Media Studies overview
“In the modern world, media literacy will become as important a skill as Maths or Science” Tessa Jowell, former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
In the 21st Century we are surrounded by media wherever we look: the internet, TV , film, radio, magazines, newspapers, advertising…the list goes on. Not only is Media Studies interesting and relevant, it gives you valuable skills to help understand the world around you.
The skills you learn in Media Studies helps you in English too. If you study them together you can get better grades in both subjects. Core activities in both subjects are:
- Analysing texts
- Communicating findings
- Being imaginative and creative
Trips and visits are considered an important part of students’ education at Hampton College; in the past, the following Media Studies trips have been offered to students:
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter
- National Media Museum Bradford
- BBC Television Centre tour
- British Film Institute workshops on London’s Southbank
Although we don’t teach Media Studies at KS3 as part of the curriculum, it is taught within the English Department. In year 7, there is a unit of work which focuses on Print based media and students have worked on Advertising and Magazines. In year 8, there is a unit of work based on Moving Image analysis and in year 9 there is an Introduction to GCSE Media Studies unit of work on Sitcoms which is taught prior to option choices.
GCSE Media Studies
At GCSE, students will develop and apply their understanding of the media through both analysing and producing media products in relation to the four elements of the framework: media language, media representations, media industries and media audiences.
Whilst there needs to be a balance of practical and theoretical learning, wherever possible students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their learning through creating media products, for example in understanding media audiences students will design a magazine front cover aimed at a specific audience; when learning about promotion and marketing, students will have the opportunity to create their own advertising campaign.
The course is split into 70% exam and 30% coursework. Students will study nine forms of media whilst preparing for two exams, as well as creating a media product in response to a set brief. An example of a set brief:
Create an opening sequence from a children’s drama television programme aimed at an audience of 10–13-year-olds.
The first exam is 1 hour 45 minutes, is worth 35% of the final GCSE, and has two sections:
Section A. Television: Students will engage with one in-depth study covering contemporary and historic television products.
Section B. Promoting Media: Students will study media products used to promote and market films and video games.
The second exam is 1 hour 15 minutes, is worth 35% of the final GCSE and also has two sections:
Section A. Music: Students will engage with one in-depth study covering magazines, music videos and radio.
“Explain one way in which music videos use media language to differ from each other.”
Section B. News: Students will engage with one in-depth study covering online, social and participatory media as well as newspapers.
“Explain two ways that newspapers are funded.”
A Level Media Studies
At A Level, students will study the media in an academic context and apply the knowledge and understanding gained to the process of creating their own media productions. Students will engage confidently with critical and theoretical approaches from the perspectives of both analytical consumers and producers of media products.
A Level Media Studies should inspire learners and develop an aspiration within them to continue learning beyond the confines of the classroom as well as developing personal and interpersonal skills that will serve them well both in Higher Education and in the workplace.
The course is split into 70% exam and 30% coursework. Students will study nine forms of media whilst preparing for two exams, as well as creating a cross-media product in response to a set brief. An example of a set brief:
Television and Online
Following the success of programmes such as Storage Hunters UK1, the commissioning editor for the TV Channel, Dave, is looking for a new game show to go into the early evening schedule (weekday between 5pm–7pm). The programme is to be targeted at a 16–25 demographic with money to spend.
You work for an independent television production company. You have been asked to produce:
1. a three minute extract from the pilot show to act as your pitch to the commissioning editor
2. a working website for the show comprising a homepage and three linked pages.
There should be a clear sense of branding across the two elements of the project.
The first exam is 1 hour 45 minutes, is worth 32.5% of the final A Level, and has two sections:
Section A. News: Learners will engage in an in-depth study of contemporary news in the UK, requiring learners to explore how and why newspapers and magazines are evolving as media products.
“Compare how far the media organisations which produce these products are reflected in Sources A and C.”
Section B: Media language and representation
Students will explore media language and representation, through advertising and marketing, and music videos.
“Compare how media language is used in the construction of gender in two fragrance advertisements.”
The second exam is 2hours, is worth 37.5% of the final A Level, and also has two sections:
Section A. Media Industries and Audiences
Learners will explore media industries and audiences, through radio, video games and film.
“Explain how The BBC Radio One Breakfast Show uses its online presence.”
Section B. Long form television drama
Students will engage in an in-depth study of television as an evolving, global media form.
“Discuss the extent to which your chosen long form television dramas successfully target their audiences.”