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Film Studies at St Edward's College

Course description

Over the last century, film has become a global art form as well as a major vehicle for popular culture. Most of us have ‘grown up’ with film and can readily identify (and identify with) its defining images, stars and genres. But is there more to film than Hollywood? This exciting and deeply satisfying course will help you find out. If you enjoy cinema, then you are already, to a significant extent, ‘film literate’. The A Level course aims to build on the knowledge and experiences you already have to increase your understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of film and develop your critical, analytical and research skills. Film Studies is both demanding and richly rewarding - it is by no means an easy option, but its challenges can be highly enjoyable!

You will certainly develop your analytical and critical skills. From the outset, you will be trained to ‘read’ a film in depth, exploring the film maker’s art and technical expertise. You will learn to examine the film maker’s intentions and to assess his/her effectiveness in conveying ideas to the audience. You will also have the opportunity to research aspects of film you consider particularly interesting and present your findings via coursework assignments. There is also the opportunity to make short films of your own and submit them as coursework. Many pupils find this the most rewarding aspect of the course.

Course content

The earlier stages of the course focus on your experiences of film to date. This, for many pupils, probably means the most popular mainstream movies and genres from Hollywood. You will be encouraged to reflect on what you already know and th
en to assess critically and confidently an ever-widening range of films. In class you will be presented with a combination of extracts as well as whole films for discussion, but viewing outside of the classroom is essential. Throughout the course, the em
phasis is on the pupil’s personal response. It is important to remember that you willbe taught how to think rather than what to think

Entry requirements

B grade in GCSE English


Assessment is via a combination of written exams (55% of total mark) and coursework (45% of total mark).
Module One Coursework An in-depth analysis of a film extract and a piece of practical work.
Module Two British and American Film Examination: 2 hours 30 minutes.
Module Three Coursework A small-scale research project and a creative project.
Module Four Varieties of film: Issues and Debates Examination: 2 hours 45 minutes.

Future opportunities

Film Studies sits very comfortably alongside other humanities subjects. Indeed, the skills and knowledge you will acquire complement many other A Level courses, most notably English Language, English Literature, History, Art, Business Studies and ICT. It provides excellent grounding in critical thinking and twentieth-century social and economic history, for example, while offering valuable opportunities for developing ICT skills, and so would serve as a stepping- stone to a very wide range of university courses. Naturally, it lays the foundations for pupils interested in a degree or a career in film and the media in general, but it is also a useful contrasting humanities qualification for pupils taking the sciences.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Edward's College directly.

Last updated date: 16 August 2016

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