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 shot types. You will then look at specific genres (e.g. The Western) and cinema movements from the past. You will also study 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 explore in greater depth current issues relating to cinema, such as censorship and the dominance of Hollywood.
*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 need to develop. Coursework essays need to be planned and drafted, and meeting deadlines is vital: good time management is crucial to your success!
Current second year students say:
“I am extremely glad I took part in film studies, it has shaped my future and provided me with a really good basis on which to take my 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.
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?
Exploring Film Form - coursework (40% of AS)
British and American Film - 2 hour 30 minutes written examination (60% of AS)
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.
Students studying a 3 or 4 AS level programme should normally have achieved an average GCSE point score of 5.5 or above and at least a grade C in Maths and/or English (unless specified otherwise). Students with a point score between 4.5 – 5.5 will normally take a mixture of Subsidiary Diplomas and AS levels. 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.
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.
Essential: Textbook – approximately £20.00
There is a £20 refundable deposit for use of equipment such as cameras and tripods.
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.
- Sixth Form Course: