In the 21st Century, the understanding of Media and its influence on our society is of vital everyday importance. Media communications reach into every corner of our lives and can have significant impacts and promote significant change. For this reason, we have clear intentions for the study of Media and what we want our learners to get out of it.
A Level Media Studies is a two year course where students will develop their knowledge of how media has developed through time and how it continues to develop at a rapid pace. They will also develop analytical skills, exploring how to ‘read’ and decode a piece of media.
As a contemporary subject, Media Studies offers students excellent opportunities to develop and shape their own perception of the media that surrounds them, and invites them to come up with original and supported judgements and conclusions about the products we consume every day. Additionally, students will also gain creative skills in creating their own media within the coursework component of the qualification. All of this will happen simultaneously with their enhanced knowledge of cultural capital – and how people live and communicate in different places and in different times.
Underpinning the entire course is an extensive ‘theoretical framework’ where, over the course of two years, students study 19 academic theorists/theories and learn how to apply these to a range of media texts. There are also 18 set media texts to study called ‘Close Study Products’ (CSPs). These fall under the nine media areas of: TV, film, magazine, newspaper, radio, advertising, video games, music video and online, social and participatory media. Students receive a booklet of these at the beginning of their studies, and these are updated on a yearly basis by the exam board to include relevant and up-to-date media products.
In applying the theoretical framework to media products, students will produce insightful, extended essay responses to these, as well as take part in exciting debates about the past, present and future of media products. Our students will:
- Study the underpinning theory of Media Studies, alongside beginning to study the CSPs.
- Be taught necessary academic skills to form insightful written essays.
- Be given their coursework booklet and be asked to choose a brief and begin research in order to create their own media.
- Study the remaining CSPs, complete their coursework and revise for formal examinations in the summer.
- Understand the power of Media in all its forms and how it can be used to enhance everyday life, whilst also evaluating the dangers and disadvantages it represents if not clearly understood.