Media Studies community

Many media groups and organisations produce free resources for teachers and learners, both online and face-to-face. Use the information and links below to explore what's available.

If you’ve used any resources that you think may benefit others, please let us know by emailing mediastudies@aqa.org.uk

British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has a wide range of online and offline education resources on UK film and DVD ratings, the history of media regulation and censorship, and online regulation.

You can also take advantage of the following on their website:
  • a huge online database of classification decisions from 1913 to today
  • BBFCinsight: a detailed description of the content of each film they rate, summarising the rating process
  • BBFC speakers: request a school visit, an interview with BBFC staff, or book on to a term-time seminar (seminars are free to attend but there is an administration charge).
BBFC website

British Film Institute (BFI)

The British Film Institute (BFI) runs extensive education programmes to help people of all ages to understand and enjoy film.

They support film and media studies teachers and students through:

  • Into Film: free film education opportunities in UK schools
  • free downloadable resources about the thousands of films in the BFI National Archive
  • free access to curated programmes drawn from 10,000 films and TV programmes, through the UK-wide network of BFI Mediatheques
  • film and media study days
  • a UK network of BFI Film Academies for 16–19 year olds
  • a year-round Future Film programme for 16–25 year olds, including an annual festival
  • an intensive school programme during the BFI London Film Festival in October.
BFI website

British Library

The British Library is one of the largest national libraries in the world, housing over 150 million items. Its vast collection includes a copy of every book published in the UK, plus literary manuscripts, maps, ephemera, sound and video recordings and photographs.

The British Library learning programme:

  • includes free workshops, tours and activities for secondary schools and teachers
  • offers a range of teaching resources, organised by subject and teaching age level, including citizenship, digital rights, and social networks
  • focuses on developing skills for learning, particularly research skills, critical thinking, information and digital literacy, and creativity.
British Library website

National Science and Media Museum

The National Science and Media Museum provides multiple opportunities for students to learn about the science of light, sound, photography, film and television.

They offer:

  • the biggest IMAX cinema in the region
  • interactive science shows and learning events
  • workshops and educational visits
  • a variety of temporary and permanent galleries.
National Media Museum website

National Theatre

The National Theatre is bursting with exciting and inspiring ways to connect professional theatre-making with school curricula. Performances are only a part of the experience.

Take advantage of:

  • free private video screenings from the archive – view past productions that are relevant to current studies
  • backstage tours with their knowledgeable and friendly guides, following in the footsteps of the greatest actors and directors of the last 35 years.
National Theatre website

Vamos Theatre

Vamos Theatre is one of only a few companies in the UK specialising in full mask theatre.They devise and tour visually and aurally inventive productions, with an emphasis on creating accessible, humorous and fearless work which showcases the best in full mask practice.

Their website offers a range of accessible education resources for students and teachers, including:

  • directors’ Q&As from previous performances
  • advice on using music
  • a glossary of mask theatre terms
  • education packs to accompany performances.

They also run paid theatre workshops on full mask, physical theatre and devising, and professional development workshops for teachers.

Vamos Theatre website

Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) holds the national collection of theatre and performance material.

Their Learning Acadamy run lots of activities for secondary schools and colleges, including:

  • gallery-based sessions
  • workshops
  • curator talks
  • career days
  • free resources and events.

As part of their free guided tours of the bespoke galleries, students get to see the history of performance through interaction with iconic objects, such as Shakespeare's First folio, costumes worn by rock and pop performers such as Mick Jagger, and set model boxes by Edward Gordon Craig. You can also try on costumes from their extensive handling collection, and watch extracts of live recordings of shows from the National Video Archive of Performance.

V&A website

Visual Arts Data Service

The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) hosts over 140,000 images online from across the visual arts.

Contributed by universities, colleges, museums, libraries and archives across the UK, all the images are free to use and copyright cleared so you can use them in teaching and learning.

Searchable and browsable on their website, there are images from over 300 collections, including the Design Council Archive, the Imperial War Museum Poster Collection and the Royal College of Art Collection.

VADS also provides teaching and learning resources that accompany the image collections, plus downloadable learning packages.

VADS website

York Theatre Royal

York Theatre Royal has been producing great drama in the beautiful city of York for over 270 years and is one of the country’s leading producing theatres. Each year it welcomes over 200,000 people to a wide variety of performances and activities.

York Theatre Royal has one of the busiest Education and Community departments in the country. It’s also a validated Learning Destination for the Children’s University.

The theatre's activities include:

  • running a thriving youth theatre for over 300 young people
  • organising the nationally recognised TakeOver Festival
  • an artistic commissioning programme that creates new theatre work for young people to perform.
York Theatre Royal website