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Media Studies A and AS Level at William Howard School

Course description

Media A Level is for students who are interested in finding out how and why media texts are created. On our course, we focus on films and television drama. It is an academic course which analyses the media texts we watch and uses that understanding to create new ones. If you want to write about the way films and television are made and sold and combine that with making your own films, then Media A Level is the right course for you.

The skills we teach in Media – analytical writing, critical thinking, collaborative working, video editing, camera work, photo editing, planning and organisational skills – are also highly regarded in the workplace in general.

Course content

The examined element of the course is taught through the study of a variety of TV dramas and films, helping students to engage with the theory, research and key concepts relating to the media. Students discuss texts, research and present ideas, and write essays.

The coursework element is taught through practical workshops in both years: students work independently and in groups to design, produce and evaluate media texts, focusing mainly on video production but with some work using still images. Students will be expected to keep a blog using Blogger, including still images and video extracts, for the written component of the coursework.


Unit 1: Foundation Portfolio

Coursework - 50% of AS marks, 25% of total A level marks.

  • Preliminary task focusing on basic skills
  • Research, plan, make and evaluate the titles and opening sequence of a new feature film

60% of marks are for the practical work, 20% for research and planning and 20% for the evaluation

Unit 2: Key Media Concepts (TV Drama)

Written Paper, Two hours 50% of total AS level marks, 25% of total A level marks.

Two sections:

  • Section A – Analyse the representations in an extract from a contemporary British TV drama
  • Section B – one essay question on Institutions and Audiences in the UK film industry 



Unit 3: Advanced Portfolio

Coursework - 25% of total A level marks

  • Choice from a small selection of main practical video production tasks
  • Choice of two out of three minor practical tasks

60% of marks are for the practical work, 20% for research and planning and 20% for the evaluation

Unit 4 : Critical Perspectives in Media

Written paper, Two hours 25% of total A level marks

Two sections:

  • Section A – evaluation of your practical skills development over the course using media theory
  • Section B – one essay question about the past, current and possible future developments in the representation of a place or group of people




Modular Course, Four units (Two each year) - 50% examination

At AS, you will look at how media language is used to represent different groups of people in TV drama and study how particular films are produced and distributed. At A2, you will study the role media plays in creating collective identity and explain how you have used your understanding of the media in your own products.

50% practical production coursework

At AS you will produce the opening of your own feature film and at A2 you will pick from a range of projects (including film, music video and documentary) and do some photographic work to support them. You are expected to blog extensively to support your practical work.

Future opportunities

Media Studies prepares students for progression into work or Higher Education in a range of media-related areas. In addition, media knowledge is an increasingly important aspect of work in most institutions in an information society. The qualification also prepares students for the world of work in terms of meeting deadlines and working as part of a creative team.

Many students successfully progress from A level to follow degree courses in Design, Advertising, Film production, Marketing, Business and Journalism.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact William Howard School directly.

Last updated date: 13 October 2016
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