The media are central to contemporary experience, and currently there is an acute requirement for media literacy. Media Studies provides the knowledge, experience, expertise and skills that are essential to arts-based subjects at university, careers within media and the creative arts, and informed citizenship. The course combines media theory with practice and encourages students to be creative, critical, independent thinkers.
Key Stage 5
A-Level Media Studies, Specification Code 7572
Students embark on a study of the media through the key concepts of Language, Representations, Media Industries and Audiences. Media forms are analysed, including newspapers, magazines, films, television programmes, advertising, music video, radio and online, participatory media. Students receive teaching on an array of production techniques in order to create their own cross-media artefacts. Media theory is taught concurrently, and in Year 12 ideas on narrative, semiotics, genre, hegemony, gender, censorship, exploitation and participatory culture are debated.
Students focus on the set ‘close-study texts’ which are drawn from the full range of media. Key concepts, theory and contexts are considered and students are asked to analyse the fine details of media texts to investigate exactly why they are presented in the way they are. Ideas on postmodernism, postcolonialism, globalisation and ‘end-of-audience’ theories will be scrutinised and by the end of this course, students will be informed and articulate on a wide range of media perspectives. In Year 13, students will complete their cross-media productions.
Media Studies Public Exams
There will be two, two-hour written papers plus a non-exam assessment.
MEDIA ONE (35%) focuses on the key concepts and the media forms of advertising and marketing, music video, radio, newspapers and film. Questions will relate to an unseen source and the close-study texts. Two essay questions are included, one of which will be an extended response.
MEDIA TWO (35%) focuses on television, magazines and online, social and participatory media/video games. There will be one medium-length unseen analysis question and three essay questions, one of which demands an extended response and one which is a synoptic question.
NON-EXAM ASSESSMENT: CREATING A CROSS-MEDIA PRODUCTION (30%) will be assessed by teachers and moderated by AQA. Students choose from one of six briefs, create a statement of intent and a cross-media production for a specific target audience. Aspects such as creativity, audience relevance, technical fluency and knowledge of the wider media landscape will be assessed.
- The skills developed in Economics will help students in all A Level subjects and in all jobs.
- Students will improve and extend their communication, ICT and numeracy skills as a result of taking these courses and gain a wider understanding of the economic environments in which business operate and will provide an excellent foundation for any future career.
- The subject lends itself to academic learning with direct relevance to real life issues, and a solid foundation for a wide range of university and career choices.
Key Stage 4
The students embark on a 2 year GCSE Economics course. The first sitting of the examination will be June 2019. The exam board is AQA, specification 8136. In this first year they will be introduced to the subject and study markets, demand and supply, elasticity of demand, prices, the four government economic objectives of stable prices, low unemployment, sustainable growth and a favourable balance of payments.
The second year of the GCSE will build on the core concepts of the first, and introduce the notion that markets can fail, why they fail and what can be done to address these failures. An in depth look at macroeconomic policy is covered, as well as the broad topic of international trade. Throughout the GCSE the students will learn how to tackle a range of questions. These on the one hand can be short, requiring a definition or arithmetical calculation, to answers that demand explanation, analysis and evaluation.
Candidates sit two papers, Paper 1 – Microeconomics and Paper 2 – Macroeconomics. Each paper is 1h 45m and consists of multiple choice, short and long written answers.
Key Stage 5
The students embark on a two-year, linear A Level. The specification is AQA 7135 & 7136. First examination – Summer 2017
AS Modules – Year 12
Microeconomics. This unit provides an introduction to why economic choices have to be made, the market model, how markets can be efficient and also how they can fail (e.g. road congestion), and what governments can do to correct market failure (e.g. road pricing).
Macroeconomics. This unit provides an introduction to how the level of macroeconomic activity is determined and to key macroeconomic indicators (e.g. exchange rates), problems (e.g. unemployment) and policies (e.g. changing interest rates).
In the second year, candidates develop the micro and macroeconomics already learnt at AS, considering economic concepts and theories in greater depth and recognising the values and limitations of economic models. Two new topics have been introduced, highlighting the growing importance of financial and behavioural economics in current thinking.
Paper 1 – Microeconomics. Building on the first year’s work, this module looks in depth at the firm’s costs and revenues, monopolistic competition and oligopoly, the labour market and poverty. It also introduces the fascinating new area of behavioural economics.
Paper 2 – Macroeconomics. Students will look into monetary policy and the financial system in depth, and look more closely at the international issues of globalisation and protectionism against free trade.
The synoptic paper 3 – Economic Principles and Issues.
At A Level candidates sit three papers. For the first two, Micro and Macroeconomics, candidates are required to answer a data response question (from a choice of two) and an essay (from a choice of three). The third paper consists of an Objective Test section, while the written section focuses on a topical issue which requires an extended essay response.
Each of the 3 Units account for 33% of the overall A Level result.