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A Level Media Studies

Media Studies A Level is suitable for secure grade 6 Media GCSE students. We do accept students who have not studied the subject at GCSE but we will be looking for enthusiastic students with good English Language grades(6 or above) at GCSE. If you don’t meet this criteria we will review students on an individual basis.

Students will study a range of media texts with application of media theory, issues and approaches. Students will analyse a range of media texts and create their own authentic media products.

It is vital that students extend their knowledge and understanding outside of the classroom with wider reading and consumption of media texts.

Students will follow the new AQA A Level course with first examinations in 2019. There are three aspects to the assessments as follows:


Media One

What's assessed

Section A will focus on Media Language and Media Representations. Questions in this section will test the following forms:

  • advertising and marketing
  • music video.

Section B will focus on Media Industries and Media Audiences. Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms:

  • radio
  • newspapers
  • film (industries only).

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 84 marks
  • 35% of A-level


  • A range of questions relating to an unseen source and Close Study Products.
  • Two essay questions (20 marks), one of which is an extended response question.


Media Two

What's assessed

Questions will focus on the in-depth media forms of television, magazines and online, social and participatory media/video games.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 84 marks
  • 35% of A-level


  • One medium length unseen analysis question.
  • Three essay questions (25 marks), one of which is an extended response question and one of which is a synoptic question.


Non-exam assessment: Creating a cross-media production

What's assessed

  • Application of knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework.
  • Ability to create media products.

How it's assessed

  • A choice of one of six annually changing briefs, set by AQA.
  • 60 marks
  • 30% of A-level
  • Assessed by teachers
  • Moderated by AQA


Students produce:

  • a statement of intent
  • a cross-media production made for an intended audience.

Students will be given (at the start of Year 13) a range of Close Study Products (CSPs) chosen by AQA each year. The products chosen for study in depth cover the following criteria:

  • Represent three media forms (audio/visual, print, online media)
  • One product before 1970
  • One aimed at a non-English speaking audience
  • One produced by and/or for a minority group
  • One outside of mainstream production

It is vital that all students use their study time effectively to consume as many media texts as possible and do independent reading around the subject to ensure that they have a variety of ‘wider contexts’ to draw from in the examinations.