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Film Studies A Level at Cirencester College

Course description

The aim of A Level Film Studies is to deepen your understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of film, the major art form of modern times. You will study a wide range of films from a variety of production contexts and develop skills of observation, critical analysis and personal reflection as well as developing creativity and practical skills either in audio-visual or written form.

Course content

AS Film Studies is divided into two modules:

  • FM1: Exploring Film Form
  • FM2: British and American Film

For the FM1 unit you will complete a written analysis of how aspects of a chosen extract from a film produce meaning and responses. You will also create and evaluate a storyboard or film sequence of an imaginary film. The FM2 unit will require you to demonstrate your knowledge of British and Hollywood films.

During the course, you will explore the world of film production, distribution and exhibition and find out how money and film marketing determine what we see on the screen. You will also consider the variety of ways in which films attract audiences, and the different kinds of film experience that are available in a digital age. Aspects of British cinema are examined such as the impact of genres and stars. You will also undertake a comparative study of two American films either from a specific genre or dealing with a specific theme.


While AS Film Studies tends to focus on mainstream contemporary American and British Cinema, the A2 places much more emphasis on independent, alternative World Cinema and many of the films we will watch will be sub-titled and completely new to you. The A2 Level will enable you to develop a broader knowledge and understanding of more diverse and alternative cinematic forms. The course is divided into two modules:

  • FM3 Film Research and Creative Projects
  • FM4 Varieties of Film Experience – Issues and Debates

FM3 is assessed through coursework and accounts for 50% of the overall grade.  In this unit you will undertake a research-based study either focusing on the personal creativity of the director responsible for a film or a specific genre of your choice. You will also be encouraged to develop your creative skills by producing either a screenplay or a short film extract, drawing on studies undertaken on this module, paying close attention to the conventions as well as developing your own creative skills. You will evaluate your own work drawing on wider research and influences.

FM4 is assessed with a two and three quarter hour written exam and accounts for 50% of the overall grade. In this module you will study films from directors such as Almodovar and Truffaut, in terms of their text, production context and audience and assess their potential messages and meanings. You will have the opportunity to respond in depth by undertaking a close study of one film from contemporary world cinema. You will also study documentary films, looking at the impact on the spectator of different kinds of documentaries. This module requires the application of key concepts and critical approaches that you will have gained throughout the course.


Assessment is through a combination of examination and coursework. FM1: Exploring Film Form is assessed through coursework and is worth 40% of the overall grade. FM2: British and American Film is assessed by a two and a half hour examination and is worth 60% of the overall grade.

Future opportunities

This qualification will help you progress to a variety of degree courses or employment. Nearly a hundred Film Studies degree courses are offered by UK universities and it is accepted as an entry qualification for other courses such as English Literature and Drama and Theatre Studies in combination with other AS and A levels. You will also gain a range of analytical and critical skills and an awareness of business and marketing which relate to an increasingly wide range of employment.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Cirencester College directly.

Last updated date: 27 January 2017
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