Awarding Body:WJECCourse Duration:2 Years




Course Content

Film Studies involves the study of contemporary and historical film from an analytical approach.  Over the two year course you will study major film movements and production styles from the USA and the UK, as well as European and World Cinema.  You will also consider your role as spectator in the construction of meaning and understanding how film can be discussed as an aesthetic art. Film Studies enables you to understand how films are made and the different stylistic features of mainstream Hollywood studio pictures, US independent films and iconic British films.  There is also an opportunity to study practical filmmaking skills such as cinematography, editing and sound and you will produce a short film or screenplay which demonstrates your understanding of narrative and film form.

In the second year the course will enable you to understand how films can be located and identified within specific global cultural, political and social contexts.  You will learn about defining film movements such as Experimental Film and Surrealism and the way they have impacted and shaped contemporary film culture.

Topics such as silent cinema and documentary filmmaking, and short films with an emphasis on technology and aesthetics, will develop your understanding of the medium. There is also an opportunity to produce another creative project and either make a short film or an extended screenplay.  The second year of Film Studies also takes in a higher level of film theory and critical debates.

Methods of Teaching

Film Studies is taught in a dedicated room with access to a personal computer and excellent camera and editing facilities.  The subject has a high specification green screen room to support your filmmaking ambitions.  Lessons are structured around screenings, taught content, presentations and group work.  There are opportunities for trips both locally and in London as well as an annual trip to Los Angeles and a major American Film Festival.

Please note that some films studied will carry an 18 certificate. BBFC certification is ‘advisory’ and films classified 18 in a non-commercial educational context, mediated through a teacher is permitted and accepted by the BBFC as representing exceptional viewing conditions. However, mindful of possible impact on students we assess the suitability of all films before screening.

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

Course structure and assessment:

Examination: 70%

Component 1:  Varieties of film and filmaking

Study of two Hollywood films 1930 - 1990 (comparitive study)

Study of American independent film and contemporary American film

Study of two British films

Component 2:  Global filmaking perspectives

Study of two films from key film movements

Study of one contemporary European film

Study of one Documentary

Study of one global film

Component 3:  Film production

Non-exam assessment (NEA) 30%

Here you will be able to make your own short films and learn skills in cinematography, editing, post-production effects and sound design. Alternatively you can develop your pre-production skills by a screenplay and producing a photographic storyboard.

Financial Implications

There will be a list of films for suggested viewing which may require purchasing.  No other financial implications.

Where Could It Take Me?

An A level in Film Studies is a highly thought of subject which also allows for significant creative and interpretive scope. The combination of rigorous theoretical understanding coupled with technical and creative knowledge means that the qualification offers students the chance to develop their own skills grounded in an academic context. As such it fits very well alongside a range of other humanities, creative and technical subjects to give you a strong basis for university study. Many students go on to study film, television, journalism or other creative industries related courses. Alternatively it provides an excellent qualification alongside other A-levels enabling you to access a wide range of university courses in Arts, Humanities or Science disciplines.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Maths and English.

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