Media Studies is a contemporary academic course that integrates theoretical and practical approaches to the media through a blend of coursework and exam assessment. You will study nine different media forms comprising: television, film, radio, newspapers, magazines, advertising and marketing, online and social media, video games and music videos. Overall, the Media Studies course will enhance your enjoyment, appreciation and critical understanding of the media and its role in our lives both past and present, and will develop your skills in producing your own media texts.
Media Messages: 35% of total A Level
Section A: News
You will engage in an in-depth study of contemporary news in the UK, requiring you to explore how and why newspapers and their online counterparts are evolving as media products. You will also study the relationship between online and offline news. You will analyse set media products, The Guardian and The Daily Mail but a variety of quality and popular publications will be studied throughout the topic.
Section B: Media language and representation
You will explore the use of media language and representation in consumer branding and charity advertising, alternative magazines such as The Big Issue and music videos such as Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack and Titanium by David Guetta.
Evolving Media: 35% of total A Level
Section A: Media industries and audiences
You will develop knowledge and understanding of media contexts, media industries and audiences through the study of radio with a focus on the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show, video games with a focus on Minecraft and film distribution through a comparative study of the Jungle Book 1967 and 2016.
Section B: Long form television drama
You will engage in an in-depth study of television as an evolving, global media form. You will study two specific long form television programmes. You will study one complete episode from one English language text – Stranger Things and one will be a non-English language text – Deutschland 83. You will look at how the television industry and audiences have changed and how television producers use media language to construct meaning for global audiences.
Making Media: 30% of total A Level
You will create a promotional cross-media production that includes two linked media products – print magazine and an associated website. You will respond to a brief set by OCR.
In-depth studies require you to apply and evaluate academic ideas and arguments across all four areas of the theoretical framework. You will work with theories of feminism, post-colonialism, gender performativity, identity, representation, postmodernism, narratology, structuralism, genre, semiology, audience, cultural industry and regulation.
Please note that set products are subject to change by the examination board.
(Exam board – OCR)
(Specification code: H409)
Media Studies involves a blend of teacher-led introductions to key concepts and theories, student-led research and analytical activities, extended writing and practical productions using industry-standard software. 30% of the course centres on coursework with written examination accounting for the remaining 70%. There may be occasional study days outside of college including the opportunity for overseas travel.
In this two-year A-Level student assessment takes place through two examinations (70%) and the submission of coursework (30%) at the end of the second year of study.
Media Messages: Written Examination, 2 hours, 35% of qualification
Evolving Media: Written Examination, 2 hours, 35% of qualification
Making Media: Non-Exam Assessment, coursework, 30% of qualification
You should have at least a grade 4 in GCSE English. GCSE Media Studies is not required however if it has been taken we would expect a grade 5 or above. Students should also meet the general college entry requirements for Advanced Level study.
In this subject, particular skills and aptitudes will be required, many of which will be demonstrated by students’ GCSE profiles.
Students will also need to meet the general College entry requirements. Entry requirements are subjects to change.
There is a wide choice of media-related courses in Higher Education, ranging from practical to theoretical, specialist to general. Many students from QE have progressed to undergraduate media courses while those studying other subjects in Higher Education have found the skills they have developed in research, analysis, presentation and extended writing particularly useful. To progress to future employment in the media, you will need to be able to show evidence of your creativity and technical ability, so it is important to develop a portfolio or showreel, as well as seeking practical work experience.
Media Studies combines well with a wide range of other subjects. There are potential links with Film Studies, Art and Design, English Language, English Literature, Criminology, Sociology, Psychology, and Politics, but Media Studies can also provide a refreshing balance to a programme of other subjects.