In the wake of scandals from ‘Phone Hacking’ to ‘Fake News’, the role and ownership of the media has come under examination more than ever before. The media can be used to infringe freedoms and protect the powerful. However, as the events in Egypt showed, modern media such as Facebook and Twitter can be used to bring down dictatorships. Media Studies looks at the mass media as a commercial industry, who runs it, how it is funded, how it targets specific audiences and the techniques or languages that it uses to appeal to them. If you like to understand the modern world and the way it is changing, Media Studies may be for you.
All students studying A Levels must have at least five GCSEs at grade A* – C (grade 9 – 5) in academic subjects. Two of these must be B grades (grade 6). Specifically for Media Studies, you will need GCSE English Language at grade B (grade 6) or above.
WHAT DOES THE COURSE INVOLVE?
At both AS and A Level we study a range of media products across the media platforms from music videos, film and print journalism, through to video games and websites. Across both years theoretical frameworks underpin every aspect of what we do, from representations of race, gender or sexuality to issues around institution:
- The ‘language’ of media products; what we see, hear, and how it is presented across the various media platforms
- How these components are mediated to create a specific effect or response from audiences
- Who makes media products? What are their biases? What do they want from us?
- Critical perspectives from a range of academic theorists in: Media Language, Audience, Representation and Institutional factors, and how they influence the mass media.
HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?
Media Studies AS and A Level are assessed through a combination of exam and controlled assessment. Coursework is worth 30% and is a mixture of critical analysis and creative work. There are two examinations worth 35% each in both AS and A Level, with a focus on the different case study media products and critical theorists.
WHERE CAN I GO NEXT?
Most A Level students go on to study at university. Students who have studied Media can expect to follow the subject on to degree level, or study a related subject from English Literature to Sociology, or even a creative subject such as Film Production, Photography or Music.
The study of Media is far reaching with skills that complement many careers such as television, journalism, arts administration, marketing, teaching and private sector or charities.