Scheme of assessment

Find past papers and mark schemes, and specimen papers for new courses, on our website at

This specification is designed to be taken over two years.

This is a linear qualification. In order to achieve the award, students must complete all assessments at the end of the course and in the same series.

A-level exams and certification for this specification are available for the first time in May/June 2019 and then every May/June for the life of the specification.

All materials are available in English only.

Our A-level exams in Media Studies include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to:

  • recall information
  • draw together information from different areas of the specification
  • apply their knowledge and understanding in practical and theoretical contexts
  • analyse critically and compare how media products, including products outside the commercial mainstream, construct and communicate meanings through the interaction of media language and audience response
  • use and reflect critically upon a range of complex theories of media studies and use specialist subject specific terminology appropriately in a developed way
  • debate critically key questions relating to the social, cultural, political and economic role of the media through sustained discursive writing.


Courses based on this specification must encourage students 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, media 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 in order to 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 list of aims.

Assessment objectives

Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all A-level Media Studies specifications and all exam boards.

The exams and non-exam assessment will measure how students have achieved the following 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.

Assessment weightings

The marks awarded on the papers will be scaled to meet the weighting of the components. Students’ final marks will be calculated by adding together the scaled marks for each component. Grade boundaries will be set using this total scaled mark. The scaling and total scaled marks are shown in the table below.

Component Maximum raw mark Scaling factor Maximum scaled mark
Media One 84 x1 84
Media Two 84 x1 84
NEA 60 x1.2 72
Total scaled mark: 240