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Communication & Culture AS/A Level at Brockenhurst College

Course description

If you enjoyed learning about English, Media and History at GCSE level, then the new specification in Communication and Culture will inspire you.

A vibrant A level with contemporary topics and themes, this specification offers you the opportunity to investigate the individual in their cultural environment.

Key concepts from identity (who we are) to power are explored.

Course content

At AS level, you will examine different concepts of our everyday culture, as Raymond Williams says ‘Culture is ordinary, in every society, in every mind.’ You will also consider the link between culture and communication by examining clothing, body adornment and language. The chance to apply this is in your independent coursework on (1) the individual and (2) cultural practices.

At A2 level, you will research approaches (Marxism, and Post-Modernism) applying these to 'cultural sites', such as fictions (film/television) and objects of desire (consumerism, advertising and celebrity endorsement). In addition, you will undertake two pieces of independent coursework; a Case Study and a Creative Work on either (1) the Person or (2) Cultural Practices.

Unit 1 UNDERSTANDING COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE
In this unit, you will learn about the nature of culture and the codes through which culture is communicated. You will explore definitions of culture, the meanings and practices of everyday life, high and popular culture and the relationship between culture and value. In addition, you will develop skills in order to analyse and interpret verbal and non-verbal communication (body language), identity, group communication. You will also get to analyse cultural products (adverts, flyers).

Unit 2 THE INDIVIDUAL AND CONTEMPORARY CULTURE:  Portfolio (coursework)
In this unit, you will undertake coursework which will require you to conduct a 500 word investigation into the relationship between communication, culture and the individual, as well as a 1,000 word exploration into cultural practices and contexts.  You will also undertake a presentation on 'My Culture: 'Who I am in context: exploring personal and cultural identity'.  

Unit 3 COMMUNICATING CULTURE
In this unit, you will learn about theoretical approaches to the analysis and understanding of cultural production and consumption in contemporary society (including, Market Liberalism, Marxism and Feminism). You will investigate the rationales for capitalism, globalisation and consumerism in relation to fictions (stories in our culture) and objects of desire (the consumer items we crave).

Unit 4 COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE IN PRACTICE: Portfolio (coursework)
In this unit, you will undertake a major piece of independent work on a topic selected from the Person (the construction and maintenance of our personal identities) or Cultural Practices (studying social and cultural rituals).

Entry requirements

 

The basic requirement is five GCSEs at grade C or above including English Language and English Literature.

Successful students have a passion for culture in all its forms, as well as a willingness to read around topics, work independently, and be critically engaged with a challenging range of sources.

Assessment

Your achievement in this subject is dependent upon excellent attendance, punctuality and effort. You will learn in a friendly atmosphere, using a variety of assessment methods:

  1. You will be assessed regularly on written essay work that is conducted either as homework or under timed conditions in class and given feedback on your progress.
  2. Presentations are a vital part of our assessment process and you will be expected to contribute to those and class discussions.
  3. You will review your own performance in 1:1 sessions with your tutor.
  4. You will undertake mock examinations on each unit, except units 1 and 4 (coursework), in advance of your exams.
  5. You will be formally examined on each unit that you study.  The examinations are traditional and essay-based.  You will be assessed through 2 pieces of coursework, 1 at AS and 1 at A2 both worth 25% of the total A level.  The rest of the assessment is through examination worth 50% of the total A Level.

Financial information

As with many A level subjects you will have to buy materials for your projects (folders, wallets etc.), but this should not be expensive.  You may also wish to purchase one or two very useful books, costing around £18 each.
 

Future opportunities

The course is suitable for those intending to go onto Higher Education or employment.  It is particularly useful for those who are interested in careers in advertising, marketing, PR, teaching, the media, journalism, business or social work.

Previous students have gone on to universities as varied as Goldsmiths University of London, Bournemouth University, the University of West England and Winchester.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Brockenhurst College directly.

Last updated date: 18 February 2016

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