This is a GCSE course in which all students consider various media texts from a critical viewpoint recognising technical, aesthetic and cultural aspects. It will also consider production, distribution and controversy.
Students then move on in each case to produce their own work evaluating that in the light of the same critical parameters.
GCSE Assessment by Coursework and Examination
- Examination: Unit 1 (40%)
The examination is not tiered and each candidate takes one examination of 90 minutes on a topic selected by AQA (previous years' topics have included TV Crime drama, Broadcast News, Sci-fi, Game Shows, and the Marketing of Video Games), based on research and planning of two or more pre-released tasks.
- Coursework: Unit 2 (60%)
The coursework comprises two theory projects which have associated practical exercises and one practical task accompanied by a written evaluative commentary. You will cover a minimum of three different topic areas as part of the coursework, ranging from radio, film, photography, TV, advertising and marketing, print, web-based media, news and music promotion. Students will work on a pre-set brief, with a pre-determined audience in mind, from a range of set assignments. For example:
- Assignment 1 - Analyse the cover pages of two popular magazines. How do the covers appeal to their audiences? Practical assignment - Design the cover for one edition of a magazine aimed at a specific audience.
- Assignment 2 - Explore the way in which one product, band or artist is represented and promoted across at least two different media e.g. music video, magazine interviews or advertisements, internet sites.
- Practical assignment A (Print or web-based/new media) - Mock-up design for a magazine article or a web page promoting a band or artiste.
- Practical Assignment B (Audio-Visual media) - Devise a storyboard for a music video promoting the same band or artiste.
- Assignment 3 - Construct a 120 second trailer (or two 60 second teaser trailers) for a feature film aimed at a specific audience.
Inventiveness and willingness to participate and experiment will be essential for all students.
Students must be prepared to work with others developing negotiating skills as they engage in teamwork as well as working individually.
This is an invaluable precursor to AS and A2 media work in the Sixth Form.
Why study Media Studies?
It is impossible to over-emphasise the significance of the media in our lives. The very fact that many in our society have come to regard the subject as somehow inferior to other subjects, and "not a proper GCSE" reflects the power of the media in influencing the way we think about certain topics! Studying the media will give you the skills to analyse media texts critically, understand how texts are produced, find out who owns media companies and observe how technologies are changing the way we consume the media. You will reflect on how the media has changed over time, and how our ideas and beliefs can be shaped by media images and messages. Coursework will allow you to become a creative media producer in your own right. In addition, students who study GCSE Media report improvements in the ability to analyse and write critically in their English exams, as well as improvements to their practical creative skills in ICT.
Completing a GCSE in Media Studies can lead to further study of the media, either at AS/A2 Level Media or AS/A2 Film Studies (both of which contain both theory and a lot of practical elements) and will equip you with many of the skills required for a career in the media and other creative industries, such as computer games, marketing and PR.
You will study:
- Textual Analysis (how to 'deconstruct' texts and their meanings);
- Cross-Media Topics (how institutions use a range of media to promote products);
- Media Languages, Producers and Production Techniques.
You will learn:
- How to analyse the 'language' of media texts;
- How to reflect on the cultural messages and values presented in texts;
- How to compare different texts, their institutions and their audiences;
- How to use production techniques, technical skills and evaluative skills to create media products.
You will sit a non-tiered exam based on a case study approach. You will need to consider aspects of style, presentation, values, audience and representation and show their understanding of the relevant codes and conventions. You also need to be aware of new technologies involved in the production and consumption of the media.
- http://www.mediaedu.co.uk (password required)
The school has a paid account with this website which is packed with useful stuff on all the different media, different genres, different key concepts and approaches etc. Please see Mr Gunn for the school password details, or e-mail your request by clicking here.
- http://www.teach-ict.net/software/photoshop/photoshop.htm - All things Photoshop: This is for Photoshop 7.0, the version installed on the school's 2X client. However, for further tutorials on CS3, please refer to the Adobe website.
- http://www.planetoftunes.com - Variety of tutorials, downloads and information on different sectors of the media
- http://www.squidoo.com/indesign101 - InDesign tutorials: From basic to more advanced pages
Unit 1 - Investigating The Media
Unit 2 - Understanding The Media
|Unit 1 - Investigating the Media
External Assessment 1 hour 30 minutes
|Assignment Bank 1 - (500 words)
Topic: Magazine Covers
Assignment 2 - Cross-Platform Study (1000 words)
Assignment 3 - Practical Production
Topic choice 1 - Moving Image
Topic choice 2 - Advertising and marketing