St John Plessington Catholic College

About the Course:

This subject is offered as an A Level course. Media Studies is designed to enhance your enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of  the media and its role in your daily life. The course introduces you both to media ideas and the practice of production, which gives you  the chance to develop a real understanding of media platforms, the contemporary media landscape and the influential role of the media in today’s society.

This course helps you develop these relationships with the media. As a consumer you’ll become more aware of the many ways in which media messages are presented to us, as well as discovering how the institutions which produce and distribute media products are  trying to reach you. If you want a career in media, producing and evaluating your own media productions will give you a real hands-on  understanding of both how media messages are created and what they are aiming to do.


Unit 1 : Investigating Media (50% of AS, 25% of overall A Level)
2 hour written examination
Within this unit students will analyse the media across three platforms: print, broadcast and e-media. In their analysis students will focus on codes and conventions, target audience, representation and institutions.

Unit 2 : Creating Media (50% of AS, 25% of overall A Level)
Practical unit, internally assessed and externally moderated
Within this practical unit students use the skills learnt in Unit 1 to follow a media brief and are asked to produce a short film, a  magazine and a website. This practical aspect of the course gives students the opportunity to be creative and demonstrate a high level of technical ability.


Unit 3 : Critical Perspectives (25% of overall A Level)
2 hour written examination
For this unit students study media theories and apply their knowledge to a range of media texts. Students are encouraged to work  independently on an area of the media that is of interest to them.

Unit 4 : Research and Production (25% of overall A Level)
Practical unit, internally assessed and externally moderated
In this unit students choose an issue within the media that is of interest to them. They are expected to work on independent research and propose a hypothesis that they wish to investigate critically. For the practical element of the unit students are asked to produce a  piece of media that is linked to their critical investigation.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Media studies is for you if you want a course which balances examination and coursework production, if you want to develop your creative and technical skills in media production and if you already enjoy analysing and discussing media you have watched or read.

Progression Routes:

Media studies naturally leads to careers in journalism, marketing, advertising or public relations. Awareness of how the world of media  works can also support other careers, such as social work, law and education. By knowing how the media operates you’ll be able to  interpret information more skillfully, and engage with topics that interest you.

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