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Media Studies

A Level Media Studies is taught in a well equipped media room with an adjoining media suite full of state of the art computers.

What's A Level Media Studies about?

Media Studies is a vast and eclectic subject area which includes studying media disciplines ranging from hundreds of years ago to the ultra-contemporary sub-sectors. A level Media Studies will introduce you to many different media and encourages theoretical considerations across all platforms studied. Audience reception, representation, regulation and ownership and gender theory are just some of the theories you will learn about.

A level Media Studies allows you to question the validity of the information you receive on a daily basis and to be aware of bias within the media so that by the end of the two-year period you should have an even better understanding of the world we live in.

You will also have the opportunity to consolidate your learning into a creative cross-media project within your chosen media platform.

What sort of work is involved?

You will study a wide range of different media which include Advertising and Marketing, Newspapers, Film Industry, Radio, Video Games, TV, Print and Online Magazines and On-line media. A level Media Studies centres around applying an analytical framework (media language, audience, representation and context) which you learn through discussion, analysis and debating. You will develop a range of technical skills required for both constructing and deconstructing media products.

You will be expected to think independently and to develop your own voice, and you will be encouraged to expand your knowledge outside of the classroom through reading and through engaging with a wide range of Media texts. For example, when studying the newspaper industry, taking a daily/weekly newspaper either in a print or online format will build your awareness of current affairs. You will need to live and breathe media.

What background do I need?

A strong and critical interest in the media is essential for doing well in A level Media Studies but it is not necessary to have studied Media at GCSE. It is an essay-based subject and suits students who have flourished in subjects like English Literature or History. Because the content of A level Media Studies is firmly embedded within cultural, socio-political and economic life, it sits well alongside and supports work in subjects like English Literature, History, Sociology, Film Studies and Politics, though you must of course ensure that your sixth-form programme is broad enough to meet entrance requirements at the universities you apply for later on.

For the student with ambitions to follow a more creative career A level Media Studies combines well with BTEC Creative Media courses. As a rule, students who have achieved a minimum of 5 GCSE’s 9-4 (equivalent to A*-C) will fare better in this increasingly academic subject.

Where can it lead?

A level Media Studies students can go onto study Media, TV or Film at University as a practical degree, a theoretical degree or a combination of the two. This can lead to a very broad range of professions in media, film and journalism.

A good degree in a subject like Media Studies can also develop a wide range of transferable skills including analysis, visual communication, problem solving, as well as communication, presentation and organizational skills.

One year course?

Due to the range of media texts, and the depth of the media framework required to analyse these texts, it is tough to do well in A level Media Studies in one year. In addition, the coursework asks students to embed learning from the whole subject in their coursework making it difficult to meet the exam mark requirements.

Assessment

For the Eduqas (WJEC) board 70% of your mark comes from two exams at the end of the course. The first, ‘Media Products, Industries and Audiences’, is two hours and 15 minutes whilst the second, ‘Media Forms and Products in Depth’, is two hours and 30 minutes. The first exam requires you to write not only about the set texts studied during the course but to compare these to unseen texts which require a broad knowledge of current media contexts. The second exam requires you to respond solely to questions based on the texts set by the exam board.

The remaining 30% of the mark comes from coursework based on a brief set by the exam board. You have the option to create an audio-visual cross-media production, a print cross-media production or an online cross-media production. You are required to produce written aims and intentions as well as the cross-media production itself.

Media Studies has allowed me to think critically and constructively about how the world is changing and what this means for everyone else and generations to come. I would recommend this subject because it is a discipline of study that is progressively modern, a study that provides a unique perspective on contemporary life and one that I find is absolutely essential in coping with today’s fast-paced environment. This is not simply a study of television and social media, it is actually one that borrows disciplines from a range of social sciences, including politics, economics, psychology, and history.

Sai Versailles – DLD Graduate

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