Students do not need to have studied GCSE Media Studies to take the subject at A Level, although it provides them with a good foundation of skills, which they can develop. The A Level course extends students' skills of analysis, expecting them to demonstrate their knowledge through the rigor of formal academic essays. It also allows them to use their creative skills designing and creating their own texts.
The A Level Media Studies courses includes two exam modules, one on ‘Investigating Media Language Representation in the Media’ worth 30% and one on ‘Investigating Media Forms and Products’ worth 40%, and one coursework module in which you have the opportunity to create your own Media production piece worth 30%. The Year 13 course asks students to consider the same Media products introduced at Year 12 level in more depth, with greater emphasis on how theories and contextual factors can be evaluated to help our understanding of the products. The coursework element requires students to have some creative flair and a strong understanding of computer skills and software.
The exam modules are split into 2 sections. Component 1 is aimed to provide students with a framework for analysing the media and has requires them to explore representations and audience/user responses. We explore genre, narrative, representation and audience reactions through a range of media texts, ranging from television and film marketing, music videos and video games, to magazines, newspapers, webpages and blogs.
Component 2 asks students to study in depth six case studies set by the exam board based on the industries of television, magazines and media in the online age. Students will also need to learn a wider range of case studies in relation to music videos and video games, advertising and film marketing, newspapers and radio news/ current affairs programmes. Within these they look in depth at analysing the texts within their social, cultural and historical contexts, their representations and audience responses and also investigating the industry context of production, marketing and regulation.
The coursework module will be completed by students in Year 13, this requires students to create their own cross-media production with one print based task and either one audio-visual or online task both in relation to the same media form and genre. Students will be asked to create a magazine and accompanying website for the same brand to fit the brief set by the exam board.
Six 9-5 (A*-C) GCSE grades with at least four at grade 6 (B) including grade 6, in English and in other subjects to be studied at A level
It is not necessary for students to have studied Media GCSE.
You could take this course with other advanced level courses such as English, to prepare for higher education in Media-related courses, related courses in the Arts or Humanities, or more general higher education courses. With Further training, you could go into a job related to media such as a Journalist, News Reporter, TV Producer, Public Relations Officer The course also helps you develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for, especially in the media and Communication sectors.