This course is designed to offer an integrated, holistic approach to the study of media - exploring the media issues and debates, as well as analysing how media language is used to construct media products, and question how these products appeal to specific audiences. You will learn to analyse texts such as TV shows, videogames, magazines, blogs, film posters and more. There will be a variety of products, including historical and cultural products, which will be used to expand understanding of audience responses within context.
This creative subject will also enable you to develop design skills using Photoshop and InDesign, as well as honing more practical photography skills. It is expected that you will be actively using and checking a range of media so that you are aware of the ever changing media landscape and its role within society.
You will study how media products are constructed and how audiences and users respond to and interpret them, using products that span time and culture - a theme will be given by the exam board, which will provide a general viewpoint for our studies. Primary focus will be on the products and audience responses, representations, technical codes and media industries. You will analyse a range of representations, including gender, ethnicity, age, events and regional and national identities. Specifically, we will look at how these representations are constructed and how audiences respond to them.
You will complete a non-examination assessment (coursework) that constitutes 30% of your final grade. This will be a cross-media product, created to address an issue or debate within the media industry, which is of specific interest to you. In this year, you will also receive a number of Close Study Products from the exam board which will be the basis for paper two of the examination, with the given theme being the basis for the issues and debates focused on in paper one.
Assessment at the end of year two of the course is through two examinations. Paper one is based on the given theme, and requires exploration of issues and debates by providing short answers, medium length answers and discursive essay style answers. Paper two is based on the Close Study Products and you will be asked to provide three discursive answers to comparative questions.
Whilst the study of Media at GCSE is preferable, it is not essential. If GCSE Media Studies has been taken, a minimum of a level 5 must have been achieved. If not, a level 5 or above in English Language AND English Literature is required.
Media Studies allows students to greatly widen their career choices. Graduates have found that opportunities are considerably improved due to the transferable skills required for the completion of a Media Studies course, such as IT and specialised software knowledge, which are increasingly sought after in a new technologically-minded age. Business managers, software producers, advertising specialists, journalists, teachers and games software producers, are amongst some occupations that many graduates have progressed to.