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Media Studies (AS/A Level) at New College Swindon

Course description

This exciting and popular academic subject offers you a chance to study in detail the way the media communicates with its audiences.

You will also be involved in production work, where you can put your knowledge to practical effect.

The focus will be on the major media forms: TV, film, radio, music, print media and web-pages.

Course content

Year One – AS Level


(Please note this course places more emphasis on essay writing and analysing than it does on production work.)


  • Unit 1 Representations and Responses

You will study the techniques used in the construction of different media products including TV, films, magazines, newspapers, DVD covers and websites.  The aim is to be able to analyse what and how they communicate to their audiences.  This will also take into account what is represented about social groups, issues and events and what people learn about the world through the images and information they receive and how they respond.


Unit 2 – Production Unit

You compile a production portfolio made up of three components.  You will storyboard, shoot and edit a music video for a local artist. Of equal importance to the production is thereport you write about production processes and audiences and what you have learned. Media theories must be embedded in the report.


Year Two – A2 (A Level)

  • Unit 3 – Investigative Research Project

You will write an 1800 word essay on a piece of independent research, for example, into the representation of teenagers in two British films, followed by a production that is based on your chosen area of investigation.  This will involve work that uses different technology from that which you used in Year 1 and so in Year 2 will focus on a film trailer production.  You will also do an evaluation of this project.


  • Unit 4 Media Industries

This unit tests your ability to make connections across the course.  It will be based on your knowledge and understanding of media information, the audiences who receive it and the industries which produce it.  Our chosen industries are Film, Television and Popular Music.

Entry requirements

As a minimum you should have a GCSE grade C or above in English Language to enable you to record information, write essays and analyse production processes in which you will be involved. Because of the emphasis on analysing media texts you will find it to be an advantage if you have wider experience of analysis eg by having studied English Literature or Media or Film at GCSE.

To respond fully to essay questions it is important that you have a good level of literacy and can write accurately and coherently.  Achieving a grade B in GCSE English Language will indicate that you have those skills and is a preferred GCSE grade entry qualification.

It is also important that you can work constructively as a member of a team, be able to communicate your ideas, take responsibility for moving production work forward, and show initiative.


The production and research units are coursework and are assessed internally and externally moderated.  This will be 50% of your overall mark. All the other units are assessed by examination.

Future opportunities

You may wish to go into a Media related career, working in any of the areas mentioned above, or you can use this qualification as a stepping stone to Media courses at university.

If you intend to go on to Higher Education, you can combine Media Studies with any other AS/A Level offered by the College.  You can choose a programme that is more specialised – perhaps Media/Film/Photography – or more diverse, depending on your interests.

The skills you acquire in Media Studies will be very useful in a wide variety of careers – public relations, advertising, marketing, and teaching.

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

Key information