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Film Studies - WJEC AS/A Level at East Durham College

Course description

Awarding Body - WJEC

Cinema is an increasingly important part of our society. On this course we look at cinema as an art form, as entertainment, as historical artefacts and as social commentaries.

In the first year, you will learn about the ‘language’ of film and how it communicates meanings and messages to its audience. You will then apply this knowledge to the creation of your own film sequence. We will also look at British and American cinema, including British horror and US noir.

In the second year, you start to research for an independent project on a film topic of your choice, including a study of an auteur, genre, star or technological advancement. You will then create another, more complex original film sequence, applying knowledge learnt throughout your 2 years of study. For the exam, we look at a range of World Cinema pieces from harsh international urban environments to international film movements such as Surrealism. You will also partake in spectatorship studies in relation to popular mainstream cinema. Finally, we conduct two in-depth critical analyses of single films: Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999) and Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936).

Course content


AS year

UNIT 1: FM1 Exploring Film Form (COURSEWORK – internal assessment)

•One analysis of how the micro aspects of a chosen extract from a film of candidate's choice produce meanings and responses (1500 words) (30 marks)
•One creative project based on a film sequence or short film (50 marks total: sequence or short film [40]/reflective analysis [10])

UNIT 2: FM2 British and American Film (EXAM – external assessment)
Three questions, one from each section:

•Section A: Response to stimulus material set by Awarding Body based on producers and audiences of film (40)
•Section B: Topics in British Film (40)
•Section C: US Film - Comparative study of two films (40)

A2 year

UNIT 3: FM3 Film Research and Creative Projects (COURSEWORK – internal assessment)

•a small-scale research project (40)
•creative project (60 marks total: 45 product/15 reflective analysis)

UNIT 4: FM3 Varieties of Film Experience: Issues and Debates (EXAM – external assessment)

Three questions, one from each section:

•Section A: World Cinema topics (35)
•Section B: Spectatorship topics (35)
•Section C: Single Film - Critical Study (30)


Entry requirements

For a 3 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of 5 A* - C grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics.

For a 4 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of 6 A* - C grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics; it is expected that the majority of passes will be at A* - A grade.


In both years, the course is assessed via a mixture of coursework (internal assessment) and exam (external assessment). At AS, the coursework accounts for 40% of the overall grade, and the exam 60%. The exam in the first year is on 3 x 40 mark questions and lasts 2 hours 30 minutes. In the second year, the coursework accounts for 50% of the grade and the exam 50%.
The A2 exam is on 2 x 35 mark questions, and 1 x 30 mark question and lasts 2 hours 45 minutes.

Financial information

If you have been a UK resident for the past 3 years and are under the age of 19 on the 31st August, you will not usually need to pay any course fees.

Future opportunities

Film Studies provides an excellent platform in terms of knowledge and skills for those pursuing a career in the media industries.

Further information

Students who study Film go on to study a wide variety of courses at university including Film and Media theory and practical production courses, English Literature, Art, Journalism and Advertising and Marketing.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 12 April 2016
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