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Media Studies A Level at Preston Manor School

Course description

This course is designed to offer students the opportunity to develop in depth critical awareness and understanding of a range of media forms, their technical and genre elements, and their contexts. Throughout the course, students analyse and interpret a wide variety of Media products and theories, engaging with Media both familiar and unfamiliar, and learning how they communicate with audiences. Students also gain key practical production skills, applying creativity to produce an effective Media product.

The course is aimed at those who have already achieved GCSE level in English, English Literature, but not necessarily in Media Studies. Media Studies provides a range of perspectives in under‐ standing the Media and society, and complements the study of many other analytical subjects, including Sociology and English Literature, but also creative disciplines like Art and Design. In addition, the course provides an excellent foundation for further study in media‐related courses at Higher Education.

Course content

Throughout the first year of the course, students will develop an in depth knowledge, under‐ standing and ability to analyse Media products through study of the key concepts of Representation, Audiences, Media Language, and Institutions, as well as the essential social, cultural, economic, historical and political contexts in which these products are made. All Media forms (and a wide range of related examples) will be studied and sophisticated knowledge of the media and its meanings for audiences will be developed through specific in depth studies of a number of Media products. Appreciation, recognition and ability to utilise the key technical elements, genre conventions and features of different Media forms will also be established and evaluated through a series of relevant practical production tasks.

Paper 1

An in depth knowledge, understanding and ability to consider, analyse and argue key issues and debates in the media will be developed, with reference to a particular set topic. Sophisticated knowledge of the media and its significance for audiences will be established and assessed through the use of specific in depth studies of Media theories, to produce discursive written ex‐am answers.

Paper 2

As a result of consistent studies of a wide range of Media products throughout the course, in depth knowledge, understanding and ability to analyse Media products will be assessed, relating to the key concepts, as well as a grasp of appropriate and relevant contexts in which these products are made. The exam will expect students to refer to their own discussion and analysis of specific in depth Media studies from across the course and contrasting perspectives on these products in order to show how ideas, representations and meanings are communicated to audiences.

Non‐Exam Assessment: Creating a Media Product

Working in one of a series of set briefs, linking to a theme, students will research, plan and create a media product in a particular form, to communicate a specific meaning for an intended audience. This unit assesses practical skills, technical understanding and creativity.

Entry requirements

English Language 4 or Media Studies B+, B+ or 5 in a written subject.


Paper 1 is assessed through one 2 hour written exam (35% of A Level).

Paper 2 is assessed through one 2 hour written exam (35% of A Level).

Non‐Exam Assessment is production work, assessed by teachers and moderated by the exam board (30% of A Level).

Future opportunities

Students can progress onto a range of higher education course, offering academic or production‐related qualifications. Additionally, there are numerous career opportunities within the media industry: radio production, advertising and marketing, journalism, copy‐writing, digital filmmaking and audience research to name a few.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 21 November 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years