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Lutterworth College

A Level Media Studies

Course Title: Media Studies

Course Type: A Level (Linear)

Exam Board: OCR

Course Contact: Tom Eccles (t.eccles@lutterworthcollege.com)

A Level Media Studies will enable students to:

  • demonstrate skills of enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making and analysis;
  • demonstrate a critical approach to media issues;
  • demonstrate appreciation and critical understanding of the media and their role both historically and currently in society, culture, politics and the economy;
  • develop an understanding of the dynamic and changing relationships between media forms, products, media industries and audiences;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the global nature of the media;
  • apply theoretical knowledge and specialist subject specific terminology to analyse and compare media products and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed in order to make informed arguments, reach substantial judgements and draw conclusions about media issues;
  • engage in critical debate about academic theories used in media studies;
  • appreciate how theoretical understanding supports practice and practice supports theoretical understanding;
  • demonstrate sophisticated practical skills by providing opportunities for creative media production.

 Learners will explore how media products are used by institutions to construct different representations and how media audiences interpret these products. Learners will use aspects of the theoretical framework to analyse and evaluate their own cross-media productions.

Learners will explore and analyse the ideas and arguments from debates about the media.

These debates will be drawn from:

  • a historical perspective;
  • the digital age;
  • global media.

Learners will practically explore the creation of three linked media products in a cross-media production.

Content of A Level in Media Studies (J200) 

Component 01: Media messages

Students study news and online, social and participatory media in depth and learn about how media language is used to construct representations and meaning in a variety of set media products.

There are two sections:

  • In section A: News and online media, students carry out two linked in-depth studies that focus on contemporary news in the UK, requiring students to explore how and why newspapers and their online counterparts are evolving as media products and the relationship between both online and offline news.
  • In section B: Media language and representation, students focus on media language and representation and consider how meanings are constructed across different media forms. This covers advertising and marketing, magazines and music videos.

In addition, students engage in an overarching in-depth study of the online, social and participatory media forms that they meet in their work on sections A and B.

Component 02: Evolving media

Students consider how media industries are evolving and using technology to reach, target and address audiences through a variety of set media products. Students also consider the media language, representations and messages and values communicated by long-form television drama and how these dramas are produced and consumed globally.

There are two sections:

  • In section A: Media industries and audiences, students will explore media industries through film, video games and radio and audiences through video games and radio.
  • In section B: Long-form television drama, students carry out an in-depth study focusing on contemporary long form television dramas, one English language and one European (non-English language).

In addition, students engage in an overarching in-depth study of the online, social and participatory media forms that they meet in their work on sections A and B.

Component 03/04: Creating media

Students create a cross-media product for an intended audience in response to a set brief. This gives them the opportunity to work independently and develop expertise built from their study in components 01 and 02.

How you will be assessed:

Media messages: one examination of 2 hours; 35% of the total mark

Evolving Media: one examination of 2 hours; 35% of the total mark

Making media: non-examined assessment; 30% of the total mark

Where can the subject take me?

Media Studies as a subject allows students to engage with contemporary media, mixing theoretical and practical work, and offering areas of study and experiences that are relevant to all employers in the creative industries and beyond.

In terms of higher education, A Level Media Studies will facilitate entry on to university courses in a variety of subjects beyond Media itself – particularly those that involve an element of creativity.  Former Media Studies students at the college have gone on to study a diverse range of degrees, from Journalism, Film and TV production, web design, advertising and marketing, and digital/graphic design.

Many other students have found their Media Studies experiences invaluable when pursuing courses where there is an expectation of a high level of awareness and understanding of the role of the mass media in society, for example law, computing, and politics.