film studies

Film Studies

A Level
2 years
Curriculum Manager: 
Barbara Murray

What is Film Studies?

If you are passionate about film and enjoy analysing what you see, then Film Studies could be the course for you*. You will study how films are put together in terms of lighting, sound, camera movement and special effects. You will explore classical Hollywood cinema, the documentary genre and British films. You’ll examine the role of the director and carry out a study of Global Cinema, focusing on a group of foreign language films. You will build on your knowledge of the film industry and analyse how mainstream cinema affects us on an emotional level.

*Although there is some practical work, Film Studies is an academic course - with the emphasis on essay writing.

Is Film Studies suitable for me?

Current students say that they really enjoy the variety of classroom activities in Film Studies. They have found all areas of the course rewarding, and appreciated the opportunity to develop their own skills and interests in coursework assignments.

Essay writing is a major part of the course, so this is a skill you will develop. Meeting deadlines is important and good time management is crucial to your success!

Current second year students say:

“I am extremely glad I took Film Studies, it has shaped my future and provided me with a really good basis on which to progress to higher level study”.

“The course has been fun, enjoyable and interesting, I will never look at any film in the same way again”.

How will I learn?

Classroom activities are varied and you will learn through discussion, working in small groups and working individually. You will learn how to make notes from screenings, and plan and write essays, as well as being taught practical skills such as storyboarding and editing.

You will be expected to do 4 to 5 hours of homework each week - this may take the form of research, reading, or writing an essay.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: American and British Film – written exam 3hrs   35%

Component 2: Varieties of Film – written exam 3 hrs   35%

Component 3: Production – coursework  30%


Film Studies is a widely respected A Level, and one that develops a number of important skills - including written and oral communication. All universities accept Film Studies, and students have gone on to a wide range of courses and careers. Many of our students opt to carry on with Film at university - others have gone on to study English, Media, Art, Photography, and Philosophy. Several students have begun careers in the media by working as runners on film sets.

Entry requirements

Students should normally have achieved an A*- C grade profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C.

You do not need to have done any film or media studies before - but a genuine interest in the history of film is necessary.

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own stationery, USB sticks and calculators (where appropriate). Costs are outlined below:

While there are copies of all the films we study in the College library, some students find it useful to buy DVDs of focus films.

Recommended: Textbook – approximately £20

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.



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