Media Studies is taught at GCSE and A Level. At GCSE we follow the WJEC specification, while at A Level students follow the AQA course.
The subject explores a range of different media products, analysing the ways in which film, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, advertising and the internet make a difference in everyday life. Students are expected to develop their Media practical skills, primarily through the use of a suite of Apple Mac computers.
All Media Studies specifications are designed to enable students to:
Students work on a number of tasks, some for examination and some for coursework purposes. The examination focuses on a different topic each year, such as Film Trailers, Television Crime Drama and Radio Broadcast News, while coursework tasks involve a study of how films contain specific generic conventions, and how magazines represent particular audiences. Students also have the opportunity to make their own media production, such as the opening sequence of a documentary based on a topic of their own choice.
Students look at a range of different case studies, examining the relationship between media producers, media products and audiences. They also develop their analytical skills, exploring how audiences are positioned, shaped and manipulated. Specific focus areas include “Identities and the Media”, in which students look at the changing ways in which we are able to express our individual personalities, and an exploration of how “New / Digital Media” is re-shaping our understanding of the world. There is the opportunity to create practical media products in a range of mediums, as well as undertake a written Critical Investigation, in which students explore a topic of their own choice.
The department is involved in cross-curricular projects with other teaching areas, such as Geography, Music and P.E. Students have the opportunity to contribute towards whole school productions, particularly in advertising and marketing. Students also have the chance to travel to New York as part of their studies, visiting institutions such as NBC studios, the Museum of Moving Image and Radio City Music Hall.