More than ever before, media dominates our lives.  Students who have a good grasp of the constantly changing media landscape will be well equipped to thrive in the modern world.  Through studying Media Studies you will view, evaluate and analyse a variety of media products, and develop practical skills spanning a range of media forms. You will find contemporary, diverse topics and varied and engaging content, helping you to develop research and problem-solving skills as well as your creativity.  You will also refine your debating skills through the discussion of contemporary media issues from a range of perspectives.  This is an academically demanding course with high emphasis on the theoretical framework which underpins the production and consumption of media texts.

Course content

A-level Media Studies will engage you in the in-depth study of media products in relation to the four areas of the theoretical framework:

  • Media Language
  • Media Representation
  • Media Industries
  • Media Audiences.

You will study media products from all of the following media forms:

  • audio-visual forms (TV, film, radio, advertising and marketing, video games and music video)
  • online forms (social and participatory media, video games)
  • print forms (newspapers, magazines, advertising and marketing)

A wide range of Close Study Products (set texts) from all media forms, set by AQA, will be studied.

You will also have the opportunity to create your own media products which exemplify your knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework and practical skills relating to the media format of your choice.  You will have access to a suite of Mac computers running Premiere Pro video editing software, PhotoShop image manipulation, InDesign publishing software, plus a range of cameras and associated equipment.


Media 1 – 2hrs – 84 marks – 35% of A Level

Written paper focusing on: Media Language and Media Representations with particular reference to advertising and marketing and music video; Media Industries and Media Audiences with particular reference to radio, newspapers and film.  A range of questions, including two essay-based, relating to an unseen source and the CSPs.

Media 2 - 2hrs – 84 marks – 35% of A Level

Written paper focusing on: television, magazines and online, social and participatory media, video games.  One medium length question based on an unseen source and three essay questions.

Non-Exam Assessment: Creating a media product – 60 marks – 30% of A Level

  • A statement of intent
  • Cross-media products made for an intended audience based on briefs set by AQA

Future Career Progression

Media Studies complements creative and analytical subjects such as English, History, ICT and Art. 

Media Studies is ideal for careers in ICT/Web Design, Game Development, Graphic Design, Journalism, Marketing and the Film and Television industries.