This course is designed to deepen your understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of film, and aims to build on the cine-literacy students have developed informally since childhood.
Films will be studied from a variety of production contexts and students will also develop skills of observation, critical analysis, and personal reflection as well as encouraging creativity and practical skills in audio-visual and written form.
Students can expect to take part in a variety of support and film related enrichment activities during their time on the course.
Year one content
American Film students will complete a comparative study of two mainstream Hollywood films produced between 1930 and 1990 and one single American independent film. The comparative study will be focused on the core areas of film foregrounding, a comparison of contexts – how contexts are reflected in film, how knowledge of contexts increases understanding, and how films generate meanings and responses. In the single independent American film section, students will explore the film’s non-mainstream cinema subject matter and the stylistic features associated with lower budget production.
European Film students will examine two British Films and one European Film focusing again on the core study areas of film and the specialist study areas of narrative, spectatorship, and genre. As with Component One, students will also identify clear points of comparison suggested by the institutional and production contexts of the films, the era, countries, and cultures in which they were made.
Film Production is a crucial and synoptic part of the A-Level course, giving students the opportunity to put into practice the filmmaking ideas they develop throughout their academic study. Knowledge of film form is intended to enable students to produce high quality film and screenplay work as well as provide them with a filmmaker’s perspective on the films they study. Students must also provide a written evaluative analysis of the production. A production brief is set by the exam board for students to follow.
Year two content
Varieties of Film and Filmmaking students build on the knowledge gained in Year one of the course and study additional films from the mainstream American and British film industries. Whilst the emphasis of the comparative study will be on contexts, all core study areas will be relevant to this component so that students can compare in detail the way contexts are reflected in the films studied. In addition, students are required to explore the specialist study areas of auteur, spectatorship, ideology, and narrative.
For the Global Filmmaking Perspectives component, students will examine a wider range of films from outside Europe and America and study documentary, experimental, and silent films. This further extends the student’s range and diversity of narrative film, each representing a distinct geographical, social, cultural world and a particular expressive use of film form. In addition, students are required to explore the specialist study areas of auteur, critical debate, film theory, and narrative.
The Film Production component has the same requirement as Year one but students are expected to write a larger and more detailed written evaluative analysis of the production.
Students who successfully complete this course can expect to progress on to university degree programmes in film, television, or media studies, or gain direct entry into the film production industry at junior level.
You can expect to take part in a variety of support and film-related enrichment activities during your time on the course.
There are compulsory visits to the British Film Institute (BFI) in London for research and exam study, cinema visits for specific screenings, and guest speakers from the industry. Past visitors have included Hollywood writer and producer Paul Brown and representatives from the New York Film Academy. Enrichment trips to international film festivals are also a highlight of the course. In the spring term, extra revision and study skills sessions are offered to students to help support them in preparation for their final exam.
Students will be assessed internally on a regular basis, including through formal mock exams. There are final exams at the end of the course in Year two.
Year two assessment:
Component One: Varieties of Film and Filmmaking
- Written Exam – 2 hours 30 minutes
- 35% of Qualification
Section A: Hollywood 1930-1990 : Comparative Study
Section B: American Film Post-2005 (two films)
Section C: British Film Post-1995 (two films)
Component Two: Global Filmmaking Perspectives
- Written Exam – 2 hours 30 minutes
- 35% of Qualification
Section A: Global Film (two films)
Section B: Documentary Film (one film)
Section C: Silent Cinema (one film)
Section D: Experimental Film (one film)
Component Three: Film Production
- Non-Exam Assessment
- 30% of Qualification
- Production (20%):
*Either a short film or screenplay.
- Evaluative Analysis (10%):
A written evaluative analysis (1,700-2,000 words) of the production in comparison with other professionally produced films or screenplays.
Standard entry requirements
- At least five GCSEs at grades 9-4 including English Language and Maths (one Vocational or Technical qualification at Merit or above may be counted)
- At least grade 4 (or Merit for Vocational or Technical qualifications) in any subject(s) that you have taken at GCSE and wish to continue studying at Level 3
- Average GCSE (best 8) of at least 4 (38 on the old points table)
- Grade 4 (or Merit), at least, in any subject previously studied
- Students will take either 3 A-Level subjects or 1 Diploma subject with 1 A-Level
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