A Level Film Studies

Entry Requirements

  • Six GCSEs 9-4, two from English, Maths OR Science
  • Two at least grade 6

Specific requirements for Film Studies:

  • The course requires quite a lot of essay writing, so a good grade in English GCSE (grade 4 or higher, preferably 5) is recommended.
  • It is not necessary for you to have studied Film at GCSE.

What is Film Studies?

A Level Film Studies is for students who want to immerse themselves in a wide variety of films from different countries and different eras. You will study everything from modern British and American cinema, through global cinema, to 1920s silent film. Additionally, the coursework unit offers the opportunity to create a screenplay for a short film, developing creativity and screenwriting skills.

Components

Component 1:

You will study hollywood cinema, american independent film and british film.

Percentage of total marks: 35%

Component 2:

You will study world cinema, documentary, silent cinema and experimental film.

Percentage of total marks: 35%

Component 3:

You will create a screenplay for a short film and an accompanying digital photography storyboard.

Percentage of total marks: 30%

Skills

You will develop a strong understanding of film language and hone your analytical and interpretative skills whilst watching a range of films. You will develop screenwriting skills in the coursework unit and learn how to use screenwriting software.

Video

Careers/destinations

Many students go on to film-related degree courses. Past students have studied for a wide range of degree courses including English Literature, Architecture, Fine Art, Law, History and even Dentistry!

Film Studies

What’s the difference between Media and Film?

In short, the clue is in the title! In Media Studies, students learn about lots of different types of media texts: TV, radio, games, mags, ads (learning a little about a lot). In Film Studies, we concentrate on the study of films (a lot about a little). If you love film, then Film Studies is for you! Another way to think about the difference is that Film Studies is a lot like English Literature – close analysis of longer texts. Media, is more like English Language – shorter texts and more numerous.

What films will I study?

You will study a range of films from the very first silent films, to more recent indie offerings:

Component 1
A: Vertigo, Do the Right Thing
B: No Country for Old Men, Beasts of the Southern Wild
C: We Need to Talk About Kevin, Moon

Component 2
A: Life is Beautiful, City of God
B: Amy
C: Selected Buster Keaton shorts
D: Pulp Fiction

Component 3
The coursework requires students to study 80 minutes of short films. We currently study 5 shorts: The Wrong Trousers, High Maintenance, Pitch Black Heist, Curfew, Stutterer.

Please note these films are set by the exam board and are subject
to change.

Will I go on any trips?

Things are a little… unusual at the moment. In previous years, we go on a range of trips throughout the year to support your studies, and boost your knowledge and understanding of careers in our industry.

Past trips include:
BBC at Media City
Two-day trip to London
In planning stage: New York
The Sharp Project
Into Film Festival
Film screenings at various cinemas
Native Creatives careers event

How can I get into the television/film industry?

We have a very active careers offering – as well as taking part in a number of industry careers events through the year, we also run our own careers event. In addition, we have a number of enrichment opportunities including We Call the Shots – our own young women’s media careers project, and Television Studio for aspiring production assistants and presenters. In addition, our
students regularly take part in the BFI schemes for Film Production, and Animation. On top of this, many members of staff in the department have real-world industry experience. Over the years we have supported a number of students into BBC apprenticeships as well as those moving into higher education.

Busting Film Studies myths!

Our course is very much Oxbridge friendly – we have a number of Oxbridgebound students past and present. Film Studies is an academic course – universities of all types love it! Not just ‘watching films’… ours is a rigorous, essay-based subject and the course will challenge you in all sorts of ways. Film complements lots of subjects – you name it, Film goes well! The course will broaden your cultural horizons. A brilliant third subject for aspiring medics, dentists, and vets.