Overview

Understanding the Media and examining its role in society is key to our culture. During this course students will analyse a range of different media texts and develop an understanding of the forms and conventions of media language, whilst considering the issues of social representation. The changing relationship between media industries and audiences in the digital age will also be explored.

The course culminates with in-depth studies of news and long-form TV drama, where students will apply and evaluate relevant critical theory. Assessment is primarily through written exams, although practically assessed coursework gives students the opportunity to shape their own media texts, developing skills in moving image production and web design.

What goes well with this course?

Media Studies may be combined with any subject but will combine particularly well with other essay-based subjects such as:

  • English
  • History
  • Politics
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Film Studies
  • Sociology

Progression

A Level Media Studies will prepare students for a range of careers in fields such as Public Relations, Journalism, Advertising, TV Production and Events Management.  Students can also progress to study Media in various forms at degree level, focusing on either theory, practice or both.

Course Content

This course covers:

  • Representation in media texts
  • Media language
  • New media technologies
  • Media audiences and industries
  • Media production (including print, web design and moving image)

Educational Experiences

Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences

Media students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. In recent years, these have included:

  • Reigate College’s Film and Media Awards evening
  • A visit to the Sky Skills Studio to experience life behind the scenes at Sky News and to gain an insight into possible careers in the Media industry
  • A visit by Oscar winning Director Lee Cleary  (The Hurt Locker) who enthralled Media and Film students with his tales of getting started in the Film Industry, careers advice and forecasts for the future direction of cinema
  • A visit to Vivid Broadcast, a local Media company in Brighton, who were filming a short drama
  • A residential ‘Video School’ trip
  • A trip to New York where students had a guided tour of the Museum of the Moving Image as well as a chance to see locations used in various Hollywood films
  • A TV studio work experience trip to Farnborough HE College

Activities Programme

In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.

Work Experience

All students need to gain an experience of the work place during their time at College and for students studying vocational courses it should ideally be linked to one of their subject areas.

Assessment

This course is assessed through both written examinations (70%) and coursework (30%). The coursework involves practical media production work in which students are expected to demonstrate a range of production skills across three different media. The exam board for this A Level is OCR.

Entry Requirements

All students need to have at least five GCSEs at  Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme. 

In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirement:  

  • Grade 5 in English Language

Students will enjoy this course if they:

  • Are keen to produce their own media pieces
  • Are willing to take part in debate and express their views
  • Are interested in the role of media in modern society
  • Are interested in how technology is changing media industries

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between Media Studies and Film Studies?

In Film Studies you will study a range of films in a lot of detail focussing on the analysis of film as an artform, as well as representations in film.

In Media Studies you will cover a broad range of different media forms across the course including traditional and new media.

As well as the kind of analysis covered in Film Studies (analysing media language and representation) you will also be studying media audiences and industries from an academic perspective (industry is not included on the Film course).

So, you will be analysing media texts such as Stranger Things and considering how characters, places, time periods and issues are represented, but you will also be considering regulation, the impact of technology on the television industry and the companies involved in producing and distributing content so that you can discuss the academic issues and debates surrounding this.

What’s the difference between Digital Media Production and Media A Level – apart from the qualification?

There is some overlap between these two courses which is why students cannot study both.

Both involve theory and practical production.

However, the A Level has more emphasis on theory and involves more exam assessment (70% exam assessed). You will study a wider range of media forms and academic theories on the A Level course.

The Digital Media Production course involves theory and analysis but also includes units that have more of a vocational focus, helping students develop skills such as responding to a brief and planning for production as well as production techniques.

What kind of job/career will this lead to?

The Media Studies course helps prepare students for a broad range of possible progression routes both in media Industries and beyond. See some examples here – https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree/media-studies.

The Media Studies course helps students develop a range of transferable skills (see course information for details) that are in demand across many industries.

Research found that Media Studies graduates are second only to Medical students in terms of Employability (https://www.managementtoday.co.uk/media-studies-the-uks-second-most-employable-degree/article/1221489).

Do you need your own equipment?

We will provide the filming equipment and software that you will need for practical production work.

The only cost to students is for an SD card which all Film & Media students must purchase from the college shop (current cost is £13.50).

What other subjects work well with Media?

There is no bad combination with Media Studies as it is a course that involves a wide range of academic and creative skills.

It may be useful to study it alongside other essay or art based subjects such as Politics, History, Film or Photography, but we have students studying a wide variety of courses alongside their Media A Level such as Maths, Business Studies and PE.

How to Apply

Applications for entry September 2021

Students from partner schools (Reigate, Warwick, de Stafford and Oakwood) should complete an online application under the guidance of their school.

All other applicants should download and return the 2021 application form.

All applications will be considered according to the College’s Admissions Policy.

Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.

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