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Sixth Form - Film Studies A Level (ALV1) at Barnsley College

Course description

This course is designed to deepen your understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of film. We will study a range of films produced in a variety of different eras and contexts. The social, cultural, political and historical contexts of film are explored, along with how filmmaking techniques can create meaning for the spectator.

A creative project allows students to create an idea for a short film of their own and to plan and produce a screenplay and photo storyboard for this.

Course content

American Film

Hollywood since the 1960s

This section allows students to explore the difference in filmmaking over time. Films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Blade Runner are compared with more recent releases, such as No Country for Old Men, Inception and Django Unchained. Students compare these films in terms of context, narrative and style.

Contemporary American independent (one-film study)

This module gives an insight into independent filmmaking and focuses on American independent films produced after 2010. Texts such as Winter’s Bone, Frances Ha!, Beasts of the Southern Wild and the award-winning Boyhood are studied for how they create meaning and generate response, and how they function as a medium of representation.

European film

British film (comparative study)

Students embark on a comparative study of two British films from different historical periods and explore questions about what may be distinctive about British cinema. Choices of films for comparison are: Brief Encounter and Atonement, A Matter of Life and Death and Brazil, The Third Man and The Constant Gardener and Sapphire and Secrets and Lie.

Non-English language European film (one film study)

The final module offers the opportunity to explore a film with a distinctive European context and theme. Pan’s Labyrinth is set in the middle of the Spanish civil war, themes of corruption and surrealism and fantasy are explored in the film’s narrative. Students are introduced to a film from a different country to expand their awareness of films from different cultures.

Entry requirements

Students who achieve a Progress 8 score of five or better will be offered a place but must also meet individual course entry requirements to guarantee a place on each of their chosen subjects.


Assessment is 70% examination, 30% internal assessment.

You will be assessed by: written essays, creative projects and presentations.

Financial information

You won’t have to pay tuition or exams fees* to study A Levels with us if you are aged 16 to 18 on 31 August 2017, if you are 19 or older and looking to study your first full Level 3 qualification or if you receive certain benefits. To find out more about tuition fees, call our Information Team on +44 (0)1226 216 123.

We know being a student can be an expensive time so we offer a range of options to help all our students, from our Learner Support Fund to the Earn 2 Learn scheme.

Financial support

If your total annual household income is less than £35,000 you could be eligible for financial support through our Learner Support Fund for travel (up to £700), If your household income is below £20,000 you could be eligible for food, trips, printing, equipment and childcare. You don’t have to pay this money back.

You can pick up a Learner Support Fund application form from Student Services on the ground floor at the Old Mill Lane campus.

Guaranteed bursaries

If you are aged between 16 and 18 and currently living on your own, in care or leaving care, you could be eligible for a non-repayable bursary of up to £1,200 per year.*

Earn to Learn

If you are aged 16 to 18 and not eligible for any other financial support you could get involved with our Earn 2 Learn scheme. This provides excellent work experience opportunities within college with departments including Marketing, Administration and Catering, and you will be ‘paid’ via a range of rewards including help with the cost of travel, trips and equipment or high street vouchers.


You can get FREE meals at college if your household income is less than £20,000 (16-18s) or £15,000 (19+). Speak to Student Services to find out more on +44 (0)1226 216 267

FREE bus services!

We realise that getting to and from college might not be very easy for everyone so we have funded three free return bus services for our students. They go to and from the Old Mill Lane campus which is just a few minutes’ walk from our Sixth Form college campus.

Shelley > Old Mill Lane campus

Stocksbridge via Penistone > Old Mill Lane campus

Rotherham via Ecclesfield and Chapeltown > Old Mill Lane campus

These bus routes are completely free for our students and operate on a first come, first served basis. Each route operates to ensure students get to college before lessons start and a return service is provided after lessons finish. Please contact Student Services for details of pick-up points and times or go to: student-support/free-bus-service

*Terms and conditions apply16 +44 (0)1226 216 123

Future opportunities

Film Studies is an excellent complement to Media, English Literature, Psychology, Sociology, Politics, Law, History, and Art and Design.

Students on the Film Studies course can progress onto a variety of Film or Media related careers such as a producer, director, cinematographer, editor, set designer, audio engineer, foley artist, teacher, screenplay writer as well as the chance to study Film Studies/Film and Media Production at Higher Education level.

Further information

Additional Learning Support (ALS)

We want every student to get the best out of their time with us. If you need any extra help, our ALS team can provide you with a range of support. The team work with students who have:



Autism or Asperger Syndrome


Learning difficulties/disabilities

Emotional or mental health support needs

Sensory impairment

Physical difficulties

Medical conditions

Temporary disabilities

If you would like to find out more about the support ALS can offer then please contact the team.

+44 (0)1226 216 769

Health and Wellbeing

Making sure you lead a healthy lifestyle will help you do your best in your studies. We offer confidential advice and a range of health services, including:

Contraception and sexual health advice

Full STI screening

Access to psychological therapies to deal with stress, depression and anxiety (IAPT)


Referrals to Barnsley Stop Smoking Service

Qualified Health Trainer


Advice around drug and alcohol issues

You can contact an adviser on: +44 (0)1226 216 233

Information Unit

We have a dedicated team available to provide information on all of our courses and to help you to make the right choices about your future. The team are based at the Old Mill Lane site.

Drop in: Monday – Thursday 9.00am – 5.00pm

Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm

Tel: +44 (0)1226 216 123


How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 28 May 2019
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