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Media Studies

Media Studies is a dynamic subject which has both theoretical and practical elements. It is compatible with many Key Stage 4 and Post-16 subjects. The course gives students the opportunity to look at the role of the media and enabling them to explore and analyse how the different forms of media are put together, who owns and controls it and the impact that the media has in their own lives and the world around them. The practical unit allows students to put theoretical knowledge into practice by showing technical skills as well as engaging them in a creative and imaginative activity which promotes working with others.

Key Stage 4

Examination Board – OCR. The course is assessed through two internally assessed coursework portfolios and one external exam. This two year course is made up of three units:

The Individual Media Studies Portfolio

Students produce an individual portfolio containing a comparative analytical assignment, a production exercise and a planning and evaluative commentary. The comparative analytical assignment is based on two films and the production exercise involves print media.

Textual Analysis and Media Studies Topic (Moving Image)

This is an examined unit – Section A asks students to analyse and respond to a short, unseen moving image extract; Section B asks students to answer questions on Institutions and Audiences through the study of Radio Comedy.

Production Portfolio in Media Studies

Students can either work individually or in groups to produce a major practical production from a selection of set briefs.  Within this, each individual produces their own evidence of research and planning and an individual evaluation of their finished product.

Examples of set briefs include:

  • Produce an extract from a new television programme such as a sitcom or crime drama.
  • Produce an extract from a new magazine for a specific audience including a front cover, contents page and double page spread article with original photography.
  • Produce an extract from a magazine-style radio programme with a specified audience.

Key Stage 5

Advanced Level Media Studies

Examination Board: WJEC
Entry Requirements: Five or more GCSE qualifications at grade C or above including English and Maths
Length of Course: Two years


COURSE DESCRIPTION:

WJEC Media Studies specification is designed to allow media students to draw on their existing experience of the media and to develop their abilities to respond critically to the media.  It enables students to explore a wide variety of media, including digital media technologies, drawing on the fundamental concepts informing the study of the media: texts, industry and audiences.

The specification also encourages creative work to enable students to gain a greater appreciation of the media through their own production work and to develop their own production skills.  At A2 in particular, students are given the opportunity to research a topic which will then form the basis for their production, thus encouraging them to create productions informed by an awareness of contemporary media issues.  

COURSE CONTENT:

AS Level (1st Year):
MS1 : Media Representations and Responses (Exam)
MS2 : Media Production Processes (Coursework)

A2 Level (2nd Year):
MS3 : Media Investigation and Production (Coursework)

ASSESSMENT:

Year 1
Advanced Subsidiary

MS2 (coursework) – Designing a storyboard and a DVD sleeve and poster for a film idea of their choice.  An evaluation must also be written reporting on their research (1,200 – 1,500 words).  25% of A-Level qualification.  We study MS2 before MS1 because it allows the students to put theory into practice quicker and therefore deepens their knowledge before preparing for the exam.

MS1 (exam) – Students must analyse a piece of unseen media then answer questions based on their understanding of media theory using any examples of media they themselves choose.  25% of A-Level qualification.   

Year 2
Advanced Level (A2)

MS3 (coursework) – A research project based upon a topic of the student’s choice (1,400 – 1,800 words).  They then make a media text based on what they learned in their research project.  This can be done individually if the student chooses print-based media to research (i.e. Magazines) or as a group if audio-visual (i.e. TV, Film or Video).  Evaluations must be done individually and are 500-750 words in length.  The evaluation details how research informed the student’s practical work and comparing it to existing examples in the media.

MS4 (exam) – Students vote for nine media texts we will study for the exam.  It must be evenly split between three separate media industries; Film, TV, and Magazines (i.e. three media texts per industry).  The only stipulation is that there must be at least one UK media text studied for each industry and six in total must be contemporary (i.e. no older than 5 years old).  Students then use these case studies and answer questions based on them for the exam.

PROGRESSION ROUTES:

Upon successful completion of this course students can either apply for University or look for rewarding work opportunities.

LESSON STRUCTURE:

Five 60 minute periods a week, during which students undertake both practical and theory based tasks. In addition to this students will have independent study periods to complete and extend work.

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