Why choose A Level Media

Students will be expected to have met St Paul’s entry requirements of 2 Grade 5’s and 4 Grade 4’s. A minimum of grade 4 in English and Maths is essential for all courses.

1.Media Language

2. Media Representations

3. Media Industries

4. Media Audiences

Media One

What is assessed:

Section A will focus on media language and media representations. Questions in this section will test the following forms:

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Music videos

Section B will focus on media industries and media audiences. Questions in the section can test any two of the following forms:

  • Radio
  • Newspapers
  • Film (industry only)

How is it assessed?

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


  • A range of questions relating to a unseen source and close study products
  • Two essay questions (20 marks), one of which is an extended response question

Media Two

What is assessed:

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

How is it assessed?

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


  • One media 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

What is assessed:

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

How is it assessed?

  • A choice of one of six annually changing briefs set by AQA
  • 60 marks
  • 30% of A Level
  • Assessed by teacher
  • Moderated by AQA


Students produce:

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

Students are required to study products from the following media forms:

  • Television
  • Film
  • Radio
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Online, social and participatory media
  • Video games
  • Music videos


Close study products (CSP)

Media One:

  • Section A: Old Town Road (music), Ghost Town (music), Score (advert), Sephora: Black Beauty is Beauty(advert)
  • Section B: The Daily Mail (newspaper), The Guardian (newspaper), War of the Worlds (radio), NewsBeat (radio), Blinded by The Light (film)

Media Two:

  • 2x Police Drama (TV)
  • Zendaya (online)
  • The Voice (Online)
  • Forbidden Horizon (Game)
  • The Sims Freeplay (Game)
  • GQ (magazine)
  • The Gentlewoman (Magazine)

In addition to the brad coverage of all nine media forms, students must engage in the in-depth study selected media forms chosen by the exam board.

The close study products (CSP) will address the requirement that students engage with products which:

  • Possess cultural, social and historical significance
  • Reflect and illuminate the theoretical framework underling the study of media together with the theoretical perspectives associated with them
  • Illustrate a full range of media products in terms of perceived quality, form and structure provide rich and challenging opportunities for interpretation and in-depth critical analysis, enabling students to develop a detailed understanding of how the media communicate meanings and how audiences respond
  • Cover different historical periods and different global settings
  • Be intended for different audiences
  • Demonstrate emerging, future developments of the media
  • Cover examples of media students would not normally engage with
  • At least one media product produced before 1970
  • At least one media product produced for a non-English speaking audience
  • At least one media product produced outside the commercial mainstream
  • At least one media product targeting, or produced by, a minority audience

The focus of study is not the product itself but, rather the theoretical framework and contexts of the media. Students are expected to answer questions with reference to, or analysis of, relevant CSPs.

Media language

  • Semiotics
  • Narratology
  • Genre theory
  • Structuralism
  • Post-modernism

Media Representation

  • Representation
  • Identity
  • Feminism
  • Gender performativity
  • Ethnicity and postcolonialism

Media Industries

  • Power and industries
  • Regulation
  • Cultural industries

Media Audiences

  • Media effects
  • Cultivation theory
  • Reception theory
  • Fandom
  • ‘End of audience’ theory

Assessment Board: AQA

A level Media Studies students can go onto study Media, TV or Film at University as a practical degree, a theoretical degree or a combination of the two. Degree courses include Media & Communications, Multi-Media Journalism, Marketing and Film Production.

A-level Media can lead to a very broad range of professions in media, film and journalism. Jobs include Web Content Manager, Social Media Manager, Reporter, Broadcast Assistant and many more.

For further information, please contact:

Miss Bell (hbell@st-pauls.leicester.sch.uk) or

Mrs Upadhya (rupadhya@st-pauls.leicester.sch.uk)