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Film IB Higher Level at Parkside Sixth

Course description

Film is a powerful art form, and an important communication medium. Reading and discussing films, you will learn about their languages and technical forms, explore the cultures and ideas behind them, and develop essential skills of critical analysis. You will also make films of your own, learning the professional and technical skills of production, and engaging creatively in the art and craft of film.

Course content

In the first year, you will explore film history and theory, through the study of a number of films from a variety of cultures and traditions relating to a chosen theme or topic. You will learn to analyse film sequences, and to understand how meanings are created through the complex languages of film, including camerawork, script, acting, lighting, setting, sound and music.

In the second year, you will make a film yourself. Having first explored examples of short narrative films from a several countries, you will work in a small group to plan, develop, shoot and edit your own production.

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs or equivalent at grade C or above, including English and Maths.
IB students take six subjects in total which consists of three subjects at Higher level and three at Standard level. 
For Higher level subjects, you should have GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade B or above in those subjects or related ones. We recommend Higher level Maths, Chemistry and Physics only for those with a grade A or above in GCSE Maths and Science. 
Further information about entry requirements can be found in our  prospectus or on the website. Students also have timetabled sessions for Theory of Knowledge.
If you are applying for the International Baccalaureate, you need to choose six subjects, from a range of different subject areas. For information can be found in our prospectus.
A paper copy of the prospectus can be obtained by phoning the Sixth Form Administrator on 01223 712600.


There are no exams and no essays in this subject. Instead, there is a mixture of internal and external assessment, involving oral presentation, script-writing and practical film-making, with supporting written commentaries.

Standard and Higher level students:

  • An externally-assessed, 15-minute oral presentation of a detailed textual analysis of an extract from a given film
  • An externally-assessed script and rationale for a documentary programme about an aspect of film theory or history, based on the study of a number of films
  • One completed film project of 6-7 minutes, with a short written rationale

Higher-Level only:

  • The documentary script will be based on the study of four, rather than just two, complete films.
  • You will also create a trailer for your film, with a short written rationale.

Future opportunities

The course would be an ideal preparation for a university course in film. However, students who study film find it offers support for a huge range of degree-level subjects, especially in the arts and humanities.

The production skills which you will learn, as well asskills of criticism and analysis, would be an excellent preparation for a more practical involvement in film or in the creative industries.

Further information

How will I study?

You will have access to excellent resources in our sixth form library, and subject tutors will advise you on the appropriate material. You will undertake independent study, but also have access to plenty of high-quality study support from subject tutors. Seminars will be challenging and dynamic, with plenty of opportunities for you to discuss and develop your ideas. Production work will involve working in groups, although you will be assessed individually.

What extra-curricular activities will there be?

  • You will see a wide range of films at the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, where you will also attend special events, including discussions with film-makers,
  • There will be visits to the National Film Theatre in London, and to the BFI 'Mediatheque'.
  • You will have the opportunity to take part in exciting local initiatives via the Cambridge Film Consortium.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 16 October 2017
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