Media Studies is a popular and successful subject in the College, and is available at GCSE and AS/A2 level. The key skills at all levels include knowledge and understanding of the media, analysis of media products, and media production. The department is well equipped, with a modern iMac suite and a range of digital cameras and video cameras to suit both beginners and more advanced users.
Practical Production work is extremely popular with most Media Studies pupils as this provides opportunities to be creative, use cutting edge technology, and work collaboratively in groups (A level only). Practical Productions often include TV advertisements, music videos, film trailers and documentary work, as well as print options such as newspaper/magazine pages and billboards. Radio and eMedia options are also available
Media Studies is not a vocational course, although several past pupils have gone on to pursue careers in this area. Essentially a study of the media is a study of the world around us. An understanding of the powerful force known as “the media” is essential for every citizen in the 21st century.
We study the WJEC Eduqas specification at GCSE level, which is graded numerically 9-1.
Learners study a range of media forms in terms of a theoretical framework which consists of media language, representation, media industries and audiences. The following forms are studied in depth through applying all areas of the framework: newspapers, television, music video and online, social and participatory media. Advertising and marketing, film, video games, radio and magazines are also studied in relation to selected areas of the framework.
There are three components:
Component 1: Exploring the Media (Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes). 40% of qualification
Section A: Exploring Media Language and Representation
This section assesses media language and representation in relation to two of the following print media forms: magazines, marketing (film posters), newspapers, or print advertisements. There are two questions in this section:
- one question assessing media language in relation to one set product (reference to relevant contexts may be required)
- one two-part question assessing representation in relation to one set product and one unseen resource in the same media form. Part (a) is based on media contexts. Part (b) requires comparison through an extended response.
Section B: Exploring Media Industries and Audiences
This section assesses twoof the following media forms: film, newspapers, radio, video games. It includes:
- one stepped question on media industries
- one stepped question on audiences.
Component 2: Understanding Media Forms and Products (Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes). 30% of qualification.
Section A: Television
- one question on either media language or representation, which will be based on an extract from one of the set television programme episodes to be viewed in the examination (reference to relevant contexts may be required)
- one question on media industries, audiences or media contexts.
Section B: Music (music videos and online media)
- one question on either media language or representation (reference to relevant contexts may be required)
- one question on media industries, audiences or media contexts.
Component 3: Creating Media Products (Non-exam assessment). 30% of qualification
An individual media production for an intended audience in response to a choice of briefs set by WJEC, applying knowledge and understanding of media language and representation.
We study the WJEC specification at AS/A2 level, which enables learners to:
- understand the relevance and impact of the media and its role in their daily lives
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the global nature of the media
- develop skills of enquiry, critical understanding and analysis of the media through engagement with media products and concepts and through the creative application of practical skills
- explore and understand relevant contexts of media
- develop an understanding of the dynamic and changing relationships between media forms, products, media industries and audiences
- develop their independence when researching and creating practical work and forming their own views and interpretations
- analyse and apply critical perspectives to media products
- evaluate their own practical work.
The specification also gives learners an opportunity to produce extended written responses and demonstrate the quality of their written communication.
There are two components at AS level and a further two at A2 level:
AS Unit 1: Investigating the Media (Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes)
24% of qualification 100 marks
The exam consists of three sections.
Section A: Selling Images – Advertising and Music Video
This section assesses knowledge and understanding of media language, representation and audiences in relation to advertising or music video.
There is one question based on unseen print or audio-visual resource material.
Section B: News in the Online Age
This section assesses knowledge and understanding of media language, representation, media industries and audiences. There is one two-part question requiring reference to the set newsproducts studied.
Section C: Film Industries – from Wales to Hollywood
This section assesses knowledge and understanding of media language, media industries and audiences. There is one two-part question requiring reference to the set filmsstudied.
AS Unit 2: Creating a Media Production (Non-exam assessment)
16% of qualification, 80 marks
- A media production, including individual research and planning, created in response to a choice of briefs set by WJEC, and applying knowledge and understanding of key concepts
- An individual reflective analysis of the production.
We have established links with several third party organisations such as Cinemagic and Into Film who provide work-related opportunities for young people in media roles. Many pupils also use the work experience opportunities in Y11 and Y13 to gain valuable insights into various media roles. Some former pupils have also progressed to related employment and degree courses, particularly in QUB and UU.
Success in the competitive media industry often depends on your determination and motivation, but skills from a media degree can be used in many jobs.
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Media planner
- Multimedia specialist
- Program researcher, broadcasting/film/video
- Public relations officer
- Runner, broadcasting/film/video
- Television/film/video producer
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Advertising account executive
- Broadcast journalist
- Editorial assistant
- Event organizer
- Information officer
- Magazine journalist
- Market researcher