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Culture and Communication A-Level at Abbeywood Community School

Course description

The course will appeal to students who are interested in topics such as exploring the meaning of fashion and the power of popular music; the messages we communicate in the process of body modification and dancing; the centrality of codes to understanding our daily routines. You must be capable of looking at everyday experience and be prepared to think critically and analytically about who we want to be and what we are allowed to be. Students will be expected to undertake independent research in a field of popular culture that interests them. Meeting tight coursework deadlines and working independently is essential as is an interest in modern technologies as a means of presenting coursework.

Course content

What will I study?

The course starts by introducing students to the debates around popular and high culture drawing on their experience of cultural products. Students are invited to collect and collate cultural data from a range of sources and begin, in independent settings, to apply their developing knowledge of a range of critical methods to popular cultural products and practices and how they shape our identities. After developing their ability to use a number of toolkits they learn to deconstruct cultural texts from different perspectives. During this process students are introduced to a wide range of theories and research to do with cultural studies, and debate their relevance to their own findings. In the spring term students embark on their coursework portfolio. They produce three pieces of work on identity, cultural practices and the interrelationship between the two. One piece has to be presented in a multi media format.

How will I learn?

Learning takes place in a range of contexts and styles including independent research in the fully equipped Post 16 study area. Lectures and interactive hands-on-learning are also some of the ways by which the course is taught. Trips out to collect data are also an element of the course.

Entry requirements

At least 5 GCSE grades A*- C including English Language


Module 1 is an exam and is worth 50% of the final grade at AS. The paper has four questions. Engaging with critical theory, debating how identity is formed and analysing unseen cultural products are at the heart of the exam.

Module 2 is the coursework and involves producing three pieces. One of these is a multi media piece that brings together the work on identity and culture. Students have full choice in this section and their work is expected to be different from other students on the course. The coursework makes up 50% of the final grade.

Further information

In recent years students have gone on to study Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, Journalism, Business Studies, English Literature and Media Studies at University. Jobs in journalism, television, radio and the culture industries in general are popular destinations for successful students.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 27 April 2015

Key information