Subject Area: Humanities
Level: TWO-YEAR A Level
Exam Board: WJEC
You must have good essay writing and analytical skills, so you should have at least a grade 4 in GCSE English. You must have a genuine interest in a wide range of films from different cultures. An open mind and an enjoyment of analysis and reflection are essential. A level Film Studies goes particularly well with other subjects such as art, English language, English literature, media studies, psychology, sociology, and theatre studies.
What will I study?
FIRST YEAR OF A LEVEL
In the first year you will study six critically-recognised, culturally and historically significant films from a wide time period. You will study the key elements of film form including mise en scene, performance, cinematography, editing and sound. You will identify how these components construct meaning and generate personal response. You will also focus on areas such as auteurship, narrative and representation.
SECOND YEAR OF A LEVEL
In the second year you will study a further five films from different cultures and contexts – including global film, experimental film, documentary, silent film – and examine the work of leading directors. You will analyse key concepts and critical approaches gained throughout the course to extend your knowledge of the diversity of film, how films are interpreted by different audiences, and the ideological impact of film on spectators. This work will also be applied to the completion of either a short film production or short screenplay extract accompanied by a digital storyboard.
Film studies can lead to a range of higher education courses and future careers. It also combines very effectively with all other academic disciplines as it develops writing skills, personal response, critical thinking and analytical skills. You should be aware, however, that A level Film Studies is an academic, rather than purely practical, study of film.
Many consider film to be the main cultural innovation of the 20th century and a major art form of the last hundred years. You will explore a wide variety of films to broaden your knowledge and the range of responses films can generate. The practical coursework component allows you to apply your knowledge of film construction to your filmmaking and scriptwriting; guided by a set brief.