Why study the media?
We live in a world where the media permeates every level of our lives and it is almost impossible to remain untouched by its influence. We spend an increasing amount of time engaging with the media: watching film and television; listening to the radio; reading newspapers and magazines; surfing the internet; playing video games. Media texts have the opportunity to have enormous impact on our everyday lives and it is essential that we develop the skills to consider them critically, developing an understanding of not only the message that they intend to communicate but how that message is constructed.
The key concepts in Media Studies:
- Media language: how do elements such as sound, editing, camerawork, costume, setting etc create meaning and influence the way we ‘read’ a media text?
- Genre: how media texts categorised into genres, and why?
- Audience: how do audiences interact with texts, and how do media institutions ensure they appeal to audiences?
- Narrative: what storylines and themes are present in texts, and how these are constructed by the media language
- Representation: how are social groups represented in media texts, and how does this link to stereotypes? How is this representation constructed through the media language?
In years 10 and 11, we offer GCSE Media Studies and BTEC Level 2 Creative Digital Media Production.
In years 12 and 13, we offer A Level Media Studies and BTEC Level 3 Creative Digital Media Production.
Key Stage 4
BTEC Creative Digital Media Production- Level 2
25% examination, 75% assignments.
Unit 1: Digital Media Sectors and Audiences (Examined in the May of Year 10)
- The sectors that make up the media industry (magazines/newspapers, TV/film, music/radio, digital games, advertising and online) and how these work together.
- How different media texts are produced and distributed to audiences.
- How we, as audiences, interact with (and even influence) media texts.
- Media language and its effect on audience- camerawork, sound, editing and mise-en-scene (costume, set, props, lighting etc).
Unit 2: Planning for media production
Developing the planning for your own film production- designing, scripting, storyboarding, costumes etc.
Unit 3: Digital Moving Image Production
Filming, editing and evaluating your own film or TV production.
Unit 5: Digital Publishing Production
Research, plan and produce your own digitally published production- sample pages from a new magazine.
GCSE Media Studies:
40% examination, 60% controlled assessment
Unit 1: Investigating the Media
You will learn about the given topic (it changes each year) then, four weeks before the exam, you are issued with ‘pre-release material’. You then research and develop this idea and show your knowledge and ideas in the exam.
For examination in 2016: Science Fiction Film
For examination in 2017: Television Game Shows
For examination in 2018: Serialised Television Drama
Unit 2: Understanding the Media
Assignment 1: Moving Image (analysing the opening of an existing media text, then planning your own)
Assignment 2: Cross-media promotion (compare how a film is marketed across print and moving image platforms)
Assignment 3: Print advertising (research, design and create an advertising campaign for a product of your choice).
Key Stage 5
A Level Media Studies
50% examination, 50% coursework
Media Studies at KS5 explores the fundamental processes of communication at the heart of modern life; it develops analytical and investigative skills as students uncover the workings of the media industries, investigate the impact of communication technology and study how audiences interact with different media. Through the varied units in this course, it enhances media literacy as students learn how different forms of mediated communication are constructed, thus giving them the ability to decode media texts and their often less than obvious meanings. Students also acquire the technical and creative skills in order to create their own media products.
Recommended text books, revision guides and reference books
G321: Foundation Portfolio in Media (coursework)
Students develop a new music magazine for a genre of their choice- front cover, contents page and double page feature article.
G322: Institutions and Audiences- TV Drama
G324: Advanced Portfolio in Media (coursework)
Students develop and produce a promotional package for a new music artist, comprising music video, magazine advert and digipak.
G325: Critical Perspectives in Media
Media Regulation: focus on press and film. Why do we have regulation? What are the audience effects theories that justify or disprove the need for regulation? Is regulation necessary in the digital age- advances in technology, a more liberal society, and a more media literate population?
BTEC Creative Digital Media Production - Level 3
We are now offering students the opportunity to study a BTEC Level 3 in Creative Media Production; the equivalent to an A-level qualification. Students will explore the role of media producers for a variety of products, from the design stages through to production and post-production. This course is an excellent follow on from BTEC Level 2 Creative Media Production or GCSE Media Studies at Key Stage Four.
Student should have a genuine interest and enthusiasm for media production in all its forms.
The BTEC is a practical course; work is undertaken in a variety of ways and is largely project-based. However, it is worth noting that all BTEC courses now include an examined element- this one is worth 25%.
There is a lot to learn in this course and this is explored, as much as possible, in a practical way. Students can choose methods and techniques which suit them best when it comes to collating evidence of their work towards projects. Students are expected to show independence and initiative when it comes to managing their workload.
- Media Representations (exam)
- Pre-production Portfolio
- Responding to a Commission
- Film Production
All of these units equip students with an in-depth understanding of the workings of the media production industries, and will leave them with many invaluable skills for any workplace in the future, including team work, self-management, organisation and IT skills.
Recommended text books, revision guides and reference books
Level 3 revision guide 9781292150246