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Communication & Culture A Level at Aylesbury Grammar School

Course description

AS and A2 Communication and Culture are broad and flexible courses which will enable you to explore how the way in which we communicate is influenced by our experiences of the world around us.

Course content

AS course:

You will complete two units for this course, each worth 50%.

Unit One is a written exam paper lasting 1 hour 45 minutes. You will answer two questions which require short responses to test your knowledge about culture and communication and two questions which require you to analyse some stimulus material. Topics covered include verbal and non-verbal communication, group communication, personal identity and self-presentation, textual analysis and a consideration of the impact high and low culture has upon our everyday lives.

Unit Two, the coursework, comprises three pieces of independent work which will be based on a series of topics provided by the examination board each year. You will be able to choose in which format you wish to present your research (e.g. a website or power point presentation among others) and tasks will all be based on the materials you have studied for the exam, enabling you to explore what you have learned in the classroom in an independent and original way.


A2 course:

For A2, Units Three and Four build on the work completed for AS with a greater focus on communication theory and contemporary culture. Once again, half the final mark comes from an external examination and the other half from internally assessed coursework.

Unit Three is a 2 hour written exam paper. You must answer one compulsory question based on stimulus material you will not have seen before the exam. The second question is selected from a choice of five and tests your knowledge of the theories and concepts you will have studied in class. Topics include Marxism, Feminism and Postmodernism, together with how new technology influences the way we communicate. You will also consider how capitalism and consumerism have an impact on how we live our lives and how the environment we create for ourselves reflects the values we hold both as individuals and as a society. The course is designed to be flexible and wide ranging, allowing you to study topics varying from the impact of architecture to the effect that the interactive digital age has upon our lives.

Unit Four This synoptic coursework unit enables you to draw on material studied from the preceding three units to produce a major piece of independent work. Precise topics will be set every year by the board and students are invited to draw upon their own personal experiences of communication and culture to explore them in a meaningful and original way. Half of your coursework will comprise written investigations (2,000 words), typically made up of two or three pieces of work.

The other half will be more creative and applied, adapting material from your investigations to produce a web-based presentation (e.g. website, multimedia presentation, pod cast, short DVD film or blog). Examples of the type of areas you will be invited to explore include the influence of celebrities in our society and consumerism as a means of self-expression.

Entry requirements

the courses build and develop the personal and analytical skills you have already acquired from your GCSE English course and a B grade in English is a good indicator of likely success in communication and culture.

Both AS and A2 contain a substantial amount of coursework; indeed, 50% of your final mark comes from coursework. You must be able to work independently and meet deadlines if you wish to achieve good grades


Exams and coursework.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Aylesbury Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years