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Communication and Culture (AS/A Level) at New College Swindon

Course description

This is a new A Level that replaces Communication Studies.  The questions asked are:

Have you got a mobile phone or MP3 player?  How important are they to you, and why?  Why are they designed the way they are?  Can they tell us anything about ourselves and the way we relate to others?  As objects, what do they mean?

It takes your everyday as its starting point to make the subject more interesting, accessible and challenging.  You learn about your culture: its unwritten rules and codes, its power structures and value systems – and its importance for your own sense of identity.  You will also place your own culture within wider contexts to gain an understanding of cultural difference and cultural diversity.

The aims of this new A Level are to:-

  • emphasise cultural aspects of communication
  • provide a framework in which you relate your own life experiences to academic debates
  • engage you in a wide range of interesting and well-supported coursework tasks
  • give you a thorough grounding in the analysis and understanding of cultural products and cultural practices
  • reflect developments in Higher Education, but at a level that is accessible and stimulating

Course content

You will have the minimum of a GCSE grade C in English Language (or equivalent) (we prefer a grade A or B).

You need an interest in a multi-media world, and an awareness of current social and political issues.  You will have a genuine desire to study these areas in an academic way.


  • Study Programme

AS Level

  • Understanding Communication and Culture: explore and understand how people communicate in different places, and different times, and in different ways.
  • The Individual and Contemporary Culture – portfolio: ­ research and develop your own oral presentation about culture, and show your skills.

A2 (A Level)

  • Communicating Culture: ­ explore the big ideas on how our world communicates with itself.  What do you think?
  • Culture and Communication in Practice – portfolio: ­ put your interests and ideas into practice by using all your communication skills, with a focus on body-modification and cinema-going.

You will learn by various methods and develop the habit of reading appropriate texts, reading a range of newspapers and using a variety of media.


For the AS Level qualification you will be assessed in two areas:

  • Understanding Communication and Culture (exam): four questions to respond to in 1¾ hours
  • The Individual and Contemporary Culture (coursework):
  • presentation on a cultural subject
  • investigation (500 words)
  • exploration of cultural products (1000 words)

For A2 (A Level) you will also be assessed in two areas:

      Communicating Culture (exam): two essays to be written in 2 hours

  • Culture and Communication in Practice (coursework):
  • case study (2000 words)
  • web-based presentation


50% of both the AS Level and of the A2 will be coursework.

Future opportunities

Communications is important in a wide range of careers, from management, advertising, media work, journalism, personnel and public relations, to social work, nursing and teaching.

It also combines well with many other A Levels to provide entry to Higher Education, including specialist courses in communications, the media and cultural studies.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 28 April 2016

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