Film Studies

A Level

Course Entry Requirements

Five A* – C grades at GCSE including a grade 4/C in English Language.

If you are interested in joining the College we will arrange a meeting with an experienced subject counsellor who will help you to choose courses that best suit your ambitions and achievements.

All entry requirement details are correct at the time of publication, September 2018, however, the College may need to make some changes by September 2019 in the light of student demand, staff availability and external factors beyond the College’s control.

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What will I study?

Year One Units

Film Studies offers you the exciting chance to spend two years watching, thinking about and perhaps even producing your own sequence of a film. You will learn about the film industry and the importance of the audience in the production of films. You will also study World cinema and look closely at particular films and look at issues surrounding the films you will study.

Component 2: Global filmmaking perspectives

Written examination: 2½ hours. 35% of qualification

This component assesses knowledge and understanding of six feature-length films

Section A: Hollywood 1930-1990 (comparative study)

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two Hollywood films, one from the Classical Hollywood period (1930-1960) and the other from the New Hollywood period (1961-1990).

Section B: American film since 2005 (two-film study)

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two American films, one mainstream film and one contemporary independent film.

Section C: British film since 1995 (two-film study)

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two British films.

Year Two Units

 Component 2: Global filmmaking perspectives

 Written examination: 2½ hours: 35% of qualification

This component assesses knowledge and understanding of five feature-length films (or their equivalent).

Section A: Global film (two-film study)

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two global films: one European and one produced outside Europe.

Section B: Documentary film

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one documentary film.

Section C: Film movements – Silent cinema

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one silent film or group of films.

Section D: Film movements – Experimental film (1960-2000)

One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one film option.

Component 3: Production. Non-exam assessment. 30% of qualification

This component assesses one production and its evaluative analysis.  Learners produce:

  • either a short film (4-5 minutes) or a screenplay for a short film (1600-1800 words) plus a digitally photographed storyboard of a key section from the screenplay
  • an evaluative analysis (1600 – 1800 words).

What skills do I need?

  • an awareness and enthusiasm for watching films
  • an ability to express ideas through writing

Examining Board


Why should I study this course?

A Level in Film Studies will give you a deeper insight into how film works in the UK and around the world and how audiences are asked/provoked to respond and think when watching films.

If you’re contemplating a career in the media/film industry, you should find this course stimulating and enjoyable. It also compliments many of the core subjects you may study at A Level, offering you a range of transferrable skills.

You’ll write various essays requiring skills of analysis, interpretation and debate. You will be able to comment on topics like Classic Hollywood cinema from 1930-1990 and American film since 2005, and British film since 1995. You will explore Technology and Cinema going, Cinema viewing and audiences. The coursework component of the A Level will allow you to produce film texts in print, photography or film.

How is the course assessed?

Component 1 and 2 exams are externally marked. Component 3 coursework units are internally marked and externally moderated.

What will this course prepare me for?

Film Studies and the related areas of Media Studies and Communications and Culture Studies are now well established and popular departments at most UK Universities.  With this A Level you would be well placed to apply for places on such courses.  Film Studies also offers a chance to broaden your knowledge and skills if you are applying for higher courses in English, Art, Psychology, Business or any humanities based subject. If you want to work in Film, Video, Television, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines etc, Film Studies gives you the chance to show your practical and academic skills as well as your enthusiasm to future employers. The analytical skills and knowledge gained on the course can be useful for work in the Leisure or Business industries or in Education.

Private Study

As an approximate guideline A level subjects require 4-5 hrs each.

What materials will I need to provide?

You will need to provide your own stationary such as paper and pens in order to make notes etc.  The college provides work booklets for the course that you will use during the lessons. Also useful would be a usb memory stick to back up all work, especially your practical coursework.

How will I be taught?

A mixture of taught case studies, analysis tasks, work book completion, note taking, research assignments, presentations, film screenings, online activities and hands on work with media technology.

A Level Film Studies is for you if:

You are looking for a film course that looks at the theory behind how films are created and used to evoke particular responses from the audience. If you wish to build skills and knowledge in how to discuss, debate and write at length about film products. The course also allows you to learn practical skills to create your own film products such as storyboards, short films and screenplays.