What is Media Studies A level about?

A’ Level Media Studies is an exciting course that allows students to create practical media productions whilst studying a range of different media. It is an extremely accessible course whereby students will undertake case studies examining the key concepts: genre, conventions and representation. For example, students could be asked to research how young people have been represented in the media, or explore how villains are represented in TV dramas. 

The WJEC Media Studies specification is designed to allow media students to draw on their existing experience of the media and to develop their abilities to respond critically to the media. It enables students to explore a wide variety of media, including digital media technologies, drawing on the fundamental concepts informing the study of the media: texts, industry and audiences.

The specification also encourages creative work to enable students to gain a greater appreciation of the media through their own production work and to develop their own production skills. 

At A2 in particular, students are given the opportunity to research a topic which will then form the basis for their production, thus encouraging them to create productions informed by an awareness of contemporary media issues.

Is this course for me? 

Are you creative? Have you a passion for all forms of media? Are you interested in film-making and editing your own material? Can you spot the narrative in movies and anticipate what is going to happen next…An interest in Film and Media is a must, plus a good pass in English and English Literature GCSE is essential.

Where will it lead to?

A’ Level Media Studies would help you if you would like to further your education studying different forms of media at university – whether it be undertaking a practical production course, or pursuing a journalistic route. It would help you when applying for apprenticeships in the media, giving you invaluable experience of researching, planning and producing your own productions. 

Other opportunities… Some of our Media students have enjoyed working as DJ’s on Insanity Radio, the student radio show broadcasted by undergraduates at Royal Holloway University. This has equipped them with valuable work experience.

Structure of the course:

AS

Coursework: 50% 

Candidates will be required to produce three pieces of linked work. These will comprise: 

• a pre-production reflecting research and demonstrating planning techniques
• a production which has developed out of the pre-production 
• a report of 1200 - 1600 words

Assessment 50%: a written examination of two and a half hours

Media Representations and Responses:  Three compulsory questions, including one question on unseen audio-visual or print based material, interactive media will be presented as print-based. (40, 30 & 30).
For example, a student might be asked to analyse the opening of a programme, discussing filming and editing choices.

Answer three questions:

Q1: analysing a media text

Q2&3: examining student's own case studies discussing representation and audience

A2 

Students will study three different media such as: advertising, film and TV

Coursework: 50%

Content Candidates are required to produce three pieces of linked work:

• a research investigation (1400 – 1800 words) 
• a production (informed by the investigation) 
• a brief evaluation (500 – 750 words).

Assessment: 50%

 A written examination of two and a half hours

Answer three questions:

Section A: answer one question analysing three main media texts within a media industry

Section B: answer two questions discussing industry or/and audience about a different media industry. (Refer to three main texts).

The paper will consist of two sections:

•    Section A will offer two questions based on media texts; 
•    Section B will offer four questions based on industry and audience issues.
Candidates will be required to answer one question from Section A and two questions from Section B, using a different media industry for each answer. Each question will require them to make reference to the three main texts they have studied for each media industry.

SUMMARY OF ASSESSMENT

This specification is divided into a total of 4 units, 2 AS units and 2 A2 units. Weightings noted below are expressed in terms of the full A level qualification (AS in brackets). 

  

 Unit 1: MS1 25 % (50%)             External Assessment: 2½ hour Written Paper

 Media Representations and Responses
Three compulsory questions, including one question on unseen audio-visual or print 
based material (interactive media will be presented as print-based) (40, 30 & 30). 
Paper raw mark total: 100 Paper UMS total: 100
Paper UMS total:100

 Unit 2: MS2 25% (50%)              Internal Assessment

 Media Production

Three components: one pre-production (20); one production which develops from the pre-production (40); and one report on the production process (40)

(Group work permitted for audio-visual productions only.)
 Paper raw mark total: 100
 Paper UMS total: 100

 A LEVEL (the above plus a further 2 units)
Unit 3: MS3 25%                           Internal Assessment

 Media Investigation & Production 
Three components: a written investigation into media text(s) based on one or more of the key media concepts – genre, narrative and/or representation (45); a media production (45); and an evaluation of how the production is informed by the investigative research (10).
(Group work permitted for audio-visual productions only.) 
Paper raw mark total: 100 Paper UMS total: 100
Paper UMS total: 100

 Unit 4: MS4 25%                        External Assessment: 2½ hour Written Paper

 Media – Text, Industry and Audience
 Three questions (30 marks per question). 
Section A: one question from a choice of two.  Section B: two questions from a choice of four. 
Candidates must answer each question on a different media industry. 
Paper raw mark total: 90 
Paper UMS total: 100