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Media Studies

Entry Requirements

5 GCSE’s A* - C including English C grade or above and/or Media Studies D grade and above 

Course Content

AS and A level students will need to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework which informs all study of the media.  The four areas of this theoretical framework are: 

 • media language - how the media through their forms2, 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  




Students will explore representations and audience/user responses and will be encouraged to explore the media through a study of genre, narrative and representation and make connections between the texts and audience/user responses to them. 


Students will be required to study how media texts are constructed and how audiences and users respond to and interpret them using the following framework: 

(a) Texts 

 genre conventions 

 narrative construction 

 technical codes such as camerawork, lighting, editing and sound for 

audio-visual media and graphic design elements for print-based and 

interactive media 

 language used and mode of address. 


(b) Representations 

 the role of selection, construction and anchorage in creating 


 how the media uses representations 

 the points of view, messages and values underlying those 


Students will study a range of representations of: 

 gender 

 ethnicity 

 age 

 issues 

 events 

 regional and national identities. 


(c) Audience Response 

Students will need to consider the ways in which different audiences can respond to the same text in different ways. This will involve studying: 

 the ways in which audiences can be categorised (e.g., gender, age, 

ethnicity, social & cultural background, advertisers' classifications) 

 how media producers and texts construct audiences and users 

 how audiences and users are positioned (including preferred, 

negotiated and oppositional responses to that positioning). 




This unit is designed to enable candidates to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills in media production processes through research, planning, production and evaluation. 


Students will be required to produce three pieces of linked work. These will comprise: 

 a pre-production reflecting research and demonstrating planning techniques 

 a production which has developed out of the pre-production 

 a report of 1200 - 1600 words. 


Advanced Level 



This unit develops the knowledge and skills acquired at AS and as such contributes to synoptic assessment. In particular, it is designed to demonstrate the importance of research in informing media production and to develop the skills acquired in MS2. 


Candidates are required to produce three pieces of linked work: 

 a research investigation (1400 – 1800 words) 

 a production (informed by the investigation) 

 a brief evaluation (500 – 750 words). 

(a) Research Investigation 

Students are required to undertake an individual investigation into a 

specific area of study focused on one of the following concepts: genre, 

narrative or representation. Their research should draw on a range of both primary and secondary sources. It should enable candidates to reach conclusions that will inform their production. 

(b) Production 

Students are required to submit a production which should develop from and be informed by the candidate's research investigation. This production must be in a different form from the AS production. 

(c) Evaluation 

The production must be accompanied by an individual evaluation which 

explores how the production has been informed by the research undertaken into the relevant media concept. The evaluation can be produced in any appropriate form. 




This unit is designed to develop students' understanding of the connections between different elements of the specification and to develop their knowledge and understanding of the relationship between media texts, their audiences and the industries which produce and distribute them. 


Progression from AS is demonstrated through this emphasis on the relationship between text, audience and industry and the debates surrounding the nature of that relationship.  


For each text selected, candidates should consider the following as appropriate: 


 genre 

 narrative 

 representation 


 production 

 distribution (and exhibition where relevant) 

 marketing and promotion 

 regulation issues 

 global implications 

 relevant historical background 


 audience/user targeting 

 audience/user positioning 

 audience responses and user interaction 

 debates about the relationship between audiences/users and text.



AS (2 units) 

Unit 1: MS1 25 % (50%) External Assessment: 2½ hour Written Paper 

Media Representations and Responses 

Three compulsory questions, including one question on unseen audio-visual or print based material (interactive media will be presented as print-based) (40, 30 & 30). 


Unit 2: MS2 25% (50%) Internal Assessment 

Media Production Processes 

Three components: one pre-production (20); one production which develops from the pre-production (40); and one report on the production process (40) 


A LEVEL (the above plus a further 2 units) 

Unit 3: MS3 25% Internal Assessment 

Media Investigation & Production 

Three components: a written investigation into media text(s) based on one or more of the key media concepts – genre, narrative and/or representation (45); a media production (45); and an evaluation of how the production is informed by the investigative research (10) 


Unit 4: MS4 25% External Assessment: 2½ hour Written Paper 

Media Text, Industry and Audience 

Three questions (30 marks per question). 

Section A: one question from a choice of two. Section B: two questions from a choice of four. Candidates must answer each question on a different media industry.

Career Pathways