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A Level Media Studies at Ruislip High School

Course description

Media Studies at A Level is an exciting and challenging subject which aims to enable students to critically analyse the world around them. The subject encourages students to carefully consider the influence media institutions have on all of our identities and how they use the media we consume daily to communicate various ideologies and messages to their audiences. In production, students are encouraged to be creative thinkers who are able to produce exciting, innovative and original production pieces. Media Studies explores four main topics: representation, audience, institution and media language.

Course content

Year 12 - AS Media Studies
Unit G321 – Foundation Production Portfolio
This unit encourages students to work in groups to produce a two-minute opening sequence for an original film. During the unit, students will work on their research and planning skills by creating a production company and taking ownership of a blog, on which they will post entries showing their progress over the unit. They will then have the opportunity to develop their digital technology skills by either working as a director, producer, cinematographer or editor to produce their production piece. The unit is completed with an evaluation, which gives students the opportunities to justify creative decisions made and reflect on how their choices effected their final outcomes.

The unit is worth 50% of the AS and 25% of the overall A Level.

Unit G322, Part A – Television Drama
This unit develops students’ textual analysis skills by exploring a key media theme, representation. The unit requires students to have an understanding of how technical elements - camera, editing, sound and mise-en-scene - are used within television to construct various representations of different identity groups. The unit is Section A of the AS Media Studies exam taken in the Summer Term. Students will be shown a 4-5 minute unseen extract and will be expected to analyse how it represents one of the identity groups: gender, ethnicity, age, class, sexuality, disability and region.

Unit G322, Part B – British Cinema
The second section of the AS Media exam surrounds the study of the British Film Industry. During the unit, students will consider how the British Film Industry impacts British audiences and how the industry compares to other international film institutions, such as Hollywood. In the exam, students will be expected to show their understanding of how elements such as digital technology and issues of ownership effect the various film stages – production, distribution and exhibition.

The unit is worth 50% of the AS and 25% of the overall A Level.

Year 13 – A2 Media Studies

Unit G324 – Advanced Production Portfolio
This coursework unit gives students the opportunities to enhance the skills they develop during AS Media Studies by taking on a project brief that requires them to work within video production and up to two other types of media, such as web, radio or print. Students have the choice between three briefs. They may either produce a music video, a film trailer or a five-minute extract of a documentary. Similarly to the coursework in Year 12 they will also be expected to produce a research and planning portfolio and evaluation.

The unit is worth 50% of A2 and 25% of the overall A Level.

Unit G325, Part A – Critical Evaluation
The first section of the A2 exam requires students to look critically at their own development as a media producer and compare their own production work to core media issues. Firstly, they will be asked to reflect on their progress as a learner in one of five areas: research and planning, digital technology, post-production, using real media conventions and creativity. Secondly, they will be asked to critically analyse one of their production pieces and explore how key media theory applies to their work. They will be asked to analyse their work in relation to one of the following areas: genre, representation, narrative, audience and media language.

Unit G325, Part B – Collective Identity
Section B of the exam requires students to explore various representations of the collective identity, youth culture. During the unit, students will study historical and contemporary representations of this identity. They will analyse how much influence institutions have on how young people are represented in the media and in turn, the impact this has on society. The student will cover various media from film to news and students will be required to gather case studies to form an in-depth argument in their exam.

The unit is worth 50% of the A2 and 25% of the overall A Level.


Both AS and A2 are 50% coursework and 50% exam.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ruislip High School directly.

Last updated date: 07 May 2015

Key information