Media Studies

A Level


The media play a central role in contemporary culture, society and politics. They shape our perceptions of the world through the representations, ideas and points of view they offer. The media have real relevance and importance in our lives today, providing us with ways to communicate, with forms of cultural expression, and the ability to participate in key aspects of society.

The media industries employ large numbers of people worldwide and generate significant global profit. The globalised nature of the contemporary media, ongoing technological developments and more opportunities to interact with the media, suggest their centrality in contemporary life can only increase.
A Level Media Studies is a two-year course.


You will be given the opportunity to develop a thorough and in depth understanding of key issues, using theoretical approaches to support critical exploration and reflection, analysis and debate. The study of a wide range of rich and stimulating media products is central to the specification, offering you opportunities for detailed analysis of how the media communicate meanings in a variety of forms.

You will debate key critical questions related to the social, cultural, political and economic role of the media.


We will study a range of media forms:

  • Advertising & marketing
  • Film
  • Magazines
  • Music video
  • Newspapers
  • Online media
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Video games

We will study set products in all these different forms.  The exam board has chosen the set products carefully to ensure they:

  • have social, cultural and historical significance
  • cover a range of genres/styles, forms and audiences
  • represent different historical periods and global settings
  • are from different industry contexts, including those outside the mainstream
  • include products aimed at or produced by minority groups
  • reflect current and emerging developments in the media


A Level Media Studies students can go on to study the subject at degree level at university.

The skills gained will help you to succeed in the competitive creative industries in careers such as:  media planning; multimedia specialist; programme researcher; TV/film/video production; social media manager; web content manager; advertising/marketing executive; editorial roles; journalism; film/TV director; UX designer; public relations; event management; writer; cinematographer; computer games tester; proofreader; TV presenter.


Aspects of this framework are studied in the following way across the three components:

  • Exam – Media Products, Industries and Audiences (2 hours 15 minutes, 35%)
  • Exam – Media Forms and Products in Depth (2 hours 30 minutes, 35%)
  • Coursework – Cross-Media Production (30%)

For the coursework, you will have the opportunity to select forms allowing you to pursue your own media interests and develop your practical skills in this component.

Example coursework brief:  A cross-media production for a new artist or band in a genre (or sub-genre/hybrid) of your choice:

  1. Audio Visual – Original music video. 3 minutes to 3 minutes 30 seconds.  To include three or more filming locations; wide range of camera shots and movement to interpret/amplify the music and lyrics; shots of the band or artist to establish a clear identity; performance footage; representations of at least one social group; clear structure and an element of narrative conflict and equilibrium; editing of footage; graphics/titles to include title of programme, etc.


  1. EITHER (A) Online – a new, functioning website to include a working homepage and one linked page to promote your new TV programme to its target audience OR (B) Print – a front cover and double page spread feature article for a new independent music magazine to promote your artist or band to its target audience.

All assessment components are completed in Year 13.