Media Studies GCE AS/A Level at Richmond-upon-Thames College
The mass media have been an important field of study since the 1930s. Today, with more media around us than ever before, we spend much of our day staring at screens, or plugged into music. It is therefore essential that we understand how the media communicate with us, how we might respond and how the industries that make these products operate.Technological change is having a dramatic effect on traditional patterns of production and consumption, as the traditional media - radio, newspapers, television, film - migrate to the internet. Media Studies provides you with the critical and analytical tools to understand how the media represent the world around us, and what processes are involved. This includes learning some key theories, particularly in the area of narrative, representation and the audience.
You will study examples of advertisements, television programmes, social media, newspaper front pages, magazine covers and films. You will consolidate your knowledge and understanding through group discussion, debate, essay-writing, presentations, survey work, planning and making products. There is a 50/50 split between coursework and exam-based assessment.
It is important to be well-informed about a wide range of media and to have opinions about current affairs and the way events are being reported. Above all, you will come to appreciate that all media communications contain some element of bias and that they make certain assumptions about the world that we might or might not agree with.
You will need an average GCSE points score of 5.5 including GCSE English at grade 5 and Art at grade C.
AS will be assessed through:
- Coursework, which makes up 50% of the overall mark. This consists of a research and evaluation report on a particular aspect of media, a pre-production (i.e. planning) product task linked to the report and a media production.
- An examination of 2.5 hours, which makes up the other 50% of the overall mark. This initially requires detailed analysis of a previously unseen media text, followed by answers to questions relating to aspects of representation and audience.
The second year will be assessed through:
- Coursework, consisting of an academic research essay, a production linked to it and a short evaluation. As with AS, this work represents 50% of the overall A Level.
- An examination of 2.5 hours on the work of media industries, such as television, advertising and film. This makes up the other 50% of the A Level.
There will be at least one trip which you will need to pay for during the course. You will also need a USB drive.
In higher education, media studies can lead to a degree in the same subject, or in film studies, popular culture, journalism, marketing, communications or advertising and whilst an A Level is unlikely to be sufficient qualification on its own for a career in professional media, students interested in writing, teaching, research or media production will find the course extremely useful.
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How to apply
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