Media Studies A-Level
Examination Board: Eduqas
Minimum Course Entry Requirements
- At least level 5 in GCSE English Language
- No previous study of media at GCSE is required
This is a 2 year course with all exam components taught in Year 12 and 13, and production work completed for coursework across both years. Examination at the end of Year 13
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.
Component 1: Media Products, Industries and Audiences
Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes at the end of Year 13
This unit is completed in Year 12
35% of qualification
The examination assesses media language, representation, media industries, audiences and media contexts. Students will be taught the key media theoretical frameworks for analysing media texts, and will study a range of set text products including: contemporary British newspapers coverage of the US election, contemporary and historical adverts and charity campaigns including Water Aid, Radio programmes such as Late Night Women’s Hour, historical film posters, video games and a cross-media study of film marketing for I, Daniel Blake and Straight Outta Compton. Students will also be prepared to analyse unseen texts and make links to set texts taught throughout the module.
It consists of two sections:
Section A: Analysing Media Language and Representation
This section assesses media language and representation in relation to two of the following media forms: advertising, marketing, music video or newspapers. There are two questions in this section:
- one question assessing media language in relation to an unseen audio-visual or print resource
- one extended response comparison question assessing representation in one set product and an unseen audio-visual or print resource in relation to media contexts.
Section B: Understanding Media Industries and Audiences
This section assesses two of the following media forms – advertising, marketing, film, newspapers, radio, video games - and media contexts. See above.
- one stepped question on media industries
- one stepped question on audiences.
Component 2: Media Forms and Products in Depth
Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes at the end of Year 13
This unit is completed in Year 12 and 13
35% of qualification
The examination assesses media language, representation, media industries, audiences and media contexts. It consists of three sections:
Section A – Television in the Global Age
There will be one two-part question or one extended response question. Students will be analysing the Documentary form through a detailed study of The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Hurst and the Swedish Documentary No Burqas Behind Bars. This will introduce them to the genre conventions before they go on to produce their own Documentaries and accompanying marketing campaign for Component 3 coursework.
Section B – Magazines: Mainstream and Alternative Media
There will be one two-part question or one extended response question. Students will be studying contemporary and historical magazines including Woman, Vogue, Adbusters, Huck, Woman’s Realm and The Big Issue. Focus on changing gender representations and gender construction through language will also be examined. Students will use their findings to enable them to produce similar print-based texts for the Component 3 coursework.
Section C – Media in the Online Age
There will be one two-part question or one extended response question. Students will study self–representation and the impact of digital technology on media production through a series of case studies including Zoella, Attitude and DesiMag. Students will explore how digital technology changes the way we consume media products and how specialized, niche audiences are targeted.
Component 3: Cross-Media Production Coursework
30% of qualification
Brief set Easter term in Year 12 and completed by the end of autumn term in Year 13
An individual cross-media production based on two forms in response to a choice of briefs set by WJEC. Students will be producing moving image and print based media products for their coursework component. Currently this will be the individual production of a documentary sequence and an accompanying print-based marketing campaign, either online or in magazine form. This unit allows students to demonstrate their genre knowledge gained in Component 2 and is essential for producing a portfolio of work demonstrating practical production skills including filming, pre and post-production planning and editing. All students will be taught editing skills using Industry standard software – Final Cut Pro X, Motion, Photoshop and Publisher.
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.