One of the hardest things about Film Studies is the amount of thinking and talking that you have to do. There’s a lot of processing and reflection in lessons, and so the more practice you can get reading and thinking, the better. There’s always a temptation to talk about our favourite films, and of course that’s part of it, but you’ll be developing more critical thinking skills.
Film is possibly the most powerful and ubiquitous media form of the last 100 years. However, despite what some people think, film is not merely a populist form of entertainment. While many works can be placed in this category, other films often come closer to status of art. It should also be remembered that the film industry is just that, an industry: a business with the primary goal of making money. While Hollywood is, in many ways, at the forefront of this, most national cinemas have their own equivalent.
Regardless of whether you prefer high-budget, Hollywood blockbusters or Scandinavian art cinema, any film can, and should, be studied. Film Studies is an academic discipline that examines the form, content, historical, cultural and economic aspects of cinema. A Level in Film Studies has been designed to ignite a passion for film and encourage broader cultural and historical perspectives on this academic area of study. It is our strong desire that an A level in Film Studies should inspire learners to continue learning beyond the confines of the classroom as well as developing personal and interpersonal skills that will serve them well both in Higher Education and in the workplace.
In addition to gaining a detailed knowledge of cinema, students are expected to leave the course with enhanced skills in a range of key areas, including: creative thinking, problem-solving, effective communication and self-management. This qualification provides a strong foundation for learners to progress to Higher Education and equips learners for progression into the workplace.
Many of our ex-students have continued their study of cinema at university, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Universities attended by our ex-students include: Bournemouth University; King’s College, University of London; University of Southampton; Southampton Solent University; and University of Warwick.
Students’ final grades will be determined via their performance across the following two written exams (worth 70% of the overall grade) and a coursework portfolio [NEA] (worth 30%).
The first year will serve as an introductory course in the study of Film, designed to deepen students’ understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of cinema. At the root of this is the recognition that films are constructed – using a range of elements, such as cinematography, mise-en-scène, sound and editing – and follow grammatical patterns that we learn to read. Film Studies will introduce learners to a wide range of films from different national cinemas, from the Silent Era to the present day, incorporating different film forms (shorts, experimental, documentary and fiction) and produced by a diverse variety of authors. Learners will also:
A Level Film Studies contain films with a mixture of certifications, including 18 certificate films. We will take into account the advice from the British Board of Film Certification (BBFC) and the maturity of our learners before showing any 18 certificated films.
The course fee of £25 per year covers most of the materials that students will require. Due to the nature of the practical work undertaken on this course, students will be required to bring a minimum 1TB hard drive and a digital card reader. Students will also be assigned to a full Adobe Creative Cloud suite allowing access to the cloud based editing software both in college and at home. Students will have the opportunity to rent hard drives from the college media department for a deposit.
Industrial Light & Magic is an American motion picture visual effects company that was founded in May 1975 by George Lucas. It is a division of the film production company Lucasfilm, which Lucas founded, and was created when Lucas began production of the film Star Wars. Students completed a three-day virtual work placement where they worked in teams to recreate a scene from one of ILM’s previous projects, they also heard from several ILM staff about the diverse job roles in the VFX industry. Quotes from two of the students below:
During your time in Film Studies, you will be given the opportunity to go on trips to enhance your experience through visiting key institutions and locations and engaging in activities away from the classroom. Recently, we have visited Pinewood Studios, the British Film Institute and saw the Kubrick exhibition at the Design Museum. We’ve also looked at exhibitions of work by experimental filmmakers at the Tate Gallery. We believe that these experiences are vital to your development as a student and would urge you to take these opportunities whenever you can. To see more photos from our trips please look on our Instagram page.
We also offer enrichments within the department, such as Film Club, to help develop your understanding and give you a broader experience which will benefit your future ambitions. To learn more, please have a look at our enrichments guide.
Our Head of Department, Tom Cops will be happy to help.