The media plays a central role in contemporary culture, society and politics. This course encourages students to critically analyse how media platforms and products can affect our perceptions of the world through the representations, ideas and points of view they offer. The constantly changing relationships between media technologies and audiences will also be explored.
Because the media provides us with ways to communicate, with forms of cultural expression and the ability to participate in key aspects of society, students will be provided with opportunities to develop skills in moving image production, audio production, image manipulation and web design.
The culmination of academic study and acquisition of practical skills will benefit many students in their future careers, because the economic importance of the media is unquestionable, with the media industries employing millions of people worldwide and generating significant global profit.
Media Studies is a good companion course to a large number of other academic or creative subjects, such as:
- Film Studies
Studying the media can help prepare students for careers in a range of fields, such as: TV, Film or Digital Media Production, Journalism, Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising or Events Management.
A large number of media students also progress to study media, or other related subjects, at university and this A Level prepares them appropriately for either academic or practical/production courses.
See what some of our former Media Studies students have gone on to do.
This course covers:
- Media Language: how the media, through their forms, codes, conventions and techniques, communicate meanings
- Representation: how the media portray events, issues, individuals and social groups
- Media Industries: how the media industries’ processes of production, distribution and circulation affect media forms and platforms
- Audiences: how media forms target, reach and address audiences, how audiences interpret and respond to them, and how members of audiences become producers themselves
- Media Production: how to research, plan and create media products which are suitable for specific platforms, industries and target audiences
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
In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.
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.
The exam board for this A Level is Eduqas and this course is assessed through a combination of three components.
Component 1 – Media Products, Industries and Audiences
Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes
35% of qualification
Assesses knowledge and understanding of advertising, music videos, newspapers, radio, video games and film marketing.
Component 2 – Media Forms and Products in Depth
Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes
35% of qualification
Assesses knowledge and understanding of ‘Television in the Global Age’, ‘Magazines: Mainstream and Alternative Media’, and ‘Media in the Online Age’
Component 3 – Cross-Media Production
Non-exam assessment (coursework)
30% of qualification
An individual cross-media production, based on two forms, in response to one of the briefs available supplied by the exam board.
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
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 art-form, 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, for example, 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 Creative Digital Media Production and Media A Level – apart from the qualification?
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 Creative 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.