A Level

A Level

AS/A2 Level

Exam Board: AQA

Like all A-Levels, Media Studies has a strong emphasis on theory and research, offering students the opportunity to discuss, explore and analyse media, both mainstream and alternative.
AS/A2 course is divided into four units, two in each year.


MEST 1 - Investigating the Media (external exam) - providing an overarching introduction to the study of media and the contemporary media landscape. Students explore and analyse products from a range of disciplines including: film and broadcast fiction, documentaries, advertising and marketing, print and digital journalism, digital and web based platforms, as well as print media.
MEST 2 - Creating Media Coursework (coursework). AQA provide three briefs and students choose one to produce. The practical work must incorporate work from two of the three media platforms of Broadcast, E-media and Print


A2 allows students to explore the media independently and focus on their interest and skills base.
MEST 3: Critical perspective (external exam) - encouraging students to demonstrate their understanding of the key concepts explored in the first year and to apply them to a bespoke ‘identities' based case study that looks at the effect of media products on a social group. The case study examines both traditional and social media platforms.
MEST 4: Research and Production (coursework) - asking students to build upon the research skills developed in the AS year to investigate a media theme of their own choosing, and to subsequently craft a fully realised media product that achieves professional production values.

AQA exam papers and resources can be viewed from http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/media-studies/a-level/media-studies-2570/past-papers-and-mark-schemes

Which other subjects link well with Media Studies?

Media Studies is a subject based on theory which links well with any academic subject but requires an equally strong creative mind set. Students studying Media often combine with Art & Design, ICT, Performing Arts and Design Tech. History, English and Psychology provide excellent analytical skills which transfer to Media well.

What career paths would this course follow?

The skills acquired studying Media can continue onto related fields in Further Education such as Media, Advertising, Graphic Design, Journalism, TV & Radio Production.

What specific skills will I learn?

Not to believe everything you see, read or hear!

What extra opportunities are available?

We take an annual study visit to the National Media Centre at Bradford where students attend lectures by professional film/television critics who share techniques and give an interesting and valuable insight into the industry.

Links to past papers.








A'level Media: New Specification:

Subject content: Developed concepts from GCSE

1.     Media language

2.     Media representation

3.     Media industries

4.     Media audiences


Media One

What's assessed

Section A will focus on Media Language and Media Representations. Questions in this section will test the following forms:

  •  advertising and marketing
  •  music video.

Section B will focus on Media Industries and Media Audiences. Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms:

  •  radio
  • newspapers
  •  film (industries only).

How it's assessed

  •  Written exam: 2 hours
  • 84 marks
  •  35% of A-level


  • A range of questions relating to an unseen source and Close Study Products.
  • Two essay questions (20 marks), one of which is an extended response question.

Media Two

What's assessed

Questions will focus on the in-depth media forms of television, magazines and online, social and participatory media/video games.

How it's assessed

  •  Written exam: 2 hours
  • 84 marks
  •  35% of A-level


  •  One medium length unseen analysis question.
  •  Three essay questions (25 marks), one of which is an extended response question and one of which is a synoptic question.

Non-exam assessment: Creating a cross-media production

What's assessed

  • Application of knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework.
  •  Ability to create media products.

How it's assessed

  •  A choice of one of six annually changing briefs, set by AQA.
  •  60 marks
  • 30% of A-level
  • Assessed by teachers
  •  Moderated by AQA


Students produce:

  •  a statement of intent
  •  a cross-media production made for an intended audience.