A-Level Media Studies

It might be a good idea to get the ball rolling by defining what the term ‘media’ actually means; Malcolm X famously once said that “the media is the most powerful entity on earth.” In many ways, he was right: from television, film and radio, to what we see on the internet, media is everywhere, and it can entertain as much as it can influence.

What Will I learn?

You will study four areas of the theoretical framework: – media language, media representations, media industries and audiences.
You are required to study media products from all of the following forms: – audio visual, online, radio, gaming and print. This will be done through the study of several set texts provided by the exam board, some of which will feature in the end exam alongside unseen products.
You will build on your study of the theoretical framework and apply in depth study to a cross-media production task specified by the board.

How Am I Assessed?

Component 1 – Media Products, Industries and Audiences Exam (35%)
The examination assesses media language, representation, media industries, audiences and media contexts. It consists of two sections:
Section A: Analysing Media Language and Representation
This section assesses media language and representation in relation to two of the following media forms: advertising, marketing, music video or newspapers. Set texts covered at A level are: The Times and The Daily Mirror (coverage of the lockdown ‘Partygate Scandal’ in both), Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ video, Sam Fender’s ‘Seventeen Going Under’ video, Tide’s 1950s washing powder advertisement, the Superhumans advertisement, and the Kiss of a Vampire film
poster. Several ‘unseen’ texts are also studied from each of these study areas.
Section B: Understanding Media Industries and Audiences
This section assesses students’ understanding of the media industry, including funding, ownership and regulation, and audiences. Set texts covered at A level are: The Times and The Daily Mirror, I, Daniel Blake (film), Black Panther (film), the Assassin’s Creed Franchise and ‘Have you Heard George’s Podcast?’.

Component 2 – Media Forms and Products in depth Exam (35%)
The examination assesses media language, representation, media industries, audiences and media contexts. It consists of three sections:
Section A: Television in the Global Age
In this section students explore set episodes of the shows ‘Peaky Blinders’ and ‘The Bridge’.
Section B: Magazines: Mainstream and Alternative Media
In this section students explore the historical magazine ‘Woman’s Realm’ and the contemporary Independent magazine, ‘Huck’.
Section C: Media in the Online Age In this section students explore the blogger, ‘JJ Olantunji aka KSI’ as well as the online magazine, ‘Attitude’.

Component 3 – Cross Media Coursework Production (30%)
An individual cross-media production based on two forms in response to a choice of briefs set by WJEC, applying knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework and digital convergence. Students can typically choose between four areas: TV production, Music Marketing, Film Marketing and Print Production. Briefs are set in terms of audience, industry and genre, but within each brief typically students will choose between producing an audio-visual piece, a print production, a website, a radio segment/podcast, or marketing materials such as posters and DVD covers

What Career Options Do I Have?

Media studies can be useful in a range of careers including marketing, sales and advertising, broadcast
media, business, politics, performing arts, journalism and publishing, and leisure sport and tourism.
We live in an age in which the media industry is ever growing and more and more influential. Media
graduates are highly desirable and will be the influencers of the future.

Examination Board: Eduqas (WJEC)