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Media Studies A Level at Sherburn High School

Course description

Most of the information we receive from the world is mediated – it is selected and organised in particular ways before it is re-presented to us. A large proportion of this information comes from the mass media: television, radio, the internet, the press and many other forms, many of which have developed rapidly over the last few years due to the boom in digital technology. In Media Studies you learn to read media texts across this broad range, and understand the real messages behind these varied products, and the reasons why they have been produced this way.

The Media Studies course develops creative and practical skills; students produce media texts using video, photography and desktop publishing technology. However, it is also an academic subject with written analytical essay answers and an independently researched topical essay in year 13. It is a theoretical and analytical subject covering political, social and current affairs so this will aid a range of other subjects and careers where insight, critical analysis and hypothesising, as well as reading and extended written communication are involved.

Course content

MEST 1: Exam based unit in which you watch or read an unseen media text analysing the way it has been constructed and the underlying messages it sends. You also undertake a broad case study on one area of the media for example documentaries, reality TV or crime drama.

MEST 2: Practical coursework unit in which you have to produce two or three media products using your own technical and creative skills. You must also write an analysis of the practical work, evaluating its strengths and weaknesses.

AS Level

MEST 3: Exam based unit in which you answer questions comparing two unseen media texts and then answer a question about either Identities and the media, or the impact of new technology and digital media. This unit requires a broad knowledge of the media industry, a range of forms and genres as well as current affairs.

MEST 4: Coursework unit in which students produce an independent essay investigation into a media area or issue of your own choice for example the debate about privacy laws or the ways a genre has reinvented itself. Following this you produce a linked practical production piece of your own choice.

Study methods
A range of study methods are used from independent research and presentations, to discussion, group work and written responses. Practical skills are built by presenting learning in practical ways as well as traditional essays.

Entry requirements

A minimum of grade C in GCSE English Language.


50% exam and 50% coursework in both years. Exams are essay based.

Future opportunities

As well as providing a grounding for students who wish to enter a career in media areas such as television, radio, film or web production, Media Studies is excellent for developing critical, analytical and creative skills. It is therefore a good choice for students who wish to study Drama, Art or English Literature courses at university, as well as courses directly linked to the media such as journalism or film studies. Moreover, as the course requires students to look in depth at the factors influencing how media texts precisely target their audiences, it is a useful choice for students who wish to enter a career in business or marketing.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 10 March 2017
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