The media play a central role in contemporary society and culture. They shape our perceptions of the world through the representations, viewpoints and messages they offer. The media have real relevance and importance in our lives today, providing us with ways to communicate, with forms of cultural expression and the ability to participate in key aspects of society. The economic importance of the media is also unquestionable. The media industries employ large numbers of people worldwide and operate as commercial industries on a global scale. The global nature of the contemporary media, coupled with ongoing technological developments and more opportunities to interact with the media, suggest that their centrality in contemporary life can only increase.
We are excited to be offering the newly-accredited and comprehensively resourced specifications from WJEC Eduqas, which offer structured and supportive progression all the way through from Year 10 to Year 13. Working in parallel with other schools in The Howard Partnership Trust, we can provide a significant range of teaching expertise and resources that enable us to widen the opportunities for Media Studies students even further than in previous years. The new specifications require the study of set texts, allowing students to develop a high level of confidence with media products that they will know in great detail before the exam. This, together with the fact that this is one of the few subjects where a non-examined assessment (coursework) is still required, means that students can build a solid platform of knowledge and results in advance of the exams.
All courses, from GCSE through to A Level, offer learners the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of key issues and the ability to debate important questions about the media. Learners are introduced to a theoretical framework for analysing the media, which underpins all study of the media. Although the GCSE specification focuses predominantly on the contemporary media, this is contextualised and enhanced through studying significant products from different historical periods. Covering both established and evolving media forms, learners will gain awareness of the role of the media in society and culture. The theoretical and analytical approaches are developed in greater detail at AS and A Level to support critical exploration, analysis and debate. Learners are encouraged to debate key questions related to the social, cultural, political and economic role of the media and engage with the dynamic relationships between media products, media industries and audiences. Learners will also extend their experience of the media through the study of products with which they may be less familiar, including those produced by or for a minority group, non-mainstream and non-English language products. This specification aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the transnational nature of the media, considering the effect of different national contexts on representations in media products, the global reach of media industries, and the targeting of audiences on a national and global scale.
This specification also provides learners with exciting opportunities to develop media production skills. Students will apply and develop their knowledge and understanding of media language and representation in relation to media forms and products, and become creators of meaning themselves. Learners at all levels will be offered a choice of briefs and forms within which to work, enabling them to explore and pursue their own media interests.
At GCSE students sit two 1h30m exams (Components 1 & 2) and submit an individual Media Production (Component 3).
- Component 1, ‘Exploring the Media’, worth 40% of the qualification, covers the key concepts of Media Language, Representation, Industries and Audiences.
- Component 2, ‘Understanding Media Forms and Products’, worth 30%, covers the areas of Television and Music in detail.
- Component 3, ‘Creating Media Products’, worth 30%, can be chosen from a range of briefs designed to apply knowledge and understanding of Media Language and Representation.
At AS Level students sit two exams (Components 1 & 2) and submit an individual Media Production (Component 3).
- Component 1, ‘Investigating the Media’, worth 35% of the qualification, covers the key concepts of Media Language, Representation, Industries and Audiences. It is a 1h45m exam split into two compulsory sections.
- Component 2, ‘Investigating Media Forms and Products’, worth 35%, covers the areas of Television, Magazines and Online Media in detail. This two-hour exam has three compulsory sections.
- Component 3, ‘Media Production’, is worth 30% and can be chosen from a range of briefs designed to apply knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework.
At A Level, students will sit two exams (Components 1 & 2) and submit an individual Media Production (Component 3).
- Component 1, ‘Media Products, Industries and Audiences’, worth 35% of the qualification, covers the key concepts of Media Language, Representation, Industries and Audiences. The 2h15m exam is split into two compulsory sections.
- Component 2, ‘Media Forms and Products in Depth’, worth 35%, covers the areas of Television in the Global Age, Magazines: Mainstream and Alternative Media and Media in the Online Age. This 2h30m exam has three compulsory sections.
- Component 3, a ‘Cross-Media Production’, worth 30%, can be chosen from a range of briefs designed to apply knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework and digital convergence.