Media Studies

Course Description

Being media literate is considered very important in contemporary society today. We are surrounded by digital content and the creative industries which includes platforms such as the TV, film, social media, and magazine industries have become central to our understanding of debate key critical questions related to the social, cultural, political and economic role of the media. This is an extremely successful course that has a mixture of academic and practical content.

Entry Requirements

Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three GCSEs at grade 5/4, including English Language and Mathematics at grade 5/4 or above. Or eight GCSEs at a minimum of grade 5.

Course Content

This highly rewarding course enables you to explore various media industries to understand how they respond to audience needs and successfully make a profit. You will also explore various interesting representations and social groups and how they are presented by the media, the relationship between producers and audiences, and issues relating to the impact of new technology on wider society. This stimulating course also recognises the fundamental relationship between theoretical understanding and practical work, providing you with exciting opportunities to develop media production skills in different forms, apply your knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework to media products and become creators of content yourself. To complement the theoretical work, you will complete a cross media production and be offered a choice of briefs and forms within which to work, enabling you to explore and pursue their own media interests. English skills are developed naturally as the course is 70% theoretical and covers a wide range of theory from different academic disciplines, therefore this complements many other choices of subjects to study. You will also develop your communication skills and many desired employability skills through the various teaching and learning methods used.

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 3: 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. There are clubs and extra-curricular activities over the course of the year and we offer a variety of enrichment including contributing to the media magazine, short film awards, screenwriting workshops, workshops with broadcast producers, script writing for radio and presenting on radio (Bolton FM).– recent trips have included a four night trip to Disneyland Paris to attend the Media and Film Live conference, BBC tour at Media City, Industry day at the BBC to create podcasts and gain skills in editing as well as a media industry day in Leeds. Our staff will help and encourage you to obtain work experience within the local media industry, we have links with Bolton FM; Media City; Chief Productions; Bolton News; and the BBC.

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, and Film Studies.

Future Career Opportunities

Students pursue careers within media, but the skills developed are essential to a variety of other professions such as teaching, social work, journalism or TV & film production. It is respected by higher education institutions and provides a range of transferable skills. With the growth of Media City in Manchester, there are a wide range of potential career pathways available.

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.