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Luton Sixth Form

Media Studies (A Level)

Why study Media?

According to the Government, the creative media industries generate 1.68 million jobs and add £71.4 billion to the economy each year. They are also one of the UK’s fastest growing economic areas. Media today reflects everything in the modern
world, including trends, fashion and opinion; it’s the first place we look for news, information and guidance, and helps us identify who we are. Media A Level allows you to develop your critical understanding and thinking. The course also encourages an understanding of global media, an engagement in critical debates around certain media theories and the opportunity to produce your own media texts.

Entry Requirements

In addition to our general entry requirements, you must have:

  • GCSE English – grade 4

No previous knowledge of Media is required.

The Course

The course is a vibrant mix covering many different media platforms, producers, genres and different eras of media. At least one media product produced before 1970 is studied, and at least one media product produced for a non-English speaking audience. At least one media product produced outside the commercial mainstream is studied, as is at least one media product targeting or produced by a minority group. You will study film, television, radio, music videos and video games, print media such as magazines and newspapers, websites, social networking, and advertising. You will also study audiences and the effects media have on the viewers, listeners and readers. To meet the requirements of the course, students are expected to undertake 6 periods (or 4-5 hours) of independent study per week. This would include writing up class notes, organising and reviewing your media folder and completing homework tasks. Work on the college VLE also provides extension work.

Course Activities

You will be expected to take notes, contribute to class discussions, write timed essays, give presentations and produce media coursework using software such as Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and digital video and stills cameras. You are not expected to have used any of this equipment or software before; full tuition will be given.

Career and Progression Opportunities

There is progression to careers in the media such as television, publishing or radio, or related areas such as advertising, marketing, events management, independent film production, corporate video work, and IT. The creativity and understanding of audiences is useful for many mainstream organisations who require ‘media savvy’ people, such as local councils and arts organisations. The course also allows progression to a range of degrees in similar and related areas.

Course Structure and Assessment

The syllabus is divided into three components and there are two examinations at the end of the two-year course.

Component title and content Assessment

Component 1: Media Products, Industries and Audiences Content covers music videos, video games, advertising, film, marketing, newspapers, radio news/current affairs programmes. The examination consists of two sections:

  • Section A: Analysing Media Language and Representation
    This unit examines how media language and representation can
    convey particular ideologies in media products. Question based
    on two media products, either from the same form or from two
    different forms.
  • Section B: Understanding Media Industries and Audiences
    Two questions, one each on industries and audiences. Questions
    based on two media products from the following: advertising,
    marketing, film, newspapers, radio, video games – and media
  • Two hour, 15 minute written examination.
  • 35% of total A Level. Assessment by extended respone to three questions.

Component 2: Media Forms and Products In Depth Learners build on knowledge and understanding developed in Component 1 and study media language, representation, audiences and media contexts in relation to television, magazines and blogs and online texts. There are three sections:

  • Section A: Television in the Global Age
  • Section B: Magazines: Mainstream and Alternative Media
  • Section C: Media in the Online Age
  • Each section has one two-part question based on two set product studied. Texts include Huck magazine, television texts Life on Mars and The Bridge and the blog by Zoella.
  • Two hour, 30 minute written examination.
  • 35% of total A Level.
  • Assesses the understanding of media language, representation,
    industry and audience

Component 3: Cross Media Production
This unit gives students a chance to show their production skills
using software like the editing software Final Cut Pro, Photoshop
and InDesign. 

Coursework consists of two tasks:

  • Create an original documentary
  • Create a front cover, double page spread feature article
  • Non-exam coursework.
  • 30% of total A Level.
  • Individual work – brief set by exam board

Additional Information

This subject can be combined with A Level Film Studies or any of our BTEC Level 3 Media courses – Journalism, Radio or TV & Film.

Examination Board: Eduqas



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