Media (Digital) (single award)
Voc Lvl 3

Are you creative?  Are you interested in media products and how they are produced?  Would you like the opportunity to create your own media texts?  If so, then the Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate in Digital Media could be for you.

The Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate in Digital Media is aimed at people who enjoy learning about the media, as well as creating media products. The course has been designed to provide a high quality alternative to A levels, and is industry and university recognised.  You will develop creative and academic skills, a knowledge and understanding of the media industry, together with the processes, values and job roles involved. The aims of the course are to:

  • develop theoretical and technical knowledge;
  • develop key skills required in the production of media texts;
  • develop professional and social skills through interaction with performers, clients and peers;
  • encourage creativity through the design and production of media products.

Over the two years, you will complete six units. Two of these units are external assessments, whilst the other four are internally assessed through the completion of practical projects. The six units are diverse and will develop a range of skills in the creation of products, including documentary and advertising.

50% of assessment is through coursework, so will require you to have the ability to meet deadlines. From the outset, you are assessed at A level standard, so expectations are high; but you will receive excellent support from both teaching and technical support staff.

To begin with, you will complete a group project to help you develop your planning, creative and editing skills. For this, you will be trained by our technical team on how to use industry- standard equipment and editing software programmes.

We will then begin your first assessed project - this will be for a client and you will work in groups to write a script and create an audio visual project according to the brief the client sets. This will involve research, planning, pre-production, production and post-production.

Later in the year, you will prepare for your summer exam. For this you will develop analytical skills, learn about the way the industry is structured and consider how audiences are targeted by the industry. You will also learn about the legal and ethical elements of the media industry. 

Some units will involve working with real clients from the media industry and, as a result, you can expect to be attending workshops with industry professionals. 

The Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate in Digital Media is a two year course and is equivalent in size to one A level.

Examination: 50%

Coursework: 50%

In year one, you will complete three units:

  • Products and Audiences (June exam)
  • A Moving Image Production
  • Scripting for Media Products

In year two, you will complete three units:

  • Pre-production and Planning (January exam)
  • Advertising Media
  • Plan and Deliver a Pitch for a Media Product

Each unit will be awarded with a number of credits, leading to a Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction* overall.

The Extended Certificate in Digital Media can be complemented by other vocational or academic qualifications.  Due to the fact this is a vocational course, it contains creative and practical work, so will be suited to those students wishing to further develop this area and combines well with other creative courses.  However, it also works well with subjects such as A level film studies, business, sociology, English and IT.

The qualification has been designed to meet the DfEs requirements and will support those who:

  • want to gain a Level 3 qualification to support further study in Further Education (FE) or Higher Education (HE) in Digital Media;
  • are looking to gain a Level 3 qualification to support further study in FE or (HE) in any other sector or subject area;
  • want to progress into a media-related apprenticeship.

As well as enabling you to enter Higher Education, the subject will provide you with analytical and practical skills that are appropriate for a career in the Film and Media Industries. Students are also encouraged to partake in valuable work experience during their 2 years of study, in order to gain knowledge and understanding of a real working environment in the media industry.

Please see below for careers and labour market information for digital media - use the refresh buttons to find out about different courses and careers, and use the left and right arrows to view more detailed information.

You can find the prep work for this course at

Q: What is the difference between the vocational and A level media and film courses?
A: Both the Cambridge Technical in digital media and the A level media courses provide you with knowledge and understanding of the media industry, its products and audiences, as well as developing practical skills through coursework projects.  However, the A level is 70% exam and 30% coursework; the Cambridge Technical is 50% exam, 50% coursework on the single award course and 30% exam, 70% coursework on the double award course.  Another difference is the focus; while the A level is about WHY media products contain particular content, the Cambridge Technical in media is about HOW media products are produced and varying factors that influence a product such as institution, audience and genre.  You can’t study both the Cambridge Technical and A level media together, as they equate to the same qualification.  However, quite a number of students choose A level film studies alongside the Cambridge Technical in media.  Similar to A level media, film studies is 70% exam and 30% coursework and provides an in-depth study into the film industry and its products, which compliments the Cambridge Technical in digital media well.

Q: What are the results like?
A: Every year, the results across our courses are well above national averages.  Please see below for the results of 2019-20 for both courses:


Q: I want to get into the media industry.  Would you recommend the single or double award course?
A: Both courses provide you with knowledge and practical experience to help prepare you for industry.  However, if you already know you definitely want to pursue a media career, we would recommend the double award (Diploma) course.  This is because you will complete a wider variety of practical projects in different media sectors and thus develop a wide range of production skills that will prepare you for the industry.  You will also have an extensive portfolio of work to use for job or university interviews.  For those with a keen interest in the media, but who wish to study a greater range of subjects, we would recommend the single award course (Extended Certificate).

Q: Which subject/s should I study alongside the Cambridge Technical in digital media?
A: The courses suit a variety of pathways; it all depends on what you want to progress onto.  Popular combinations with this course include film studies, business, English, sociology, IT, graphics and photography. 

Q: Do I need to buy my own kit or software in order to complete coursework?
A: Although some students choose to buy their own equipment and software, this isn’t an expectation.  The department is equipped with enough resources for all students (cameras, tripods etc.), as well as having four computer spaces with access to the Adobe Suite (Premiere Pro, Photoshop etc).  You will, however, need to buy your own SD card and headphones to use for coursework projects.  We will advise on what is suitable.

To find out the latest information from the department, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, @f6mediafilm. 

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Exam Board

OCR Learn More

Entry Requirements

  • You should have at least a grade 4 in GCSE English language and GCSE English literature.
  • A grade 4 or above in GCSE media would be advantageous, but having studied media at GCSE is not essential. Alternatively, a Level 2 merit or above in a vocational media course would be advantageous, but having studied vocational media is not essential to studying this course.

Employability Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Literacy and language skills
  • Managing time and resources
  • Practical and creative skills
  • Technical skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Teamwork and problem solving skills
  • Working with industry professionals, following real-life production briefs
  • Insight into different ideological attitudes and values

Course Resources


10x speed SD card

SD card reader

Print credit - £5 initially but further top ups will be needed throughout the year

An external hard drive or USB stick