A Level Media Studies
The new A level Media Studies is reformed to a degree that banishes forever any remaining idea that this is a soft or easy subject. Based still on key concepts such as Media Language and Representation, the course focuses on nine media forms that include TV drama, print newspapers, online news, music videos, advertising and magazines. In each case, set texts have been chosen for study in the same way that texts are chosen for subjects like English Literature. As well as your own ideas, you will be expected to learn and apply those of a wide variety of 20th and 21st Century theorists to texts that you analyse. The course is the process of turning you into a media practitioner and analyst researcher. The subject is about change, with a new focus on how and why we get to where we are with the media today. This means that a new, historical dimension has been added to the A level, with some focus on texts made before 1970, that may be compared with those of today. There remains of course the need to keep on top of current developments in media, and to consider the implications. In real world terms, this study focuses on what media change means to business, institutions, societies, our psychologies and almost every aspect of the world as we know it, knew it, or would like it to be.
What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?
Enquiring, creative people with a strong interest in learning and applying new ideas are most suited to the study of the media. There is a good deal of reading to do, and that includes chapters in books that outline the ideas of key theorists. You will also need to ‘read’ a lot of media, which is to say that newspapers and radio need to become a part of your life, as ‘traditional’ media texts are mandatory to study in the new A level and you will write about them in exams. At the same time, there is still plenty of scope to analyse texts such as music videos and console games. Although Media Studies has become more academic, the value of practical work remains broadly the same, weighted at 30% of both the AS and A level.
WJEC Eduqas Media Studies for AS and A level
By Christine Bell and Lucas Johnson
Published by Illuminate Publishing
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