Media Studies

Media Studies

Media Studies

Media Studies

In addition to the College’s general entry requirements, it is desirable for applicants to have enthusiasm, a serious interest in a career in the creative industries and a desire to develop both practical and theoretical understanding of the process of producing media texts and products.

It is essential that young people possess the tools to understand and analyse the role of the media and the huge impact it has on their thinking, behaviour and other elements of their lives.

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A Level Media Studies

Course Summary

Media Studies Website

We live in a world of competing messages, with many of these circulating via the interconnected industries that we commonly call ‘the media’. Making sense of these messages, and the ideologies contained therein, is vital if we wish to fully understand the world in which we live and possess the ability to make sensible and informed decisions.

Media Studies is an academic discipline that helps people to navigate today’s media-saturated landscape by exploring the content, history and cultural impact of various media forms. As a student, you will do this by examining the relationship between text, audience and industry and exploring many of the debates surrounding the nature of that relationship. You will develop skills in analysis, critical thinking and awareness of the tools that the media use to communicate with us. You will develop skills in creating your own media texts through practical exploration. You will study areas such as: film, TV, radio, magazines, adverts, news and online, music videos.

Fact file

  • The course provides an excellent introduction to the field of Media Studies.
  • A GCSE in Media Studies is not required to take the course at A-level.
  • Many of our students continue their study of the media at degree level. A high number also develop careers in a range of media-related roles, including: film and television production, journalism and marketing/public relations.
  • Media Studies compliments the study of a number of other subjects, including: Art & Design, Business Studies, English Literature, Film Studies, Politics, Sociology and History.
  • Students may have the opportunity to attend a range of trips, including those to the British Film Institute in London, Harry Potter Studio Tour in London and residential trip Los Angeles.

Progression Skills and Opportunities

  • Los Angeles trip that includes three studio tours, Hollywood sightseeing and cultural visits
  • British Film Institute trip
  • Visiting professionals offering unit specific workshops

In addition to gaining a detailed knowledge of the various media sectors, students are expected to leave the course with enhanced skills in a range of key areas, including: creative thinking, problem-solving, effective communication and self-management.

Many of our ex-students have continued their study of the media at university, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Universities attended by our ex-students include: Bournemouth University; King’s College, University of London; University of Southampton; Southampton Solent University; and University of Warwick.

How is the course assessed?

Throughout the two year course, the units covered will assess a student’s ability to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of media concepts, contexts and critical debates.
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan and construct media products using appropriate technical and creative skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply and evaluate media theory

Students’ on-going progress will be monitored via a range of formative assessments including: written essays, presentations and verbal responses to directed questioning whilst the coursework element will include production work to a professional standard that could include creation of either print work such as magazines, or audio-visual work such as a music video.

70% of your assessment will be via traditional examinations, the other 30% will be assessed via an NEA project (coursework) which allows students to make choices from a selection of briefs.

What topics will I be studying?

The first year is intended as an introductory course in Media Studies. During the year, students will develop their analytical skills and learn how media texts are constructed. They will also study a number of key issues relating to media representations and audience responses.

The second year is designed to develop the knowledge and skills acquired by students within their first year. This is achieved through a greater emphasis on the relationship between text, audience and industry and the debates surrounding the nature of this complex relationship. This will require the close study of news and online and Long Form TV Dramas and a more in-depth consideration of a range of appropriate theoretical perspectives.

Thirty percent of the course is based on a non-examined assessment, which will be a creative cross media promotional project. Seventy percent will be in an examination at the end of the course. Throughout, you will have a variety of assessments, including essays, presentations and practical applications of theories.

In total, there are nine areas of the media that this A level covers: music videos, advertisements, magazines, news and online news, TV drama, film, gaming, radio.

Will I need specialist materials or equipment?

The course fee of £25 per year covers most of the materials that students will require. Due to the nature of the practical work undertaken on this course, students will be required to bring a minimum 1TB hard drive and a digital card reader. Access to Adobe Creative Cloud is given to all Media students as part of the course, allowing students to access industry standard editing software both at College and at home on a personal device for no additional cost. Students will have the opportunity to rent hard drives from the college media department for a deposit if required. Students are also required to attend every lesson with the basic tools they need to study at this level: this includes carrying A4 paper and a selection of pens.

Creative Media Practice Vocational

Course Summary

BTEC Creative Media Website

The National Extended Diploma in Creative Media Practice provides a well-rounded introduction to the study and practice of creative media. It is a vocational course which allows students to progress into a variety of media areas, such as production based degrees and theoretical studies in areas such as film, television, game software design and other creative degrees and can provide pathways in to the industry. Students gain an insight in to the structure of the media industry with a practical knowledge of how professionals work to produce media texts for YouTube, film, Esports, gaming sites and print industries. You will develop a solid grounding in ways to analyse, research, plan and produce media products, and will learn about creating media proposals and pitches for original creative ideas. Additionally, the practical production units will develop your skills in digital asset creation, digital publishing, film editing and film making and digital games design using a range of professional tools allowing you to create near professional assets bringing your creative ideas to life.

Specific Entry Requirements

In addition to the College’s general entry requirements, it is desirable for applicants to have enthusiasm, a serious interest in a career in the creative industries and a desire to develop both practical and theoretical understanding of the process of producing media texts and products.

Progression Skills and Opportunities

The qualification provides a coherent introduction to the study of creative media practice. Students develop an understanding of the media industry through analysing media representations and pitching and producing media projects. It is designed for students who aim to progress to higher education and ultimately to employment, possibly in the media industries.

  • Los Angeles trip – Involving the production on ‘new’ cinema and the old studio film system

  • Harry Potter – working studio/ behind the scenes

  • Skills for progression – students will develop transferrable skills through written assessments, client based briefs, strict deadlines, independent study, research, time management and presentation.

  • Opportunities to engage with our local Media Industry links such as Sony and Face TV and Local Buzz magazine

How is the course assessed?

The course is 100% internally assessed. The 4 units will provide the foundation for a range of assignments which are internally assessed by the teaching team and then verified by an external moderator from the examining board. Assessment is based on the achievement of all the specified learning outcomes. You will complete a number of skills based briefs which will enable you to provide evidence to show that you have met the grading criteria. Each unit will be awarded a pass, merit or distinction.

What topics will I be studying?

Activities and assignments will be based on the two teaching modules:

  • Exploring and Developing Creative Media Skills

  • Advancing Creative Practice

Within these teaching modules are the four units that will be taught and assessed over the two years:

  • Skills Development

  • Creative Project

  • Personal Progression

  • Creative Industry Response

Will I need specialist materials or equipment?

The studio fee of £60 per year covers most of the materials that students will require. Due to the nature of the practical work undertaken on this course, students will be required to bring a pair of headphones, a minimum 1TB hard drive and a digital card reader. Access to editing software and recording equipment at home will be an advantage. Ideally, students will have access to their own digital SLR camera which will help with developing a range of coursework units. Students will have the opportunity to rent hard drives from the college media department for a deposit.

There will be the opportunity to take part in a residential cultural trip to Los Angeles and UK based trips to the Harry Potter Studio tour and the London BFI.

Work Experience

Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) – Visual Effects and Animation Virtual Work Experience Placement.

Industrial Light & Magic is an American motion picture visual effects company that was founded in May 1975 by George Lucas. It is a division of the film production company Lucasfilm, which Lucas founded, and was created when Lucas began production of the film Star Wars. Students completed a three-day virtual work placement where they worked in teams to recreate a scene from one of ILM’s previous projects, they also heard from several ILM staff about the diverse job roles in the VFX industry. Quotes from two of the students below:

Crystal Frazer

Doing the work experience with Industrial Light and Magic helped me to gain a lot more knowledge about Behind The Scenes and visual effects for big blockbuster films, I was able to ask several professionals about their careers and the path they went on to get where they are today. The work experience boosted my confidence not only with my social skills but also my confidence within myself and my creative skills. I was able to meet several new students online, and work alongside them to completely recreate a scene from Jurassic Park. Industrial Light and Magic were very welcoming to begin with and helped me to gain a positive attitude towards my future career, I am very grateful to have been a part of that experience, if I could, I would relive it several times just because the experience was truly that amazing.”


We are supported by a wealth of technical expertise and industry-standard equipment which enables our students to excel in national competitions. Whether you prefer practical work or theoretical exploration, the department has something to offer any individual who is driven to explore the media in greater depth.

Media Facilities at QMC

The QMC School of Creative Arts is housed in the Allen Building, a purpose-built creative space. Media lessons take place across a series of rooms on the middle and top floors. Students have access to a computer suite fully equipped with the latest Adobe package (including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro and After Effects). They also have access to Lumix and Black Magic cameras and a TV studio.


Film & Media Trip

Los Angeles

During your time in Film Studies, you will be given the opportunity to go on trips to enhance your experience through visiting key institutions and locations and engaging in activities away from the classroom. Recently, we have visited Pinewood Studios, the British Film Institute and saw the Kubrick exhibition at the Design Museum. We’ve also looked at exhibitions of work by experimental filmmakers at the Tate Gallery. We believe that these experiences are vital to your development as a student and would urge you to take these opportunities whenever you can. To see more photos from our trips please look on our Instagram page.

One of the many experiences we offer is our annual trip to LA in the second year. We stay in Studio City, where many silent and classic Hollywood films were shot. The students who come with us get an amazing experience, and we visit many famous locations, but also some of the major studios for guided tours including Sony, Warner Brothers and Universal.
As well as the work you produce for your A level, you will be given opportunities to enter local and national competitions and engage in projects outside of your normal studies. We regularly have talks from universities, professionals and companies to give you a broader understanding of future options. We are currently working closely with the Exit 6 Film Festival, and we arranged a visit to Pinewood Studios with locally-based Sony.

We also offer enrichments within the department, such as Film Club, to help develop your understanding and give you a broader experience which will benefit your future ambitions. To learn more, please have a look at our enrichments guide.

Any Questions?

Our Head of Department, Tom Cops will be happy to help.

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