What is this subject about?

Film Studies is the academic study of film and is designed to deepen your understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of film, the major art form of the twentieth century. Please note that this is predominantly an essay based course, with practical elements.

What will I study over the two years?

The course will build on your prior knowledge of film through studying a variety of different topics over the two-year course. You will engage with a wide range of different cinema, developing skills of observation, critical analysis and personal reflection.

There will be a strong focus on; the history of film making, spectator response, critical approaches, and an exploration of political, social, cultural and historical contexts in relation to the films studied.

You will develop analytical skills, deconstructing how meaning is made through technical components such as staging, direction and narrative in a diverse range of film texts, including: black and white, foreign language and independent films as well as more mainstream products. This will include films from the US, World and British cinemas.

You will also have a creative coursework component which will give the opportunity to apply knowledge and understanding through the construction of a screenplay or film product.

How is the course assessed?

Over the two years, the main assessment will be in the form of examinations but there will still be a creative coursework component (30% of the final mark).

What skills will I need and develop in this course?

You will be encouraged to engage with a wide range of different kinds of films, developing skills of observation, critical analysis and personal reflection, as well as developing your creativity and practical skills, in both scriptwriting and essay writing.


What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?

With regards to progression, this course does not guarantee a career in the film industry, but many students do go on to read Film and/or Media at university. It also provides a good analytical A Level which would support other subjects for university entry. Students who have studied Film Studies have gone on to study a wide variety of subjects at university.

Entry Requirements

What are the formal entry requirements for this course?

Aside from the general entry requirements that the College requires, you will also need a grade 4 in GCSE English Language and a sound level of creativity as there is a strong requirement for creative thinking and application with the production work.

Extra Support

What extra support/enrichment activities are on offer?

The department usually offers a residential trip to a film festival and we have strong links with the British Film Institute (BFI) and the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). Students attend film screenings and Q&As with cast and crew at London cinemas. We also have guest speakers throughout the year who come in to talk to students, and we run workshops during Wider Skills Week to broaden practical skills. At the end of the second year we celebrate student achievement with the Esher Oscars and a post-Oscars party.

Subject combination advice

Subject combination advice:

Film Studies is a subject that by its nature requires candidates to consider individual, moral, ethical, social, cultural and contemporary issues. Therefore Film Studies combines well with any humanities subject, for example History, English, Politics and Sociology. Students could take Film Studies with Media Studies as with the new specification, they are notably different. We strongly advise that you speak to a member of the Department for further information, if you are considering this combination.

What is the difference between Film Studies and Media Studies?

Film Studies is in many ways similar to English Literature, but with films as the texts. Film Studies focuses purely on the study of film whereas Media Studies looks at a range of media texts including music videos, radio, TV programmes, webpages, advertising etc. However both involve a theoretical and practical element. Film Studies students must have a genuine interest in a wide range of films and not just Hollywood based products. Alternatively we offer a more practical and vocational qualification in the BTEC National Diploma - Film and Television Production.