Media Studies - Key Stage 4
GCSE media studies is all about the study and practical application of the wide range of media that surrounds us and influences us on a day-to-day basis.
The course covers the four key concepts of:
- Media language & pre-production skills
- Audience analysis
- Representations in the media
- Different media institutions
Will I enjoy this course?
You will enjoy this course if you want to take an active and analytical look at various media platforms. The way the course is structured facilitates a strong focus on pre-production skills in Year 10 and a fully realised production in Year 11. This requires students to take an actively responsible role in the way they organise themselves in terms of equipment and independent study. Individual research skills and the ability to work well in a group are essential. The assignment possibilities are dictated by the exam board and change yearly.
Examples of current and past assignments include:
- Moving image – the study of representations of people and places; typical codes and conventions in film; how studios target a specific audience; current debates and issues of bias, and many other aspects of the film and TV industry. The focus throughout Year 10 in media is on the rigorous practice of pre-production skills – including storyboarding, scriptwriting, website mock-ups and poster promotion. In Year 11 there could be the opportunity to create a finalised film trailer.
- The recording industry – you will analyse a number of aspects of the recording industry. Possibilities include a case study of a band and its image, analysing music videos, the study of various band websites, analysis of CD covers, podcasts and radio adverts etc. Practical possibilities are huge, but include producing a mock-up for a MySpace page, storyboarding a music video, scripting a radio-advert, writing a press-release for a new band/artiste and, in Year 11, the possibility is for a fully realised music video.
- The advertising industry – the chance to analyse and respond to a wide range of adverts, deconstructing how they artificially construct idealised images of both masculinity and femininity and how advertisers target audiences using these aspirational concepts.
- The gaming industry – the course allows for the unapologetic study of one of the fastest growing and most controversial industries in the UK. How games are promoted is particularly focused on, including the analysis of complex issues and debates regarding censorship, gender, ethnicity and the representation of war. Close study of the gaming industry facilitates learners to develop from passive consumers into becoming autonomous critics.
- Practical possibilities include mock-ups for a range of print adverts, storyboards for a new advertisement for a specific product and, in Year 11, a fully realised TV advert.
What will I be studying? Is there an exam?
The course is broken down into the coursework (practical) productions, the study of the ‘key concepts’ and the final exam. The course is geared towards students who wish to take a practical ‘hands-on’ approach to media and the coursework produced during the two years is worth 60% of the final grade.