Media Studies

Head of Department

Mr A Smith

Subject Overview

In GCSE Media students are given many exciting opportunities to study various aspects of the media from television and film to magazines and newspapers before looking into the development of digital media such as social media and even video games.  Whilst much of the focus is on analysing and de-constructing how these media platforms are put together, students will also get the chance to create their own media products across different media platforms in the coursework element of the course.  This can involve the use of the department’s well-equipped ICT facilities that use excellent image editing software like Adobe Photoshop to achieve fantastic, creative results.  Media Studies allows students to develop an important, critical understanding of various aspects of an industry which has increasingly becoming a vital part of our everyday lives, making the subject more relevant than ever.

 

Key Stage 4 

Years 10 and 11:

Media analysis skills are developed by studying a wide range of examples of media texts across different media platforms.  This means that students will develop a good knowledge and understanding of how television, film posters, advertisements, magazines and newspapers are constructed in order to communicate meaning and engage with their target audiences.  Students are also introduced to relevant media theories which are then developed in more detail and complexity as they progress in their studies.  Students will produce their coursework portfolio of a lifestyle magazine aimed at an audience of 18-34 year old men or women.

Assessment at Key Stage 4:

Component 1: Exploring the Media

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

40% of qualification

Section A: Exploring Media Language and Representation

  • one question assessing media language in relation to one set product (reference to relevant contexts may be required)
  • one two-part question assessing representation in relation to one set product and one unseen resource in the same media form. Part (a) is based on media contexts. Part (b) requires comparison through an extended response.

Section B: Exploring Media Industries and Audiences

  • one stepped question on media industries
  • one stepped question on audiences.

Component 2: Understanding Media Forms and Products

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

30% of qualification

Section A: Television

  • one question on either media language or representation, which will be based on an extract from one of the set television programme episodes to be viewed in the examination (reference to relevant contexts may be required)
  • one question on media industries, audiences or media contexts.

Section B: Music (music videos and online media)

  • one question on either media language or representation (reference to relevant contexts may be required)
  • one question on media industries, audiences or media contexts.

Component 3: Creating Media Products

Non-exam assessment

30% of qualification
 

Key Stage 5: 

Overview of the course:

AS Level:

Whilst prior study of Media Studies at GCSE is beneficial, it is not mandatory for this course.  The initial term of the AS year is primarily used to lay the foundations for the analytical skills that will be required over the two-year course whilst introducing the various media platforms that are studied across the course.  There are a number of set media texts that must be studied by the students and the AS year introduces several of these whilst working with a range of media concepts including representation, language, audiences and industry.

 

A-Level:

In the A2 year students will complete their cross media production work, informed by the analytical work that they have completed in the AS year.  This allows students to produce creative media products for a media platform that they have an interest in.  There are a number of other media set texts which are analysed in a similar manner to the AS year, though there is also a greater focus on more complex media theorists and an encouragement for students to be more critical and engaged with the media as a whole. 

 

 

What Will You Study:

The course for A-Level is fundamentally based around the theoretical framework of media language, representation, media industry and media audiences.  These concepts underpin all of the analytical work that students will do with various media texts and need to be carefully considered when students are undertaking their own cross media production work.

There are several key set texts that must be studied by the A-Level Media Studies students.  Some examples of text which may be studied by the students include: Riptide music video by Vance Joy, The Daily Mirror and The Times coverage of the recent US elections, charity advertising for WaterAid, marketing for Straight Outta Compton, generic conventions in Life on Mars and The Bridge.

The course covers a number of noted media theorists, including Barthes, Todorov, Neale, Levi-Strauss, Baudrillard, Hall, Gauntlett, Butler, Gerbner and more.

 

Assessment:

Component 1: Media Products, Industries and Audiences

Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes

35% of qualification

Section A: Analysing Media Language and Representation

  • one question assessing media language in relation to an unseen audio-visual or print resource
  • one extended response comparison question assessing representation in one set product and an unseen audio-visual or print resource in relation to media contexts.

Section B: Understanding Media Industries and Audiences

  • one stepped question on media industries
  • one stepped question on audiences.

 

Component 2: Media Forms and Products in Depth

Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes

35% of qualification

Section A – Television in the Global Age

There will be one two-part question or one extended response question.

Section B – Magazines: Mainstream and Alternative Media

There will be one two-part question or one extended response question.

Section C – Media in the Online Age

There will be one two-part question or one extended response question.
 

Component 3: Cross-Media Production

Non exam assessment

30% of qualification

 

Possible Career Paths:  

Media Studies is a very flexible subject that provides students with a good knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of topics and areas of everyday life.  Primarily, the course provides students with a good grounding to work within various areas of the media industry, both practical and theoretical.  Students with an interest in journalism will have opportunities to develop these skills and learn how to effectively produce articles.

Looking further afield, careers in areas like PR are possible after studying Media Studies as the course provides a good insight into how the media industry works and how it can be used to impact upon audience responses and representations of individuals.

For further information on career opportunities related to Media Studies, we recommend visiting https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree/media-studie