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Film Studies A Level at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

You will start off by exploring how aspects of film form and language are used for expressive effect. This includes an examination of the creative decisions involved in Mise-en-Scene, Cinematography, Editing, Special Effects and Sound and a consideration of how the structuring concepts of Narrative and Genre control meaning and audience response. You will be provided with opportunities to textually analyse different films and engage in research involving aspects of film history and theory as part of your coursework.

You will move on to learn how the film business works in the Audiences and Institutions section, looking at industry economics, new technologies, marketing and the power of Stars. There will extended close study analysis of specific influential films and directors and through contextual study you will discover how films often reflect and comment upon society and social change and how the medium both shapes and reflects the times in which it is produced. These ideas will be examined in modules two and four.

You will also have the opportunity to demonstrate a practical application of your learning in creative work for modules one and three, perhaps making a film of your own, writing a step-outline, designing a storyboard or penning a short screenplay.

No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul and, one thing is for sure, after taking the course you will never see a film the same way again.

Course content

FM 1  (Coursework)

The aim of this part of the subject content is to introduce you to Film Language, exploring different varieties of films, including Blockbusters, Independent, British and American films.  This area of study introduces you to methods of film analysis to explore concepts of audience, genre, messages and values and representation. It also introduces you to the study of Mise-en-Scene and how meaning is created through Film Language.


FM 2 (Exam)

The examination is 2hrs 30mins and covers three topic areas

  • Producers and Audiences
  • British Film - Horror and Comedy
  • American Film - Comparative study

You will complete an AS qualification in this subject based on the modules covered in Year 1.


FM 3 (Coursework)

The aim of this area of study is to allow you to explore the format of Film and Scriptwriting. You may carry out a group project in Film or an individual one in Scriptwriting.  The coursework also requires you to carry out an individual research project into three films of your choosing, linked by Genre, Director, Star, Technology or Institution.

FM 4 (Exam)

The examination is 2hrs 45mins and covers three topic areas which you can choose from:

  • Surrealism or Power, Poverty and Conflict
  • Documentary or Emotional Response
  • Close Study. A choice of set film - Fight Club, Vertigo, Talk To Her or Modern Times.

Entry requirements

The basic requirement is five GCSEs at grade C, preferably with English at a grade B or above and at least one creative subject.


Your achievement in this subject is dependent upon excellent attendance, punctuality and effort. You will learn in a friendly atmosphere, using a variety of assessment methods:

  • You will be assessed regularly on written essay work that is conducted either as homework or under timed conditions in class and given feedback on your progress. You also will be assessed regularly on film terminology.
  • Discussions and presentations are a vital part of our assessment process and you will be expected to contribute to those and other exercises.
  • Reviewing progress regularly with your lecturer.
  • You will undertake mock examinations on each unit in advance of your final exams.
  • You will be formally examined on each unit that you study. The examinations are traditional and essay-based, and are sat at the end of the first and second year, although mock exams will be administered in January of the first and second year to ensure progress. Coursework in the first and second year is compulsory.

Future opportunities

A qualification in Film Studies is highly valued by many universities and employers alike. Film Studies is also an excellent subject to complement many courses, such as Media, English, Psychology, Sociology, Photography, Art and Design.

Further information

We encourage all students to read widely and conduct their own research into Film, especially those who wish to study Film or Media at degree level. We expect you to actively engage with the online resources as part of the Moodle, Scoop.It & Twitter communities. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

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