Media Studies

A Level

Course Entry Requirements

Five A* – C grades at GCSE including a grade 4/C in GCSE English Language.

If you are interested in joining the College we will arrange a meeting with an experienced subject counsellor who will help you to choose courses that best suit your ambitions and achievements.

All entry requirement details are correct at the time of publication, September 2018, however, the College may need to make some changes by September 2019 in the light of student demand, staff availability and external factors beyond the College’s control.

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What will I study?

Year One Content:

Term 1: Media Framework – the first term will introduce to the key concepts (Media Studies Framework) through which the rest of the course (both exams and the coursework element) will be taught through. The five key areas this framework covers are:

Language / Representation / Industries / Audiences / Context

Term 2: Component 1 (Exam) – 35% of the overall qualification. This exam (not to be completed till year 2) allows you to study a breadth of media forms and products. Includes investigating the media framework of media language, representation (Section A), Industries and audiences (Section B). Integrates the teaching of a series of set media texts alongside a variety of other texts to compliment them. The media focus areas for Component 1 are:

Advertising & Marketing / Music Videos / Newspapers / Film (Marketing only) / Radio / Video Games

Term 3: Component 3 (Start) – 30% of the overall qualification. The final term of year 1 will be dedicated purely to the early planning stages of your cross platform coursework. You will need to produce two pieces of creative work sharing a common theme – these will be Radio, Film, Magazine / Newspaper, Website based (although this will vary year after year). This theme will depend on the briefs released every year – so they will change often and frequently.

Year Two Content:

Term 1: Component 3 (Finish) – 30% of the overall qualification. You will need to complete both of your two chosen platforms (meeting the requirements of your selected brief) by the end of this period. Teachers will work with you to maximise your best possible grade, to stand you in better stead approaching your two exams (Component 1 & 2) at the end of this second year.

Term 2: Component 2 (Exam) – 35% of the overall qualification. Investigating specific contrasting Media Forms and Products within the fields of TV Shows, Magazines and websites / online blogs. The media focus and set media texts for Component 2 are:

TV Crime Drama / Magazines / Websites & Blogs

Term 3: Component 1 & Component 2 Exam Revision – Revision for both exams, recapping on last year’s study of Component 1 coupled with last terms work on Component 2. Complete with workbooks, activities, exemplars and revision grids to prepare for the final phase of the course. Exams to be taken May – June.

What skills do I need?

  • an awareness and enthusiasm for watching Films, TV shows and Music Videos
  • an awareness and enthusiasm for reading magazines and newspapers
  • an awareness and enthusiasm for listening to the radio
  • an awareness and appreciation of marketing and advertising
  • a willingness to work independently at times (sometimes during holidays)

Examining Board


Why should I study this course?

An A Level in Media Studies will give you a deeper insight into how the media works in the UK and around the world. You will understand the processes involved in exchanging information, and how the entertainment industry is structured. This includes the film industry, music industry, video games industry, print (Newspapers & Magazines) industry and new media (E-Media).

If you’re contemplating a career in the media, or are simply interested in any of the above media sectors, you should find this course stimulating and enjoyable. It also compliments many of the core subjects you may study at A Level, offering you a range of transferrable skills.

You’ll write various essays requiring skills of analysis, interpretation and debate. You will be able to comment on topics like globalisation of the media, democracy in the online age, advertising, media regulation and the impact of social networking sites on traditional media platforms. The coursework component of the A level will allow you to produce media texts in print, radio, film, or web design (although the emphasis will be in print and web design).

All 3 components will be completed in the second year, although Component 1 will be studied in the first, and Component 3 (coursework) will be started in year 1 and completed in year 2.

How is the course assessed?

Component 1 and 2 exams are externally marked in Year 2.

Component 3 coursework unit is internally marked and externally moderated in Year 2.

What will this course prepare me for?

The Media Studies course will not be enough on its own to get you a job in Hollywood, the BBC or the Times –but it will give you an insight into any media career and will show potential employers the depth and seriousness of your interest. The A Level will give you practical skills in media production and enable you to get more from your consumption of the media.

If you hope to stay on in education Media Studies is accepted by Universities. Media courses in Higher Education are growing in popularity and this whole area of study is rapidly expanding.

Media Studies graduates find employment in many fields. Past students have gone on to work in PR, journalism, working for the BBC and Sky or teaching within the field.

Private Study

As an approximate guideline the A Level requires 4-5 hrs weekly.

What materials will I need to purchase?

You will need to provide your own stationary such as paper and pens in order to make notes etc.  The college provides work booklets for the course that you will use during the lessons. Also useful would be a USB memory stick to back up all work, especially your practical coursework. A home internet connection would also prove useful if you wanted to save your work virtually on the ‘cloud’.

How will I be taught?

A mixture of taught case studies, analysis tasks, work book completion, note taking, research assignments, presentations, film and TV text screenings, online activities and hands on work with media technology (especially for the Component 3 – Coursework unit).

A Level Media Studies is for you if:

You are looking for a media course that looks at the theory behind how media products are created and used to evoke particular responses from the audience. If you wish gain knowledge and build skills discussion, debate and writing at length about media products. The course also allows you to learn practical skills to create your own media products such as magazine articles or your own website.

A Level Media Studies is not for you if:

  • You do not watch TV Shows, Films, adverts or music videos
  • If reading magazines and / or newspapers bores you
  • Listening to the radio is not your thing
  • Websites and blogs do not interest you
  • You find the concepts of advertising and marketing uninteresting