A-Level Media Studies
Head of Department
Why study this course?
What skills does it develop?
- Critical thinking skills – questioning and analysing the media landscape
- Researching, planning and production skills as part of coursework
What careers might it lead to?
A wide range of media-related careers as we study television, film, advertising and marketing, online.
What level of prior knowledge, attainment and skills are required?
What are the entry requirements?
A grade 6 in GCSE English Language.
Who would it suit?
Students looking for a mixture of the academic and the practical – a key feature of the course is analysis of specific media texts and the key concepts behind them, but this is complemented by a practical coursework element.
What subjects might it combine with/lead to?
Media Studies combines well with a wide range of courses because of the academic/practical mix – common other A levels include Graphics, English, Psychology, Humanities, Drama.
What does the course cover and how is it structured?
In class we study the key media concepts such has genre, audience, identity, narrative and then apply this to the main media forms such as television, radio, film industry, print and the internet.
Students analyse a range of Close Study Products as specified by the exam board.
Approximately a third of lesson time will be spent on the practical element, which involves students making two media products chosen from a list of options provided by AQA.
How is the course assessed?
Section A will focus on Media Language and Media Representations. Questions in this sections 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:
- Film (industries only)
Questions will relate to an unseen source and Close Study Products (chosen and updated annually by AQA), plus two essay questions.
Questions will focus on the in-depth media forms of television, magazines and online, social and participatory media/video games.
Questions consist of medium length unseen analysis and essay-style responses.
Non exam assessment: Creating a cross-media production – assessed by teachers, moderated by AQA; 30% of A level
Students choose from one of six annually changing briefs, set by AQA, to produce a statement of intent and a cross-media production made for an intended audience.
How can families help?
What family trips might be useful?
Regular visits to the cinema to see a range of types of film genres.
What activities might parents encourage?
Parents could help by providing their child with regular access to a quality – i.e. broadsheet - daily and Sunday newspaper; they regularly have very useful coverage of media texts and developments in the media industry.