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Media Studies A Level at Sandwell College

Course description

In the wake of the phone hacking scandal, the role and ownership of the media has come under examination more than ever before. The media can be used to infringe freedoms and protect the powerful. However, as the events in Egypt showed, modern media such as Facebook and Twitter can be used to bring down dictatorships. Media Studies looks at the mass media as a commercial industry, who runs it, how it is funded, how it targets specific audiences and the techniques or languages that it uses to appeal to them. If you like to understand the modern world and the way it is changing, Media Studies may be for you.

Course content

Media can be studied in either your first or second year as an AS Level qualification or over two years as a full A Level.

For the AS Level we look at media language, genre, narrative and audience:

• The different components of media products; what we see/hear and how it is presented across the various platforms of broadcasting, print and e-media
• How these different components are used differently according to the audience that is intended for the product.

We analyse a variety of media products across the media platforms, preparing the students for a ‘practical criticism’ exercise in the examination and we undertake a case study of a particular topic across the mass media. Coursework consists of research and practical work on tasks given by the examination board.

The A2 part of the course has a more theoretical approach and we use a variety of frameworks that seek to understand the mass media from different perspectives. The second year is very student-centred, with students undertaking their own case studies on the representation of a social group of their choice and an investigation and accompanying practical task into a topic of their choosing.

Entry requirements

All students studying for A Level would be expected to have five GCSEs A*-C in academic subjects (of which two must be B grades) including a GCSE in English Language at B or above. Students will need a D grade at AS Level in order to progress to A2.


Both AS and A Level Media are assessed through a mix of coursework and written examinations; examinations and coursework are weighted equally at 50%.



Future opportunities

Students who have studied Media often follow the subject at degree level or study for related arts subjects such as English Literature, Music, or Photography.

The study of Media is useful in a wide range of careers such as television, journalism, arts administration, public service, teaching and charities.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Sandwell College directly.

Last updated date: 01 June 2016

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