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Media Studies AS/A2 at Trinity School

Course description

The AQA Media Studies course offers students a comprehensive and integrated coverage of both practical and theoretical media perspectives. The course enables students to explore, investigate and debate a wide range of contemporary media issues and debates, spanning a thorough media landscape. There are also significant opportunities for students to create their own media products throughout the course, staying within AQA design briefs, but ultimately giving them freedom to produce and investigate products in a style and platform (broadcast, print and e media) that interests them.

The course is a solid stepping stone into the ever changing and diverse media industry and further studies.

Course content

Year 1 (Year 12) - Year 12 is divided into Unit 1 (MEST 1) and Unit 2 (MEST 2).

Unit 1 and Unit 2 provide an integrated and complementary introduction to the study of the media and the contemporary media landscape. The content of both units is underpinned by a set of key media concepts and media platforms eg:

Media Concepts

• Media Forms

• Media Representations

• Media Institutions

• Media Audiences


Media Platforms

• Broadcasting

• Digital/web-based media (e-media)

• Print


Year 2 (Year 13) - Year 13 is divided into Unit 3 (MEST 3) and Unit 4 (MEST 4).

For Unit 3 candidates will be required to study two pre-set media topics on at least one of the three media studies platforms. For Unit 4 candidates will produce a media product linked to their research for an individual critical investigation. In both A2 units students should look at cross-cultural factors and the effects of globalisation on the media where appropriate.

Students will be expected to investigate the following media theories and debates:

Media Debates

• Representation

• Media effects

• Reality TV

• News Values

• Moral panics

• Post 9/11 and the media

• Ownership and control

• Regulation and censorship

• Media technology and the digital revolution – changing technologies in the 21st century

Media Theories - Media analysis eg:

• Semiotics

• Structuralism and post-structuralism

• Postmodernism and its critiques


Politics and the Media eg:

• Gender and Ethnicity

• Marxism and Hegemony

• Liberal Pluralism

• Colonialism and Post-colonialism


Consumption and Production eg:

• Audience theories

• Genre theories


Entry requirements

It is expected that students have at least a B grade in English Language.

It is not a requirement of the course for students to have previously studied Media Studies at GCSE Level.


Year 1 - Unit 1 – MEST1 Investigating Media - 50% of AS, 25% of A Level. 2 hour written examination (80 marks)

Two sections: A – four compulsory short answer questions & B – choice of one from two essays

Unit 2 – MEST2 Creating Media - 50% of AS, 25% of A Level. Practical unit, internally assessed and externally moderated (80 marks). Externally set production briefs. Two linked production pieces taken from two of the three media platforms studied in Unit 1 plus 1500 word evaluation.


Year 2 - Unit 3 – MEST3 Media: Critical Perspectives - 25% of A Level. 2 hour written examination (80 marks).

Two sec tions: A – three compulsory questions on unseen stimulus pieces & B - one essay from a choice of two topics.

Unit 4 – MEST4 Media: Research and Production - 25% of A Level. Practical unit, internally assessed and externally moderated (80 marks). Two sections:

Critical Investigation (48 marks)

Linked production piece (32 marks)


Future opportunities

The media industry continues to be one of the most rapidly developing and changing industries in society today. As consumers, we continue to use the media as an integral shaping of our identities and how we communicate with each other. The Media Studies course gives students the opportunity to explore important elements of how we use and create the media, while giving them a strong theoretical basis for their understanding. Media Studies places emphasis on developing independent thinking skills, research skills and creativity throughout the course.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 November 2016
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