As Level Media Coursework Print


Entry requirements

A minimum of four grade 5s at GCSE including English Language.


Two years.

What will I study?

Whether it is games, mobile telephones, social networking sites, digital television or iPods, there's barely an hour of the day that goes by when we are not immersing ourselves in the media. When we spend so much time exposed to something, doesn't it make sense to understand it better? By focusing on specific parts of the media, we can understand the wider context in which it exists, the forces that act upon it, and how it influences us.

The course allows you to investigate different themes that underpin the subject: the way we are influenced as an audience and how we as an audience can manipulate the media; issues that affect big and small media organisations and the big debates and themes that surround the media as a concept.

Based on an equal share of practical and academic work, the course allows you to create your own media artefacts, think about how they work and discuss how they compare to the real thing. You will also focus on a specific aspect of the media as a way of developing your understanding of the issues and debates that surround the subject: currently we are focusing on television drama, so there's plenty of opportunity for discussion and debate!

In the first year coursework focuses on print production, letting you explore production techniques and styles as you research, plan and produce a magazine that reflects professional practice, while the exam unit focuses on representation in television drama and issues surrounding media audiences and institutions. The exam is based on a case study of a particular media industry eg. film, video games etc. You will explore production, marketing and how we interact with media products and think about how this mirrors general media practices.

In the second year your coursework will include video production and you will explore key media theories and concepts.

How will I be assessed?

Coursework (50 per cent) 
Written examination (50 per cent)


A materials contribution is applied to this course. This will be confirmed at interview.

Good course combinations

Film Studies, Sociology, Photography, Drama and Theatre Studies and English.

What could it lead to?

Media Studies gives you excellent analytical, technical and group-working skills, all of which are attractive to employers and universities. It is an excellent contribution to arts-based undergraduate programmes. Students who have successfully completed both years have gone on to study Media at university, giving them the practical skills and academic knowledge to work in the industry.

Need some help?

If you have any further questions about this course, or would like us to help you with your application, please contact the Schools Liaison team on 01904 770239 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this webpage, the content is subject to change where necessary.

100% Achievement in 2016.





a relationship between

signifier and signified which is

not obvious (e.g. the word ‘cat’

in the Roman alphabet and our

mental image of the animal)

critical theory

an approach to the study of

culture which considers how

various forces are at work in its



the study of structural aspects

of language, with many sub-




later work on structuralism

which both extends its ideas

and critiques its approach


order of


a layered and more subtle

interpretation of a complex



Saussure’s term for the study

of signs, which he regarded as

a science


a way of analysing culture

which prioritises its form/

structure over function

according to codified systems

third order of


the relationship between the

first and second orders of

signification and myths and


triadic model

common term used for Peirce’s

description of how we read



Ferdinand de


(1857–1913), Swiss structural

linguist often credited along

with Peirce with the founding

of semiotic theory as we know

it today.

Charles Peirce

(1839–1914), American multi-

disciplinary academic who

contributed to the field

of semiotic theory from

his broad background as a

mathematician, philosopher

and communication theorist.


The technical codes and features used in print

media texts

In the previous section, we talked about codes as a group of conventions which

are used to organise and create meaning. In addition to using semiotic terms when

analysing print media texts, there are some other codes and features which are

likely to be frequently used. Other terms, some of which have their origins in the

industry, are specific to one or two forms.

In this section, we will explore the relevant codes and more general features first.

You will find in Chapter 2 that some of these codes appear again, but given a

slightly different context as their usage varies depending on the media form. In the

final section, we will look at the features peculiar to each main print form in turn –

newspapers, magazines and print advertisements.

Dress code

Dress code forms an essential part of the signification process in any print media

text. The clothing worn by anyone can be used to signify particular meanings about

their social status, lifestyle, age and many other factors. It isn’t enough to simply

identify a dress code as ‘casual’ or ‘formal’ – look at the details of how the clothing

is being worn, any accessories or details, the colours, whether they coordinate

connoting more simple ideas, or clash and suggest contradictory meanings and

conflict, and to what extent they help meet generic expectations.

Colour codes

Colour codes may be inherent in the environment in which a photograph is taken,

particularly if it is photo-journalism. Colours may still be subject to manipulation such

as colour correction or saturation of the whole or part of an image in post-production.

The extent to which this acceptable is a grey area of


in photo-journalism and

documentary photography. In the case of photo-journalism, colour codes are part of

the factors considered in the editorial process along with framing and cropping. For

magazine shoots or print advertising, colour codes are often contrived from a limited

palette which strongly signifies a mood, theme or atmosphere.



  Reading Print Media


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