A' Level Film Studies  Exam Board & Code : WJEC   Course : 2 Years to full A’ Level

What is Film Studies A level about?

Ever wondered: why are animations are often released at the end of October?  Why is Kate Winslet such a successful movie star? Why do most horror films use the same techniques to frighten us?  A’ Level Film Studies aims to answer questions like these and to deepen your understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of film as an art form.  This is the only A’ Level course of its kind; it is more specific than Media Studies in terms of texts studied, and it is academically challenging! 

Building on students’ own knowledge and interest in film, starting with World, American and British films in Year 12, you will apply skills of analysis and evaluation as you learn the visual and audio techniques used by film-makers.  This will culminate in a piece of practical coursework: a short film produced in a particular genre, accompanied with a digitally produced storyboard. 

Whether you are interested in a particular film genre, want to find out more about the film industry and how it works, or fancy yourself as the next Steven Spielberg, Film Studies is for you. Fascinated by film and the moving image, then take Film Studies.

Why study Film Studies at Charters School?

Whether you are interested in working in the Media Industries or just have a real passion for film, this is what our current students say about Film Studies at Charters School: 

“I saw the love, fulfilment and passion that my sister had after taking Film Studies at Charters School and, and that is why I wanted to study it there too.  My Film Studies offers a different perspective on art, culture and society.  It provides insights into people's lives, and tells stories on adventures and life.  I always look forward to my Film lessons, simply because it is what I love.  Not only do I enjoy analysing film and learning the inner-meanings and reflections, but I also enjoy creating films.  For me, Film Studies provides the fundamentals of a career I wish to see myself in; to me it is valuable and beneficial in every way."

"As soon as I began Year 12, my first lesson, I knew that I had made a fantastic choice. I was absolutely amazed with the amount I learned that day.  With my knowledge and passion for film, I am hoping to study this subject in the future as I believe the subject has benefitted me socially as well as academically." 

There are exciting opportunities for our students to gain practical experience: 

With community links to Royal Holloway University, our students have been invited to work with undergraduates, either with their Rhubarb Film Production team, or Insanity Radio, developing exciting life skills and valuable work experience. 

Is this course for me?

An interest in Film and Media is essential and you must meet the minimum academic levels specified in our entry requirements.

What else do I need to know?

There is a strong creative aspect to coursework; you will have the opportunity to design your own storyboards and film and edit a short film of your own.  Previous students have been commissioned to produce films for charities and a previous student won £3,000 for her screen play which was premiered at London. 

Where could it lead?

Film Studies provides a good theoretical and practical basis for students who are interested in studying film or media at a higher level, and for those who are interested in to working within the industry.

Students who have studied Film Studies, or both Film Studies and Media Studies, have taken up Film or Media related degree courses at: Bournemouth University, Bath Spa University, Cardiff University, De Montfort University, Southampton University and many others, undertaking degrees in subjects such as:  Media Production, Journalism, Film and Screen Studies. Students have also taken up apprenticeships, working for companies such as Sky. In a world of rapidly expanding social media, understanding of film is more important than ever.

Summary of Assessment: (These are proposals for 2017 specifications.)

How is this course structured?

Unit content Unit assessment
Component 1: American and British film     This component assesses knowledge and understanding of six feature-length films. 
Section A: Classical Hollywood: One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one US Hollywood Studio film. 
Section B: Hollywood since the 1960s (two-film study) 
One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two American films, one produced between 1961 and 1990 and the other more recent. 
Section C: Contemporary American independent film 
One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one American independent film. 
Section D: British film (comparative study) 
One question from a choice of two, requiring a comparison of two British films, one produced between 1930 and 1960 and the other more recent. 
Written examination: 3 hours 
35% of qualification 
Component 2: Varieties of film    This component assesses knowledge and understanding of five feature-length films and one compilation of short films. 
Section A: Film movements (two-film study) 
One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to at least one film from the silent era. 
Section B: Documentary film 
One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one documentary film. 
Section C: Global film (two-film study) 
One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two global films, one European and one produced outside Europe. 
Section D: Short film 
One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to a compilation of short films. 
Written examination: 3 hours 
35% of qualification 
Component 3: Production     This component assesses one production and its evaluative analysis.
Students must create: 
• either a short film (4-5 minutes) or a screenplay for a short film (1600-1800 words) and a digitally photographed storyboard of a key section from the screenplay 
• an evaluative analysis (1250-1500 words). 
Non-exam assessment 
30% of qualification