Media Studies A Level

Course Description

Media and the Creative industries is one of the biggest growth areas in the UK. Being ‘media literate’ is essential in modern society and media students are encouraged to explore and reflect critically on how we are presented with different social issues, politics and representations across a wide range of media platforms (TV, Newspapers, Advertisements and Social media).

This exciting course enables learners to develop and apply their understanding of the media industries through both analysing and producing media products.
A variety of teaching methods allows students to engage in debates and enhance both their academic skills while offering the chance to get creative and become a Producer.

Entry Requirements

Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three other GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English Language and Mathematics at grade 4.

Course Content

Media Studies is the study of the world of the media – by this we mean television, radio, film, newspapers and magazines and new e- media. It is both a practical and an academic subject, with technical skills being developed alongside theoretical evaluation of your own productions as well as essay based exam assessment. We investigate the representation of different groups such as celebrity, teenagers and places. We also analyse a wide variety of texts such as soaps, documentaries, magazines, comics, radio and social networking sites such as Facebook, just to name a few sources. This course will give you the opportunity to combine an understanding of the theory behind the media with the development of practical skills necessary for media production – you will produce a mixture of moving images and print based media, both individually and in small groups. Students find the subject both interesting and fulfilling. In an age when the diverse elements of the mass media have such an influence on our lives, a greater understanding of the ideas and institutions helping to control and guide us is almost essential – and at the very least, highly rewarding.
Future students would benefit from researching the following theorists in preparation for the course: Clay Shirky, Van Zoonen and Stuart Hall.


Component 1: Media products and industries -written examination 35%.
Component 2: Media forms and products written examination 35%.
Component three cross media production /coursework. Internally assessed and externally moderated 30%.

Enrichment and Work Experience

For those looking to enhance their media experience, there are opportunities to carry out work experience placements at the end of the academic year. We also encourage you to work on projects throughout the two years to create your media portfolio and to build on confidence in working with others on media projects. There are always plenty of opportunities to get involved in some media projects throughout the two years. Our staff help and encourage you to obtain work experience within the local media industry. The department has strong links with: BBC; Bolton FM; Media City; Chief Productions; Sugar TV; Bolton News.

We offer a variety of enrichment and extra- curricular activities – recent trips have included excursions to Manchester, visits to London and Los Angeles to explore institutions such as the Harry Potter Experience, Universal Studios and the Hollywood Dream.

Additional Information

To support your studies, you will be required to purchase relevant materials as outlined below: Essential Kit: SD card 16GB minimum; SD card reader; tabloid newspapers including The Daily Mirror (published from 2017 onwards); British Broadsheet The Times(published from 2017 onwards).

Links with other subjects:
Media Studies can be studied with almost any combination of other subjects, including: English Language, English Literature, Performing Arts, Theatre Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Business Studies, and Film Studies.

Future Career Opportunities

Most students progress to higher education and the professions. Former students have progressed into journalism, marketing, advertising, law, business management, teaching, social work, physiotherapy and the police force. The diverse range of theoretical and practical skills covered makes Media an excellent choice for any career. In fact, understanding the media affects nearly all careers and professions!

Why study at The Sixth Form Bolton?

Results for Media Studies are amongst the top 1% in the country! The subjects in the department develop a creative approach to study, an ability to work both as an individual and in groups, and will develop confidence in your own ability to communicate in a variety of social, business and commercial situations, as well as analyse a wide variety of media and social contexts.