Is the media taking over the world? Who really controls the media? How will the media change the world? Media Studies is a vibrant subject which has a real relevance to the world we live in. Media Studies explores contemporary media issues in both a theoretical and practical context. Students will extend their practical skills, build their capacity for independent research, and gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the role media plays in day-to-day life.
“If your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.” Tom Stoppard
Automatic entry onto Level 3 courses includes students achieving 5 x A*-C or equivalent at GCSE alongside a grade 5 or above in both English and Mathematics. Students with either English and/or Mathematics at grade 4 or below will have individual meetings to determine the most suitable pathway within sixth form.
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; and media audiences.
Students are required to study media products from all of the media forms, including print media, broadcast and e-media.
The exam board (AQA) will specify a theme for the exam in advance of each exam series. This theme will be released before of the first year of study. This theme will provide a focus for some of the learning in the year immediately prior to the exams.
In addition to the broad coverage of media platforms, students will engage in the in depth study of at least one audio-visual, one print and one online media form. Each in depth study will link the specified media form to all four areas of the theoretical framework. Six products for close study will be identified by AQA each year before the first year of study. These Close Study Products will provide examples for the three media forms for which in depth study is required.
For the coursework, student will create a media product in response to a brief set by the exam board. This brief will be released in the year preceding the exam.
Students can respond to the brief using any one of the media forms detailed in tables released by the exam board.
Exam Board Website
Link to past exam papers
- This is a new course, so no past papers are currently available. Please see the above website for further details.
- 70% of the course is assessed through external examinations. There are 2 2-hour written exams, worth 35% each.
- 30% of the course is assessed internally through coursework. This will be based on practical work, focusing on a choice of topics related to the over-arching (annually changing) theme.
- All summative assessments take place at the end of the 2-year study.
Ways to help my child succeed
Ensure your child has access to a range of media products, including newspapers and access to the internet and TV news. Discuss the media and provide opportunities to widen your child’s experience of different films. Please ensure that your son or daughter reads magazines and newspapers, watches films, listens to music and the radio, and keeps up-to-date with the media and key issues within the media. Also, it would be worth following @AHSMediaFeed on Twitter and also persuading them to take part in the media related extra-curricular opportunities, such as the BBC Schools Report, which the school runs annually.
- University: Many Media Studies students gain places at prestigious universities to study both practical and theoretical media.
- Industry: Students have gone on to work for a range of leading media industries in lm, TV and social media. Further Careers in Media Studies can include: journalism, production, graphic design, web design, media and copyright law, editor, broadcaster, lm technician.
- Freelance User Generated Content: Many students are inspired to continue creating their own media production after the course and have contributed a range of media products to online institutions.