A Level Media Studies
Course Title: Media Studies
Course Type: A Level (Linear)
Exam Board: OCR
Course Contact: Charlotte Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Level Media Studies will enable students to:
- engage fully in the exploration of different media texts, from news platforms to video games.
- develop their own opinions surrounding contemporary media issues, including such 'hot potatoes' as feminism and consumerism.
- understand the role of the media audience, of which the student is part, and their own role in shaping media products.
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the global nature of the media;
- engage with Media theorists who have shaped contemporary thought surrounding media debates.
- thrive in a practical environment, developing skills in both print and video editing and working to a set brief. Previous briefs have included a pop music video for a fun-loving 16-24 demographic. Below you can see a couple of the fantastic videos our former A Level students independently produced.
Students will be energised by the breadth of the media we explore from both a macro and micro perspective. This may include exploring media industries and how they operate in the production of film, for example, to close analysis of media products, from a Lucozade advertising campaign to Radiohead's Burn the Witch music video.
A real attraction of the course is the range of products we study. Contemporary products are thoroughly represented: for example, the synoptic study of binge-worthy TV Drama like Stranger Things and Deutschland 83, is contrasted with an examination of the role of the national daily press, including The Guardian and The Daily Mail. Students are encouraged to keep abreast of how these set products adapt and change, as the world around them does.
Content of A Level in Media Studies (J200)
Component 01: Media messages
This is a 2 hour terminal examination, worth 35%.
There are two sections to this examination:
- In section A: News and online media, students carry out two in-depth studies of the newspapers mentioned above, with particular focus on how those newspapers have adapted to an online, digital age.
- In section B: Media language and representation, students get to closely analyse how media products create meaning and also how they represent certain groups in society. This module covers advertising and marketing, music videos, and magazines, like the diverse Big Issue covers featured below.
Component 02: Evolving media
This is also a 2 hour terminal examination, worth 35%.
There are two sections to this examination:
- In section A: Media industries and audiences, students will explore how media industries operate and how they work to attract and maintain audiences. This module will include the study of radio, video game and film, taking students right through the process from production to audience consumption. It also includes a historical comparison of versions of The Jungle Book to give an understanding of how the film industry has developed over time.
- In section B: Long-form television drama, students carry out an in-depth study focusing on two contemporary TV Dramas: Stranger Things and Deutschland 83. They will study both TV shows, covering all key concepts of media language, representation, audience, industry and context.
Component 03/04: Creating media
Students create a cross-media product for an intended audience in response to a set brief. They will be asked to make their own magazine or music video, each accompanied with a working website (no coding experience necessary as templates are used for this task).
This component counts for 30% of the final grade, and students are encouraged to explore their creativity and technical ability, as well as showing their ability to respond to a brief.
Where can the subject take me?
Media Studies, as a subject, allows students to engage with contemporary media, theoretical positions like feminism and postmodernism and to increase digital literacy, which is essential for any future career.
In terms of higher education, A Level Media Studies will facilitate entry on to university courses in a variety of subjects beyond Media itself – particularly those that involve an element of creativity or those which require close analytical skills. Former Media Studies students at the college have gone on to study a diverse range of degrees, from Journalism, Film and TV production, web design, advertising and marketing, and digital/graphic design.
Many other students have found their Media Studies experiences invaluable when pursuing courses where there is an expectation of a high level of awareness and understanding of the role of the mass media in society, for example law, computing, and politics.