Film Studies


Film Studies combines the study of contemporary American, Global and European cinema with the history of film. It develops skills of analysis through the study of the formal elements of film (shots, editing, sound etc) and how these make meaning for the audience. Equally important are the wider social and political contexts of films and the course considers the way films have reflected the culture which produced them. The course covers a range of film movements including fiction and non-fiction, mainstream and experimental cinema. Possible films for study include classics such as Casablanca, contemporary British cinema including This is England as well as recent global films.


Two written examination papers are taken at the end of the A Level Film Studies course:

Paper 1: 35% of A Level- Extended response (essay) questions.

Paper 2: 35% of A Level- Extended response (essay) questions.




The A Level is also assessed through a coursework component (30%): The coursework component gives the option of film making or writing a screenplay. This practical work will be accompanied by a written evaluation (1800 words).


The A Level Eduquas course consists of the following topics:

1. American Film: Hollywood 1930 – 1990 and American independent cinema.

2. Contemporary British cinema

3. European Film: non-English language European film.

4 . Global Film: Recent cinema from outside of Europe.

5.  Film movements: Documentary film.

6. Film movements: Experimental film 1960 – 2000.

7. Film movements: Silent cinema.

8. Non-Examined Assessment

(coursework): Practical production.

Various teaching and learning styles are used in the department to address the needs of a range of students. Independent study, group work, teacher-led presentations, analysis of film extracts and screenings, and guidance on internet research are some of the approaches used. The course includes practical work where students can put their understanding of film language into practice.

The films chosen for study are from a set list issued by the exam board – in some cases this may include films with an 18 certificate.


Standard College entry requirements and a minimum of:

Grade required Subject required

Grade 5

GCSE English Language or English Literature



Progression to the second year of this A Level course will be dependent on having made satisfactory progress in the first year of the course, including achieving at least an E grade in a formal late spring assessment, as well as the maintenance of a good level of attendance and commitment throughout the year.


A Level Film Studies is a long-established academic subject and part of a general education course, with Film students often also studying one or more from A Level Art, Business, Computing, English, Graphics, History, Sociology, Photography, Product Design, Psychology, Languages etc. The majority of Film students progress to university humanities courses but also use it as a basis to apply for creative film and art courses.


Most universities (including the Russell Group) offer Film Studies courses, with an academic or creative focus. Film Studies can lead to careers within the film and media industry, teaching, research and academia. As a humanities course it offers similar opportunities for progression at university as other subjects in the field.

Students will have the opportunity to apply for a place on the BFI Film Academy Course which is run locally with Signals.

All set films for the exams are screened in class and students also have access to the films for individual study in college. The college library has an extensive film studies collection as well as subscriptions to film journals which are available to students.