A Level Course Listing

Film Studies

Why choose Film Studies?

The study of film is highly regarded. Film Studies has been an academic discipline within universities for over 50 years and is regarded as an academic subject in its own right. Oxford and Cambridge are now offering Masters and PHD courses in Film Studies and Screen Arts. Russell Group universities accept Film Studies as an appropriate A Level qualification when prospective students apply to study a humanities or arts related discipline.

There is so much more to Film Studies than simply watching films. As well as gaining an appreciation of film as an art form in terms of its visual storytelling, studying film can enhance your understanding of the world in terms of competing values, attitudes and beliefs. This course also incorporates a creative production element where you will be able to put what you have learnt into practice by making a short film or writing a screenplay.

Film Studies is an extremely enjoyable and worthwhile subject to study but expect to be constantly challenged and excited by the course. Not only will it change the way you watch film, but more importantly it will challenge you to think in new ways and question or change your perspective on a whole host of issues, for example, representation of race or gender. Studying film allows you to understand important issues and developments within history, society and culture, using film as the medium with which to gain a greater insight into these areas.

What skills will I develop?

Studying Film enables you to see the world in a different light and develop a wide range of transferable skills for further education, work and life:

i. creative thinking
ii. critical thinking
iii. emotional intelligence
iv. film analysis
v. textual analysis
vi. communication
vii. research skills
viii. literacy
ix. technical competencies (i.e. film editing)

Where can it lead?

Film is one of the most relevant subjects today. Employment in the screen industries has grown by over 20% since 2009 and will substantially outpace the economy wide increase of 3% if the skills shortages in this area are fulfilled. Career paths for students of Film may, of course, include practical avenues such as filmmaking, directing, producing, and editing but a qualification in Film Studies also allows you to move into more theoretical pathways such as film criticism, journalism, advertising, and teaching.

Course Outline

Examination board: WJEC Eduqas 603/1147/2

Entry Requirements

At least a grade 6 at GCSE Film Studies (if taken), or at least a 6 in English Language or English Literature.

What will I study?

You will study the key elements of film form including cinematography, mise en scène, editing, sound and performance. You will also study the contexts of your chosen films and what was happening when the film was made. What can the film tell us about history and society at that time? You will study the films in terms of the representations they present or challenge. You will engage in the study of Ideology, the Auteur and Critical Debates surrounding Film.

How will I be assessed?

70% of the marks derive from two exam papers (Component 1 and Component 2) and 30% Non-Examination Assessment – Creative Production.

Component 1: Varieties of film and filmmaking
(35%, 2 hours and 30 minute written examination)

Section A: Hollywood 1930-1990 (Comparative study)
Comparing one film from Classical Hollywood, e.g. Vertigo with one from New Hollywood, e.g. Do The Right Thing

Section B: American Film since 2005 (two film study)
One mainstream film, e.g. La La Land
One independent film, e.g. Captain Fantastic

Section C: British Film since 1995 (two film study)
e.g. This Is England and Shaun of the Dead

Component 2: Global filmmaking perspectives

(35%, 2 hours and 30 minute written examination)

Section A: Global Film (two film study)
One European film, e.g. Pan’s Labyrinth
One film from outside Europe, e.g. Wild Tales

Section B: Documentary Film
One film, e.g. Amy

Section C: Film Movements – Silent Cinema
One film such as the German expressionist Sunrise

Section D: Film Movements – Experimental Film (1960- 2000)
e.g. Pulp Fiction

Creative Production (30% of the qualification)
The creative production element allows you to showcase the filmmaking or screenwriting skills you have developed during the course. This component assesses one production and its evaluative analysis. You will produce:
i. either a short film (4-5 minutes) or a screenplay for a short film (1600-1800 words) plus a digitally photographed storyboard of a key section from the screenplay
ii. a written evaluative analysis