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Media Studies: A-level

Qualification: A-level

Exam Board: AQA

Entry Requirements: Grade 5 in English Language or GCSE English Literature; or a Grade 4 in either English Language or English Literature together with a good result in a technical media related subject e.g. iMedia.


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Discover how the media shape our lives

“We make the media and then the media make us” is the starting-point for this exciting course. How has a global, non-stop media changed the ways we see the world and experience our lives? And what part will we play in the media of the future?

Over the two years we will study a wide range of media products in their contexts: films, television programmes, websites, computer games, newspapers, magazines, radio programmes and music videos. The focus will be on deconstructing these to better understand how they make meaning - and to use them as models for our own creative media products.

Media Studies is a truly contemporary subject that is relevant to all our lives. If you are interested in how television, newspapers, films, magazines, computer games, social media and the internet influence and shape the way the world we live in, then A-level Media Studies may be for you.


The course

The course comprises two exams (70% of the grade) and a coursework component involving the creation of media products (30%). Continuous assessment will be used to inform the student's progression in Year 13 and their registration for the A-level exam.

We look closely and seriously at a range of media products such as television crime dramas, music videos and magazines. To do so, we apply theories about the media (sociological, psychological, and political) and debate the theories’ usefulness and relevance today. For example, we look at the ownership of newspapers and the impact that might have on the news we are receiving; and we look at how gender and ethnicity are represented in video games.

As well as studying media products, students have the opportunity to make their own. This means that students apply their knowledge of media products studied in the course to their own creative work.


Beyond the classroom

Past activities have included:

  • Attended special screenings at the Into Film festival.
  • Visited the Museum of the Moving Image in Bradford.
  • Guest speakers from the worlds of marketing and media.
  • Students are encouraged to take part in events organised by the Showroom in Sheffield.
  • Students are encouraged to enter competitions as they arise.
  • Some students have got involved in media projects within school, e.g. filming and editing a school concert.



You could move on to a Media Studies or related degree such as journalism, marketing, TV/radio/film, advertising, or public relations course. There are apprenticeship opportunities in broadcasting and journalism and junior roles in marketing. You'll have transferable skills including the following: analysis, visual communication, problem-solving, presentation and organisational skills as well as technical skills such as using creative media software.