· Announcement ·

Ofsted have given Thomas Rotherham College an Outstanding judgement. Inspectors from Ofsted rated the College as ‘Outstanding’ – the highest grade possible – in five out of six areas of inspection, including Outstanding for ‘Overall Effectiveness’. Click Here


Level 3

Qualification: A Level

Duration: 2 years


What will I study?

A Level Media Studies is an academic subject that focuses on media literacy and analysis as opposed to BTEC Creative Media Production, which is more practical. The A Level course is 70% exam based and 30% practical work.

This course is best suited to students who wish to study more academic courses at university, such as Media Studies (as opposed to more practical courses such as Media Production, although Media Studies would be useful for such courses as well).

Your studies will focus on analysing media texts in order to understand how media messages shape the way we think, behave and react to the world around us, as well as who is giving us these messages, why they are giving them to us and what their agenda is.

You will be analysing media texts in relation to academic theories such as semiotics (the language of media, postmodernism etc.), representation (e.g., feminist theories, theories of ethnicity and postcolonialism etc.), audience theory (including how the media affects our behaviour and the need for regulation) and industry theories (media ownership, government regulation and power).

Practical Coursework allows you to creatively apply your theoretical knowledge and understanding of media language, representation, industry and audience to an original cross-media production that will involve producing both print and video products.

The following forms are studied:

  • Newspapers (The Times and The Daily Mirror),
  • Magazines (Vogue and The Big Issue),
  • Television (Peaky Blinders and The Bridge),
  • Online, social and participatory media (Attitude and KSI).
  • Advertising and marketing (Kiss of the Vampire, Tide’s Got, What Women Want, Super. Human, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games advert),
  • Film marketing (Black Panther and I, Daniel Blake),
  • Music video (Janelle Monae’s Turntables and Vance Joy),
  • Radio (Woman’s Hour)
  • Video games (The Assassin’s Creed Franchise, with particular focus on Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation and Valhalla).


Media Studies offers a broad, engaging and stimulating course of study which enables you to:

  • demonstrate skills of enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making and analysis.
  • demonstrate a critical approach to media issues.
  • demonstrate appreciation and critical understanding of the media and their role both historically and currently in society, culture, politics and the economy.
  • develop an understanding of the dynamic and changing relationships between media forms, products, industries and audiences.
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the global nature of the media.
  • apply theoretical knowledge and specialist subject specific terminology to analyse and compare media products and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed.
  • make informed arguments, reach substantiated judgements and draw conclusions about media issues.
  • engage in critical debate about academic theories used in media studies.
  • appreciate how theoretical understanding supports practice and practice supports theoretical understanding.
  • demonstrate sophisticated practical skills by providing opportunities for creative media production.

Study Visits

A variety of trips and visits will be available throughout the year in addition to some opportunities to meet visiting speakers from the Creative Industries.

Trips and visits in the past have included:

  • University of Sheffield Film Festival.
  • Sheffield DocFest.
  • BFI London Film Festival and Harry Potter Studios.
  • Media City Manchester.


Trips – as and when they take place. Minimal costs involved to purchase existing media texts (less than £5 to purchase magazine and news texts).

Textbooks will be provided but will require a £10 deposit that will be refunded at the end of the course on return of the book in good condition.

Students may want to purchase a DSLR camera, although this is not essential as they are available to borrow from the department.

Students may want to purchase Adobe Creative Suite software, although this is not essential as this is available across college on all computers.


Two exams (70%) and coursework (30%).

Entry Criteria

Grade 5 English.

Useful Supporting Courses

Film, Photography, Fine Art, Graphics, Performing Arts, Music Technology, English Language, English Literature, Sociology, Philosophy, Psychology, History etc.

You can have a look at the subject specific Instagram sites by searching:
• @trcartdept
• @trcperformingarts
• @trcmediaandfilm
• @trc.music.dept


• Broadcast (TV and Radio),
• Publishing and journalism (newspapers or magazines),
• Media Planner,
• Advertising and marketing,
• Social Media Manager,
• Information technology,
• Travel and tourism,
• Teaching.

You can learn more about media careers, degrees and apprenticeships here: https://www.ucas.com/job-subjects/media-studies.

Culture Vulture

Check out our Culture Vulture link to see what takes your interest.

Media Culture Vulture

Flying start

Click the link and have a go at our 10-week learning plan to get you off to the best start.

Flying-Start-Media-A-Level 2023

Course Overview

Follow the link to see an introduction to the course, identifying what you will study with us in the first few months and what you might already know.

A Level Media Course Overview

More Info