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.