Media Studies

What is Media?

Media Studies is a popular subject and is about communication, particularly mass communication. The media is the most dynamic, innovative and influential method of mass communication of modern times. The media creates products that are designed to entertain and inform, created for lots of people to hear, watch or read, often at roughly the same time. Whenever you are watching television, streaming films or scrolling through social media, you are consuming media. As a subject, Media Studies provides students with the vital tools required to understand the role of the media in society and identify the power of its influence on how we perceive other people, places, politics, culture and ourselves.

Media Studies is a subject available for students to study as one of their GCSE or A Level options. At both levels students will follow the Eduqas Media Studies specifications.

GCSE Media Studies

When undertaking the two-year course, students will develop a clear understanding of the Media’s integral role in shaping our society. The course provides students with the opportunity to explore a wide range of texts, from music videos and magazines, to news programmes, video games and advertising. For the examination units on the course, students will learn to apply skills of analysis, critical thinking and evaluation in their written work. Students will also learn how to integrate key media theory into their analysis, which enhances their academic writing ability.

Component 1 - Exploring the Media: For Component One, the examination focuses on all areas of the media theoretical framework. Section A (media language and representation) focuses on a range of print media forms: magazines, marketing (film posters), newspapers, or print advertisements. Section B (industries and audiences) focuses on the following media forms: film, newspapers, radio, video games.

Component 2 - Understanding Media Forms and Products: For Component Two, students will analyse all areas and contexts of the media in relation to television (situation comedy) and music (music videos and online media). This examination is designed to allow students to show their full understanding of key media issues, whilst closing analysing historical and contemporary media texts.

Component 3 - Creating Media Products: The non-examined assessment unit allows students the opportunity to develop their creativity and hone their practical skills. This exciting coursework unit presents students with the challenge of responding to a set brief and ensuring they produce production work, which utilises genre conventions successfully. Examples of previous briefs are creating a film marketing campaign for a spy thriller and producing a three minute extract from a radio soap opera.

How will I be assessed? 

Assessment will consist of a mixture of examinations and non-examined assessment.

  • Component 1: Written examination - 1 hour 30 mins, 40% of qualification
  • Component 2: Written examination - 1 hour 30 mins, 30% of qualification
  • Component 3: Non-exam assessment- Media Production, 30% of qualification

 

Media Studies A Level

If students choose to undertake the A Level Media Studies course once they have completed GCSE Media Studies, they will notice there is a clear progression from the skills gained during their GCSE studies. However, for students who choose Media Studies as an option for the first time at A Level, the course is designed to ensure they too are set up with a solid foundation of relevant skills and knowledge from the start of Year 12.

A Level Media Studies develops a range of skills highly valued by both higher education institutions and employers: the ability to read a variety of sources and evaluate their validity; skills of enquiry; the ability to think critically, creatively, and reflectively; practical production skills and the development of organisation, communication and self-motivation. Previous A Level Media Studies students have gone on to study a wide variety of subjects at university or completed apprenticeships in a range of employment fields. The course itself is structured in a similar way to the GCSE, consisting of two examinations and one NEA unit.

Component 1 - Media Products, Industries and Audiences: For Component One, the examination focuses on all areas of the media theoretical framework. Section A (media language and representation) focuses on a range of media forms: marketing (film posters), newspapers, print advertisements and music videos. Section B (industries and audiences) focuses on the following media forms: film, newspapers, radio, video games.

Component 2 - Media Forms and Products in Depth: For Component Two, students will explore three set areas: television documentary, magazines and online media. For each of these sections in the exam, students will consider two contrasting texts and will examine how social, historical, political and economic contexts affected their production and the way both historical and contemporary audiences received them. Students will also be expected to analyse how theoretical contexts can be applied to the texts, articulating their understanding in extended written responses.

Component 3 - Cross-Media Production: Students will work individually to create an original media production. The production will be linked to a brief provided by the exam board. Students will be required to produce a cross-media production, which responds to the brief, ensuring that their final submission appeals to a specific target audience. As the NEA is a cross-media production, students will be required to develop their creativity skills across a range of different media, such as video, web design, print production and radio production.

Previous tasks have included creating a music marketing campaign and a promotional package for a new BBC television drama.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will consist of a mixture of examinations and non-examined assessment.

  • Component 1: Written examination - 2 hours 15 mins, 35% of qualification
  • Component 2: Written examination - 2 hours 30 mins, 35% of qualification
  • Component 3: Non-exam assessment - Media Production, 30% of qualification