Film studies

Film studies

What is A level Film studies?

Film studies is the study of film as an art form, learning to appreciate the medium not only through its technical production, but also by understanding the wider meanings and messages.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at grades 4 – 9, across four separate subjects, to include GCSE Mathematics and/or English/English Language.

Subject leader

Simon Humphreys

"Film studies is not as easy as people expect, but it’s a very interesting subject and one where your cinematic knowledge and general writing skills will be really developed. You will learn about a really broad range of films, as well as looking at the social and historical contexts that shaped them. Film studies has been my favourite lesson, and undoubtedly the one I will miss the most."

Luke Dootson

what will I study?

Over the two year course, the following topics will be studied: FILM INDUSTRY In this unit, we work on your understanding of films from an industry perspective, looking at the power of Hollywood compared to British and world cinema as well as engaging in aspects of the production, marketing and distribution and the different strategies film studios can take. Exploring questions such as; is cinema dying? And why do the types of films being produced get made? BRITISH CINEMA Here we will be analysing key British films in relation to how the themes they present represent circumstances and issues in the UK during the time in which they were made. We look particularly at British horror and how, through analysis, we can uncover what they reveal about Britain, such as our anxieties over ‘chav’ culture and fear of empowered women. AMERICAN COMPARISON By exploring two key American genre texts you will draw out comparisons and contrasts between how the films comment on such ideas as ‘The American Dream’ and ‘Suburban America’. This unit focuses particularly on American Beauty and Wolf of Wall Street; films which commentate on the same ideas but have very differing approaches and reactions. MICRO ANALYSIS The first part of your coursework involves a 1500 word essay on a film of your choice. Through the skills you have developed in class, you will identify how micro features such as cinematography, editing, sound and mise en scène create meaning. PRACTICAL PRODUCTION Working in a group or independently, you will use your knowledge and understanding of technical production, and apply it to your own creative short film. Using HD video camera and Adobe editing software, you will bring your ideas to life, showcasing your creativity to produce a professional moving image production.

additional activities with this subject

During your time studying Film Studies we organise trips to heighten your experience of films and the industry. This year we are looking to organise a trip to the ‘Berlin Film Festival’ in Germany, as well as planning trips to Manchester’s independent cinema ‘Home’


For September 2021


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