pupils in media studies class

(AQA) A-Level Media Studies


Media Studies provides a great opportunity to explore and evaluate why we engage with a wide range of media texts. Representation and media form are other important aspects of the course. AQA’s Media Studies also requires you to develop the practical skills needed to create your own exciting products.

On this page, you can access the A Level specification, past papers and their mark schemes. AQA also provide excellent notes on the key concepts. If you want to know more about the coursework, you might want to read our suggested NEA minimum requirements and our guide to the Statement of Intent.

Summary of Assessment

There are two examination papers and a cross-media product to create.

Media One

This written exam lasts for two hours and includes a range of questions relating to an unseen source and Close Study Products. There are two essay questions, one of which is an extended response question.

Section A focuses on Media Language and Media Representations. Questions in this section will test the following forms:

  • advertising and marketing
  • music video.

Section B will focus on Media Industries and Media Audiences. Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms:

  • radio
  • newspapers
  • film (industries only).

Media Two

Lasting two hours, this written paper focuses on the in-depth media forms of television, magazines and online, social and participatory media/video games.

There is one medium length unseen analysis question and three essay questions, one of which is an extended response question and one of which is a synoptic question.

A Level

Media Studies

Non-exam Assessment

You need to create a cross-media production which demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework. You also need to produce a Statement of Intent.

Past Papers and Mark Schemes

The following pdf files will open in new tabs.

Past PaperMark Scheme
2019 – Media One2019 – Media One MS
2019 – Media Two2019 – Media One MS
Sample Paper 1Sample Paper 1
Sample Paper 2Sample Paper 2

Assessment Objectives

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media and contexts of media and their influence on media products and processes.

AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media to:

  • analyse media products, including in relation to their contexts and through the use of academic theories
  • evaluate academic theories
  • make judgements and draw conclusions.

AO3: Create media products for an intended audience, by applying knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media to communicate meaning.

Close Study Products (CSPs)

There are lots of interesting theories in media studies, but it is important to apply those critical frameworks to a range of media texts. This is why the course includes Close Study Products (CSPs). The choice of products are reviewed regularly by AQA, but here is the list from the current specification.

Media One

Section ASection B
Letter to the FreeWar of the Worlds
Ghost TownNewsbeat
ScoreBlinded by the Light
That Boss Life 

Media Two

Capital and Deutschland 83Metroid: Prime 2 Echoes
(or) The Missing and WitnessesTomb Raider: Anniversary
(or) No Offence and The KillingThe Sims Freeplay
Teen VogueMen’s Health
The VoiceOh Comely

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