Curriculum content

Key Stage 4
Years 9, 10 and 11

Key Stage 5
Years 12 and 13 (Sixth Form)

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Head of subject

Mrs K. Ogilvie


Many consider film to be the main cultural innovation of the 20th century and a major art form of the last hundred years.

Those who study it characteristically bring with them a high degree of enthusiasm and excitement for what is a powerful and culturally significant medium, inspiring a range of responses from the emotional to the reflective. Cinema is not only entertainment: it's the art and cultural product of our time. For anyone passionate about history, texts and images – and how to interpret them – film studies is the ideal course.


What will I learn?

Film History:

• How Hollywood has developed over time, from the silent era, through to the Hollywood heydays of the 30s and 40s, and then to the 80s and 90s. For example:  The Gold Rush (1925) directed by Charlie Chaplin, Singin’ in the Rain (1952) directed by Gene Kelly/Stanley Donen, E.T. (1982). Directed by Steven Spielberg. USA, PG

• Classic British films of the 1940s e.g. Brief Encounter (Lean, 1945)

European Film Movements: (students will study two of the following)

• Soviet montage: e.g. Man with a Movie Camera (1929). Directed by Dziga Vertov. Russia

• German expressionism: e.g. Nosferatu (1922). Directed by F.W. Murnau. Germany, PG

• Italian neo-realism: e.g. Bicycle Thieves (1948). Directed by Vittorio De Sica. Italy, U

• French new wave: e.g. A Bout de Soufflé (1960). Directed by Jean-Luc Godard. France, PG

Contemporary British and American Films, and Documentary:
Learners will further develop knowledge and understanding of key critical approaches to film and of narrative, genre, representations and spectatorship.

• Contemporary British: e.g. Pride (2014). Directed by Matthew Warchus. Britain, 15

• Contemporary US: e.g. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Directed by James Gunn. USA, 12

• Documentary: e.g. The Stories We Tell (2013). Directed by Sarah Polley, 12

Global Film:

• one European (e.g.The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Schnabel, France, 2007), 12)

• one produced outside Europe (e.g. House of Flying Daggers (Zhang, China, 2004), 15).

Coursework (30%):
This component assesses one production and its evaluative analysis. Learners produce:

• either a short film (4-5 minutes) or a screenplay for a short film (1600-1800 words) and a digitally photographed storyboard of a key section from the screenplay

• an evaluative analysis (1250-1500 words).


Next step: University and Careers

An A-Level in film studies provides you with a foundation to studying the subject at degree level.

Jobs directly related to studying Film Studies at University include:

• Broadcast engineer
• Broadcast presenter
• Location manager
• Programme researcher broadcasting/film/video
• Television camera operator
• Television/film/video producer
• Television production coordinator