A Level Film Studies


AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

Students are encouraged to attend the cinema regularly in addition to viewing and analysing key films in class. However, Film Studies is not all about watching films! Students must also immerse themselves in film culture, which includes extensive reading and gathering information from the media and the internet. The two units are interrelated and are taught using an integrated approach, although the course necessarily begins with an introduction to the basic elements of film form (editing, sound, narrative, etc.) which will lead naturally to the coursework. Weekly written tests, research homework and note-taking ensure that students are fully prepared for all aspects of both units.

AS Specification Number
WJEC 2181


Unit 1: Exploring film form

20% of A level
This coursework unit comprises two pieces of work: 1500-word analysis of a short extract from a film of the candidate’s choice and a short script outline (1000 words) followed by a commentary on the process of writing it.

Unit 2: British and American film

30% of A level
Written exam
This written exam comprises three sections:

A - Producers and Audiences
One stimulus-response question from a choice of two, on all aspects of the film industry and the consumption of films by viewers.

B - British Film Topics
One question from a choice of four on the two Ealing comedies (‘The Man in the White Suit’ and ‘The Ladykillers’).

C - U.S. Film: Comparative Study
One question from a choice of two, on the two American Film Noirs, ‘Gilda’ and ‘Farewell my Lovely’.

Viewing list

British Films    
Alexander Mackendrick  The Man in the White Suit  Ealing Studios 
Alexander Mackendrick  The Ladykillers Ealing Studios 
American  Films    
Edward Dmytryk  Farewell my Lovely  RKO Studios 
Charles Vidor Gilda Columbia Studios



A2 Level

MPW approach to A2 study

Skills learnt at AS level are developed and refined in the more demanding A2 units. The A2 units require hard work and make greater intellectual demands than AS. Class discussion and private research will be consolidated by homework and weekly test essays.

A2 Specification Number
WJEC 3181


Unit 3: Film research and creative projects

25% of A level
This coursework unit comprises two elements: firstly, a small-scale research project on a topic of the candidate’s choice and secondly an excerpt from a film script devised by the candidate and accompanied by a self-appraisal.

Unit 4: Varieties of film experience – issues and debates

25% of A level
Written exam
The candidate answers three questions, one from each of the following sections:

A - WorldCinema
Topic area: German Expressionism (‘Caligari’ and ‘Metropolis’)

B - Spectatorship
Topic: Popular cinema and emotional response (‘Psycho’ and ‘The Third Man’).

C - Single Film - Critical Study
Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’.

Viewing list

German Expressionism    
Robert Wiene The Cabinet of Dr Caligari Ufa
Fritz Lang Metropolis Masters of Cinema (DVD ed.)
Popular film and emotional response  
Carol Reed The Third Man London Films
Alfred Hitchcock Psycho Paramount Pictures
Single film critical study    
Charlie Chaplin Modern Times Universal Pictures


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University College London (Economics) 

“Honestly, I could not imagine when I joined MPW that, due to language and adaptation barriers, I would achieve top grades in my first A-level exam sittings. This view changed completely after only a few weeks in the college’s supportive and motivational environment; with teachers who aimed at finding a personal touch with each student and with my Personal Tutor who made my adjustment to the UK education system not only an easy step in my life but, more importantly, an enjoyable one.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
King's College London (International Relations)

 “The teachers really helped me overcome any difficulties I came across; they always seemed willing to offer support be it inside or outside of the classroom. I could safely say my teachers inspired me to work hard and aim for the best, sometimes simply by being passionate about what they do.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University of York (Law) 

“Having a Personal Tutor to discuss ANYTHING with, from my UCAS application to organising my life in general, really did make life at the college more streamlined and in general less stressful.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University College London (Economics)

“My subject teachers and Personal Tutor have been very patient and helpful in supporting my studies and university application.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University College London (Mathematics and Statistics)

“International students have many aspects to think about, such as accommodation and guardians, but MPW surprised me by having a highly organised and supportive administration. Also, because most MPW Cambridge students are local, as an ‘international’ student, I found this very useful in both improving my English and in giving me a taste of a genuinely ‘English’ college.”