What is it about at sixth-form level?
The media play a central role in contemporary culture, society and politics. They shape our perceptions of the world through representations, ideas and points of view they offer. The globalised nature of the contemporary media, continual technological developments, and more opportunities to interact with the media suggest their centrality in contemporary life can only increase. A level Media Studies offers us the opportunity to develop an informed understanding of these key issues and to engage with the media critically and creatively.
Media Studies analyses how media products create meaning, the interaction between media institutions and their audiences, and the different social and cultural possibilities of this interaction. You will look at all aspects of their design from their audio-visual presentation to the rhetorical devices and connotations of the language they use. You will examine a wide range of material, ranging from music videos and print advertisements to video games and internet content. Media Studies will develop your creative and critical abilities, and advance your understanding of the power of the creative industries.
Why study it and what skills does it develop?
An A level in Media Studies provides a good foundation for further study in the humanities. It will develop your analytical skills and develop your ability to express complex ideas in a clear written form. It combines well with other subjects requiring verbal and visual analysis, such as English Literature, History of Art and Film Studies. The creative coursework element (although smaller than in the previous syllabus) means it makes a good partner for Art, Photography and Graphic Design. The coursework will develop some photographic skills and editing skills
What prior knowledge and skills are required?
You will need a good level of English, preferably including English Language GCSE, because of the comprehension demands and the written nature of the assessments.
How is the course assessed?
The A level course is assessed by two unit examinations as well as by the coursework production. One unit is on Media Products, Industries and Audiences and the exam lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes. The other unit is on Media Forms and Products in Depth and is examined in 2 hours and 30 minutes. Both exams are worth 35% of the overall AS level. The coursework production accounts for the remaining 30% of the overall marks.
To be confirmed at the start of the course
Media Studies for Year 1
By C. Bell and L. Johnson
Published by Illuminate, ISBN 978-1911208105
The Media Student’s Book (5th Edition)
By G. Branston, R. Stafford
Published by Routledge, ISBN 978-0415558426
Media Studies for Year 2
By C. Bell and L. Johnson
Published by Illuminate, ISBN 978-19112081125
Exam Board and Specification Codes
Eduqas A level 603/1149/6
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