Film Studies

Type of qualification – A Level
Exam Board – OCR

Course Description

The study of Film is one of the greatest academic activities to engage with because it is also the study of The Human Condition.

This course will sometimes feel like English Literature because we often use similar approaches for analysis. Sometimes it will feel like History because we focus on the historical context of a film, which for us means the study of World War 1 & 2, the 1960s Indonesian Massacres and 1980s racial tension in the US to name just a few. The course will also sometimes feel like Philosophy because of our study of concepts like Existentialism, Free Will and Aesthetics. It will also cross-over with Sociology with our study of ideology, social values and representation. It does this because to study Film is to study the very nature of what makes us human.

The focus of Year 1 is on Film History. We begin with a crash-course in the concept of Film Form (mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, sound, performance) and how film is like a language – these are the micro elements of how film constructs meaning, including an introduction to an advanced level of analysis called Semiotics. Studying Film Form Micro at the beginning of the course means that when we start to look at how film has developed since the late 1800s we’ll have an understanding of the theory behind it all. It is then that we begin to understand the true power of film as an artistic medium.

These are some of the topics we will study:
Silent Cinema
Film Noir
Representation of Racism in US Film
French New Wave
German Expressionism
Documentary Film Theory
Film and Ideology
Film and Philosophy

You will become an exceptional academic writer and have the experience to progress to a variety of paths in Higher Education from the creative arts to the humanities, or into the world of work helped by your high level skills in analysis, reasoned argument and critical thinking.

What’s next

English, History and Philosophy degree courses have been recent choices for past students, sometimes combined with a focus on film production.


70% Examination
30% Coursework

General Entry Requirements

5 GCSE qualifications with minimum grade 4

Subject Specific Requirements 

Level 5 – English

What Our Students Think

“The teacher makes the lessons interesting and his passion for film inspires me.”
Laura, previously The Stonehenge School