Film Studies

A / AS Level
2 years

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*.

In the AS you will study how films are put together in terms of lighting, sound, camera movement and special effects. You will explore the teen movie genre and cinema movements which represent a specific time and place (e.g. 1970s Britain). You will also learn about the process a film goes through from the earliest stage of production to its release at the cinema and the response of the audience.

In the A2 you will examine more closely the role of the director and carry out a study of World 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 explore their own particular interests in coursework assignments.

Essay writing is a major part of the course, so this is a skill you will develop. Coursework essays are planned and drafted, and meeting deadlines is important; 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?

AS Level
Exploring Film Form - coursework (40% of AS)
British and American Film - 2 hour 30 minutes written examination (60% of AS)

A2 Level

Film Research and Creative Projects - coursework (50% of A2)
Varieties of Film Experience: Issues and Debates - 2 hour 45 minutes written examination (50% of A2)


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 studying toward an A level programme should normally have achieved a GCSE grade profile of A-C. For GCSE Maths and English where a new grading system has been introduced, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C. Alternatively, students with an A-C grade profile may take a full BTEC/Cambridge Technical programme or mixed A level and BTEC/Cambridge Technical programme. You will be able to discuss course ideas and preferences during your College Guidance Interview. Final decisions will be made when you enrol after your GCSE results.

Please note some courses will have specific GCSE entry requirements. Further details will be available at Open Evenings.  

The most important qualification for success is enthusiasm for, and interest in, the subject. You must have an open mind and enjoy the challenge of exploring new ideas and ways of working.

 You can check your likely GCSE point score by going to 'Choosing the Right Course' on the website and entering your predicted grades.

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, computer disks 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/videos of focus films.

Recommended: Textbook – approximately £20

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

Course code

WJEC 2181/3181