Film Studies

A Level Film Studies is a course that offers students the opportunity to engage in a detailed study of the cinema medium, and is designed to deepen the students’ understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of what is arguably the major art form of the twentieth and, potentially, the twenty first century.

Unlike many subjects, Film Studies is unusual in that it takes as its starting point what the student already knows: by simply being alive and a consumer of film in the early twenty first century. It then aims to take those naturally learnt skills - or ‘cineliteracy’ - and take them to a higher level of analytical, critical and independent thinking.

The foundations for this are laid in year one of the course where students learn about: the technical side of film-making such as cinematography, editing and sound; the history and current business practices of Hollywood and the UK film industry; and the messages and values that can be ‘read’ in films. The second year of the course then seeks to widen the scope of the students’ knowledge by looking at World Cinema and those movements in the past, such as the Surrealists of the 1920s or the French Nouvelle Vague of the 1950/60s, who have challenged the conventions of mainstream cinema over the years. In addition, students also begin to consider some of the important critical issues involved in cinema such as censorship and the role of the ‘auteur’.

Whilst being essentially an academic subject, Film Studies is leavened by a strand of creative and practical work that runs across the course. In the first year, students try their hands at writing screenplays or designing storyboards for their own invented films, and in the second year, they have the option to get behind the camera themselves and make their own short film.

Film-making Club poster


The subject has obvious vocational links to further studies/careers in Media and Film, but equally it complements any Arts/Humanities course of study, or offers variety/diversity for those of a scientific or mathematical inclination.


At least Grade C in GCSE English and English Literature.