I have enjoyed Media Studies this year and have found a big interest in the media despite never doing it in high school.

Ryan Maynard

Ryan Maynard

Course Description

A Level Media Studies engages students in a depth of study of media products in relation to the four areas of the theoretical framework: media language; media representation; media industries; and media audiences.

You will study a wide range of media products, theories and contexts to develop critical analysis skills. You will also develop practical skills to produce a cross-media production which explores both traditional and digital techniques.

You will also build your capacity for independent research, engage with contemporary issues from a range of perspectives, and develop debating skills, while gaining a deeper appreciation and understanding of the role media plays in day-to-day life.

Studying Media at GCSE is not essential but a keen interest in the current media landscape is desirable – this makes the subject much more personal to you. It complements study of other subjects such as English Language, Film Studies, Art, Graphics and Photography. Anyone wishing to pursue a more specific career in the media industry such as technical or broadcasting roles should also consider Maths or Physics A Level.

Entry Requirements

Attain 5 A*-C grades at GCSE. This can include a grade 4/5 under the new grading system.

If a student is applying for an A Level course that they have studied at GCSE it is expected that a student would attain a minimum of a grade C in this subject. This includes a 4/5 under the new grading system.

Course Content

Component 1: Media Messages
You will develop knowledge and understanding of media language and representations – how meaning is constructed. You will study a range of products such as The Big Issue magazine and conduct a case study as you compare the ways in which The Daily Mail and The Guardian communicate to their audiences.

Section A covers the news (print, online, social and participatory media) and Section B covers Language and Representation (magazines, music videos and advertising).

Component 2: Evolving Media
You will develop knowledge and understanding of media industries and audiences – the relationship between producer and user. You will study a range of products such as the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show, Minecraft, and popular TV drama House of Cards. Section A studies Industry and Audience (radio, video game, film), and Section B, Long Form TV Drama (US and non-English speaking).

Component 3: Cross-Media Production
You will respond creatively to a practical brief set by the exam board to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework and digital convergence.

Assessment

Component 1: Media Messages
Written examination: 2 hours
35% of qualification

Component 2: Evolving Media
Written examination: 2 hours
35% of qualification

Component 3: Cross-Media Production
Non-Exam Assessment
30% of qualification

Future Opportunities

Media Studies A Level is an excellent course to prepare for a wide range of higher education courses but specific HE opportunities include: Communication Studies, Journalism or Digital Media Production. These HE courses could lead to a broad range of careers in the media industry such as journalism; TV producing; advertising and marketing; and graphic design.