Media Studies

Mission Statement

The Media and modern media issues encompass some of the most important issues that present themselves within modern society and with this in mind it is integral to teach young people about media industries and processes within the world around them. The teaching of Media studies embraces all aspects of the media with particular focuses on how television, film, the internet and print media reflect key aspects and key social groups within society. In the media literate society in which we live, an ability to communicate effectively (orally, in the written word and in the image), and to read a wide range of different types of text, is essential if children are to achieve their potential throughout their school days and on into adult life.

The Four Pillars 

Skill

  • Promote crucial learning skills – such as, memorizing, proving, analyzing, drawing inferences, comparing, evaluating
  • Provide opportunities for students to develop the wider skills- such as those associated with communication, ICT and production, working effectively with others, independent performance as well as problem solving and strategies to enable students to overcome adversity.
  • Promote key thinking skills associated with the workplace- including financial capability, career discussions as well as research led activities.

Character

  • Develop confidence in discussing, debating, theorizing and evaluating- for public as well as formal purposes.
  • Maximize performance in external examinations by embedding a culture engrained in high expectations, improvement, confidence as well as autonomy.
  • Promote cultural capital by nurturing a spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness in order to promote positive attitudes and tolerance towards other cultures.

Experiences

  • Enable students of all abilities opportunities to communicate effectively through creating engaging and creative media products that display thoughtful examples and use of different media forms.
  • Read and evaluate conventional as well as contemporary media texts and explore a range of social and moral issues often presented within such product

Criticality

  • Develop students’ ability to evaluate the way language and images are used to convey multi layered and often hidden meanings.
  • Consider how social, cultural, historical and political contexts impact interpretations of a given text.

An Overview of Year 9

This is a foundation year in Media Studies in which students will:

Explore the theoretical framework: media language, representations, media industries and audiences

Be introduced to a range of rich and stimulating products (similar forms and genres to the those studied at GCSE level)

Attempt questions that require analysis, extended responses and comparison of media products

Create production work using imaginative techniques.

Year 9 topics include:

  • Autumn: An Introduction to Media Studies (including Film Posters); An Introduction to Crime Drama (including the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes)
  • Spring: An Introduction to Production (including Film marketing); An Introduction to Magazines (including GQ and Glamour)
  • Summer: An Introduction to Newspapers (including The Sun, The Guardian and The Daily Mail); An Introduction to Music videos (including Bruno Mars and Katy Perry)

An Overview of Years 10 and 11

Year 10 topics include:

  • An Introduction to the theoretical framework
  • Advertising and Marketing (including Quality Street, This Girl Can, The Man with the Golden Gun, Spectre)
  • Magazine (GQ and Pride) and Newspaper Industries (The Guardian and The Sun)
  • Gaming Industry (Fortnite)
  • Component 3: Research, planning and production (Magazine creation)

Year 11 Topics include

Television Crime Drama (Luther: Series 1, Episode 1; The Sweeney: Series 1, Episode 1)

Radio Industry (The Archers: Full length episode)

Music Industry (music videos and online materials: Taylor Swift- ‘Bad Blood’, Pharrell Williams ‘Freedom’ and TLC ‘Waterfalls)

Theoretical Framework

This GCSE Media Studies specification is based on the theoretical framework for exploring and creating media. The framework is based on four interrelated areas:

  • Media language: how the media through their forms, codes and conventions communicate meanings
  • Representation: how the media portray events, issues, individuals and social groups
  • Media industries: how the media industries’ processes of production, distribution and circulation affect media forms and platforms
  • Audiences: how media forms target, reach and address audiences, how audiences interpret and respond to them, and how members of audiences become producers themselves.

The framework provides a holistic and focused approach to interpreting and analysing the media, which learners will develop progressively as they study the three components.

Component 1: Exploring the Media

Section A: Exploring Media Language and Representation

This section assesses media language and representation in relation to two of the following print forms: magazines, marketing (film posters), newspapers, or print advertisements. There are two questions in this section.

Section B: Exploring Media Industries and Audiences

This section assesses two of the following media forms: Film, newspapers, radio, video games.

Assessed

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

40% of qualification

Question types

Section A:

  • • 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 resources in the same form. Part (a) is based on media contexts. Part (b) requires comparison through an extended response.

Section B:

  • • One stepped question on media industries
  • • One stepped question on Audiences.

Component 2: Understanding Media forms and Products

This Component assesses all areas of the theoretical framework and contexts of the media in relation to television and music.

Section A: Television

Section B: Music (music videos and online media)

Assessed

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

30 % of qualification

Question types

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 media contexts may be required)
  • • One question on media industries, audiences or media contexts.

Section B: Music (music videos and online

  • • 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

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.

Assessed

Non- exam assessment

30 % of qualification

*Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the learning overviews that are stuck into students’ books at the start of each half term.

**Qualification website- Further information on this specification is also available from the qualification website: https://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/media-studies-gcse/#tab_overview

If you have further questions about this course, please see Miss Bradwell

Year 9:

  • Autumn 1: An introduction to Media Studies (including Film Posters) Print focus – Exploring key fundamentals (including concepts, media literacy and codes and conventions of posters)
  • Autumn 2: An Introduction to Crime Drama (including the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes) Moving Image focus – Exploring key fundamentals (including genre, industry factors and codes and conventions of television).
  • Spring 1: An Introduction to Production (including Film marketing) Cross-media creative task- Exploring key fundamentals (including pre and post production)
  • Spring 2: An Introduction to Magazines (including GQ and Glamour) Print focus- Exploring key fundamentals (including, representation of social groups and drawing comparisons)
  • Summer 1: An Introduction to Newspapers (including The Sun, The Guardian and The Daily Mail) Print focus- Exploring key fundamentals (including, representation of societal issues, audience appeal and drawing comparisons)
  • Summer 2: An Introduction to Music videos (including Bruno Mars and Katy Perry) Moving Image focus – Exploring key fundamentals (including genre, online marketing and brand identity)

Year 10

  • Autumn 1: Component One Section A: Advertising and marketing (Quality Street, This Girl Can, The Man With The Golden Gun, Spectre)
  • Autumn 2: Component One Section A: Magazines (GQ and Pride)
  • Spring 1: Component One Section A: Newspapers (The Sun and The Guardian)
  • Spring 1: Component One Section B: Newspapers (The Sun – Audience/ Industry)
  • Spring 2: Full trial examination: Component 1
  • Spring 2: Component One Section B: Video Games (Fortnite – Audience/ Industry, Spectre- Industry)
  • Summer 1: Component 3: Submission of statement of Aims
  • Summer 2: Component 3: Full coursework submission

Year 11

  • Autumn 1: Component Two: Section A (Luther: All four key concepts including context)
  • Autumn 2: Component 2: Section A (Luther and The Sweeney: Comparisons- including Audience and Industry)
  • Spring 1: Component Two: Section B (Taylor Swift, Pharrell Williams and TLC: All four key concepts including context)
  • Spring 2: Full trial examination: Component Two
  • Summer 1: Component One Section B: Radio (The Archers- Audience / Industry)

**Students are assessed half termly and termly as well as internal and external mock examinations

Subject specific websites to support revision and independent learning:

Websites of regulatory bodies:

Recommended subject guides:

A range of guides are available for on Amazon.co.uk for the WJEC (EDUQAS), Media Studies course, but perhaps the most useful is the following:

  • WJEC/Eduqas GCSE Media Studies by Hayley Sheard. Published by Illumiate Publishing; (14 May 2018) ISBN: 1911208489

Wider reading:

  • The Media Students’ Book by Gill Branston and Roy Stafford. Published by Routledge; 5thedition (27 May 2010) ISBN: 9780415558426
  • Media, Gender and Identity: An Introduction by David Gauntlett. Published by Routledge; 2nd edition (18 March 2008); ISBN 9780415396615
  • Media Studies: Text, Production, Context by Paul Long and Tim Wall. Published by Routledge; 2nd edition (27 Jul 2012); ISBN: 9781408269510
  • Narrative and Genre: Key Concepts in Media Studies by Nick Lacey. Published by Palgrave
  • Macmillan (22 Feb. 2000); ISBN: 978-0333658727
  • Image and Representation: Key Concepts in Media Studies by Nick Lacey. Published by Palgrave Macmillan (15 April 2009); ISBN: 978-0230203358
  • Media, Institutions and Audiences: Key Concepts in Media Studies by Nick Lacey. Published by Palgrave Macmillan (7 May 2002); ISBN: 978-0333658703

Luther Information:

The Sweeney Background information:

Media Magazine is published quarterly by The English and Media Centre. This is available on subscription only – for institutions or individuals. This covers a range of media issues, theories and texts with articles written by academics, media professionals, teachers and students- please ask Miss Bradwell for the log in details.

Additional information:

  • Homework projects: Students may be asked to complete pre-study booklets and pre-study tasks in preparation for lessons; they may also be provided with a separate homework book to track their progress
  • The Media Department runs weekly study supports (on a Monday)- these are mainly to support our Y11 and Y13 students (however, students in Y9/10 may also be asked to attend sessions intermittently)
  • Extension tasks and example questions – these are available upon request or through using the Proactivity box service.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

The Media Studies department aims to provide a variety of extra-curricular opportunities to students. This has included in the past visits from key speakers such as Directors of film sets as well as trips to The Guardian and The Observer in London and technical workshops at Apple in Solihull. Every year, the department delivers lessons that expose students to key topics of interest as well as sensitive discussions surrounding the importance of equality, respectful behaviours and diversity. For example: Black Lives Matter, The Civil Rights Movement, LGBTQ+, gender biases. We also offer opportunities outside of lessons, such as The Director’s club, which focuses on film analysis and TG magazine, which many of our students co-edited last year- both of these endeavours include student driven content. For those interested in Journalism, we offer students the chance to publish articles for The Media Magazine and support them in terms of arranging work experience with local newspaper companies.