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Course Code: SFAMD011

Course Level: Level 3

Study Mode: Full-Time

Course Type: A Levels and A+ Programmes

Course overview

Dive into the fascinating realm of media and communication with our A Level Media Studies course. This engaging program equips students with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complexities of media in the 21st century. From social media and digital storytelling to media regulation and globalisation, students examine the impact of media on culture, politics, and everyday life.

The course will require you to produce practical media, you will develop your production skills across a range of formats including music videos, trailers, adverts, magazine covers and journalism. UK creative industries generate more than £100bn a year to the UK economy and employ more than 2m people. This course offers you the technical and creative grounding you'll need to become part of this expanding sector.

The course provides a balance between the practical and theoretical aspects of Media Studies, where you will read, analyse and discuss a range of close study media texts. You will develop your production skills, using Adobe Photoshop and Premier to create adverts, magazine layouts and journalism, music videos and television trailers set to a brief provided by the exam board.

During practical lessons you will take part in a range of workshops, discussion and research activities presenting and communicating your ideas. Theory classes will engage with the set close study texts and application of theories. This will involve analysis and discussion, answering past/specimen essay questions in preparation for the examinations.

You will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 or above including maths and English Language, in subjects relevant to your A Level or A+ Programme subject choices.

Assessment is comprised of two examinations and one practical portfolio at the end of two years of study.

Exam 1:

  • Engage with 9 set close study products which include The Guardian Newspaper, Old Town Road music video and Sephora advertisement.
  • Study and apply appropriate media theories and concepts including: Media Representation, Audience, Industry and Language.
  • Study an unseen linked piece of Media.

Exam 2:

  • Engage with 9 additional set close study products which include Zendeya, Sims Freeplay and GQ Magazine.
  • Study and apply appropriate media theories and concepts including: Media Representation, Audience, Industry, Language and study an unseen linked piece of media.

Non-Exam Assessment (NEA), 30% production portfolio:

Part 1: You will produce a portfolio for one annually changing production briefs set by the exam board. These could include magazine covers and journalism and/or music video and/or television trailers/extracts and/or print adverts. This will be completed in year 1.

Part 2: You will then produce a linked piece of production to Part 1. This could cover magazine covers and journalism and/or music video and/or television trailers/extracts and/or print adverts and/or web design. This will be completed in year 2.

If you wish to find out more you can contact Jess Birks, subject lecturer, by emailing:

Successful completion of this course, along with other A Levels, will give you a great chance of being accepted directly onto a related university degree course. You could also apply for a plcae on our own HNC Digital Content Creation programme at Stafford. Many of our ex-students within the Newcastle and Stafford colleges group now work in areas including Broadcast Journalism, TV and Print Media.

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18.

College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £26,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit


pass rate


achieved A*-B in 2023


What else do I need to know?

Educational visits are also planned and have included residential trips to Paris and more local visits to Granada Studios (Manchester) and radio stations (including Signal Radio and Capital FM), along with digital talks with the BFI.

Think of what you're capable of. Then think beyond it.

Step up to a top university or move into a competitive programme like Medicine or Law with our Honours Programme. Perfect for ambitious and high-achieving students.

The Honours Programme is an additional pathway for students whose aspirations are to progress onto highly competitive courses at top universities, such as those in the Russell Group. Once accepted onto the programme, you’ll be expected to commit extra time every week to this intensive support pathway.

Find out more here