British Board of Film Classification

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Student guide

The BBFC Student guide offers a detailed overview into all aspects of censorship and the age ratings process, from key moments in history to recent ratings  decisions. All of the material is written by expert BBFC staff and often uses original source material to provide a unique insight into the work of the BBFC.


If you would like to know how the BBFC has dealt with specific issues, you can use this section of the Student Guide to guide you through important landmarks in BBFC  history from 1912 to the present day.

BBFC History

This section of the Student Guide provides a detailed history of the BBFC's decisions decade by decade, covering controversies and landmark decisions.



The BBFC is required to consider whether material submitted for classification is in conflict with the law, or has been created through the commission of a criminal offence. This section of the Student Guide covers all aspects of the law to which the BBFC must adhere.


Rating Process

This section of the Student Guide provides an overview of the age ratings process and more detail on each of the issues that must be taken into consideration by Examiners when viewing works submitted for age rating. There are also sections on Cuts, Controversial Decisions and Rejects and Appeals.


The Issues

Here is an in depth look at the key issues (like sex, violence, language, discrimination, drugs etc) used when rating works in the UK, including key decisions and information about how the Guidelines are used in practice.

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