Film Studies A Level

Board: WJEC
Syllabus: 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 basic principles of cinematography, editing, sound design and story construction and you will also research the UK and USA film industries, focussing on specific aspects 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 numerous and lengthy thoughtful, written analyses of the films studied. Confidence with reading and writing is very, 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 articulate essays based on what you see and the interpretations you make.

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 important but equally essential is a keenness to read and write widely on the subject. As a good film student, you will watch and read about lots of varied films in your private study and in your Homework. 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 is not unlike English Literature: both subjects are essay based and require students to interpret either film or literary texts. For that reason, Film goes very well with English Literature. Film also combines very 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. For serious filmmakers the Level 3 BTEC Media course would be an attractive combination with Film, especially if you’re keen to break into the media industry. 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