A Level – Film Studies


This course is for anyone who has a keen interest in Film and wants to understand how the film industry works, how to analyse films, how to make films, and how films ‘work’ for audiences.

  • Who Is This Course For?

    This course is for anyone who has a keen interest in Film and wants to understand how the film industry works, how to analyse films, how to make films, and how films ‘work’ for audiences.

    Film is essentially an optical illusion, and yet we react very strongly to it, expressing laughter, fear, shock and happiness; and the emotions which films can generate often remain strong in our memory. We know it’s not real, and yet we react as if it is real. How do films manage to have such an effect on us?

    Why do audiences identify with characters? How does the film industry design films which attract certain audiences?

    This course will be of interest to anyone who enjoys the cinema but wants to know far more about the aesthetic qualities of film: the narrative structure, and the use of cinematography, editing, light and sound, and how all these different elements combine to create meaning and generate a strong emotional response.

    This course will also be of interest to anyone who wants to develop their skills of analysis and learn to think critically. Film Studies is a subject intended for those who like to become involved and learn through active participation. Lastly, for all these reasons, Film Studies complements a range of other subjects very well, such as English Literature, Media Studies, Psychology, Sociology, and Art and Design.

  • Course Details:

    The new linear A Level Film Studies course is divided into three components with two exams and one non-examined assessment—meaning that students are assessed on their written academic ability, as well as having the opportunity to gain marks through the practical aspect of filmmaking.

    Exam Board

    Eduqas (WJEC)

    Component 01 – Film History: (2.5 hour exam – 35% of A Level qualification)
    This component assesses knowledge and understanding of six feature-length films.

    Section A: Hollywood 1930-1990 (comparative study)

    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two Hollywood films, one from the Classical Hollywood period (1930-1960) and the other from the New Hollywood period (1961-1990). Focal films may include: Vertigo (Hitchcock ,1958), and Bladerunner (Scott, 1982).

    Section B: American film since 2005 (two-film study)

    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two American films, one mainstream film and one contemporary independent film. Focal films may include: La La Land (Chazelle ,2016), and Boyhood (Linklater, 2015)

    Section C: British film since 1995 (two-film study)

    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two British films. Focal films may include: Sightseers (Wheatley 2012) and Under the Skin (Glazer 2013).

    Component 02 – Critical Approaches to Film (2.5 hour exam – 35% of A Level qualification)
    This component assesses knowledge and understanding of five feature-length films (or their equivalent).

    Section A: Global film (two-film study)

    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to two global films: one European and one produced outside Europe. Focal films: Pan’s Labyrinth (del Toro , Spain, 2006) and City of God (Mereilles, Brazil, 2002).

    Section B: Documentary film

    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one documentary film. Focal film: Amy (Kapadia, UK, 2015)

    Section C: Film movements – Silent cinema

    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one silent film or group of films. Focal film: Sunrise (Murnau, US, 1927)

    Section D: Film movements – Experimental film (1960-2000)

    One question from a choice of two, requiring reference to one film option. Focal Film: Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, US, 1994) .

    Component 03 – Production (Non-Examined Assessment for Y1 and Y2 Film Studies—30% of A Level qualification).

    This component assesses one production and its evaluative analysis. Learners will spend 7 weeks working on the Production component in both Y1 and Y2 to ensure the highest possible quality of work.

    Learners produce:
    – either a short film (4-5 minutes)
    – a screenplay for a short film (1600-1800 words) plus a digitally photographed storyboard of a key section from the screenplay
    – an evaluative analysis (1600 – 1800 words).

    Please note that due to A Level reform the exam board and set texts for A Level Film Studies at Wyke are subject to confirmation, and may change prior to 2018 entry.

    How the course is delivered

    Each Film Studies class takes place in a dedicated Film Studies classroom, with the resources appropriate to the course immediately to hand. Our students also have full access to the range of equipment and facilities available for Film and Media students to use in the Editing Suite.

    Teaching and learning combine presentations and discussions, with film analysis, group work, research exercises, skills-based activities, and practical work drawing upon student creativity.  We expect students to be actively involved and encourage independent learning and critical thinking.

    Departmental Enrichment

    Over the years the Film Studies Department has taken Film Studies students to:

    • Over the years the Film Studies Department has taken Film Studies students to:
    • The National Media Museum,
    • Special screenings during the National Schools Film Week
    • Screenings at the Hull Film Festival
    • Screenings and lectures at The University of Hull and The University of Lincoln
    • The Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London
    • The British Film Museum at the BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX in London
    • New York Film Academy in New York.
    • Berlin and the Berlin Film Festival.

    In 2015 and 2016, Wyke Film Studies students have been successful in gaining around half of the 20 available places on the Hull BFI Film Academy (which draws upon students from Hull, the East Riding and North Lincolnshire). This scheme gives the students an incredible opportunity to work with local Oscar and BAFTA winning film talent such as Writer / Director Mark Hermann and Producer, Chris Hees.

    The Film Studies Department

    The Film Studies Department consists of Emma Philipson (Head of Subject).

  • Progression:

    The media industries in this country employ over half a million people, and contribute enormously to the UK economy, bringing in vast revenues from overseas sales of British products. Consequently, there are substantial career opportunities for those with a background in Film Studies.

    Because this course combines academic study with the practical and creative elements of film production, it provides an excellent foundation for those who wish to go on to study various academic subjects at university, such as Film Studies and Media Studies, but also to those who prefer to study practical/vocational degree courses such as Film and Media Production, Film and Television Production, and Broadcast Media Production. Moreover, because of the aesthetic, design and marketing elements of the course, and its focus on the analysis of set texts, Film Studies complements a variety of other subjects, for example: English Literature, Sociology, Psychology, and Art and Design.

    The subject provides more than just knowledge: it provides training in analytical thinking, and develops a variety of transferable skills. Industry and commerce want people who can think for themselves, absorb a lot of information, ask critical questions, analyse problems, research information, present reports and communicate clearly. All these skills can be acquired through the study of Film.

    Consequently, the study of Film is suitable for students intending to pursue a broad range of careers in, for example, journalism, broadcasting, the law, marketing, the heritage industry, the leisure and tourism industries, and publishing. It is also highly appropriate for students who are intending to pursue business or managerial careers.
    Finally, for students wanting to pursue a career in the film and television industries, there is a considerable range of career paths available: producer, director, editor, cinematographer, sound engineer, production design, set design, general researcher, location research, lighting engineer, legal department, marketing, script development, etc.

    Our class of 2017 are currently studying a range of Film Studies or Film / Media Production courses at:
    – Birmingham City University—Film and Animation; English and Media
    – Hull University—Creative Writing and Film Studies
    – Leeds Becket University—Broadcast Media Technologies; Filmmaking; Fashion Marketing
    – Leicester University—Film Studies
    – Lincoln University—Film and Television; Drama and English
    – Northumbria University—Fashion Communication; Film and TV Production
    – Salford University—Film Production; Media and Performance
    – Sheffield Hallam—Film and Screenwriting
    – Staffordshire University—Film Production
    – York St John—Media Production

    Students were also successful in applying for a range of courses outside of film as an academic discipline, demonstrating how the skills that they developed in Film Studies helped them to access the following courses:
    – Cardiff University—Education
    – Hull University—Business Management; Sociology and Criminology; Game and Entertainment Design
    – Leeds College of Art—Graphic Design
    – Sheffield University—English Literature
    – Manchester University—Sociology and Criminology
    – University College London—Philosophy.