Media Studies as a subject is highly compatible with many subjects in the post 16 curriculum because of the training it provides in independent and critical thinking and analysis. Specifically, there are opportunities for links with Arts and Humanities subjects. The two courses we currently deliver are A-Level Media Studies and BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Creative Digital Media Production.
A level Media Studies
A Level Media Studies is an engaging and stimulating course for any student with a keen interest in the media and the way it affects our everyday lives. The course will enable you to develop a critical awareness and understanding of the media. You will analyse the role of the media in building and moulding society and its attitudes, through the exploration of media texts. You will also investigate the institutions which produce and regulate media texts, and the audiences which respond to them.
A distinctive feature of the course is the practical production element. This enables you to put theory into practice by creating your own media product. It gives you the opportunity to engage in creative, imaginative and aesthetic activities based on simulated media industry briefs.
You will study a range of media forms considering: media language, representation, media industries and audiences. The forms you will study are: newspapers, magazines, television, online, social and participatory media, advertising and marketing, film, music video, radio and video games.
Students taking A Level Media Studies will develop:
- The skills of enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making and analysis.
- A critical approach to media issues.
- Appreciation and critical understanding of the media and their role both historically and currently in society, culture, politics and the economy.
- An understanding of the dynamic and changing relationships between media forms, products, industries and audiences.
- A knowledge and understanding of the global nature of the media.
- Theoretical knowledge and specialist subject specific terminology to analyse and compare media products and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed.
- Informed arguments to reach substantiated judgements and draw conclusions about media issues.
- The ability to engage in critical debate about academic theories used in media studies.
- The appreciation of how theoretical understanding supports practice and practice supports theoretical understanding.
- Sophisticated practical skills by providing opportunities for creative media production.
How you will be assessed
Written exam = 70%
Component 1: Media Products, Industries and Audiences is a written paper split into two sections. In the first section, you will need to analyse media language and representation in relation to two of the following media forms: advertising, marketing, music video or newspapers. In the second section, you will be assessed on your knowledge of Media Industries and Audiences in relation to two of the following media forms: advertising, marketing, film, newspapers, radio, video games – and media contexts.
Component 2: Media Forms and Products in Depth is a written paper split into three sections which each assess different areas of your knowledge and understanding. The first section is about Television in the Global Age, the second section is about Magazines: Mainstream and Alternative Media and the third section is about Media in the Online Age.
Non exam assessment = 30%
Component 3: Cross-Media Production is an individual project where you create a cross-media production based on two media forms (e.g. Television, Advertising and Marketing (Film or Music), Magazines or Online, Social and Participatory Media) in response to a choice of briefs set by the exam board. You are expected to apply your knowledge and understanding of media language, representation, audience, institution and digital convergence.
BTEC LEVEL 3 NATIONAL EXTENDED CERTIFICATE IN CREATIVE DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION
The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Creative Digital Media Production is a practical, hands on course which provides a coherent introduction to the study of creative digital media production. The course will enable you to develop an understanding of the media industry through analysing media representations and pitching and producing media projects.
There is a large practical production element within this course which enables you to put theory into practice by creating your own media products. It gives you the opportunity to engage in creative, imaginative and aesthetic activities based on simulated media industry briefs.
You will study four components:
Unit 1: Media Representations
You will consider how different media representations are constructed by media producers to create meaning, messages and values.
Unit 4: Pre-Production Portfolio
You will study the requirements of planning and delivering a digital media product, carrying out essential pre-production tasks and creating a pre-production portfolio for a film you will make.
Unit 8: Responding to a Commission
You will learn about the commissioning process and how media producers respond to clients by generating ideas using a range of skills.
Unit 10 – Film Production – Fiction
You will produce a short narrative film or film extract that uses generic conventions.
Students taking the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Creative Digital Media Production will develop:
- Theoretical understanding of film analysis, development and production.
- Pre-production skills such as ideas generation, research, storyboarding, scripting, scheduling and production management.
- The technical production and post-production skills required to create a moving image product (e.g. filming, sound, lighting, editing)
- Team working skills
How you will be assessed
External assessment: 58%
Internal assessment (coursework): 42% (Units 4 & 10)
The styles of external assessment used for this subject are:
- Set Tasks – you will take the assessment during a specified time period and demonstrate your understanding through completion of a vocational (practical) task. (Unit 8)
Synoptic – onscreen exam (Unit 1)