Media Studies in Key Stage 4 is a
modern, highly relevant subject which at this level is new to students. It
examines the media constructions and representations at play in today’s
society. It allows students to develop their own skills of analysis and also to
use what they have learnt to produce their own texts.
Key Stage 4 GCSE
In Year 9 we study key
media concepts of genre, narrative, representation and audience through a range
of different texts like film posters, trailers and adverts. Students are
assessed on their ability to analyse a range of media texts and also to plan
ideas for creating their own products.
Year 10 is dedicated to
coursework which is worth 60% of the GCSE grade. Students write two controlled
assessment essays: one centred around genre in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and another examining the use of narrative
in ‘Stan’ by Eminem. They also research, plan, produce and evaluate their own
magazine for a specific target audience.
Year 11 is spent working on
the examination topic, which is a series of written, essay-style responses to a
range of questions in Section A, and a creative response to a question in
Section B. Topics change every year and are set by the examination board: the
next few years are centred around advertising.
Students must already be good
at and enjoy English to be successful at this subject. It involves similar
skills of analysis and interpretation, writing well structured, detailed essay
responses to questions and being creative enough to develop their own narratives
and ideas. The ability to be organised,
work at a consistently good standard and able to meet deadlines is also
essential because this course has such an extremely high coursework component.
Extension and Enrichment
We offer a range of enrichment
activities – some related to developing coursework skills on software packages
such as Photoshop and other trips to events relevant to the examination
content. This year we took students to a conference based on crime drama at the
British Film Institute.
Students do not need to have studied
GCSE Media Studies to take the subject at A Level, although it provides them
with a good foundation of skills which they can develop. The A Level course
extends students’ skills of analysis,
expecting them to demonstrate their knowledge through the rigor of formal
academic essays. It also allows them to use their creative skills designing and
creating their own texts.
The AS and A2 Media Studies courses are two equally weighted
units - one exam module worth 50% of the AS grade, and one coursework module,
also worth 50%.
In AS, the exam module aims to provide students with a
framework for analysing the media and has requires them to explore
representations and audience/user responses. We explore genre, narrative,
representation and audience reactions through a range of media texts, ranging
from television and film sequences to magazines, newspapers and webpages. The
coursework module allows students to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding
and skills in media production processes through research, planning, production
and evaluation. Students produce three pieces of linked work: a pre-production
storyboard for the opening sequence of a film, a marketing campaign for the
film and a report describing the research for the two pieces and evaluating
The A2 course consists of an exam module which asks students
to study in depth nine case studies based on the industries on advertising,
television and music. Within these they look in depth at analysing the texts,
their representations and audience responses and also investigating the
industry context of production, marketing and regulation. The A2 coursework
requires students to write their own question based on either narrative, representation
or genre, and then create their own media texts which links to their findings
Extension and Enrichment
Enrichment activities are frequently
based around individual tuition on computer packages like Photoshop and
InDesign to push students to create excellent coursework production pieces. We
also take students on trips when relevant – the most notable this year being a
visit to Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studios.
More detail on the a-level course can be found here