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Film Studies A-Level at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College

Course description

Film Studies is a modern academic course designed to deepen your understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of motion pictures. It offers a varied introduction to the theory, terminology and history of this increasingly influential medium. During the course you will explore a wide range of British, American and World cinema releases, past and present, learning to analyse film in terms of technical construction, script development, narrative structure, genre, mainstream/ independent industry production practices, funding and audience reception. The course will, among other things, equip you to write critically about film, appreciate the practical subtleties of camera, editing, sound and staging, and investigate the work of specific directors and stars. Moreover, it will provide you with sophisticated analytical approaches for understanding how films communicate ideas and values to us in the dark of the cinema.

Course content

Exploring Film Form:
An introduction to key areas of Film Language (Camera, Editing, Sound, Staging etc) and the way they create meaning and effect. The unit will balance skills of sequence analysis with creative practical coursework and including storyboarding, screenwriting and the production of filmed sequences.

British & American Film:
Split into three diverse parts Section A involves a study of the Hollywood and UK film industries, processes that lie behind Film Production, plus an exploration of the audience’s role in Cinema. Section B explores British film through close analysis of the messages and values in a number of films past and present. Section C revolves around a comparative study of two American films.

Film Research & Creative Projects:
Based around two projects this unit translates theory into practice. You firstly gain the opportunity to select and research specific directors, performers, issues or technologies in depth. Secondly, a creative project will enable you to either write your own screenplay or shoot and edit your own 5 minute short film.

Varieties of Film Experience – Issues & Debates:
Within the final unit Section A explores World Cinema, viewing and analysing challenging and important non-Hollywood Cinema from around the globe. Section B considers spectatorship and the way our emotional response to film is manipulated by filmmakers. Section C considers one single film from a range of critical perspectives and draws together all of the major strands of the course. film studies AS/A2 film studies

How it is taught

Film Studies involves a blend of teacher-led introductions to key concepts, independent research/analysis, essay writing and practical production activities. 40% of the first year and 50% of the second year centres on coursework – an examination in each year makes up the remaining marks.

In your AS year you will gain a thorough grounding in film language and produce a detailed coursework essay on technical aspects of film. You will also develop your own ideas through storyboarding and short film production. A2 coursework may include writing a full script, conducting research into the work of a specific director or star and shooting and editing a short film. Within both the AS and the A2 years you will be given considerable scope to apply key concepts to the areas of film that interest you most.

Entry requirements

The usual entry requirement to QE is 5 GCSE grades at C or above including Maths or English. A good number of students study four AS Levels in their first year and to do this we require at least 3B grades and 3C grades at GCSE including Maths and English Language. Students who do not achieve these GCSE grades take fewer subjects at A Level and will be required to do resits in GCSE Maths and English if they have not already achieved a grade C in these core subjects. The College is large enough to have a very flexible timetable that allows students to take almost any combination of subjects at A Level. The advantage of this system is that we can tailor your programme to suit your needs and abilities. We give lots of advice if you decide to apply to the College.

Subject Specific

We require a Grade C or above in English Language. We prefer a grade C or above in English Literature.


Exploring Film Form - Coursework - 1st Year March

British & American Film - Film Reseach & Creative - 1st Year June

Film Reseach & Creative Projects - Coursework - 2nd Year March

Varieties of Film Experience - Issues & Debates - 2¾ hour - 2nd Year June

Future opportunities

Studying Film enhances skills in analysis, communication, and practical production, resulting in a range of transferable skills valued by universities and employers alike. It is an academic subject that provides a strong foundation for degree level study in general, building abilities in research, the written, spoken and image-based expression of ideas, and independence of thought. Employers, generally, like the confidence the subject gives.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 17 April 2015
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