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Course Content

A-level Media Studies engages students in the in depth study of media products in relation to the four areas of the theoretical framework:

  •   · media language
  •   · media representation
  •   · media industries
  •   · media audiences.

Students are required to study media products from all of the following media forms:

  •   · television
  •   · film
  •   · radio
  •   · newspapers
  •   · magazines
  •   · advertising and marketing
  •   · online, social and participatory media
  •   · video games
  •   · music video

Film is an inextricable part of the wider media landscape, which is intimately connected with other media, such as television, video games and online media. However, to avoid overlap with GCE AS and A-level film studies, film should not be a primary object of study in this context. Students may study individual feature films, but this must only occur in the context of cross-media study, which explores the convergence of media platforms and technologies, or in the context of the study of media industries. For the purposes of this specification, film will only be studied in the context of the study of media industries.


Media One – What’s assessed?

Section A will focus on Media Language and Media Representations. Questions in this section will test the following forms:

  •   · advertising and marketing
  •   · music video.

Section B will focus on Media Industries and Media Audiences. Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms:

  •   · radio
  •   · newspapers
  •   · film (industries only).

How it’s assessed

  •   · Written exam: 2 hours
  •   · 84 marks
  •   · 35% of A-level


  •   · A range of questions relating to an unseen source and Close Study Products.
  •   · Two essay questions (20 marks), one of which is an extended response question.

Media Two – What’s assessed?

Questions will focus on the in-depth media forms of television, magazines and online, social and participatory media/video games.

How it’s assessed

  •   · Written exam: 2 hours
  •   · 84 marks
  •   · 35% of A-level


  •   · One medium length unseen analysis question.
  •   · Three essay questions (25 marks), one of which is an extended response question and one of which is a synoptic question.

Non-exam assessment: Creating a cross-media production – What’s assessed?

  •   · Application of knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework.
  •   · Ability to create media products.

How it’s assessed

  •   · A choice of one of six annually changing briefs, set by AQA.
  •   · 60 marks
  •   · 30% of A-level
  •   · Assessed by teachers
  •   · Moderated by AQA


Students produce:

  •   · a statement of intent
  •   · a cross-media production made for an intended audience.


Financial Information

The Academy will not charge for books, materials, equipment and instruction in connection with the National Curriculum or Statutory Religious Education taught at school, except where parents have indicated in advance their wish to purchase the product.

Exam Charging Policy:

–  Students with less than 85% attendance may, under the discretion of the Sixth Form Office, be asked to pay for their exam entry.

–  Exam resits that are made at the request of the post 16 students will be charged at full price.

–  When it is not possible to obtain a refund, full price will be charged to students for:

–  the Summer Exam entry, if they withdraw from the subject after 20 April.
–  non-attendance at an exam without good reason.

– BTEC students, who leave the Academy prior to the conclusion of the course, will be charged £50.


Future Opportunities

This A Level course prepares students for progression on to higher education courses in media studies, cultural studies, film studies, communication studies, media production, television studies, literature etc. in a range of media-related areas. This course can provide career opportunities in journalism, advertising, marketing and public relations for example.

Further Information

This course will help you develop three relationships with the media. As a ‘consumer you’ll become more aware of the many ways in which media messages are presented to us, as well as discovering how the institutions which produce and distribute media products are trying to reach you. And if you want a career in media, producing and evaluating your own media productions will give you a real hands-on understanding of both how media messages are created and what they are aiming to do.