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The often-maligned subject, media studies, has survived a cull of A-level subjects as England’s qualifications watchdog moves to toughen examinations. Ofqual said it based its decisions on whether the subjects “were of an appropriate level of academic demand”. When he was a Labour education minister, David Blunkett, publicly regretted that too many youngsters were taking “narrow” courses like media studies, instead of studying, what he saw as, broader, more intellectually rewarding courses such as history.

Chief exams regulator Glenys Stacey said: “It is now for the Department for Education to consider whether content can be developed for those subjects that we think could meet our principles and, in turn, for exam boards to decide whether to submit specifications to us for accreditation.

The announcement on future exam subjects comes amid a shake-up of examinations, with new strengthened GCSEs in maths, English and English literature due to be taught first in schools this coming September.

A range of core A and AS-levels in English, maths, the sciences and some humanities subjects are also due to be introduced in the autumn.

“Importantly, we are not ruling out the future development of any subject.”

AS and A-levels being scrapped: Anthropology, applied arts and design, applied business, applied information and communication technology, applied science, citizenships, communications, communications and culture, economics and culture, home economics, human biology, humanities.

GCSE subjects being scrapped: Additional and further additional science, additional applied science, applied business, applied science, business and communication systems, business studies and economics, catering, digital communications, environmental science, expressive arts, home economics – food and nutrition.

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