Scholarships and Tuition Discounts

Tuition discounts ranging from $2,000 to $7,000 are available to all pathway students. Program majors with the highest GPAs (in their major and overall) at the beginning of fall term of Year 2 will be invited to participate in a pitch competition to determine the allocation of six Excellence in Media scholarships.

As part of the competition, students present their idea for a major film project (or other project approved by the selection committee) to the selection committee. Scholarship allocation is as follows:

  • One top and one second level for a Film Studies student for the Film Production program, whether
    domestic or international at each level.
  • One top and on second level for a Film Studies student for the Writing or Acting program, whether
    domestic or international at each level.
  • One top and one second level for an English student for the Writing program, whether domestic or
    international at each level.

Combined English and Film Studies students compete in either the English or Film Studies category based on their GPA in both majors.

Cost Comparison (for Domestic Students)

Prior to the creation of the pathway, Laurier students seeking a career in film production required five years of study: four years at Laurier and one year at Sheridan or another college to complete a diploma in production or a related field.

The figures below reflect domestic school tuition and living costs for students living “like a student” (i.e. on a restricted but reasonable budget). In addition to the cost savings of the pathway, students also gain income from an additional year of employment. Note that VFS offers a fee-based service for helping students find housing in Vancouver.

Cost Comparison to Non-Pathway Programs


Average Annual Tuition, Fees, Books

Average Annual Living Cost Estimate

Total Annual Estimate

Honours Bachelor of Arts + Production Diploma

Total Estimate











Laurier + Sheridan (5 Years)


VFS Production5




Laurier + VFS Production (4 Years)


VFS Writing




Laurier + VFS Writing (4 Years)


VFS Acting




Laurier + VFS Acting (4 Years)


1 Tuition and Finances, Laurier.

2 Assumes first year of on-campus residence and subsequent years of off-campus residence. See "The cost for students who move away form home," Maclean's.

3 Tuition for 2019/20 in Sheridan’s Advanced Television and Film program is $14,669, and students are expected to spend $2,500-$5,000 on supplies.

4 Housing, Sheridan College.

5 All VFS tuition figures include the application fee of $75 and the tuition discount granted to pathway students.

6 Estimate is based on and Cost of Living, University of British Columbia.

"[VFS] has enhanced my love of film in an all-encompassing way. I find it makes me want to refer to my academic knowledge to see how I can successfully construct my performance technically. The work will be intense moving forward, but the program, combined with Laurier, has defined my passion for life in a way I could never imagine."

– Aruba (current student)

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