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Media

The media play a central role in contemporary culture, society and politics.  They shape our perceptions of the world through the representations, ideas and the points of view they offer.  The media have real relevance and importance in our lives today, providing us with ways to communicate, with forms of cultural expression and the ability to participate in key aspects of society.  The economic importance of the media is also unquestionable.  The media industries employ large numbers of people worldwide and generate significant global profit.  The globalised nature of the contemporary media, on-going technological developments and more opportunities to interact with the media suggest their centrality in contemporary life can only increase.  Surely there has never been a more important time to study and understand the media when it is so central to our everyday life.

Media studies offers learners the opportunity to develop a thorough and in depth understanding of these key issues, using key concepts (such as representation, audience, ideologies and values) and a variety of critical perspectives to support critical exploration and reflection, analysis and debate.  Both GCSE and A Level Media Studies provides the study of a wide range of rich and stimulating media products as well as a chance for detailed analysis of how the media communicate meanings in a variety of forms (i.e. in TV, film, social media, newspapers etc.).  In addition, there are opportunities for students to explore the media further with the production of their own media products.

CAREER POSSIBILITIES

Experience is critical in this field due to its popularity.  For the same reason, persistence an dmotivation are also vital.  Typical employers may include:

  • Communications agencies;
  • The Civil Service;
  • Local government;
  • Marketing organisations;
  • Media companies;
  • The newspaper industry;
  • PR consultancies;
  • Publishing companies;
  • TV and radio companies.
GCSE MEDIA STUDIES - AWARDING BODY: AQA

Unit 1: Investigating the Media (written paper - 1 hour and 30 minutes

An external assessment based on a pre-released topic that changes annually.

Unit 2: Understanding the Media (non-exam assessment)

The separate projects that are taken from banks of set assignments:

1. Introductory assignment

2. Cross-Media assignment

3. Practical Production and Evaluation

KS5 MEDIA STUDIES

This course offers students the opportunity to develop a thorough and in depth understanding of these key issues in media, using key concepts and a variety of critical perspectives to support critical exploration and reflection, analysis and debate. The study of a wide range of rich and stimulating media products is central to the course, offering opportunities for detailed analysis of how the media communicate meanings in a variety of forms.

Students will work from the product outwards to debate key critical questions related to the social, cultural and economic relevance and impact of the media. Through studying media products holistically in relation to all key concepts, students will engage with the dynamic relationships between media products, media industries and audiences. They will also consider established media forms alongside more contemporary forms, developing an awareness of the relationship between media forms and online platforms.

Exam Board: WJEC

Year 1 Subject Content:

Unit 1: Investigating the Media

Students study three topics (selling images, news in the online age and film industries), developing knowledge and understanding of the key concepts within media studies - media language, representations, media industries and audiences – and using them as a framework for analysing the media.

Unit 2: Creating a Media Production

This unit uses previous learning in a synoptic way by requiring learners to develop and apply their knowledge and understanding of media concepts through practical production. In this unit, students must apply their knowledge and understanding of key concepts of the media to a production for a specified industry context and audience in audio-visual, print or online media.

Year 2 Subject Content

Unit 3: Media in the Global Age

In this unit students are required to study a range of contrasting media forms in depth, exploring all of the key concepts in the areas of television in the global age, magazines and media in the digital age.

Unit 4: Creating a Cross-Media Production

This unit builds on previous learning by requiring students to develop and apply their knowledge and understanding of the media through a practical cross-media production. Students will apply their knowledge and understanding of the key concepts of media studies by creating a cross-media production for an intended audience with the emphasis of production development on investigative research.

Career Opportunities / Routes

A level Media Studies supports progression into higher education courses in media or film studies, as well as a wide range of other courses including English, law and psychology. The practical and research skills acquired equip students with the necessary skills required for a range of media and film jobs or indeed for nay role where advanced communication skills are necessary. 

Assessment

Unit 1: Investigating the Media

  • 24%

Unit 2: Creating a Media Production - Non-exam assessment

  • 16%

Unit 3: Media in the Global Age 

  • 36%

Unit 4: Creating a Cross-Media Production - Non-exam assessment

  • 24%