Media Studies

A Level
2 years
Curriculum Manager: 
Barbara Murray

What is Media Studies?

Media Studies gives you a chance to learn how to interpret the wealth of media products which surround us. It requires critical skills and the ability to analyse in depth aspects of popular culture. We look at how texts (e.g. programmes, magazines and films) are constructed and explore their social, historical and political context.

Is Media Studies suitable for me?

If you are interested in magazines, advertising and the world of television and online media, this course is for you. You will focus on interpreting how messages are packaged for audiences and learn how to write about these matters in an academic way. Students particularly enjoy transferring their analysis into practical projects such as TV adverts and music videos, which they might undertake for coursework.

Current Media Studies students say:

"The technical equipment helps with presentations, making them more visual. This also helps with understanding and learning."

This subject is exciting, interesting and challenging."

How will I learn?

Lessons will vary from formal lecture style teaching to small group work, student research and presentation projects. Teaching is always interactive and due to the subject matter we expect students to bring their own experience of the media to discussions.

The media department is well resourced with its own TV studio, computers, DTP software, digital cameras and editing software. Homework will include background reading from academic textbooks, essay writing and research projects. We expect a student to undertake a minimum of 4 to 5 hours of independent study a week.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: Meanings and Representations in the Media – written exam 2 hours   30%

Component 2: Media Forms and Products in depth – written exam 3 hours  40%

Component 3: Cross Media Production Coursework – 30%


The course prepares you for a number of academic or vocational routes. It is a useful grounding in theory for those students who want to take a practical course at university. It should be noted that this AS/A Level course is largely an academic course and will not provide you with a portfolio of practical work. Many students go on to study film or cultural studies or more vocational areas such as public relations, advertising and communications.

Entry requirements

Students should normally have achieved an A*- C grade profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C.

You need to have an active interest in the world of media and enjoy watching films, TV and reading newspapers.

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own stationery. Any further costs are outlined below:

Essential: £20 for textbooks.

Desirable: Costs for the practical work are estimated to be around £10 per student.

There is a £20 refundable deposit for use of equipment such as cameras and tripods.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.



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