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Media Studies A Level at Liskeard School and Community College

Course description

Whether or not you studied Media at GCSE, this course will provide you with a critical insight into the media across a wide range of platforms ranging from the web to feature length cinema.

The course requires that contemporary media is explored, therefore many of the texts studied have not yet been created! In addition to the cultural and critical insight you will have the opportunity to produce, edit and direct your own productions. The subject is superbly well resourced, with a dedicated Media Studio and classroom, with digital cameras for multiple shot set-ups; iMac G5s to edit, sound engineer and DVD-author with Final Cut Studio to a professional standard.

Course content

AQA GCE Media Studies
This brand new structure to the course and is divided into four Units, two for AS level and two for the A2. A summary of the range of themes studied each year are listed below.

AS Level Course

Unit One: Investigating Media

The aim of this unit is to enable candidates to investigate the media by applying media concepts to a range of media products in order to reach an understanding of how meanings and responses are created. A study of media forms will engage with media language, narrative and genre, as well as offering insight into the values and ideologies underpinning the media. Texts will range across media platforms: Broadcast, E-Media and Print.
• Section A: An exploration of an unseen text based upon four short answer questions.
• Section B: An essay based upon a cross media case study undertaken during the course. The case study will emerge from close study of either Film or Documentary.

Unit Two: Creating Media Coursework

In this unit AQA will set a Production Brief to be completed by the candidates. The Production will engage with two of the three media platforms from Unit One. The two products will be linked. The Productions must be fully realised and be supported with appropriate research and thorough Pre-Production materials. On completion of the Productions a single Evaluation will be written considering genre, media language, representation and audience.

  • Pre-Production and Realised Production: 80%:  The Pre-Production material may take the form of a shooting script, storyboards as well as comparative research offered by the Production Brief. The Production must consist of original work throughout.
  • Written Evaluation: 20%:  The evaluation will assess the Production’s success both technically its appropriate realisation when held against the Production Brief.

A Level Course

Unit Three: Media and Critical Perspectives 

This is a synoptic unit and candidates will demonstrate their holistic understanding of the media. Encouragement will be given to the study of theory and debate and texts will be considered in their wider social, political and cultural contexts. Areas for consideration may include Representation and Power, Regulation and Censorship, Genre and Audience theory, Post 9/11 and the Media, as well as Gender and Ethnicity, Marxism and Hegemony, and Postmodernism. In addition to this candidates will develop Case Studies focusing upon Representations in the Media. Here a profound exploration of a social group will provide the material for Section B in the examination.

  • Section A: Based around AQA stimulus material candidates will respond to three questions demonstrating their knowledge and understanding: 40%
  • Section B: A single essay answer that will reveal the candidate’s full synoptic ability and understanding Representations in the Media: 60%

Unit Four: Media Research & Production Coursework

This unit is designed to allow candidates to demonstrate their understanding of the link between media research and practical production work. Candidates will individually explore a text, theme, issue or debate within the contemporary media landscape and use this research to inform their own production. Suitable areas for the Unit will be submitted by the centre to AQA for approval.

  • Critical Investigation: A 2000 word investigation appropriately referenced with secondary reading and bibliography.
  • Linked Production: A fully realised production clearly emerging from the Critical Investigation. Unlike the Production from the AS Unit Two there is no need to submit Pre-production material

Entry requirements

  • Essential (for students who have NOT studied GCSE Media): 
    Grade C or higher in GCSE English
  • Essential (for students who have studied GCSE Media): 
    Grade C in Double-Award GCSE Media and 
    Grade C in GCSE English or GCSE Language with 
    Year 11 Media target met or exceeded, and
    Year 11 Attendance being over 90% rising to 100% in Year 12
  • Preferable: Grade B or higher in GCSE Media, and a Grade C or higher in GCSE English Language
  • Recommended: Grade B or higher in both GCSE Media and GCSE English/Language


AS Level Course

  • Unit One: Investigating Media 2 hour exam (50% of AS or 25% of A Level)
  • Unit Two: Creating Media Coursework (50% of AS or 25% of A Level)

A Level Course

  • Unit Three: Media and Critical Perspectives 2 hour exam (50% of A2, 25 % of A Level)
  • Unit Four: Media Research & Production Coursework (50% of A2, 25% of A Level)

Future opportunities

Media Studies A Level is an excellent training for any employment involving communication and/or creative media production. In addition, it provides a very useful background to further study in Film Studies, Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, Broadcast Production, Journalism, Education, Psychology or Sociology.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Liskeard School and Community College directly.

Last updated date: 20 February 2017

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