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Media Studies

Why study Media Studies?

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The media is all around us. In our pockets, on our screens and now plays an intimate part of our lives. Media Studies helps us to make sense of that world and to understand how it is constructed. Media Studies offers a window into how the world has changed to become an integral part of our lives. The media is also one of the UK’s largest employment sectors with a huge array of jobs in the industry.

What will I study?

Unit 1: Media Messages [35% of overall mark]

This paper consists of two sections that focus on newspapers, advertising, magazines and music videos. You are required to answer both shorter and longer essay questions.

  • News and online media – in this section you will be given unseen newspapers and/or web pages to analyse and evaluate in a comparative question. You will also use media theories in order to analyse the news. Historical, social, political and economic contexts of the newspaper industry will be needed in order to answer the questions.
  • Advertising – you will be asked to analyse and evaluate an advert that is either unseen or that has been studied in class.
  • Music video – you will compare two music videos that you’ve studied in class and discuss how ideology, representation and media language are used to create meaning for the audience.
  • Magazine – you will discuss how magazines use representation, media language and intertextuality to appeal to their audiences and to create meaning.

Unit 2: Evolving Media [35% of overall mark]

This paper consists of two sections that focus on television, radio, film and computer games. You are required to answer both shorter and longer essay questions.

Film – you will study the production of two films, one historical and one contemporary. You will learn about the production contexts of both films and compare how evolving technology shaped the two films. You will compare and evaluate the impact that the different time periods had upon the films.

Radio – you will study the Radio One Breakfast Show and learn about the history and importance of the BBC and its role in UK life. You will look at how breakfast radio is produced and how they target their audiences.

Computer Games – you will study how computer gaming has developed and how it has used digital technology to appeal to its audience. You will look at how the emergence of the internet has allowed audiences to take an active part in the production and distribution of the games they play.

Long Form Television Drama – you will study two television shows; one in the English language and one in a foreign language. You will look at the context of these productions and look at how they use media language to communicate different ideologies. You will learn about how evolving technology has altered the world of television.

Unit 3: Making Media [30% of overall mark]

This section consists of the coursework unit. You will be given a brief that you must fulfil. Each year the brief changes but you are always asked to make a website and one other product that fit a particular genre or style. Recent examples include creating a music video for a protest song and an accompanying website that promotes a fictional artist as well the opening three minutes of a documentary television show and the accompanying website that promotes the show.