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. 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 they would have achieved at least a standard pass (grade 4) in that 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 film (Casablanca – Curtiz, 1942) with a New Hollywood film (Bonnie and Clyde – Penn, 1967).

Section B: American Film since 2005
You will compare a Mainstream film (La La Land – Chazelle, 2016) with an Independent film (Captain Fox – Ross, 2015).

Section C: British Film since 1995
You will study two British films: Shaun of the Dead (Wright, 2004) and This is England (Meadows, 2006).
Note: films studied are subject to change as set by the exam board.

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 (Ida – Pawlikowski, 2013 and an International film (City of God – Mereilles, 2002).

Section B: Documentary Film
You will study one documentary film: Amy, Kapadia (2015).

Section C: Silent Cinema
You will study the work of Buster Keaton.

Section D: Experimental Film
You will study a critically acclaimed experimental film, Pulp Fiction, Tarantino (1994).
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 and ideologies are communicated. All of these skills are of great value in the modern world, both in higher education and the world of work.

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