A-level Media Studies

AQA A-level
A foundation in media studies opens doors to exciting and influential career possibilities in the ever-evolving global media landscape, offering opportunities to engage with emerging technologies and evaluate various types of media sources, including social media, television, and radio, through practical, research, and theoretical techniques, alongside effective communication skills.
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Media studies is an exciting discipline to pursue, especially because of the increasing number of media platforms where you can apply your knowledge; in this AQA qualification, you will explore the power of media studies to understand how communication, information, and entertainment shape our interconnected global society. The evolving nature of media provides opportunities to engage with emerging technologies, influencing the way we consume and share information. This qualification combines practical, research and theoretical techniques with the use of effective communication skills to evaluate various types of media sources like social media, television and radio

Whether aspiring to be a content creator, media strategist, or cultural analyst, a foundation in media studies opens doors to exciting and influential career possibilities in the ever-evolving global media landscape.

Why study Media Studies

Studying A-level Media Studies can offer a range of benefits that extend well beyond the classroom. Firstly, it equips students with a critical eye to dissect the media that saturates their daily lives. In an era where media messages are omnipresent and often influential, having the ability to dissect and comprehend the underlying motives and techniques used by various media platforms is priceless.

  • Understanding Media Influence
  • Developing Critical Thinking Skills
  • Develop creativity and technical skills in areas like photography, film, journalism, or digital media production
  • Cultural Awareness and development of diverse perspectives.

In essence, studying A-level Media Studies offers students a multifaceted educational experience that not only enriches their understanding of the media landscape but also cultivates critical thinking, creativity, and practical skills essential for success in today’s interconnected world.

This is a brand new course and you can enrol today. It will be available in your MyOxbridge portal on 3rd July 2024. 


What you will learn

  1. Unit 1: Media Language

    In this section, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of:

    • how the different modes and languages associated with different media forms communicate
      multiple meanings
    • how the combination of elements of media language influences meaning
    • how developing technologies affect media language
    • the codes and conventions of media forms and products, including the processes through
      which media language develops as genre
    • the dynamic and historically relative nature of genre
    • the processes through which meanings are established through intertextuality
    • how audiences respond to and interpret the above aspects of media language
    • how genre conventions are socially and historically relative, and dynamic and can be used in a
      hybrid way
    • the significance of challenging and/or subverting genre conventions
    • the significance of the varieties of ways in which intertextuality can be used in the media
    • the way media language incorporates viewpoints and ideologies



  2. Unit 2: Media Representation

    In this section, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of:

    • the way events, issues, individuals (including self-representation) and social groups
      (including social identity) are represented through processes of selection and combination
    • the way the media through re-presentation construct versions of reality
    • the processes which lead media producers to make choices about how to represent events,
      issues, individuals and social groups
    • the effect of Social and Cultural context on representations
    • how and why stereotypes can be used positively and negatively
    • how and why particular social groups, in a national and global context, may be under-
      represented or misrepresented
    • how media representations convey values, attitudes and beliefs about the world and how
      these may be systematically reinforced across a wide range of media representations
    • how audiences respond to and interpret media representations
      Crib Sheets
    • the way in which representations make claims about realism
    • the impact of industry contexts on the choices media producers make about how to
      represent events, issues, individuals and social groups
    • the effect of historical context on representations
    • how representations may invoke discourses and ideologies and position audiences
    • how audience responses to and interpretations of media representations reflect social,
      cultural and historical circumstances



  3. Unit 3: Media Industries

    In this section, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of:
    • processes of production, distribution and circulation by organisations, groups and individuals
      in a global context
    • the specialised and institutionalised nature of media production, distribution and circulation
    • the relationship of recent technological change and media production, distribution and
    • the significance of patterns of ownership and control, including conglomerate ownership,
      vertical integration and diversification
    •  the significance of economic factors, including commercial and not-for-profit public funding,
      to media industries and their products
    • how media organisations maintain, including through marketing, varieties of audiences
      nationally and globally
    • the regulatory framework of contemporary media in the UK
    • the impact of ‘new’ digital technologies on media regulation, including the role of individual
    • how processes of production, distribution and circulation shape media products
    • the impact of digitally convergent media platforms on media production, distribution and
      circulation, including individual producers
    • the role of regulation in global production, distribution and circulation
    • the effect of individual producers on media industries.
    • media audiences.



  4. Unit 4: Media Audiences

    In this section, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of:

    • how audiences are grouped and categorised by media industries, including by age, gender
      and social class, as well as by lifestyle and taste
    • how media producers target, attract, reach, address and potentially construct audiences
    • how media industries target audiences through the content and appeal of media products
      and through the ways in which they are marketed, distributed and circulated
    • the interrelationship between media technologies and patterns of consumption and response
    • how audiences interpret the media, including how they may interpret the same media in
      different ways
    • how audiences interact with the media and can be actively involved in media production
    • how specialised audiences can be reached, both on a national and global scale, through
      different media technologies and platforms
    • how media organisations reflect the different needs of mass and specialised audiences,
      including through targeting
    • how audiences use media in different ways, reflecting demographic factors as well as
      aspects of identity and cultural capital
    • the role and significance of specialised audiences, including niche and fan, to the media
    • the way in which different audience interpretations reflect social, cultural and historical



Awarding Body


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As a leading distance learning provider, our courses are accredited by the main UK awarding bodies and recognised by UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. By completing our online A-level Media Studies course, you will receive up to 56 UCAS points, which are used as part of university applications, and issued by AQA.

This course carries UCAS points. This means that it can be used to gain direct access to University courses and other Higher Education, through the UCAS system.

Course Outcome

Upon successfully completing this home learning course, you will receive the qualification: A-level Media Studies, issued by AQA. Your certificate is identical to that issued to students at any other school, college or university.

This syllabus (7572) has been chosen by Oxbridge because it is best suited to distance learning.

How is this course assessed or examined?

You’ll be required to complete two standard A-level Media Studies written exams:

  • Exam Paper 1: 2 hours, 35% of A-level, 84 marks
    • Section A will focus on Media Language and Media Representations (advertising, marketing and music videos)
    • Section B will focus on Media Industries and Media Audiences (radio, newspapers and film)
  • Exam Paper 2: 2 hours, 35% of A-level, 84 marks
    • Questions will focus on the in-depth media forms of television, magazines and online, social and participatory media/video games
  • NEA (Non-exam assessment): 2 hours, 30% of A-level, 60 marks
    • This is the new name for coursework and is not done under exam conditions. You’ll be expected to produce a cross-media production made for an intended audience. With a choice of brief.

These exams contain a mixture of short and long answer questions and extended response questions

Entry requirements

A GCSE or equivalent in English language is recommended, but not required for this course. This Media A-level syllabus is a difficulty level three: the equivalent difficulty of an A-level or BTEC, which is usually suitable for most learners of all ages.


Learners will be able to progress on to University through a course of their choosing. Options are available to go into various Media subjects from Film, Production, Gaming, and Journalism.



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