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Communication & Media Stud…×

OCAD University Masters Degrees in Communication & Media Studies

We have 3 OCAD University Masters Degrees in Communication & Media Studies

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The Masters of Arts in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories explores today’s creative practices and works produced since 1970. Read more
The Masters of Arts in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories explores today’s creative practices and works produced since 1970. OCAD University is one of only a few universities in North America that concentrates on current artists and issues. It’s the first program in Ontario to offer a graduate specialization in design history.

In this program you’ll be shaping contemporary art, design and new media scholarship. OCAD University is a unique place to study this exciting field – the program is small, so you’ll get personal attention, have access to top-notch faculty and be studying at Canada’s largest art, design and new media university. You’ll work with the producers of cutting-edge art, design and new media in your studies.

This program is normally completed in two years. Students in this program can take advantage of being located in the heart of Toronto’s cultural district – you’ll have access to the archives of major institutions only a few blocks away such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto International Film Festival and the Design Exchange.

You should have an honours, four-year bachelor’s degree in art history, visual culture, communications or a similar program to apply.

What will you learn?

The program comprises the following:

You’ll learn to understand the zeitgeist, current movements and practices in today’s art, design and new media world. You’ll use established conventions of art history, theory and terminology in seminars and engage in independent study.

You can take courses from any of three specializations. You will choose one as your focus:

Contemporary Art History
Design History
New Media Art History

Drawing on the long established discipline of art history and sharing analytical techniques, theory and terminology, these three areas of study are complementary. However, these areas of investigation and specialization bear and retain their own distinctiveness, which is emphasized in field-specific seminars and independent study. While students may take courses in any one of the three specializations, one field will be selected as the focus for the degree.

The MA in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories is a full-time, 7.5 credit program normally completed within two years (five semesters).

Two core graduate courses
Field-specific graduate seminars
Two electives
Individual reading and research
Major Research Paper (MRP) / Thesis writing workshop
MRP or Thesis

Students are required to complete a major research project or thesis. Here are a few recent examples:

Lady Gaga and the Other: Persona, Art and Monstrosity
The Comic’s Heartbeat: Framing Affective Structures in Comics History
Hip Hop as a Tool of Decolonization
New Media as a Platform for Indigenous Self-Representation and Social-Political Activism

You’ll be at the centre of contemporary art scholarship by planning and hosting the CADN Graduate Students’ Conference which is a major conference that attracts students and art historians from across the country.

What will I be able to do with my degree?

After graduating, you’ll be positioned to continue your research in a PhD program in cultural studies or contemporary art.

More and more contemporary art galleries and institutions are opening every day. These spaces want to hire people with their finger on the pulse of contemporary art and how it relates to history. Graduating with this highly prized skill set will give you a leg-up on students coming from traditional art programs.

Graduates from this program work as magazine and journal editors, researchers and curators.

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The graduate program in Digital Futures responds to the increasingly important and sophisticated role of digital technology as a catalyst for change. Read more
The graduate program in Digital Futures responds to the increasingly important and sophisticated role of digital technology as a catalyst for change.

Digital Futures has an international student cohort and faculty. The program features collaborative overseas eGlobal courses with world-wide educational and industry partners. A global perspective is key to securing our graduates’ futures in the eclectic international creative digital industries, encompassing design, arts, creative services, entertainment, media and cultural industries. The Digital Futures program is offered in partnership with the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab.

The Digital Futures student-centred learning approach applies to both research and practice. The curriculum ensures that you gain core digital knowledge and skills as you explore your specific areas of interest through electives, industry internships, residencies and independent study.

The program focuses on practice-based learning and prototyping, with an enterprise component and supporting thesis research. Industry partnerships help students to build a career runway in advance of graduating. You are encouraged to work with industry partners in internships which lead to mentorship for your thesis research.


You should have a background in design, technology, culture and/or enterprise as demonstrated by an undergraduate degree and relevant work experience. Our students are designers and artists, filmmakers, architects, journalists and media specialists, scientists, engineers and business people. This diversity drives peer learning and collaboration across disciplines in the program.


The master's in Digital Futures is a two-year full-time program. In the program, you will develop practice-based and scholarly research in technologically advanced design, art and media through the following:

Critical thinking
Research and practice
Business and innovation studies
Computing and emerging digital methodologies

This is a full-time, 8-credit program comprising:

Foundational courses in computation, business creation, innovation and leadership
Core courses in digital methods, research, theory and practice
Intensive digital project and prototyping courses
Individual research and creation overseen by a principal advisor and supervisory committee
Summer internship and/or study abroad
Elective choices
Creative digital thesis project and supporting paper (MFA/MDes) or a written thesis and supporting creative project (MA)

Students declare their intention to pursue the Master of Design (MDes), Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or Master of Arts (MA) at the time of application. The outcomes of the chosen degree are distinctive. The MDes and MFA focus on practice-based research creation with a supporting thesis. The MA flips that focus, with an emphasis on a scholarly research thesis and a supporting creative project.


New elective courses are continuously created in response to trends and emerging technologies. These cutting-edge courses cover theory and practice in design, art, media, technology and enterprise. Some examples include:

Body Centric Technologies
Dialogues in Feminism and Technology
Digital Games
Information Visualization
IP: Getting Value from Your Creativity
Web + Mobile System Design
Transmedia Storytelling
Ubiquitous Computing
Affect and Emotion in Practic
Making It Real
From Data to Perception
Special Topic: Family Camera at the ROM


As a Digital Futures graduate, you’ll be qualified to work in positions such as:

App, web, and games designers and developers
Digital project leaders
Cultural industry producers
Managers and coordinators between art and design departments and IT
Creators and developers of your own start-ups
Film, television and digital transmedia producers
Digital strategists and educators

Graduates of the Digital Futures program will be poised to play leadership roles in research and development in the media, arts, technology, entertainment and education sectors.

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The Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design (IAMD) draws experienced artists and designers from around the world, encouraging them to investigate and produce works that combine art, design and interdisciplinary academic study to create new forms of visual and social research and creative production. Read more
The Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design (IAMD) draws experienced artists and designers from around the world, encouraging them to investigate and produce works that combine art, design and interdisciplinary academic study to create new forms of visual and social research and creative production.

Each student’s primary discipline and chosen emphasis among art, design, or media practice and theoretical inquiry will determine whether the degree earned is an MFA, MDes or MA.

Students thrive in a creative environment led by an accomplished faculty. Matchless opportunities for innovative learning are offered through visiting experts, internships, independent studies and the Annual First-Year Graduate Student Exhibition.

Upon entering the IAMD program, students will already have strong disciplinary expertise in art, design, media, art history, visual culture or a related discipline, plus an appropriate undergraduate degree and practical experience. They will be interested in augmenting their skills through a program that relies on research, collaboration and practice models to reframe contemporary issues through hybrid and interdisciplinary forms. Importantly, participants will rise to the challenge of working in an experimental environment where the outcome of their interdisciplinary efforts is not crystal clear at the outset and where the path of discovery may take them to unexpected places. This will entail rigorous academic study and the creation of a significant body of studio-based work and critical/theoretical writing.

The IAMD program aims to achieve these objectives through a course of study that includes:

Intensive graduate level directed study in the student’s studio practice
Seminars in critical theory and research methods
Elective courses that supplement the core curriculum by allowing each student to explore his or her individual interests in studio, theory or research
Either a major studio project supported by a written critical analysis (leading to the MFA or MDes degree) or an academic master’s thesis accompanied by a creative project (leading to the MA degree).


Provide a flexibly structured, advanced studio-based learning environment that enables students to integrate art, media and design production, in combination with other disciplines, through processes that remix theory, methodology and practice.

Ensure that students acquire advanced research skills for visual and academic investigations in the areas of art, media and design practice and critical theory.

Foster the development of individuals who can think, create and practise in interdisciplinary ways.

Contribute to new knowledge in the areas of interdisciplinary art, media and design methods, discourses and creative practices.

Promote the development of practices that facilitate sustainability, social responsibility and diverse social and cultural perspectives.

Each cohort will be carefully selected to maximize opportunities for interaction among art, media, design and non-studio subject areas. Students will work with an Advisory Committee that includes leading scholars/practitioners in each of their disciplines who will guide the students' individual studies and contribute to the development of their master's thesis work.

Key features

The opportunity for students to undertake coursework, directed studies, lectures and workshops with OCAD U faculty and with visiting faculty from other institutions and visiting experts in a wide range of disciplines
The option of an independent study, internship, elective and/or residency during the summer term between the first and second years of the program
Annual First-Year Graduate Student Exhibition
Graduate Thesis Exhibition

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