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Frequently Asked Questions - Program Information

The following is a list of frequently asked questions about our program. If you can't find the answer to your question, don't hesitate to contact our Admissions Department.

Are the courses designed specifically for people with lots of prior computer programming experience?


MDM students are drawn from diverse backgrounds and we welcome applications from people with degrees in the arts, sciences, business, social sciences or applied sciences. Computer literacy is mandatory, as is an interest in and knowledge of the creation of digital media. Non-credit elective courses will be available for those interested in augmenting their technical expertise.

Can I take this program part time or online?


No. Currently we only offer the Master of Digital Media Program on a full-time basis on site at the Centre for Digital Media.

How are the classes structured in terms of the actual course plan?


Individual faculty members may structure their courses differently from term to term within the overall course outline. The five core courses and project courses are designed to obtain maximum participation with and interaction between students and faculty.

How much of the curriculum is dedicated to video game development?


The MDM Program is designed to allow students in-depth study of all aspects of Digital Media. Each of the core courses deals in some significant way with games and their impact on the creation of digital media; game design courses are also available as electives. One of the five core courses is specifically in Game Design.


Our program is not games-based, however, and although it is expected that approximately half of our graduates will find employment in the video game industry, there is opportunity to explore all the myriad aspects of digital media in our core, elective and project courses. Our program is project based, and some of the projects will be student-initiated. If you have a great interest in game design or other specific entertainment technology applications, you will in all likelihood be able to create one or more projects in that area.


Similarly, if your interest lies in serious games, or health and education applications of digital media, you will have opportunities to create projects to facilitate rich, personalized learning experiences.

The four-month internship sounds like an exciting part of the program. What do I need to know about it?


The internship is a mandatory requirement of the MDM Program and occurs in the final term of study. Students have the support of the MDM Industry Relations department and a variety of additional resources to aid in the search for their internship. During this period students build on their real world experience and employers have the chance to try out prospective employees.

What are some examples of types of projects that students will work on?


The core differentiator of the Master of Digital Media program and other comparable Masters programs is the emphasis of experiential learning through project courses. In fact, 65% of MDM coursework is project-based. All Projects courses, from the first term to the last term, have teams of 3 to 6 students spend four months working on projects to develop prototypes or applications from concept to deliverable. Each Projects course builds upon the skills learned in the previous term so that graduating students are comfortable with all issues—from dealing with dysfunctional teams to scoping and production pipeline. Please visit Student Projects to see examples of types of projects that students work on.

What is a typical class composition?


The MDM program is targeted at individuals with an undergraduate degree in a related discipline (or an equivalent combination of formal education and professional experience). Each cohort has a mixture of professionals that have worked in the industry and students continuing directly from an undergraduate program interested in entering the field.

We admit groups of students with a diverse mix of creative and technical backgrounds. Admission requirements are designed to encourage such diversity while setting high standards for acceptance into the program.

What kind of demand is expected for Master of Digital Media graduates?


The Master of Digital Media Program's challenging curriculum is uniquely designed to transition students from diverse backgrounds into new and expanding digital media markets and opportunities. During the 16-month program, graduates develop the professional skills required to be effective creators, practitioners and senior managers in the digital media industry. Employers demand the high level of creative and technical competence that MDM graduates possess. Our program has been designed in close collaboration with our industry partners who have helped guide us with their understanding of today's market and industry needs.

Where will I take my electives?


Students may select their required elective course from the following:

MDM Special Topics courses (DMED 540). The Special Topics courses will be offered by MDM Faculty, Associate Faculty at partner institutions or visiting faculty (including industry specialists). They will normally be advertised at least a few months in advance of the offering and may be offered in various formats (e.g. six week intensive instead of the normal 13-week format).

Students can also meet their elective requirement through a Directed Studies course (DMED 550). Students seeking to arrange an individualized course of study must arrange this at least 2 months in advance with an MDM Faculty member. The number of Directed Studies available will be limited by the faculty resources.

With permission of the MDM Director, students may take any graduate course at any of the partner institutions for which they have the prerequisites. Students should consult their instructor or the program administrator for more information.

With permission of the MDM Director and agreement of the instructor, students may take one suitable senior undergraduate course at an MDM partner institution. Students should consult their instructor or the program administrator for more information.

Will my degree bear the seals of all four of GNWC's academic partners?


Yes! The MDM Program degree is approved by the all four Senates or Education Councils of the CDM partner institutions. As such, the MDM Program degree bears the seals of all four partner institutions: University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia Institute of Technology and Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Will students be registered at all four of the academic partner institutions?


MDM students are registered at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and have access to SFU’s resources while they are completing the program. Once all degree requirements have been completed, students shall be awarded the MDM degree from all four partner institutions.