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Media Studies AS/A2 Level at Alton College

Course description

Media Studies gives you a chance to learn how to interpret the wealth of media products which surround us. It requires critical skills and the ability to analyse in depth aspects of popular culture. We look at how texts (e.g. programmes, magazines and films) are constructed and explore their social, historical and political context.

If you are interested in newspapers, film, advertising and the world of television this course is for you. You will focus on interpreting how messages are packaged for audiences and learn how to write about these matters in an academic way. Students particularly enjoy transferring their analysis into practical projects such as trailers and music videos, which they undertake for coursework.

Course content

Lessons will vary from formal lecture style teaching to small group work, student research and presentation projects. Teaching is always interactive and due to the subject matter we expect students to bring their own experience of the media to discussions.

The media department is well resourced with its own TV studio, computers, DTP software, digital cameras and editing software. Homework will include background reading from academic textbooks, essay writing and research projects. We expect a student to undertake a minimum of 4 to 5 hours of independent study a week.

Entry requirements

Students studying a 3 or 4 AS level programme should normally have achieved an average GCSE point score of 5.5 or above and at least a grade C in Maths and/or English (unless specified otherwise). Students with a point score between 4.5 - 5.5 will normally take a mixture of Subsidiary Diplomas and AS levels.

You need to have an active interest in the world of media and enjoy watching films, TV and reading newspapers.


Coursework: AS – 50%; A2 - 50%

Assessment at AS Level
Media Representations and Responses - written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes
Media Production Process - Production and written report

Assessment at A2 Level
Media Investigation and Production - coursework
Media – Text, Industry and Audience - written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes

Financial information

All students will be expected to provide their own stationery. Any further costs are outlined below:

Essential: £20 for textbooks.
Desirable: Costs for the practical work are estimated to be around £10 per student.

There is a £20 refundable deposit for use of equipment such as cameras and tripods.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our websi

Future opportunities

The course prepares you for a number of academic or vocational routes. It is a useful grounding in theory for those students who want to take a practical course at university. It should be noted that this AS/A Level course is largely an academic course and will not provide you with a portfolio of practical work. Many students go on to study film or cultural studies or more vocational areas such as public relations, advertising and communications.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 05 August 2016

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