What is it about at sixth-form level?
Film Studies A Level aims to enrich and develop your current enjoyment and appreciation of film. You will learn why film production is considered an art form as you study: the implicit and explicit meanings associated with specific settings and locations; why characters are represented in particular ways; how camera techniques and editing choices enhance or diminish the importance of the frame’s content; and the importance of sound- including dialogue, ambient sounds, and musical soundtrack throughout the film. The course explores how the film industry has developed and evolved from the days of the Hollywood Studio System; and teaches you why film is one of the main cultural innovations of the 20th century. You will also learn about influential film styles such as la nouvelle vague (French New Wave), realism, and silent cinema; as well as gain an understanding about why these fim styles continue to influence film productions today.
Why study it and what skills does it develop?
Film Studies is one of the most relevant subjects today. Moving image/video is a powerful marketing tool in the digital age, whilst entertainment platforms such Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ are constantly expanding their content.
Film Studies is an interdisciplinary subject which helps you develop many transferable skills relevant to further education, the workplace, and life in general. You will develop your critical skills of analysis; your creative powers of expression; and your ability to articulate your thoughts on paper and visualise your ideas on screen. This course supports career paths in film-making, directing, producing, and editing. It also provides a good foundation for more theoretical and analytical pathways such as film criticism, journalism, education, and humanities-based subjects at degree level
What prior knowledge and skills are required?
You must have a wide-ranging interest in cinema, an inquisitive nature, and a desire to learn more. The course requires you to question how filmmakers create meaning, as well as how meaning can vary between different spectators, and across time and place. A good grade in GCSE English (or equivalent) is essential to meet the comprehension, analytical and writing demands of the course.
How is the course assessed?
The course is assessed by two written exams and a non-exam assessment. Component One: Varieties of film and filmmaking. This paper assesses your knowledge and understanding of six feature length films relating to mainstream and independent American and British films from different periods of cinema. This written exam is 2.5 hours and is worth 35% of the qualification. Component Two: Global filmmaking perspectives. This paper assesses your knowledge and understanding of five feature length films (or their equivalent). The different film types examined are silent, documentary, experimental, and world. This written exam is 2.5 hours and is worth 35% of the qualification. Component Three: Production. Students produce either a short film or a screenplay for a short film and digital storyboard of a key section from the screenplay. This section of the course is worth 30% of the qualification.
To be confirmed at the start of the course
A Level Film Studies: The Essential Introduction Third Edition
By Sarah Casey Benyahia et al.
Published by Routledge, ISBN: 9780415520898
WJEC Eduqas Film Studies for A Level and AS
By Lisa Wardle et al
Published by Illuminate Publishing, ISBN: 9781911208440
Exam Board and Specification Codes
WJEC specification codes have yet to be confirmed.
"I have really enjoyed my time MPW and would recommend this college to anyone. I learnt how to work more efficiently and revise more effectively thanks to the tutorials and weekly Timed Assignments, which also allowed me to prepare myself mentally for the exams from the first day. My history teacher was phenomenal. He managed to get me to reengage with the subject, as well as giving me all the support and help I asked for and more, giving me the knowledge and exams technique needed to achieve an A*."
"The small class sizes proved invaluable for a number of reasons, some of which I did not anticipate. Aside from the obvious individual attention, the size of the class allowed for a lot of students’ questions to turn into a fruitful academic discussion. I have found the atmosphere at the college far more friendly and supportive than I expected. The support I had from my Personal Tutor was very helpful during the application process for university. I could tell that he really did care about my future and wanted to do everything he could in order to help me secure my place at my chosen university. Overall, I am pleased to say that my high expectations of MPW were fully met."
"I have definitely made the right decision to come to MPW - my grades have gone from averaging Es to straight As. Teaching at MPW is much more personal and I felt like talking to teachers. They are very good and give you lots of support if you do not understand something. My Personal Tutor took me through the UCAS process step by step. We went through my Personal Statement many times to make sure it was completely perfect. I am very excited about my firm choice."
"As a dyslexic student who initially got CCEE for my AS, I was convinced that I could not achieve any higher. My time at MPW proved me wrong. Initially I was reluctant to move from my local school in York to a college so far away from home, my parents, and friends. At the end of my first year I was overjoyed to find that many hours of hard work and renewed revision techniques had resulted in me achieving three A's in my subjects. I wanted to continue at A2 as I knew it would greatly improve my university prospects and encourage me to work even harder. After two fantastic years at MPW I can emphatically say that going to MPW was the best decision I ever made."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
Discover more at MPW
In their own words - testimonials from our past students and their parents.
MPW Cambridge was judged as Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.
At MPW we believe in making our courses fit the student’s requirements.