A Level Media Studies

 

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

Class time is devoted to ensuring that students are familiar with the range of media forms available. Lessons involve the analysis of key media texts and more practically-based work.

AS Specification Number
OCR H140

 

Unit 1: Foundation Portfolio in Media

25% of A level
Coursework
Students learn how to plan and construct media products using appropriate technical and creative skills. They also need to be able to show how meanings and responses are created and engage in and present appropriate research. The unit requires students to engage with contemporary media technologies, giving them the opportunity for development of skills in these technologies. This is a coursework unit, internally assessed and externally moderated. Students produce a media artefact in response to briefs set by OCR plus some appropriate evidence of research and planning. The task provides progression from a pre-production, preliminary exercise to a more  fully realised piece in the same medium. This offers the opportunity for skills development to be assessed, as well as a final finished piece.

Unit 2: Key Media Concepts (TV Drama)

25% of A level
Written Paper: 2 hours
The purpose of this unit is twofold. First it assesses  the students’ media textual analysis skills and their understanding of the concept of representation using a short unseen moving image extract. Second, it assesses knowledge and understanding of media institutions and their production processes, distribution strategies, use of technologies and related issues concerning audience reception and consumption of media texts. In section A students learn how to demonstrate textual analysis of moving images drawing on technical language and conventions. In section B students learn to understand contemporary institutional processes of production, distribution, marketing and exchange/exhibition at a local, national or international level as well as British audiences’ reception and consumption. There should also be some emphasis on the students’ own experiences of being audiences of a particular medium. The focal point of study for this unit will be television.

Reading List

Author
TitleISBN
A. Bell, M. Joyce & D. Rivers Advanced Level Media ISBN 9780340803967 
Branston & R. Stafford The Media Student’s Handbook ISBN 9780415558426
J. Stokes & A. Reading The Media in Britain ISBN 9780333730638

 

A2 Level

MPW approach to A2 study

Skills learnt at AS level are developed and refined in the more demanding A2 Units. The A2 Units require hard work and make greater intellectual demands than AS.

A combination of wider reading, analytical skills and the development of exam technique are required in order to achieve the highest grades.

A2 Specification Number
OCR H540

 

Unit 3: Advanced Portfolio in Media

25% of A level
Coursework
First students learn how to assess their ability to plan and construct media products using appropriate technical and creative skills. Second, they apply their knowledge and understanding in evaluating their own work, showing how meanings and responses are created. Finally they undertake, apply and present appropriate research. This means that the student will be given the opportunity to engage with contemporary media technologies, allowing them to develop their own skills in these technologies. It also enables them to develop the skills of presentation that are required for further study at higher levels and in the workplace. This is a coursework unit where students are presented with a brief from the exam board. From this brief, candidates produce a media portfolio, comprising main and ancillary texts and a presentation of their research, planning and evaluation in digital format(s).

Unit 4: Critical Perspectives in Media

25% of A level
Written Paper: 2 hours
In section A, students learn how to theoretically evaluate media production. The focus of this evaluation must be on skills development, and the examination requires them to adapt this to one or two specific production practices.

The list of practices to which questions relate is as follows: digital technology, creativity, research and planning, post-production and using conventions from real media texts. In section B the focus is on contemporary media issues. Students must choose a topic area in advance of the examination and, through specific case studies, texts, debates and research of their choice, prepare to demonstrate understanding of the contemporary issue. They may choose to focus on one of the following contemporary media issues: contemporary media regulation, global media, media and collective identity, media in the online age, post-modern media and ‘We Media’ and democracy.

Reading list

Author
TitleISBN
J. Stokes & A. Reading The Media in Britain  ISBN 9780333730638

 

 

 

Anastasia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*

Progressed to
University College London (Economics) 

“Honestly, I could not imagine when I joined MPW that, due to language and adaptation barriers, I would achieve top grades in my first A-level exam sittings. This view changed completely after only a few weeks in the college’s supportive and motivational environment; with teachers who aimed at finding a personal touch with each student and with my Personal Tutor who made my adjustment to the UK education system not only an easy step in my life but, more importantly, an enjoyable one.”

Julia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AABB

Progressed to
King's College London (International Relations)

 “The teachers really helped me overcome any difficulties I came across; they always seemed willing to offer support be it inside or outside of the classroom. I could safely say my teachers inspired me to work hard and aim for the best, sometimes simply by being passionate about what they do.”

Andrew

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of York (Law) 

“Having a Personal Tutor to discuss ANYTHING with, from my UCAS application to organising my life in general, really did make life at the college more streamlined and in general less stressful.”

Cynthia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
University College London (Economics)

“My subject teachers and Personal Tutor have been very patient and helpful in supporting my studies and university application.”

Akmaral

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*

Progressed to
University College London (Mathematics and Statistics)

“International students have many aspects to think about, such as accommodation and guardians, but MPW surprised me by having a highly organised and supportive administration. Also, because most MPW Cambridge students are local, as an ‘international’ student, I found this very useful in both improving my English and in giving me a taste of a genuinely ‘English’ college.”