In a world in which the media plays an ever-increasing role in students’ lives, Media Studies aims to encourage students to develop enquiry, critical thinking and decision-making skills through the study of media texts, audiences and institutions. We want students to become independent in research skills and their application.

The media has an enormous influence on how students learn about social and personal matters such as perceptions of gender roles, ethnicity and a range of social groups. The media influences how students deal with moral issues and perceptions of behaviour, justice and fairness in their lives. Students very often take the Media for granted, without thinking about the ideological messages and values media texts convey. We want students to think critically and independently about these messages and values, to question and challenge them and to consider alternatives.

Technology is allowing media consumers to become producers like never before in a range of new and exciting contexts. We want students to explore these production processes, technologies and contexts and by developing their practical skills and providing creative opportunities to make their own media texts.

Finally, Media is a dynamic area in the worlds of higher education and employment, and we also aim to prepare students to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.

The award winning Media Studies Department has expanded significantly in recent years to offer new and exciting curriculum opportunities as well as extra-curricular learning.

The department is housed in three purpose-built teaching rooms, each of which has a suite of PCs which feature software such as the full Adobe Creative Suite including Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. There is also a dedicated video editing room with a suite of PCs running the full Adobe Creative Suite.

Support for your learning

Extra-curricular opportunities/Homework expectations

The media world is constantly changing and to do well in Media Studies it is important to keep up to date with developments in whatever media areas students are interested in. This might involve watching films and TV, reading magazines and newspapers listening to music, surfing the net and using social media. Time spent doing these things will always be well spent providing students are thinking critically about how and why things are being presented as they are.

Students should also be encouraged to make their own media products. This does not require professional equipment because even mobile phones can produce decent quality video and still images, and there are well-featured image editing programs such as ‘Gimp’ available as free downloads.

Homework will be set formally every fortnight.

The department has developed a substantial bank of support materials on the school intranet and online. Students should have a USB flash drive and internet access at home to make best use of these materials. The department also has its own YouTube channel where examples of past student work can be viewed.

Useful links:

http://download.cnet.com/GIMP/3000-2192_4-10073935.html  – excellent free digital imaging program

http://www.wikipedia.org – a good starting point for most media topics

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media – an excellent source for articles about issues in the media

http://www.bfi.org.uk – the official website for the British Film Institute

http://www.mediaknowall.com – contains useful material on many GCSE and A Level topics

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/filmnetwork – an online resource of over 500 UK short films

http://www.imdb.com – the most detailed online movie database with information about almost very film ever made

http://www.comingsoon.net – excellent source of information about film campaigns

http://www.moviepreviewguide.com – a great site which lists all upcoming films in the UK.

www.launchingfilms.com – everything you need to know and understand about film distribution in the UK

www.bafta.org – the homepage for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.