Media and Film Studies
“Whoever controls the media – the images – controls the culture.”
Alan Ginsberg, poet and author
The aims of the Media Department
- To enable students to become critical, intelligent consumers of the media
- To foster an understanding of the mass media’s power to influence, shape and define our concepts of identity, reality and social values
- To supply students with the media literacy skills to decode, analyse and evaluate challenging media texts
- To develop students’ interest, enjoyment and appreciation of a variety of media forms
- To creatively engage students’ understanding of media concepts and theories through a variety of practical work
- To empower and inspire students to express themselves through construction of creative, original and thought-provoking media products
- To improve students’ advanced ICT skills through access to contemporary digital technologies, including cameras, editing software, desktop publishing and web design
- To provide a fun, relevant learning environment that fosters independent thinking
- To inspire students to take up future educational or career pathways in the media and film industries
Why Study Media?
Most people are aware of the influence of the mass media in the world today and can point out instances where people and events have been affected by its practices. Global media industries including the press, advertising, television, radio, film, video gaming, and the music industry form the major channels of communication between ‘them’ and ‘us’. Do the media feed unsuspecting audience a steady diet of stereotypes and propaganda, or are the public discerning enough to make up their own minds about the world? With the tremendous development and growth of new communication technology, and the move towards user-generated content which threatens traditional media industries’ very existence, it is almost impossible to predict what the future holds.
The investigation into the various media industries and the effect they have has become increasingly significant as we continue to question the ways and means the media helps to shape our culture and society. Douglas Kellner argues that images, sounds and spectacles help produce the fabric of life, dominating leisure time, shaping political views and social behaviour, and providing the materials out of which people forge their identities. As such, media literacy is an essential life skill in the 21st century. An ability to be active, critical creative users of the visual language that dominates our society enables us to make informed interpretations about the world we live in, and empowers us with the tools to communicate our own ideas to others.
Both Media and Film Studies are exciting, relevant and enjoyable subjects that provide students with opportunities to study a variety of media texts and industries, and to follow their own interests. Students will create original, imaginative media products using digital technologies. The multi-disciplinary approach in both subjects includes elements of English, History, IT, Sociology, Politics, Business Studies, Art, Psychology and Graphics. These transferrable skills prepare media students for a large number of educational and career pathways, both inside and outside of the vast media industries.
KS4 – GCSE Media Studies (Eduqas)
The GCSE consists of 3 components.
Component 1 and 2 are assessed as public exams and Component 3 is a long term project assessed internally and externally. The exams account for 70% of the final grade and Component 3 is 30% of the final grade in Media Studies.
The exam topic changes every year, and previous topics have included Sitcoms, Music Videos, Advertising, Tabloid and Broadsheet Newspapers, Action Films, and The Marketing of Computer Games.
KS5 – A-Level Media Studies (Eduqas)
We offer a 2-year course for A level media. There are 3 components students’ study.
Component 1 and Component 2 account for 70% of students’ final grade and are assessed as public examinations. Students will study a range of media forms including advertising, film, online and digital media, tabloid, and broadsheet news papers. Set texts students study are regularly changed and updated to reflect the ever-evolving nature of the world of media.
Component 3 is a long-term project that requires students to plan, research and create their own media product based on a set of briefs outlined by the exam board. This project means students experience a like for like simulation of what it means to work in the world of media. This component is examined both internally and externally.
KS5 – A-Level Film Studies (Eduqas)
Film is arguably the dominant and most culturally significant art form of the last century. Film Studies is an academic qualification that seriously examines films, filmmakers and industries in their social contexts. You will learn the language of film and analyse film sequences using appropriate terminology and key theorists. You will look at the history of film from the early days of silent cinema to more contemporary Hollywood, British and World cinema. You will investigate different film industries and marketing techniques as well as looking at a selection of films in detail to analyse their cultural significance. You will have the opportunity to present your own original film ideas.
Media and film are among the fastest growing areas in higher education. There are a wide range of courses ranging from the theoretical to the practical. Popular courses include Film Studies, Media Studies, Communications, Cultural Studies, American Studies, Film or Media Production, Editing, Publicity and Marketing, Journalism, Animation, Computer Game Design and Web Design.
Many students go on to work in the media industries; previous students’ jobs have included setting up their own successful webzine; The Times, the BBC, GMTV, Magazine production; animator.
As well as preparing you for a continuing education and an introduction to the industry, a Media Studies or Film Studies A Level will give you a mixture of transferrable skills that can be applied to many different occupations. You will be able to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences, prepare and deliver presentation, write well-researched and structured essays, have advanced ICT skills, and be detail-oriented and confident.