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Exam Board: AQA


‘The aim of Media Studies is to enable candidates to investigate the media by applying media concepts to a range of media products in order to reach an understanding of how meanings and responses are created. Candidates are encouraged to investigate the contemporary media landscape and the changing contexts within which media texts are produced and consumed.

Candidates will investigate the processes of meaning-making in media production [the institutions that make them] and reception [the audiences that consume them]:

  • At the micro level within individual products (also termed texts)
  • At a macro level in terms of technologies (also termed platforms)

Candidates investigate a wide range of media texts to familiarise themselves with media language and media codes and conventions and conduct a cross-media study. The investigations into media concepts, processes and products link with and inform research into Unit 2: Creating Media, where candidates are required to produce media artefacts taken from two of the three media platforms.


Assessment is by a final examination in June and a coursework portfolio of practical products created by the candidates [film; print; e-media] based on an individual research folder and the student’s own evaluation of their work.

Students are taught how to create media texts for each platform and during the course as well as theory tests they will construct a short film, a print-based advertising campaign and a web-site for a media production company. For each task, there is a large theoretical element involving ideas about audience, institutions, values, ideologies and how people and ideas are represented. the course of study is unique, touching on involves elements of psychology, sociology, business and ethic whilst demanding a high level of technical proficiency and creative input.

AS Teaching Units, Assessment Method and Weighting

AS Unit and Content Assessment Method Weighting
Unit 1 – Investigating Media
Candidates investigate a wide range of media texts carrying out a cross-media study. These investigations inform their work on Unit 2.
2 hour written examination 50% of AS / 25% of A level
Unit 2 – Creating Media
Production of 2 media texts covering 2 of the 3 different media platforms, with an evaluation of the productions.
Internally assessed/externally moderated 50% of AS / 25% of A level

Complementary Subjects to study at AS

English, Drama, Art, Graphic Design, E-Media, Psychology, Sociology

Student Views

‘The course has been very interesting. I’ve enjoyed Media immensely – so much so that I’m now regarding it as my favourite subject at the moment. I’m looking forward to future practical work as I’ve found the previous tasks extremely enjoyable.’
Aaron Wiggins Yr 12

‘I find the work and the way we are taught holds my focus and we’re allowed to choose what briefs we and don’t have to follow the same path’
Jordan Pinnock Yr 12

‘Doing Media Studies at Great Barr changed my life. The staff were supportive and enthusiastic about our work and their contacts and support were key to me getting a summer school in a professional film production course, my application to Higher Education and getting my place.’
Billy Cawley currently studying for a BA in Media and Business at Newman University College

Career Pathways

Media Studies is an academic rather than vocational course but by studying Media Studies at AS/A2 you are opening a diverse range of career and further education opportunities including:

  • Print Journalism
  • Electronic Journalism
  • Film Production Courses
  • Advertising
  • Promotional & Marketing degree courses and careers
  • Communications and Media courses
  • Radio Journalism
  • Business & Media at BCU and Newman
  • Digital Media courses
  • Photography and photo-journalism
  • Graphic Design courses

Further Information

Mr Rainsford
Mr Wallbank

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