Film Studies at Elliott Hudson College has really expanded my creativity and understanding of film.

Shad Osman

Shad Osman

Course Description

A Level Film Studies engages students in a wide variety of films in order to broaden understanding of film and the range of responses it can generate.

You will learn about film language, and a wide range of techniques used to communicate through film and to generate spectator response. You will also get chance to develop this learning into a practical project where you will produce a short film.

Studying Film Studies at GCSE is not required but a genuine interest in film and filmmaking is essential. The areas of film explored in the A Level range from mainstream to global and independent film, including from the early 20th century. Therefore, this course is designed for students wanting to explore film in depth and develop knowledge and understanding as well as broaden their appreciation of film. This course can be studied alongside any other, but complements History, English Literature and Media Studies particularly well.

Entry Requirements

Achieve 5 or more standard GCSE passes or higher (grade 4 or higher).

If a student is applying for a course in a subject that they have studied at GCSE it is expected that a student would have achieved at least a standard pass (grade 4) in this subject.

Course Content

Component 1: Varieties of film and filmmaking
You will study two films within each section across a range of eras, as well as both mainstream and independent films.

Section A: Hollywood 1930-1990
You will compare a Classical Hollywood (studio) film such as Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958) or Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942) with a New Hollywood film such as Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, 1967) or Do the Right Thing (Lee, 1989).

Section B: American Film since 2005
You will study both a mainstream film such as Inception (Nolan, 2010) or La La Land (Chazelle, 2016) and an independent film such as Boyhood (Linklater, 2015) or Captain Fantastic (Ross, 2015).

Section C: British Film since 1995
You will study two films such as Trainspotting (Boyle, 1996), Shaun of the Dead (Wright, 2004), This is England (Meadows, 2006) or Sightseers (Wheatley, 2012).

Component 2: Global filmmaking perspectives
You will study one or two films from a range of different cultures, national cinemas and filmmaking techniques.

Section A: Global Film
You will study a foreign language European film such as Ida (Pawlikowski, 2013) and a film produced outside of Europe such as City of God (Mereilles, 2002).

Section B: Documentary Film
You will study one documentary film such as Amy (Kapadia, 2015) or The Arbor (Barnard, 2010).

Section C: Silent Cinema
You will study a range of silent films from the 1920s and 1930s.

Section D: Experimental Film
You will study a critically acclaimed experimental film such as Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, 1994) or Timecode (Figgis, 2000).

Note: films studied are subject to change.

Component 3: Study of Short Film
You will study short film in depth to produce an 1800-word analysis of a range of short films. Meanwhile, you will develop your own creative practice to produce a 4-5 minute short film or screenplay with a digital storyboard.


Component 1: Varieties of film and filmmaking
Written examination: 2.5 hours
35% of qualification

Component 2: Global filmmaking perspectives
Written examination: 2.5 hours
35% of qualification

Non-Exam Assessment
30% of qualification

Future Opportunities

Film Studies A Level is an excellent course to prepare for a wide range of higher education courses but specific HE opportunities include: Filmmaking; Communication Studies; Digital Media; Special Effects and Post-Production. These HE courses could lead to a broad range of careers in the film or media industry such as: producing/directing; writing; design; post-production. Yet the course also provides valuable training in critical thought, extended writing and evaluating the way messages are put across. All of these skills are of great value in the modern world, both in higher education and the world of work.