What you will learn in KS4
Examination Level: GCSE (Single Award)
Examination Board: AQA
Examination Structure: - One 1 1/2 hour paper - worth 40% of the final grade
- 3 Assignments (2 pre-production and 1 video production) - worth 60% of the final grade
Students enter the two-year GCSE examination course and work with the same teacher and class for the two years. At Year 10, students create their controlled assessment folders, which contain two pre-production assignments and one video production assignment by the end of Year 11. The assignments from 2013/2015 will be: Action / Adventure Film (pre-production), Children`s and Super Hero Comics (pre-production) and Popular Music (video production). The practical video production will involve students working in groups to create their own music video. Each assignment that is handed in has a written component to it. The exam topic for 2014 will be on the Promotion and Marketing of Video Games and students will be taught a full unit on this topic before sitting their exam.
What you will learn in KS5:
Examination level: A Level
Examination Group: WJEC
Within AS Media Studies students study two modules:
MS1: Media Representations and Responses – 25% (50% if AS only)
MS2: Media Production Processes – 25% (50% if AS only)
Students will look at the two modules in the following manner:
MS1: Students will be required to explore representations and audience/user responses. They will be encouraged to explore media through a study of genre, narrative and representation and make connections between the texts and audience/user responses to them.
They will do this by looking at gender, ethnicity, age, social/cultural backgrounds, issues, events and regional and national identities.
MS2: Students will be required to produce three pieces of linked work. This will comprise of a pre-production piece of work (a DVD cover), a video production piece which has been developed out of the pre-production work (a two minute trailer to a film) and a written report. The topic currently studied is Horror Film.
This course equips students with a good understanding of the technical skills required to produce video texts, as they will complete two practical production texts throughout the two year course.
Assessment takes place in May with one 2 ½ hour written examination.
With A2 Media Studies students study two modules:
MS3: Media Investigation and Production – 25%
MS4: Media – Text, Industry and Audience – 25%
Students will look at the two modules through the following topics:
MS3: Students will be required to produce three pieces of linked work. This will comprise of a research investigation paper, a video production piece which has been developed from the research investigation paper (a four minute music video) and a brief evaluation.
The topic for the production is music videos.
MS4: Students will develop their knowledge and understanding, as well as show progression from AS, by demonstrating their understanding of the relationship between media texts, their audiences and the industries which produce and distribute them. Students will study three different media industries and will focus in depth for each industry, three main texts. Students will study the following industries and texts:
Film: The Dark Knight Rises, Casino Royale and The King's Speech
Television: Desperate Housewives, Doctor Who and Downton Abbey
Advertising: Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and Barnardos
Assessment takes place in June with one 2 ½ hour written examination.
The Media Studies course at A Level is supported by a variety of educational visits possibly including the Media Studies Student Conference, video conferences with the BBFC, a trip to the BBC, film viewings at the BFI and educational lectures from Media experts and well-known people in the Media industry. Past speakers have been Sinead Quinn from BBC’s Fame Academy, current Sugababe Jade Ewan and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
Certificate Level: BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production (Television & Film)
Moderation Board: Edexcel
Course Structure: - Eight MANDATORY units (70 credits) and Eleven combined units (110 credits)
Students enter the two-year vocational course and work with three teachers on separate modules. At Year 12, students learn about the theoretical concepts of pre-production, production and post-production tasks needed in the media industry. Learners have separate coursework folders, which contain completed assignments in accordance to the tasks set in each module. By the end of year 1, learners will have a sound knowledge of the TV and Film industry. Learners will enhance their creative skills by using a range of softwares.
The assignments will support pupils to research and reflect on their creative process. The practical video production will involve students working in groups to create their own idents, factual programme and two adverts for a national campaign and clients from the global economy market. Each assignment that is handed in has a written component to it.
A sample of some of the MANDATORY Units covered:
Unit 1: Pre-Production Techniques for the Creative Media Industries
Guided learning hours: 30
This unit will prepare students to develop skills in pre-production. The unit covers stages of researching fact files for commercial organisations and planning, resourcing requirements for creating an advert. Learners’ develop skills to locate resources and how to organise their work. Learners will also develop their understanding of health, safety and legal issues in relation to working within the advertising industry.
Unit 2: Communication Skills for Creative Media Production
Guided learning hours: 30
This unit aims to prepare pupils in structuring formal conversations in written and spoken assessments. Learners will engage, prepare and present how to pitch (present) ideas, write proposals and construct reports. Learners will also develop skills in checking and proof-reading written materials.
Unit 3: Research Techniques for the Creative Media Industry
Guided learning hours: 60
This unit provides learners with the opportunity to develop their own idea for a TV show. Research is a key component in the industry and learners will gather knowledge, develop skills and utilise sophisticated methods in order to attract an audience.
Unit 4: Creative Media Production Management Project
Guided Learning hours: 60
This unit comprises of undertaking self-management and general leadership skills through taking a major role in a production team which is broken down into several smaller teams. Learners can gain experience in production management from the initial origination and researching of an idea, through the pitch, to managing a production team and taking responsibility for the effectiveness of the production process.
Unit 5: Working to a brief in the Creative Media Industries
Guided learning hours: 60
The essential skills in this unit will support learners to become effective negotiators and enhance their creativity. The learners will enhance their interpersonal skills and be able to understand a client’s brief from a major global retail company.
Unit 6: Creative Approaches to Creative Media Productions
Guided learning hours: 60
This unit will enable pupils to analyse the institutional concepts of targeting an audience and the platforms used to construct products. Learners will also be able to explain how the audience members receive information through various forms of communication and will be able to apply theoretical ideas. Additionally learners are able to consider and assess the dynamic relationship between media, producers and their audiences.
Students will also study other non-core units in order to complete the full requirements for this course.