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AS/A Level Film Studies

Teacher in charge of Subject

Mr J Matcham
Head of Sixth Form


Cinema is the most powerful, diverse and influential art form of the past 100 years.  The AS/A specification in Film Studies is designed to deepen students’ understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of film, the major art form of the twentieth century, and one developing new modes of expression and exhibition in the first decades of the twenty-first century.  The specification builds on the cineliteracy learners have developed informally since childhood.  Students will engage with a wide range of different kinds of films, developing skills of observation, critical analysis and personal reflection, as well as developing their creativity and practical skills, either in audio-visual or written form.  A variety of forms of assessment are used, with the intention of producing imaginative, active learners. In particular, the specification explores the relationship between the film and the individual by exploring how films create meanings and produce both intellectual and emotional responses.  Analysis is enabled by the application of critical approaches appropriate to this level, as well as through creative project work

  1. Course Title

    AS/A Level Film Studies

  2. Exam Board and Specification No.

    WJEC 3181

What do I need to have studied/have knowledge of?

In order to study this fascinating subject it is recommended you should have good pass GCSE qualifications in English and English Literature.  You will need to be prepared to study, discuss and analyse many aspects of cinema and a wide range of film in addition to working on your own creative outcomes.

The course builds upon many of the critical and essay writing skills developed during the study of GCSE English and Literature. In addition, students are expected to have a genuine interest in, and enthusiasm for, cinema.

What will I learn on this course?

The course will enable you to:

  • Develop an interest in, appreciation and knowledge of film, specifically through studying the way film as an audio-visual form of creative expression constructs meaning, provokes varieties of spectator response and raises issues of personal, social, cultural, political and ethical significance.
  • Explore the film’s producers and audiences – the relationship between the production and consumption of films, with particular reference to Hollywood and British film;
  • Be able to develop a sophisticated analysis of film, together with subject specialist language, and to introduce them to creative and production skills.

What key skills will I develop?

The course will enable you to:

  • become an independent and confident viewer, reader and thinker
  • develop your understanding of how cinema works
  • talk and write critically and persuasively about a broad range of films of different genres and periods
  • make your own informed judgements on films, directors and performances.
  • develop a detailed understanding of the features of cinema
  • experiment with the creation of your own short films

How will I be assessed?

FM1: Exploring the Film Form – Coursework (20%)

  • An analysis of a film extract – 1500 words
    Candidates are required to explore how one or more of mise-en-scène, performance, cinematography, editing, and sound construct meaning and provoke response in a film extract.
  • Creative Project
    Candidates are required to create a film sequence or a complete short film that demonstrates how the micro features of film construct meaning.

FM2: British and American Film – Examination (30%)

This two and a half hour exam focuses on two key aspects of Film Studies:

  • producers and audiences and the relationship between them
  • the role of macro features of film (narrative and genre) in constructing meanings.

FM3: Film Research and Creative Project – Coursework (25%)
Candidates will be required to carry out a small-scale research project and produce a creative response

  • The project is designed to develop research skills. It will be based on one focus film, making appropriate reference to at least two other related films. (2500 words)
  • a creative product (short film or film extract, screenplay or extended step outline for a documentary film) and a reflective analysis

FM4: Varieties of Film Experience – Examination (25%)
Candidates will take a two and three quarter hour examination.

  • World Cinema
  • Spectatorship Topics
  • Single Film – Critical Study

What could this course lead to?

This course could lead to a wide variety of Film and Media degree courses.  The critical skills developed are applicable to any qualification where analysis of any kind of text is required.  A Film studies degree offers the chance to gain hands-on experience of film-making and also touch on topics such as film history, theory and criticism.  Students study everything from Hollywood blockbusters to art house movies, taking in screenwriting, critiquing and directing along the way.

Additional events, trips or enrichment activities

Possible trips and visits include:

  • cinema visits
  • a film festival
  • conferences

Are there any additional costs for this course?


Who do I contact if I have any further questions?

Mr J Matcham –

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