Media Studies A Level
Exam board: Eduqas.
Why study this subject:
Media Studies is an interesting subject that explores the way a range of media (including music videos, advertising, television, radio, film, and online media) make meaning and can be interpreted by audiences as well as how media industries operate to create media products and market them.
In year 12 the course is divided into two parts:
Media language and Representation:
Students learn about the way in which mise-en-scene, camera shots, sound and editing (media language) construct meaning as well as Representation concepts such as stereotyping (including Richard Dyer) and binary opposites (Levi- Strauss)
There is a strong emphasis on the social, cultural, economic and political context of a range of different media texts. For example we investigate the way in which Music videos, including Beyonce’s Formation, and Vance Joy’s Riptide construct representations of femininity and ethnicity, and we also study historical media products including film posters from the 1950’s and 1960’s and the way in which these media products reflect the changes in equality for women and ethnic minorities.
Media Industries and Audiences:
Students learn about the concepts of media ownership and audiences, and the way this affects the development of films, newspapers, computer games in terms of marketing and economic success. Set exam texts in this unit include: Black Panther; I, Daniel Blake; Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation; Late Night Women’s Hour. We also examine online media and YouTube content creators.
There is a strong emphasis on feminism and representation of race, and an exploration of the idea that audiences are no longer easy to define with a huge range of choice over which kinds of media they choose to consume.
In Year 13 we broaden our study to take in issues of postmodernism and representation of gender and identity in television, comparing Life on Mars and Nordic Noir crime drama The Bridge as well as magazines of the 1960’s and today, and online media, focussing on Zoella amongst others.
Practical coursework briefs account for 30% of the qualification and change every year, being announced each March, but will be connected to marketing, advertising or digital and print magazines. Students will develop skills of photography and digital editing, including using Photoshop, as well as design skills and journalism
How will I be assessed:
Two exams taken at the end of the second year:
Exam 1: worth 35%, consists of 2 sections. Section A is based on analysing an unseen media product, where students will be assessed on their ability to apply media language, and one question comparing the representation in two media products, One which is a set text and one which is unseen. Section B is based on Media industries and audiences.
Exam 2: worth 35%, consists of three parts. Section A on the two crime dramas studied during year 13; Section B responding to mainstream and alternative magazines; and Section C concerning online media (Zoella and Attitude)
There is also Non Examination Assessment- (NEA) worth 30% (practical coursework, completed individually)
Exact briefs change each year but will involve constructing element of a new print magazine and accompanying website.
Future course and possible careers:
Journalism, social media, computer games programming and design, working in film, television or broadcasting, working as a photographer, stylist, graphic designer, script writer, director, camera operator, sound recording artist, as well as many other possible career paths.
There are more than 1300 university degree courses dedicated to different aspects of the media, including film studies, broadcasting, video-editing, and marketing.