- Subject Information
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.
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 in Google Classroom. Students should have internet access at home to make best use of these materials.
Summary of the course
WJEC Eduqas GCSE Media Studies
Students will not have taken Media Studies before, and so there will be an ‘induction’ period during which students will be introduced to the key concepts and some of the essential skills of digital imaging using Photoshop and other programs.
Component 1: Exploring the Media (40%)
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes (55 mins section A = 45 marks / 35 mins section B = 35 marks)
Section A: Exploring Media Language and Representation
This section assesses media language (how different media use visuals, sound and other techniques to get their ideas across) and representation (how the media deliberately choose to show people, often as stereotypes) in relation to magazines, film posters, print adverts and newspapers.
There will be a range of set media texts chosen by the board and also texts for comparison chosen by the school. These will include both contemporary and vintage texts, and as well as being able to analyse and compare them, students will also need to explain their historical, social and cultural contexts.
Section B: Exploring Media Industries and Audiences
This section assesses students’ understanding of the industries who produce the media and the audiences who consume it. The areas of study will be film, newspapers, radio and video games.
Again, there will be a range of set texts chosen by the board and also texts for comparison chosen by the school.
Component 2: Understanding Media Forms and Products (30%)
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes (50 mins. Sec. A = 30 marks / 40 mins Sec. B = 30 marks)
This component assesses students’ understanding of television and music.
The television element will explore contemporary TV Sitcom through a close study of the Channel 4 sitcom ‘The IT Crowd’ which will be compared to the American sitcom ‘Friends’. Both programmes will be studied in relation to media language, representation, media industries, audiences and their historical and social contexts.
The music element will explore contemporary and vintage music videos as well music online in its various forms. Again, the focus will be on media language, representation, media industries, audiences and their historical and social contexts.
Component 3: Creating Media Products (30%)
Coursework (‘Non-exam assessment’) 60 marks.
Students must create their own individual media product in either print or video. If producing video work, individual students may work with others, but all camerawork and editing must be done by the individual student.
The specific briefs for the practical tasks will be set by the exam board in March of Year 10.
Why you should consider this subject
The course includes study of a very wide range of media as well as equipping students with practical skills using industry-standard software. You should consider this subject if you are interesting in finding out how and why the media plays such a major part in everyone’s lives, if you are considering a career in any aspect of the media or if you want to learn practical skills such as digital imaging using Adobe Photoshop. There are strong links with other subjects including English, Sociology, Psychology, Art, Photography and Business Studies
Media Industries are worth over 60 billion pounds to the UK economy each year and there are many employment opportunities in both major and independent media production. Previous students have gone on to careers in journalism and the film and television industries. The large film studio to be built in Dagenham in the next few years is likely to be a major employer for the area.
Google Classroom will be used regularly. Instructions and support materials for homework set will be placed on Google Classroom, as will revision guides as units are covered and prior to any internal and external examination periods.
GCSE Results 2019
Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving 78% grades 9-4.
GCSE Results 2020
Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving 83% grades 9-4.
GCSE Results 2021
Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving 75% grades 9-4.
GCSE Results 2022
Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving 75% grades 9-4.
Links to useful websites
- http://download.cnet.com/GIMP/3000-2192_4-10073935.html – excellent free digital imaging program as an alternative to Photoshop
- 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.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
- 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.
As units are covered, revision materials produced by the department are made available on Google Classroom.