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Media Studies: A level linear, NO AS qualification at St Richard Reynolds Catholic College

Course description

What is it about?
The media plays a central role in contemporary culture, society and politics, shaping our perceptions of the world through the representations, ideas and points of view that they offer.  This course aims to explore how media texts create meaning, and how their representations of the world affect audiences.  You will also look at the economic and cultural context in which individual media texts operate, through the close analysis of a range of media texts - both "traditional" media (newspapers, television, films) and digital online media (blogs, websites). You will also develop practical production skills and will be required to produce your own media products.

Who does it suit?
Did you have your own blog, Twitter account and Pinterest board before most people even knew what those words meant? Are you fascinated by the way a news story gains momentum, an image or video goes viral, or the whole process that goes into getting an idea from script to screen? If any of these apply to you, then you will be well placed to explore this interest and develop expertise in this dynamic and powerful subject area.

Course content

What you will study in the first year:
You will study the fundamentals of Media Studies and the evolving role of the media in contemporary life.

You will also develop your ability to:
demonstrate skills of enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making and analysis;
demonstrate a critical approach to media issues;
demonstrate appreciation and critical understanding of the media and their role both historically and currently in society, culture, politics and the economy;
develop an understanding of the dynamic and changing relationships between media forms, products, media industries and audiences;
demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the global nature of the media

You will apply these skills primarily to the set topics of: the news and media, language and representation.

In the second year you will study:
You will consolidate your understanding and develop your technical expertise - creating your own media products.

You will also develop your ability to:
apply theoretical knowledge and specialist subject specific terminology to analyse and compare media products and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed in order to make informed arguments, reach substantial judgements and draw conclusions about media issues;
engage in critical debate about academic theories used in media studies;
appreciate how theoretical understanding supports practice and practice supports theoretical understanding;
demonstrate sophisticated practical skills by providing opportunities for creative media production

In addition to timetabled lessons, this subject requires 4 hours of private study per week.

Entry requirements

Minimum of 5 GCSE Grade 5 - 9 including English Language and Mathematics

Subject specific:

GCSE English Literature Grade 5


Module 1: News
What's assessed?

This section consists of two linked in-depth studies that focus on contemporary news in the UK, requiring learners to explore how and why newspapers and their on-line counterparts are evolving as media products and the relationship between both online and offline news. Learners must select from a set list.

Module 3: Media Language & Representation
What's assessed?

Learners will explore media language and representation, through set media products in the following media forms: magazines, advertising and marketing, music videos

Modules 1 and 2 will be assessed during a 2 hour exam "Media Messages"

% of A level?
35% of A level

Module 3: Media Industries and Audiences
What's assessed?

Learners will explore media industries and audiences, through set media products for:
radio, video games, film

Module 4: Long Form Television Drama
What's assessed?

Learners will engage in one in-depth study of television as an evolving, global media form. Learners must study one complete episode of a non-English language long form TV drama to inform their study. Learners must select from set lists.

Modules 3 and 4 will be assessed during a 2 hour exam "Evolving Media"

% of A level?
35% of A level

Non-exam assessment: Making Media
What's assessed?

Students will create a cross-media product in response to a set brief.

Students submit portfolios around their media product and the product itself to the exam board for assessment.

% of A level?
30% of A level


Future opportunities

This course is relevant to students considering a career in Media. It can lead directly to training, or to a place on a Media degree course. You will develop a range of skills on the course, which could lead to a number of different options in employment or Higher Education.

Further information

Students will undertake trips to the British Film Institute, Sky Television and also to seminars relevant to aspects of the course.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 14 November 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years

Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • Ms Gemma Conway
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 020 8325 4630
    • Email address: