“In the modern world, media literacy will become as important a skill as Maths or Science”
Tessa Jowell, Former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Today we are surrounded by media wherever we look. There’s the Internet, TV, film, radio, magazines, papers, cinema, advertising …the list goes on. Media and communications have never held greater global relevance or significance. The study of media products, audiences, representations and institutions is the more important and exciting than it’s ever been.
In terms of media and communications, we live in a very exciting age. While traditional media such as film, television and radio are still hugely significant (and, of course, no one goes without a mobile phone), the dawning of the internet age has really changed the paradigm. In the short space of time that the Internet has dominated our lives, media and communications have become even bigger business than they were before. Think of the companies and brands whose names have dominated the past ten years or so – Facebook, YouTube, Google, Amazon, Samsung, Twitter, Apple, Nokia – and you’ll notice that they all fall under the media and communications umbrella.
The study of Media, therefore, is of major importance; whether studied from a practical viewpoint in order to gain the skills needed to participate in the industry or from an analytical viewpoint in order to understand the significance of various media products.
Not only is GCSE Media Studies interesting and relevant, it gives learners valuable skills to help them to understand the world around them. Learners can apply many of these skills to GCSE English too – learners often achieve better in English when they take Media Studies as well.
GCSE Media Studies enables learners to critically evaluate media products and prepares them well for A-level study in any discipline. A-level Media Studies offers a smooth progression from GCSE Media Studies, extending learners’ practical skills in the medium they work in, building their ability to research independently, and deepening their appreciation and understanding of the role media plays in day to day life. AQA’s GCSE Media Studies specification allows learners to critically understand the role of the media in daily life.
Media Studies GCSE is available at Honywood Community Science School. Learners are able to opt for the subject during Cohort 8 Choices. Learners follow the GCSE course over three years, to offer them the best chance of success.
The course is structured as follows:
Paper 1- 35% of GCSE
Questions will focus on three areas of the theoretical framework: industries, audiences and representation. There will be a balanced approach to these three areas of the theoretical framework in that Section A will focus on industries and audiences whilst Section B will deal with the representations.
Paper 2- 35% of GCSE
Questions will focus on media language and contexts of the media. Students will be expected to analyse media products both in relation to the theoretical framework and their contexts. Section A will focus on language and Section B will focus on contexts.
Non-exam assessment: creating a media product- 30% of GCSE
Application of knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework. Practical skills relating to the media format of their choice.
Learners acquire skills in various production media as well as pre-production and post-production skills. Learners practice communication and organisation skills as well as collaborative learning and independent learning. Media Studies is a diverse and interesting subject that offers learners challenge and the opportunity to learn and develop production skills independently.
There are many resources that support learning on this course; however, the following are particularly useful texts for learners to own:
- AQA GCSE Media Studies: Student’s Book by Richard Morris, David Varley, Kevin Robinson and James Mclnerney (30th April 2009)
- AQA GCSE Media Studies Students Book by Mandy Esseen et al (26th March 2009)
To support learners with their understanding of Media Studies and their coursework, we have also subscribed to a useful website which provides a wealth of media related resources and information. www.media.edusites.co.uk