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Film Studies – A Level

Special Entry Requirements

In addition to the A Level entry requirements, you will need grade 5 in GCSE English Language.

Course Introduction

Films will be studied from a variety of production contexts, and you will also develop skills of observation, critical analysis and personal reflection, as well as developing creativity and practical skills.

You will have the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of film through a practical filmmaking project during which you will develop your evaluative skills in relation to your coursework productions, drawing comparisons between your own product and professionally produced films.

Course Modules

There will be coverage of twelve film case studies across the two years of the course, involving screenings and more in-depth scene analysis. Modules include:

Year 1

Component One: American Film
Students will complete a comparative study of two mainstream Hollywood films produced between 1930 and 1990 and one single American independent film. We will explore how contexts are reflected in film, how knowledge of contexts increases understanding and how films generate meanings and responses.

Component Two: European Film
Students will examine two British Films and one European Film focusing again on the core study areas of film and the specialist study areas of narrative, spectatorship and genre.

Component Three: Film Production
Production is a crucial and synoptic part of the A-Level course, giving learners the opportunity to put into practice the filmmaking ideas they develop throughout their academic study. Knowledge of film form in particular is intended to enable students to produce high quality film and screenplay work as well as provide them with a filmmaker’s perspective on the films they study. Students must also provide a written evaluative analysis of the production. A production brief for students to follow is set by the exam board.

Year 2

Component One: Varieties of Film and Filmmaking
Students build on the knowledge gained in year one of the course and study additional films from the mainstream American and British film industries. Whilst the emphasis of the comparative study will be on contexts, all core study areas will be relevant to this component so that students can compare in detail the way contexts are reflected in the films studied.

Component Two: Global Filmmaking Perspectives
For this component, students will examine a wider range of films from outside Europe and America and also study documentary, experimental and silent film. This further extends students range and diversity of narrative film, each representing a distinct geographical, social, cultural world and a particular expressive use of film form.

Component Three: Film Production
This component has the same requirement as Year One but students are expected to write a larger and more detailed written evaluative analysis of the production.

Assessment

The assessment is made up of:

  • 30% coursework (practical film-making)
  • 70% exam (on such topics as British, European and Hollywood cinema)

Career Opportunities

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Career Opportunities