Please note that this subject is in the process of being reformed for first teaching in September 2017. The information below reflects what is currently known about the new course. Further details will be available in the Autumn term 2016, when the specification (syllabus) has been finalised and published.
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.
The course is currently changing over to the new, linear A Level, so detail is yet unclear, however 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 in both years of the course 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 (likely to be 20-30% 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.
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.
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. However both subjects teach critical, textual analysis skills and have creative production elements so you may wish to go for more breadth over your choice of three A Levels. 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 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 specialist Diploma - Film and Video Production.