Media Studies

Media studies is a good choice for students that like to be intellectually challenged but also like some elements of a vocational subject as you will be making your own films, writing copy for print media and developing photographic and image manipulation skills.

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Entry requirements

What you learn

Notably, media studies requires students to apply good levels of written English, use of grammar and spelling as much of the course deals with analytical deconstruction of media products and application of a theoretical framework. 

It is a contemporary subject as it relevant to all our lives – media forms saturate everything we do in the 21st Century. Furthermore, providing you with the tools to analyse and critique the media affords you the chance to see the ways in which organisations mediate messages and potentially manipulate the way we think.

Studying media studies at A Level allows access to many undergraduate courses and the creative media industries in the UK and global market employ a vast amount of people.  Just think about all the media we engage with on a daily basis and the amount of skilled operative and creatives needed to produce the many media products available to us.

The Course Structure

This qualification is a new linear course. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of two years. You will study the following core concepts:

  1. Media language
  2. Media representation
  3. Media industries
  4. Media audiences


Paper 1 is a written exam: 2 hours and it will make up 35% of the A Level. Questions will focus on issues and debates in the media. A topic will be released in advance of the exam. Students will be expected to use any relevant elements of the theoretical framework in order to explore the ideas in the paper.

Paper 2 is a written exam: 2 hours and it will make up 35% of the A Level. Questions will focus on the analysis of media products, through the lens of the theoretical framework. Students will be expected to refer to the Close Study Products (CSPs) provided by AQA and other products they have studied. They will also be expected to demonstrate understanding of the contexts in which the products were created.

Non-exam Assessment – creating a media product: Makes up 30% of the A Level. Students produce a statement of intent and media products across media platforms. A choice of topics will be provided by the exam board each year.

Potential Careers

  • Camera operator
  • Journalist
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Programme researcher, broadcasting/film/video
  • Public relations officer
  • Runner, broadcasting/film/video
  • Social media manager
  • Television/film/video producer
  • Web content manager

 Entry Requirements

Subject Qualification (Level 3) Required GCSE Grades
(in addition to Sixth Form entry requirements)
Additional Information
Media Studies A Level 6+ English Language  

What You Learn

Our Learning Journeys have been created to give you a flavour for the types of topics students study in each year at our school. They show what will be covered throughout the year and during each half-term, but please note there is some flexibility to what is taught when. We hope you find them helpful.