Subject Area: Visual & Performing Arts
Level: TWO-YEAR A Level
Exam Board: WJEC
A love of and interest in the media is an essential requirement for this course, along with a desire to explore new media texts, which target a wide range of different audiences. You don’t need to have studied media at GCSE but a grade 4 in GCSE English is required. You will be expected to build on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained through other relevant study at key stage 4, particularly literacy and analytical skills. An open mind and an enjoyment of critical analysis are essential.
What will I study?
You will develop knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media language and representation, including how meanings and messages are constructed in music videos, how gender and ethnicity are represented in advertising, and how issues and events are constructed in news texts. You will study products from specific media industries, including the film, video games and radio industries, and consider how they create products for specific audiences.
You will examine television in a global age, mainstream and alternative magazines, and the impact of online media. You will be expected to engage with debates about how audiences respond to media texts and how the media industries respond to audience expectation and demand, using a range of theoretical approaches and theories. Your learning and understanding will be assessed by two exams composed of essay style questions, which accounts for 70% of your A level.
You will also learn how to use a range of media technologies in the planning and production of your practical media coursework, which might include examples from the following: a pre-title sequence for a new TV programme, a music video, a print marketing campaign, a radio documentary, a magazine cover and website. The practical coursework production counts for 30% of the total A level.
Media studies is a rapidly developing subject and a strong growth area for career opportunities. The majority of top universities now offer a variety of excellent Media courses with great work experience opportunities. Many media graduates go straight into full-time employment. Employers value their creative intelligence, social awareness and practical skills.
Did you know?
In 2013, figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that after medicine, Media Studies is the UK’s most employable degree.