Film Studies A Level

Board: WJEC
Syllabus: AS Level (0420/80), A Level (0069/90)

About the subject

‘Film’ is arguably one of the most important cultural products of this century and the last. This course will give you a foundation and insight into the way films are produced, in addition to the detailed analysis of some of the most influential films ever made. Significant time is put into viewing and analysing these films. You will learn the principles of cinematography, editing, sound design and story construction and you will also research the UK and USA film industries, focussing on specific apects of their historical and contemporary output with a focus on short film, experimental film, film movements, classical Hollywood, contemporary Hollywood and silent film. You will also broaden your understanding with a study of World Cinema and Documentary.

Film Studies is largely an analytical, essay based subject and you will be expected to produce thoughtful, written analyses of the films studied. Confidence with English is very important as well as an even more important fascination with the film medium. A willingness to explore films from all times and cultures is fundamental and the course will include some challenging 18 certificate material.

Learning styles

Much of the learning in Film Studies is based on analysing films in order to understand the technical, aesthetic, philosophical, cultural, industrial and economic processes that have contributed to their production, distribution and exhibition. You must be capable of writing thoughtful essays based on what you see.

All of the above is essential for the effective production of solo coursework as well as for exam preparation which makes up 70% of the final second year assessment. Being a film fan is then really important but equally essential is a keeness to read widely on the subject. As a good film student you will watch and read about lots of varied films in your private study. With a global film catalogue stretching back to the 1890s there is plenty of material to watch and you should see that as joy rather than a chore.

Subject Combinations and Progression

Film Studies combines well with other essay based subjects such as Media Studies, English, History, Politics and Philosophy. It also combines well with arts subjects such as Photography and Art. The Level 3 BTEC Media course could also be an attractive combination for you if you’re keen to break into the media industry as there is a small opportunity in A level Film Studies to further develop creative work for your practical portfolio. Beyond Collyer’s you can also progress onto a range of Film degree courses ranging from the highly academic to those which offer specialist production training.

Subject Modules and Assessment

The course consists of 70% examination and 30% solo coursework of which 20% is the practical production of either a short film or a screenplay and storyboard. The final 10% is a written analysis of the work produced in terms of a study of the short film genre.

Entry requirements

4 in English Language