Film Studies is concerned with the analysis, evaluation and interpretation of cinematic texts. The course requires you to explore a wide variety of films from different genres, historical periods and national cinemas. Through the course, you will form a detailed understanding of the film-making world and develop an analytical appreciation of film.
The A Level in Film Studies consists of 70% examination work and 30% Non-Examined Assessment. The first exam is based around the study of British and American cinema and covers a wide range of historical and contemporary texts. There are a series of set films from the classics of Hollywood such as ‘Casablanca’ and ‘Vertigo’ to modern cinema such as ‘Inception’ and ‘No Country For Old Men’. There is also an expectation to look at aspects of independent cinema such as ‘Boyhood’ or ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’. The focus is very much on the contexts and content of these texts through either exploratory or comparative responses.
The second exam focuses more on cinematic forms and styles. This allows for an opportunity to look at silent cinema, avant-garde filmmaking, documentary film and an exploration of the cultural and social contexts surrounding global cinema.
The Non-Examined Assessment involves the planning, production and editing of a short film. This highly creative project allows for originality, technical prowess and, of course, an opportunity to become the director/producer, scriptwriter, cinematographer, sound engineer and editor of your own Oscar worthy masterpiece.
Film Studies is a well-recognised discipline, which is offered by the majority of Russell Group Universities and is most comparable to English Literature. Film Studies students have a strong passion for film and embrace the opportunity to analyse and theorise the meanings and ideologies of cinematic texts. The Film industry has adapted to changes in technology and audience behaviour throughout the 20th and 21st centuries and remains one of the strongest forms of entertainment, expression and a big influence on our identity.
To study this course for A Level, you should have at least a minimum of a Grade 5 in English and Maths and at least a Grade 5 in another Humanities subject.
You could take this course to complement other Advanced Level courses such as Media Studies, which could lead onto Higher Education to study Film Studies, related courses such as Media and Drama, or more general Higher Education courses. With further training, you could go into a job related to Film Studies such as working within a film or TV production crew.