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Film Studies

Film Studies is the subject for you if you want to master cinematography or understand the most popular artistic medium of our age. You will be introduced to a wide range of different film texts and given the skills you need to analyse and investigate film.

Subject content

In every lesson, you will engage in thoughtful discussions, develop analytical skills and learn how to develop your own voice in your writing on films.

Film Studies has a large practical element in that you will plan, shoot, and edit your own short film project. We are able to offer you access to industry-standard equipment in the completion of this task.

You will be encouraged to attend the Film Club enrichment to engage with peers who have similar interests, as well as various film events, like the Barnsley College X Frontier Sapiens Film Festival.

In Year 12 and 13 you will study a range of films from a variety of backgrounds, including: Hollywood, independent cinema, British cinema, global cinema, documentary, silent cinema and experimental film. You will produce a short film, learning the following skills: screenwriting, storyboarding, cinematography, set dressing, digital editing and post-production editing techniques.

As Film Studies is both an academic essay-based subject and a practical one, there are a variety of subjects well suited to study alongside. Some common combinations are Media Studies, English Language and Literature (combined), Art and Design, foreign languages (such as French and Spanish) and Sociology.

You will study a range of films from a variety of different eras and cultures, including silent cinema, contemporary Hollywood, British cinema and global film movements.

This course is an award of WJEC. Read the course specification on the WJEC website.

Learning methods 

Lessons will typically consist of film screenings, lectures, discussions, quizzes, independent research and essay writing.

There is a creative coursework component which allows students to:

  • Produce a five-minute short film and enhancing your video editing skills using Adobe Premiere Pro.

An evaluative analysis (1,600-1,800 words) is to be written, reflecting on the finished product.

Additional entry requirements

GCSE grade 5 or above in English Language or English Literature.


You will sit two 2.5 hour long written exams at the end of Year 13 as well as submitting your short film of five minutes in length.

Progression opportunities

This A Level prepares you for further study of Film on either an academic or practical course at university, after which you can step into the film industry. You will also have developed written skills applicable to a range of scenarios and the ability to use video editing software.

Meet the A Level expert

Toby Hewitt

Toby has a BA (Hons) in Literature and Film from Lancaster University, a Master’s degree in Early Modern Literature from the University of Sheffield and has taught Film Studies for seven years.

Toby said: “Film Studies is a really interesting and diverse subject. As well as watching films we analyse them based on the technicalities of how they were constructed. We also look at the social, political and historical contexts of the film to decipher what was happening at the time the film was made, what influence this had on the film and if the filmmaker is trying to portray messages to the audience.”

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