The aim of the course is to develop a deep understanding of how the media works and to put this into practice with practical work. A wide range of media texts will be studied, using a comprehensive theoretical framework and a variety of advanced theoretical approaches will be used to support critical exploration and analysis. You will work from the product outwards to debate key questions about the contextual make-up of the media. Although many of the texts studied will be contemporary, there will also be an emphasis on older media forms as well. Added to this, there will be a sense of the modern media as a global product and you will be engaging with the complex relationship between media products, audiences and media industries.
The majority of the work on the A Level Media Studies course with involves you being an active learner. Essentially you will learn through close analysis of media texts and by the application of a number of recognised theoretical approaches. You will be expected to go beyond being just a mere consumer of media texts and be able to de-construct and assess these texts in an academic way. There will be a number of set texts chosen by the examining body.
You will also learn technical skills, which will have their starting point in this initial analysis. These may involve photography and writing websites. We have a designated photographic studio and you will also have access to
cameras. We also have a designated computer room which can be utilised for website design. The emphasis will be on developing a high degree of technical ability and showing creativity in your finished product.
To enrol for an A level programme we normally expect applicants to have achieved good GCSE passes in at least six subjects, these must:
• demonstrate the suitability for Advanced Level study
• have been achieved at Grade 4/C as a minimum
• include two at Grade 5/B as a minimum
Mathematics - If not achieved within the scope of the above should normally be achieved at grade 3/D. If mathematics is not achieved at grade 4/C then it will be a requirement to continue to study at the correct level until a grade 4 is achieved. Subjects with a mathematical content will require a higher grade.
In addition to the standard College entry requirements, this particular course also usually requires students to have achieved grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language and grade 4 or above in GCSE English Literature.
Media Studies A Level is recognised by universities and degree-awarding institutions as a valid qualification for a range of degree courses. A number of former students have secured jobs in the creative industries, from video games design to radio/print journalism. This can be the start of a career in the media industry.
What does the course combine well with?
Media Studies combines well with a number of other subjects, particularly any other arts-based subjects and also Sociology. It also is a fine combination with Art or Photography. If you are thinking of combining Media Studies with Film Studies, you should seek the Assistant Curriculum Leader's advice.