Get in touch

Media Studies

Media Studies

What is it about at sixth-form level?

The media play a central role in contemporary culture, society and politics. They shape our perceptions of the world through the representations, ideas and points of view they offer. The globalised nature of the contemporary media, continual technological developments, and more opportunities to interact with the media suggest their centrality in contemporary life can only increase. A level Media Studies offers us the opportunity to develop an informed understanding of these key issues and to engage with the media critically and creatively.

Through the key concepts of Language, Representation, Industry and Audience, Media Studies analyses how media products create meaning, the interaction between media institutions and their audiences, and the different social and cultural possibilities of this interaction. You will look at all aspects of their design from their audio-visual presentation to the rhetorical devices and connotations of the language they use. You will examine a wide range of material, ranging from music videos and print advertisements to video games and internet content. Media Studies will develop your creative and critical abilities, and advance your understanding of the power of the creative industries.

Make an Enquiry
Lower Sixth
Upper Sixth

Why study it and what skills does it develop?

An A level in Media Studies provides a good foundation for further study in the humanities, marketing and communications. It will develop your analytical skills and develop your ability to express complex ideas in a clear argument. It combines well with other subjects requiring verbal and visual analysis, such as English Literature, History of Art, and Film Studies. The creative coursework element means it makes a good partner for Art, Photography and Graphic Design. The coursework will also develop photographic and editing skills.

What prior knowledge and skills are required?

You will need a good level of English, preferably including English Language GCSE, because of the comprehension demands and the written nature of the assessments.

How is the course assessed?

A level

The A level course is assessed by two component examinations and two pieces of coursework. There is one examination for component 2: Media texts and contexts accounting for 50 marks and one examination for component 4: Critical Perspectives accounting for 60 marks. Each of these examinations is 2 hours long. Each of the four components is worth 25% of the overall A level. The Foundation and Advanced Portfolios therefore account for 50% of the overall A level. Coursework will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

Core Texts and Suggested Reading

To be confirmed at the start of the course

The Media Student’s Book (5th Edition)
By G. Branston and R. Stafford
Published by Routledge, ISBN 978-0415558426

A level Media Studies: The Essential Introduction
By P Bennett, S Casey Benyahia, J Slater
Published by Routledge, ISBN 978-1138285897

Exam Board and Specification Codes

CIE A level Media Studies 9607

"I have really enjoyed my time MPW and would recommend this college to anyone. I learnt how to work more efficiently and revise more effectively thanks to the tutorials and weekly Timed Assignments, which also allowed me to prepare myself mentally for the exams from the first day. My history teacher was phenomenal. He managed to get me to reengage with the subject, as well as giving me all the support and help I asked for and more, giving me the knowledge and exams technique needed to achieve an A*."


Grades achieved at MPW: A*AA Progressed to: Exeter University (International Relations)

"The small class sizes proved invaluable for a number of reasons, some of which I did not anticipate. Aside from the obvious individual attention, the size of the class allowed for a lot of students’ questions to turn into a fruitful academic discussion. I have found the atmosphere at the college far more friendly and supportive than I expected. The support I had from my Personal Tutor was very helpful during the application process for university. I could tell that he really did care about my future and wanted to do everything he could in order to help me secure my place at my chosen university. Overall, I am pleased to say that my high expectations of MPW were fully met."


Grades achieved at MPW: AAB Progressed to: Southampton University (Business Innovation)

"I have definitely made the right decision to come to MPW - my grades have gone from averaging Es to straight As. Teaching at MPW is much more personal and I felt like talking to teachers. They are very good and give you lots of support if you do not understand something. My Personal Tutor took me through the UCAS process step by step. We went through my Personal Statement many times to make sure it was completely perfect. I am very excited about my firm choice."


Grades achieved at MPW: AAA Progressed to: Warwick University (Chemistry)

"As a dyslexic student who initially got CCEE for my AS, I was convinced that I could not achieve any higher. My time at MPW proved me wrong. Initially I was reluctant to move from my local school in York to a college so far away from home, my parents, and friends. At the end of my first year I was overjoyed to find that many hours of hard work and renewed revision techniques had resulted in me achieving three A's in my subjects. I wanted to continue at A2 as I knew it would greatly improve my university prospects and encourage me to work even harder. After two fantastic years at MPW I can emphatically say that going to MPW was the best decision I ever made."


Grades achieved at MPW: AAA Progressed to: Nottingham University (Philosophy)

"Having a Personal Tutor to discuss ANYTHING with, from my UCAS application to organising my life in general, really did make life at the college more streamlined and in general less stressful."


Grades achieved at MPW: A*AA Progressed to: University of York (Law)

"Honestly, I could not imagine when I joined MPW that, due to language and adaptation barriers, I would achieve top grades in my first A-level exam sittings. This view changed completely after only a few weeks in the college’s supportive and motivational environment; with teachers who aimed at finding a personal touch with each student and with my Personal Tutor who made my adjustment to the UK education system not only an easy step in my life but, more importantly, an enjoyable one."


Grades achieved at MPW: A*A*A* Progressed to: University College London (Economics)

"International students have many aspects to think about, such as accommodation and guardians, but MPW surprised me by having a highly organised and supportive administration. Also, because most MPW Cambridge students are local, as an ‘international’ student, I found this very useful in both improving my English and in giving me a taste of a genuinely ‘English’ college."


Grades achieved at MPW: A*A*A* Progressed to: University College London (Mathematics and Statistics)

"The teachers really helped me overcome any difficulties I came across; they always seemed willing to offer support be it inside or outside of the classroom. I could safely say my teachers inspired me to work hard and aim for the best, sometimes simply by being passionate about what they do."


Grades achieved at MPW: A*AABB Progressed to: King's College London (International Relations)

Discover more at MPW

Success Stories

In their own words - testimonials from our past students and their parents.

Inspection Reports

MPW Cambridge was judged as Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.


At MPW we believe in making our courses fit the student’s requirements.

Find Us

90-92 Queen's Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5AB

16-18 Greenfield Crescent Birmingham B15 3AU

3-4 Brookside Cambridge CB2 1JE


Request a Prospectus, Book an Open Event or Make an Enquiry