A highly interdisciplinary subject for the digitally adventurous, who share an uncompromising love for all things media.
The Media Studies A-Level is designed to enhance your enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of the media and its role in your daily life. The linear A Level course introduces you to media ideas and allows you to explore different technologies through creative productions. It gives you the chance to develop a real understanding of a range of media platforms (print, web, computer games, radio, film and television), the contemporary media landscape and the influential role of the media in today’s society.
WHAT WILL YOU STUDY?
This course encourages you to view the media beyond the eyes of the consumer. You’ll become more aware of the many ways in which media messages are presented to us, and you will discover how the institutions behind the media products you consume are actively trying to engage and target you as a member of the audience. Of course, if you are considering a career in a media-related field, producing and evaluating your own media productions will give you a real hands-on understanding of both how media messages are created and what they are aiming to do, as well as truly enrich your portfolio with productions that illustrate your digital proficiency in industry-level software. No prior knowledge of the software is necessary.
In Year 6 you will study: the fundamentals of media forms and platforms and the concepts which lie beneath the surface of media products you consume on a daily basis. You will also explore the role of marketing and promotion in contemporary media texts. The course will be structured around the study of a set of pre-released media products that will feature in the exam. The second part of the course takes you through the production process, from researching the codes and conventions of professional media products to producing your own products using industry-level software. By the end of the year, you will have experienced producing a magazine cover and two-page spread, advertisements and posters, short videos and websites.
In Year 7 you will study: the different ways of explaining and understanding the media. This covers how media industries and audiences are changing because of the rise of new digital technology. You’ll explore some pre-released media products by considering the wider contexts of the media that affect their creation and distribution. You’ll also carry out two individual projects based on a set of briefs released by the examination board that will give you the chance to apply your creative skills to creating a fully realized production.
ABOUT THE EXTERNAL EXAMINATION
This is a linear A-Level with two external exams and a media project at the end of Year 7. There are two external examinations each accounting for 35% of the overall A-Level Grade. Unit 1 is focused on Media Concepts in the Media and involves answering a combination of short answer and extended responses questions, while Unit 2 involves more in-depth analysis of pre-released media products from television, magazines and online, social and participatory media/video games.
Students also have the opportunity to create their own cross-media production, from print, broadcast or e-media platforms, which aims to engage student's creativity and illustrate their understanding and knowledge of the contemporary media landscape. This component weighs 30% of the A-Level grade.
WHAT CAN MEDIA STUDIES OFFER ME?
This A-level will sharpen your critical thinking skills and will constantly challenge your understanding of the media. It is a broad course and for this reason it is a solid qualification for a wide range of degree paths.
Assessment is varied to provide opportunity for students to maximize their performance based on their strengths and to encourage students to develop a range of skills:
- Maximum 2 tests per semester
- Short Essays (at home & in class) on a topic assigned or defined by the student
- In-class presentations on select topics
- Creative projects which include: magazine designs, short films or trailers, photography projects, web design project
During this course, you will gain the ability to analyse how media products are constructed and they will also learn:
- How to to analyze how media products are constructed
- How to produce media products across different platforms - either on your own or as part of a team
- How to do individual research
- How to evaluate your own media products and those of others
- How to present your ideas in front of an audience
Those interested in pursuing a tangential subject at undergraduate level can follow journalism, photography, web design, public relations, advertising or marketing, cinematography, film studies, communications, graphic design or any art-related course.