A-levels, BTECs & Highers

What do universities really think about A-level media studies?

By Andy Gardner (Careers Adviser) - 14 August 2012

Man with a director's clipperboard

Media studies. A great introduction for a future career in media or communications? Or a subject some universities aren’t too keen on?

There’s never a shortage of rumours about A-level media studies flying around the common room. To get to the bottom of it, we asked a selection of universities how they view applicants with A-level media studies…

Do universities accept A-level media studies?

Exeter and Portsmouth - yes

We welcome applications from students studying A-level media studies for all our undergraduate programmes. Apart from general studies, all A-levels are treated equally by the University when considering who to make offers to. Where particular subjects are required for entry, this is made clear in the entry requirements. University Of Exeter

Note: 8% of English studies students at the University of Exeter in 2012 studied A-level media studies, according to BestCourse4Me.

The University welcomes a wide range of entry qualifications including A-level media studies for any of its courses. Some courses require specific A-level subjects (or their equivalent). Detailed entry requirements for specific courses are listed on our website. University Of Portsmouth

Note: 21% of English studies students at the University of Portsmouth in 2012 studied A-level media studies, according to BestCourse4Me.

Nottingham and Manchester - yes, but combine with ‘traditional’ subjects

We accept A-level media studies, although we would draw an applicant's attention to the specific entry requirements for each degree programme and also encourage students to refer to the Russell Group and Institute of Career Guidance’s advice on A-level subject choice. University Of Nottingham

We prefer to see at least two traditional subjects in your A-level choices, however we welcome all subjects from Arts, Humanities, Mathematics & Science provided they have an academic content of at least 70%. University Of Manchester | English Department

There is a debate about what constitutes ‘academic content’, but be aware that A-level media studies does include practical elements.

Getting into the media industry

As with the rest of your A-level subject choices, you should choose A-level media studies because you think it’s a subject you’ll enjoy and will play to your strengths – but you don’t need to study it in order to pursue a media-related degree course such as journalism, media studies, PR or communications.

It might also be wise to combine media studies with two or more of the traditional subjects looked upon favourably by top universities, such as English, history or a modern language. This will keep your options open later on, when it comes to choosing courses and universities.

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