Film Studies

Why should I study this subject?

Film Studies provides you with the opportunity to develop your analytical, evaluative and written skills, by exploring films that range from the culturally significant artefact to box office smash. Critical autonomy will be developed and students will have the opportunity to demonstrate some creativity in their coursework unit.

What will I study?

You will study a minimum of six critically recognised, culturally and historically significant feature-length films to include:

  • at least two US films, at least one of which will be independent
  • at least two English language films made outside the US, at least one of which will be British
  • at least one European film (non-English language)

You will study a range of culturally and historically significant films and at least two major movements or stylistic developments in film history, characterised by the significant contribution they made to film aesthetics, such as montage, expressionism, neo-realism or the new wave cinemas of the 1960s.

You will learn about cinematography, mise-en-scène, editing and sound individually and in combination with one another; the concept of genre; narrative construction, including the role of a film’s screenplay in narrative construction and the way these contribute to the representation of cultures and societies in film.

What are the entry requirements?

Please check this subject table for full details of our A Level entry requirements.

What skills do I need?

  • An ability to write fluently
  • An enthusiasm for cinema that goes beyond the usual mass-market movies
  • An awareness of the kind of analytical skills used in English


How will I be taught?

The subject is taught using a variety of methods: small group work, whole class discussion, independent study and one-to-one feedback from your teacher.

How will I be assessed?

The course will be assessed through a mixture of coursework and exam.

What will the course prepare me for?

Film Studies will teach you how to analyse cultural texts, and how to summarise complex information in your own words. As such, it is a good preparation for arts and humanities degree courses and will provide a good basis for jobs in a wide variety of areas from the civil service, the media, education, local government and public relations.

How much private study should I expect to do?

As an approximate guide, you should be prepared to commit to four to five hours study outside of normal lesson time.

What materials will I need to purchase?

Your own paper, pens and folders

What is the exam board?


This subject is for you if
you enjoy analysing and writing weekly essays about cinematography, narrative and the creation of meaning in film.

This subject is not for you if
you don’t like tackling new concepts, writing essays or watching foreign or black and white films.

“Film Studies is a great subject where you can discuss and explore the range of interesting perspectives films offer. The subject is inclusive and engaging and one of the best learning experiences I’ve had.”
Bailey Poching, Horbury Academy

“Film Studies changes your perception of movies to make them all the more enjoyable. The course challenges you to see past the surface meaning and understand characters, scenes and themes at a deeper level. Opinions are actively encouraged in both the coursework and exam.”
Natasha Prout, Carleton High School