Film Studies

Film Studies Subject Lead:   Mr Birks 

Film Studies is offered at GCSE and A Level, both with WJEC Eduqas (the awarding body), to provide students with a firm grounding in the subject and opportunities to build their portfolio for applications to university, college or apprenticeships. Creative opportunities are combined with a detailed study of films that students will analyse in their GCSE exams.

Film students explore and create a wide variety of films, including familiar areas of film such as US Hollywood and UK independent cinema, and also more challenging topics such as non-English language cinema and classical Hollywood. When analysing films, students explore issues of genre, context, narrative and representation.

Film Studies students are taught how to plan, shoot and edit their own films using the department’s HD cameras, tripods and editing software. This develops students’ creativity, cinematography, planning and teamwork skills. To enhance their own productions, students analyse the use of camera, editing, lighting, sound and mise-en-scene in the films they study for the exams from a filmmaker’s perspective, using those techniques in their own filmmaking. In preparation for the exams, students develop essay writing, communication and analysis skills. This balance of written and practical work fully equips students for a rich variety of A Level subjects and future careers.

Analytical skills, the ability to respond articulately in written form, and creative skills are beneficial in this subject. The most essential requirements are a passion for films and a curiosity about how they are made.



Although Film Studies is not taught as a separate subject at Key Stage 3, the topics that students study in English allow them to investigate aspects of the media, such as how the media works and how to analyse a media text. These topics include advertising techniques, film studies and non-fiction texts like newspapers.


At GCSE we study films from the following categories: modern Hollywood, US independent cinema, UK cinema, non-English language global cinema, English language global cinema, classical Hollywood, and the history of film and film technology.

As part of their coursework, students create their own film or film scripts. This enables students to demonstrate their understanding of film production (or pre-production if choosing a script), whilst also providing students with the chance to develop key skills, including research, storyboarding, filming, editing and evaluating their own creative work. These are all essential, challenging and hopefully fun aspects of film craft.

Students take two exams at the end of Year 11, during which they will be assessed on one film from each topic studied during the two years.



Film is one of the most significant cultural innovations of the 20th Century. Our aim is to develop passionate filmmakers and perceptive film analysts, by exploring a rich variety of cinema, comparing cinematic styles from different eras and countries. Film students study a diverse range of stimulating topics, including: Hollywood past and present, independent cinema, European and UK cinema, documentary and short films. Students also study key film movements, such as modernism, the Avant Garde or post-modernist cinema. Our course is designed to use analytical study of filmmakers and how films are constructed to develop your own filmmaking. In this way, students’ studies will balance practical production skills, theoretical understanding and written analysis. This creative and challenging subject promises to be deeply rewarding for enthusiastic, inquisitive film students.

GCSE Film Studies or Media Studies are not required to study A Level Film Studies, although students find it provides a helpful platform.

Additional information/ related activities

Additional information/ related activities

The BFI on London’s Southbank offers the chance to interact with examiners and industry professionals who can offer students valuable insight into how to develop their skills, both theory and practical.


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