Greensteds International School
Mar 24, 2018
Media Studies



Introduction/Subject in wider perspective

This qualification focuses on the media sector, including magazines, newspapers, film, television, web development, photography, gaming and animation, and has IT at its heart. It provides knowledge in a number of key areas in this field (Media Language, Audience, Institutions and Representation) and has a motivating, hands-on approach to both teaching and learning.

As more and more media products are produced digitally, there’s a demand from employers for an increasingly skilled and technically literate workforce. The course provides specific and transferable skills to enable learners become good media consumers.

It is an excellent stepping stone towards a career in the industry and offers skills from research and profiling, through to technical print, photographic and internet/multimedia techniques. This subject requires a significant amount of project work and independent study which is expected to be carried out with a high degree of professionalism, as it would in the industry itself. It is therefore, by no means, a ‘soft option’ but can be very rewarding and many students quickly find they are choosing to work on projects in their free time as well as putting in the required hours.

Currently Media Studies is offered at GCSE and A-levels. In future, we intend to offer BTEC in Creative Media Production.

Course content/syllabus overview/number of lessons
AS level includes three units:
Unit1: Industries Texts and Audiences
This unit focuses on the industry, its products or texts, and the audiences that receive those products or texts. Learners examine how they construct their products around their specific audiences, and how those audiences understand and use the product that is offered to them.
Unit2: Skills for Media Production
In this unit pupils develop their research and technical production skills. They learn how to gather materials for the content of a new production, and how to investigate an already existing one. They will acquire knowledge and understanding of relevant technology, and develop skills in the techniques required to create a media product in the medium in which they are working.
Unit3: Media Production Brief
This unit will allow learners to put into practice the skills they have learned in Unit 2 by creating a media product in response to an externally set brief. Through working on the brief they will learn about pre-production, production and post-production, creating proposals, budgets and research, and further develop their technical skills.
To complete the A2 course a further 3 units are required:
Unit4: Research and Development for Media Production
Learners originate an idea for a production. They will research the content, audience and viability of the idea and apply that research to its development by experimenting with the technical and creative elements of the proposed production. They will present the idea, with their research and development work through an oral ‘pitch’ followed by a written ‘treatment’.
Unit5: Media Production Project
Working from the treatment of the idea developed in Unit 4 learners will produce a media product. They will demonstrate their understanding of pre-production, production and post-production techniques as well as their technical and organizational skills in a major piece of work. This unit may involve some team work.
Unit6: Professional Practice in Media Industries
Pupils reflect on the work done in Units 4 & 5 through a report on the product and the production process, following a given structure. They will take into account past and current professional practice in the chosen medium and genre, and the professional codes and constraints that might have affected their work and working practice. The report can be in any format – written, oral, audio or video tape.
GCSE Media Studies is offered as a two-unit GCSE
Unit 1 is externally assessed and requires candidates to investigate a pre-released media topic and to undertake research and planning in order to respond to two or more unseen tasks.
Unit 2 comprises three controlled assessments which require candidates to build on their understanding of the media key concepts for their own pre-production, planning, leading to a realized production for Assignment 3.
The topic for Unit 1 will change each year and the topics for Unit 2 will be taken from assignment banks that allow for personal choice and flexibility.
The subject content is classified according to the following media forms: (a) Print and electronic publishing including newspapers, comics and magazines (b) Moving image (c) Radio (d) Website technologies/ new media (e) Advertising and Marketing (f) Popular Music (g) News for tv, newspaper, radio and internet.

Assessment/ How will I be examined?/Course weighting/number of papers
Unit 1: Investigating the Media
•    Written Paper – 1 hour 30 min – 60 marks – 40%
•    External Assessment
•    Based on pre-released topic with guidance and stimulus.
•    Task 1: Knowledge and Understanding. Task 2: Research, Planning and Presentation; Production and Evaluation. Available in June.
Unit2: Understanding the Media
•    Controlled Assessment taken from banks of set assignments – 90 marks – 60%
•    Three Assignments: Introductory assignment; Cross-media assignment; Practical Production and Evaluation. Available in June.
•    You will create a media product for assessment in both the AS and A2 tiers. AS Units 1 and 2 are assessed by coursework. AS Unit 3 will be assessed by means of a set brief published by Edexcel. Your work for this brief will be marked by your teacher and moderated by a visiting examiner. The AS course is awarded a maximum of 300 marks. To score an A grade you will need at least 240 marks.
•    A2 Units 4 and 5 are assessed by a coursework project. You will be assessed in A2 Unit 6 by your report on the project you have undertaken for A2 Units 4 and 5. The A2 course is graded against a maximum of 600 marks. To score an A grade you will need at least 480 marks. There is also an A* grade set at 560 marks.

Progression/ Careers
Media Studies opens opportunities for further studies and careers in: Journalism, Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising, TV Production, Radio Production, Graphics Design, Animation, International Relations, Music Production, Media Programming, Media Research, Film Studies, and Mass Communications among others. Most students who take Media Studies at A-level actually end up choosing media related degrees at University.    

News and events
The media studies department organizes media trips to various media houses in Kenya. In the past, students have visited Standard Media Group and Nation Media Group in Nairobi. Our media students also have had a taste of the facilities at the Communications Department in Daystar University.

Every year, the media studies department runs a photography competition where various students around the school are rewarded. We also have the Photography club and Photoshop club that have helped students gain hands-on experience on media technology.

Link to online subject syllabus page.

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