Media Studies ‘A’ Level

Examination Board ('A' Level Media Studies)

OCR

Specific Course Requirements

The minimum specific requirement for ‘A’ Level Media Studies is a level 5 in both English Language and Literature at GCSE.
Students need to be interested in broadening their knowledge of the influences that govern the construction of Media texts.  The subject particularly supports the study of Politics, Sociology, Art and English as well as providing valuable information about ‘popular’ culture for other students.

Course Content

Through a variety of approaches, candidates are able to develop their enjoyment and analytical understanding of a range of Media texts.  These are studied in the context of Media Institutions, Audiences, Representation, Forms and Conventions as well as the construction and de-construction of Media products.

What do I need to know?

You should be taking a keen interest in one or more of the following: film, television, music industry, news and new technologies. You should also be happy to work in a group.

How will I be assessed?

The two year course comprises four units.  50% is practical coursework.

Year 12

The first unit is practical coursework.  Students create a video presenting the titles and opening to a new fiction film, showing progression from a preliminary exercise to a more fully realised piece.  The evaluation is presented in a blog. 
The second unit is a written examination.  Section A teaches the key Media concept of Representation, focusing on TV Drama with students answering questions on an unseen moving image.  For Section B, students will follow the Film Industry, focusing on the key Media concepts of Institutions and Audiences.

Year 13

For the third unit, students will produce an advanced practical Media portfolio combining a music promo video, digipack cover and a website for a band/solo singer presenting their research, planning and evaluation in the form of a blog.  The fourth unit is a written examination with students focusing on Critical Perspective in the Media. 
In Section A, students apply a theoretical evaluation to their productions.  In Section B, students will discuss their research on the contemporary media issue, ‘Media in the Online Age’, focussing on how music, film and news have been affected by the rapid changes in Technology in the last 15 years; and how this has changed the way audiences consume media texts.

What could I do with a qualification in this subject?

‘A’ Level Media Studies should not be seen as a qualification to work in the Media but rather as a subject that develops the skills to easily interpret Media products.  As a relevant additional study for Sixth Formers, it provides a foundation course for many university syllabuses. It is accepted by Oxbridge and Russell Group universities if chosen with traditional ‘A’ Level subjects.

The subject is currently under review by the exam boards and as such the specification may vary slightly in 2017-18.