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A-level Media StudiesApply Now »

Note - you only need to make one application for A-levels. You can specify the additional A-Levels you wish to study when you fill out the application form

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Level: 3

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 2

24+ Loan Amount: 724.00****

Interview: Y

Course Summary

The A-level in Media Studies is a linear qualification studied over two years and has been specifically designed for students wishing to study a single creative subject alongside other academic qualifications, plus work experience, tutorial and personal and professional development.

The Media Studies programme is very much like studying a social science and involves analysing media products such as magazines, films and television programmes.

Throughout the course, you will view, evaluate and analyse a variety of media products, and develop practical skills spanning a range of media forms. You’ll explore contemporary, diverse topics and varied and engaging content, helping you to develop research and problem-solving skills as well as your own creativity. You’ll also refine your debating skills through the discussion of contemporary issues from a range of perspectives. 

In addition, you will extend your practical skills, building your capacity for independent research, and gaining a deeper appreciation and understanding of the role media plays in day-to-day life.

Entry requirements

You will need at least five GCSEs at grade 4 [C] or above, including English Language at grade 5 [C/B] and Maths at grade 4 [C].  Ideally, you should have a GCSE in Media or a similar creative focused subject at grade 4 [C] or above.  You will be expected to demonstrate a keen interest in communication arts and to have good awareness of contemporary trends in the discipline. You should also have good analytical and reading skills.

Course Content

The A-level Media Studies course content includes an in-depth study of media products in relation to four areas of a 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, music video, newspapers, magazines, advertising and marketing)
  • print forms (newspapers, magazines, advertising and marketing).

You will study at least one example of a media product from each form and undertake at least one cross-media study.

How will I be assessed?

This is a linear qualification in which all assessments must be taken at the end of the course. Work is continually assessed and you will discuss and evaluate your own work. Assessment constitutes:

Component 1: Questions will focus on issues and debates in the media.

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

Component 2: Questions will focus on the analysis of media products, through the lens of the theoretical framework.

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

Component 3: Non-exam assessment: Creating a media product related to the over-arching theme

  • a statement of intent 
  • cross-media products made for an intended audience
  • 72 marks 
  • 30% of A-level 
  • Assessed by teachers 
  • Moderated by AQA

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

While all equipment required for the course is available for loan from the College, you will be required to provide your own stationery and SD card.

What can I do after this course?

Further Study

Following successful completion of the A-level in Media Studies, it is expected that you will have achieved the in-depth knowledge, understanding and skills to progress to a related university degree.

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Note - you only need to make one application for A-levels. You can specify the additional A-Levels you wish to study when you fill out the application form

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This course is run at the Joseph Wright Centre

About Joseph Wright Centre »

Emily Gray

Emily Gray

Peak Award Winner Emily now studying for master’s in Australia

Former Peak Award winner Emily Gray was motivated to achieve “more than she ever thought she was capable of” while studying for A levels at Derby College.   And, since leaving Joseph Wright Centre 10 years ago, she has quite literally gone a long way – to university in Melbourne, Australia, to take a Master of Education degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis.  
Now 27, Emily received a Peak Award for Academic Studies after performing well in her sociology, history and psychology A levels and EPQ, the Extended Project Qualification.   While on her psychology degree course at the University of Leeds, Emily embarked on a study year at Monash University in Melbourne.  
And, since graduating, she has taught English in Peru, volunteered and worked in Sri Lanka and travelled in Australia before settling in Melbourne with her partner.  
Currently studying for her master’s at Monash University, Emily also works as a site manager at a centre-based intervention service based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) for pre-school aged children on the autism spectrum.  
She ultimately wants to become a clinical psychologist or clinical director of an agency providing ABA.  
Commenting on her Peak Award in 2009, Emily added that it was “really unexpected and a huge honour.” She included the award in her CV and found it was “something she was able to talk about in interviews.”            

My lecturers were fantastic!  They were really passionate about their subject, particularly psychology lecturer Glyn Pickering, who motivated me and pushed me to achieve more than I thought I was capable of.

I also got great support at Derby College in applying for university and higher education. I was able to go on a residential trip to experience Oxford University, and received specialist and individual help with my application, personal statement and interview preparation.

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