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Media Studies A Level

The mass media have been an important field of study since the 1930s. Today, with more media around us than ever before, we spend much of our day staring at screens, or plugged into music. It is therefore essential that we understand how the media communicate with us, the different ways in which we might react and how the industries that make these products operate.

Technological change is having a dramatic effect on traditional patterns of production and consumption, as the traditional media - radio, newspapers, television and film have migrated to the internet. Media Studies provides you with the critical and analytical tools to understand how the media represent the world around us, and what processes are involved. This includes learning some key theories, particularly in the area of narrative, genre, representation and the audience.


A level students will study a two year linear A Level programme. At the end of their 1st year, students will sit internally assessed exams.


Exam Board: Eduqas



Search your university and career options if you study Media Studies A Level

  • What will I study and learn?

    You will study examples of advertisements, television programmes, social media, newspaper front pages, magazine covers and films. You will consolidate your knowledge and understanding through group discussion, debate, essay-writing, presentations, survey work, planning and making products. There is a 50/50 split between coursework and exam-based assessment.

    It is important to be well-informed about a wide range of media and to have opinions about current affairs and the way events are being reported. Above all, you will come to appreciate that all media communications contain some element of bias and that they make certain assumptions about the world that we might or might not agree with.

  • How is the course assessed?

    The first year will be assessed through:

    • Coursework, which makes up 50% of the overall mark. This consists of a research and evaluation report on a particular aspect of media, a pre-production (i.e. planning) product task linked to the report and a media production.
    • An examination of 2.5 hours, which makes up the other 50% of the overall mark. This initially requires detailed analysis of a previously unseen media text, followed by answers to questions relating to aspects of representation and audience.

    The second year will be assessed through:

    • Coursework, consisting of an academic research essay, a production linked to it and a short evaluation. As with AS, this work represents 50% of the overall A Level.
    • An examination of 2.5 hours on the work of media industries, such as television, advertising and film. This makes up the other 50% of the A Level.
  • What skills will I need for the course?

    You should be able to demonstrate a good level of written English, analytical skills and some practical and creative interests related to media. In class you should be prepared to think critically, and speak up during discussions of issues and ideas. You should also be prepared to work flexibly – in pairs and groups, as well as independently when required and you should be able to keep your work organised.

  • What formal entry requirements will I need?

    Minimum requirements - average point score of 5.5 including GCSE English Language at grade 5.


    Points calculation

    The average points score for entry to an A Level programme will be calculated using your 8 best GCSEs OR 6 GCSEs plus 1 technical qualification (equivalent to a maximum of 2 GCSEs and 10 points). From 2017 English Language, English Literature and Mathematics GCSE will be graded numerically (1 – 9. Grade 5 = a good grade C, grade 6 = grade B and grade 7 = grade A).


    To work out your average and find out more information, please see our Entry Requirements page.

  • What could the course lead to in higher education or careers?

    In higher education, media studies can lead to a degree in the same subject, or in film studies, popular culture, journalism, marketing, communications or advertising and whilst an A Level is unlikely to be sufficient qualification on its own for a career in professional media, students interested in writing, teaching, research or media production will find the course extremely useful.

  • Are there any costs involved?

    There will be at least one trip which you will need to pay for during the course. You will also need a USB drive.

  • Are you aged over 19?

    Students aged 19 or over on 31st August directly preceding their academic year may be required to pay tuition fees for that year of study. Advanced Learner Loans may be available for students studying at Level 3. If you are aged 19-23 as at 31 August and this is your first full Level 3 you may not have to pay fees.

    Students who are 19-24 years old with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) issued by the Local Authority are not required to pay course fees (ie tuition fees are free). Students will be required to provide a final copy of their EHCP provided by the LA as evidence.


    You can find A Level course fees for adults on our A Level page. 

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