The media are central to contemporary experience, and currently there is an acute requirement for media literacy. Media Studies provides the knowledge, experience, expertise and skills that are essential to arts-based subjects at university, careers within media and the creative arts, and informed citizenship. The course combines media theory with practice and encourages students to be creative, critical, independent thinkers.
Key Stage 5
Students embark on a study of the media through the key concepts of Language, Representations, Media Industries and Audiences. Media forms are analysed, including newspapers, magazines, films, television programmes, advertising, music video, radio and online, participatory media. Students receive teaching on an array of production techniques in order to create their own cross-media artefacts. Media theory is taught concurrently, and in Year 12 ideas on narrative, semiotics, genre, hegemony, gender, censorship, exploitation and participatory culture are debated.
Students focus on the set ‘close-study texts’ which are drawn from the full range of media. Key concepts, theory and contexts are considered and students are asked to analyse the fine details of media texts to investigate exactly why they are presented in the way they are. Ideas on postmodernism, postcolonialism, globalisation and ‘end-of-audience’ theories will be scrutinised and by the end of this course, students will be informed and articulate on a wide range of media perspectives. In Year 13, students will complete their cross-media productions.
Media Studies Public Exams
There will be two, two-hour written papers plus a non-exam assessment.
MEDIA ONE (35%) focuses on the key concepts and the media forms of advertising and marketing, music video, radio, newspapers and film. Questions will relate to an unseen source and the close-study texts. Two essay questions are included, one of which will be an extended response.
MEDIA TWO (35%) focuses on television, magazines and online, social and participatory media/video games. There will be one medium-length unseen analysis question and three essay questions, one of which demands an extended response and one which is a synoptic question.
NON-EXAM ASSESSMENT: CREATING A CROSS-MEDIA PRODUCTION (30%) will be assessed by teachers and moderated by AQA. Students choose from one of six briefs, create a statement of intent and a cross-media production for a specific target audience. Aspects such as creativity, audience relevance, technical fluency and knowledge of the wider media landscape will be assessed.