Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise

Media Studies is a diverse, challenging course which offers students the opportunity to develop a critical and analytical approach to the changing media environment which surrounds them. Students will explore how media texts are created and the distinctive contributions mass media makes to their understanding and enjoyment of the world in which they live. Students will also create original media texts and productions for the coursework component. Texts studied include film, documentary, magazines, newspapers, radio, the music industry and television as well as new media such as web pages.

Examination Board: WJEC

Minimum Course Entry Requirements

  • At least grade C in GCSE English Language
  • No previous study of media at GCSE is required

AS Media Studies

Unit 1: Media Representations and Responses

This unit explores a wide range of media texts, introducing students to key frameworks for analysing and exploring representations and audience responses. The representations of social/cultural groups, events, issues and their underlying messages and values will be explored using a range of approaches. Students will also focus onthe debates which surround media texts and the media’s role in creating and enforcing stereotypes in terms of gender, ethnicity, nation and age. Students sit one exam based on stimulus material.

Unit 2: Media Production Processes

This is a coursework unit. Students submit three pieces of work. One piece focuses on pre-production and planning, such as a storyboard for a documentary with research notes. The second piece focuses on production, currently a 3-4 minute documentary film. The third piece is a report of the production process incorporating research on target audiences and genre. The report may be submitted in the form of a discursive essay, an illustrated report or a suitably edited blog.

Examination Details

  • Unit 1 - Examination: Two and a half hours. Answer 3 questions based on print or moving image.
  • Unit 2 - Coursework: 3 pieces - Pre-production. Production. Final report of 1650 words.

A2 Media Studies

Minimum Course Entry Requirements

  • At least grade C at AS Media Studies

Unit 3: Media Investigation and Production

This is a coursework unit which allows students to investigate an aspect of media studies they are personally interested in. The study should focus either on genre, narrative or representation. For example, a study of the representation of gender in print based media texts, ethnicity in newspapers or a genre based research piece. The production is print-based desktop publishing in A2 and must be linked to the research.The production must be accompanied by an individual evaluation which explores how the production has been informed by the research undertaken into the relevant media concepts.

Unit 4: Media Text, Industry and Audience

Students study three industries from a choice of television; radio; film and cinema; the music industry; newspapers; magazines; advertising. The focus of this unit is on media industry and how audience shapes media response. Students sit an examination consisting of 3 essay questions. For each industry, they must select three main texts. At least two of the chosen texts must be contemporary and one must be British.Students must show understanding of the connections between different elements of the specification and develop their knowledge and understanding of the relationship between media texts, their audiences and the industries which produce and distribute them.

Examination Details

Unit 3: Students are required to produce three pieces of linked work:
  • A research investigation (1400 – 1800 words)
  • A production (informed by the investigation)
  • A brief evaluation (500 – 750 words)

Unit 4: Examination: Two and a half hours. Answer 3 questions relating to the areas of text, industry and audience

Career Possibilities

Media Studies is a valuable and highly regarded qualification, leading directly to many media based careers. The moral and ethical debates students engage with and the analytical and investigative approach developed is excellent training for a wide range of careers including law, politics, journalism, social services, civil service and teaching. Any area which requires critical thinking and excellent communication skills would be well served by a Media Studies student.

Please see Mr Wilson for further information on the course or to answer any questions you may have.

Media Full Specification.pdf