Media Studies

Head of Department 

Mr A Smith

Examining Body


Overview of the course

AS Level:

Whilst prior study of Media Studies at GCSE is beneficial, it is not mandatory for this course.  The initial term of the AS year is primarily used to lay the foundations for the analytical skills that will be required over the two-year course whilst introducing the various media platforms that are studied across the course. There are a number of set media texts that must be studied by the students and the AS year introduces several of these whilst working with a range of media concepts including representation, language, audiences and industry.


In the A2 year, students will complete their cross media production work, informed by the analytical work that they have completed in the AS year. This allows students to produce creative media products for a media platform that they have an interest in. There are a number of other media set texts which are analysed in a similar manner to the AS year, though there is also a greater focus on more complex media theorists and an encouragement for students to be more critical and engaged with the media as a whole. 

Course Details

The course for A-Level is fundamentally based around the theoretical framework of media language, representation, media industry and media audiences.  These concepts underpin all of the analytical work that students will do with various media texts and need to be carefully considered when students are undertaking their own cross media production work.

There are several key set texts that must be studied by the A-Level Media Studies students.  Some examples of text which may be studied by the students include: Riptide music video by Vance Joy, The Daily Mirror and The Times coverage of the recent US elections, charity advertising for WaterAid, marketing for Straight Outta Compton, generic conventions in Life on Mars and The Bridge.

The course covers a number of noted media theorists, including Barthes, Todorov, Neale, Levi-Strauss, Baudrillard, Hall, Gauntlett, Butler, Gerbner and more.


Component 1: Media Products, Industries and Audiences

Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes

35% of qualification

Section A: Analysing Media Language and Representation

  • one question assessing media language in relation to an unseen audio-visual or print resource
  • one extended response comparison question assessing representation in one set product and an unseen audio-visual or print resource in relation to media contexts.


Section B: Understanding Media Industries and Audiences

  • one stepped question on media industries
  • one stepped question on audiences.


Component 2: Media Forms and Products in Depth

Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes

35% of qualification


Section A – Television in the Global Age

There will be one two-part question or one extended response question.

Section B – Magazines: Mainstream and Alternative Media

There will be one two-part question or one extended response question.

Section C – Media in the Online Age

There will be one two-part question or one extended response question.


Component 3: Cross-Media Production

Non exam assessment

30% of qualification

Possible Career Paths

Media Studies is a very flexible subject that provides students with a good knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of topics and areas of everyday life.  Primarily, the course provides students with a good grounding to work within various areas of the media industry, both practical and theoretical.  Students with an interest in journalism will have opportunities to develop these skills and learn how to effectively produce articles.

Looking further afield, careers in areas like PR are possible after studying Media Studies as the course provides a good insight into how the media industry works and how it can be used to impact upon audience responses and representations of individuals.

For further information on career opportunities related to Media Studies, we recommend visiting