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Film Studies at The Bishop's Stortford High School

Course description

Examination Board: WJEC.

'Writing, painting, photography, dance, architecture - there is an aspect of almost every art form that is useful and that merges into film in some way.'

Sydney Pollack (Oscar-winning director, producer and actor).

The AS and A2 specification in Film Studies is designed to deepen students understanding and cultivate their appreciation and enjoyment of film. The specification grows out of the cineliteracy the students will have developed informally since childhood.Students will study Cinema as a medium, as an art form and as a social and economic institution. They will also engage with a wide range of different kinds of film, developing skills of observation, critical analysis and personal reflection.

Looking forward to undergraduate study, they will learn to use the work of academic experts and theorists in their own analysis. In addition, Film Studies has a strong practical element and students will have the opportunity to get to grips with the practical demands of filmmaking and create their own films.

What makes a good Film Studies student?

Enthusiasm. We do not expect students to have an extensive knowledge of films, or of film production, but students are encouraged to extend beyond their existing knowledge with the films screened throughout the year. It is important that students are willing to engage with a wide variety of films and able to undertake independent research of the film industry and its audience. Students are encouraged to develop their own areas of interest in film, and as such should expect to be watching films regularly in their own time.

In terms of formally assessed work, it is important students develop further good essay writing skills and critical thinking skills through the year so that they can deconstruct a film with ease.

What can I expect to learn in Film Studies?

Our aim is for students to become more familiar with a wide range of cinema, concentrating on US and UK films and industries at AS, and moving on to World Cinema and Film Movements at A2. Students will develop the theoretical underpinning of the study of film.

In practical terms, students will learn how to plan, script, shoot and edit their own filmmaking projects. University research concludes that students find Film Studies a very popular subject choice, highlighting the opportunities for debate and cross-curricular study.

Film Studies students usually go on at least one field trip a year. Past trips have included screenings in National Schools Film Week and trips to the British Film Institute (BFI) in London.

Students will be offered support and advice in making and entering their own creative work in festivals and competitions.

As a liberal arts subject, it has links with many other subjects including Media Studies, English, Philosophy, Theatre Studies, Modern Languages, History, Psychology, Government and Politics, Art and Music.

Entry requirements

B grade or above in GCSE English Language or Literature.


Examinations: 30% at AS level, 25% at A2 level.

Coursework: 20% at AS, 25% at A2.

Future opportunities

A-level Film Studies will provide a strong base for progression to undergraduate studies in Film Theory, Film Criticism and Film History. Many students go on to study Film and Film Production at university.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Bishop's Stortford High School directly.

Last updated date: 26 May 2015
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