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Film Studies AS level at Malmesbury School

Course description

The aims of AS and A2 are:

  • To develop students’ interest in, appreciation and knowledge of film.
  • To teach students how films communicate meaning and how they affect audiences through the study of film texts and spectators, producers and audiences, and messages and values.
  • To provide students with analytical and critical approaches for understanding how films construct meaning and provoke diverse responses.
  • To enable students to study a wider range of films, thereby developing an appreciation of aspects of the history of film and its cultural diversity.
  • To develop students’ research, creative and production skills through more advanced film projects.

Course content

FM1: Exploring Film Form

This unit focusses on the micro features of film and the construction of meaning and emotion.  Students will learn about the micro features of film: mise-en-scene, performance, cinematography, editing and sound.  They will identify how these features construct meaning and impact they have on the spectator.  Students will create a sequence to demonstrate how micro features produce meanings and responses.  Throughout this unit, the emphasis will be on interaction of film and spectator.

FM2: British and American Film

Section A – students will study the UK and US film industry, the audiences for films produced by these industries and their inter-relationship.

  1. The Film Industry

The American film industry – specifically contemporary Hollywood, including its impact on UK audiences;

The British film industry – specifically the contemporary industry, including issues of independence, distinctiveness and profitability.  Aspects of finance, organisation, production, distribution (including marketing) and exhibition will be studied, particularly through case studies.

  1. The Film Audience

Film Demand and supply, specifically in the UK today

The consumption of film, cinema-going and the importance of home cinema and the internet, together with the significance of digital technologies

  1. The Interrelationship between Producers and Audiences

This will be studied through Case Studies and may cover UK and Hollywood film producers, genre and stars, film marketing, film reviews and exhibition.

Section B: British Film Topics

Students will study one topic with a focus on how macro elements of film, particularly narrative, construct meanings and raise issues

British Film and Culture – This topic looks at a particular moment in British culture and considers how film responded to this moment.  The focus should be primarily on film narrative and the themes these narratives convey.  There will be some specific focus on contextual knowledge and on issues of representation.  The principal emphasis, however, is on engaging with the chosen films.  The candidate must show a detailed knowledge of a minimum of two films.  The cultural period for examination is Swinging Britain: 1963-1973

Section C: Comparative Study

Two US films will be chosen from a specific genre or dealing with a specific theme.


FM1: Exploring Film Form

  • Coursework 40% of AS, 20% of A2
  • Students will be required to submit a portfolio of two assignments.

FM2: British & American Film

  • Exam 2.5 hrs 60% of AS, 30% of A2
  • Students will answer three questions on the following topics: Producers and Audiences

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Malmesbury School directly.

Last updated date: 07 September 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year