Media Studies

Media StudiesA Level Years 12 and 13

Media Studies is a brand new A-Level course for the school, and Monkton is the only school in the Bath area to offer this course, making this a unique opportunity for the students. Taught by staff with extensive industry experience, the students are encouraged to innovate in their creative work under the guidance of teachers with their fingers on the pulse of a constantly developing media world.

Moving forward, the department has plans for some exciting trips initiated by industry contacts within the school, as well as regular talks from award-winning filmmakers, media historians and journalists.

Media Studies offers a unique blend between the academic and creative. It is a popular qualification at A Level and is offered as a undergraduate degree by a great number of Russell Group Universities. The A Level is chosen by students wishing to develop their analytical skills while also honing their creative talents. Its unique course structure enables students to improve their written analysis through study of a rich and rigorous theoretical framework, and then to demonstrate their learning through hands-on, practical creative productions. This dual emphasis on theory and practice prepares students for a higher education in a broad range of disciplines.

What do I need before starting this course?

The A Level does not require any previous study of Media Studies, but a minimum of a grade 6 in English Language at GCSE is necessary. 

What will I learn? 

Through studying Media Studies you will view, evaluate and analyse a variety of media products, and develop practical skills spanning a range of media forms, developing research and problem solving skills as well as their creativity. Underpinning your theoretical study will be a focus on the ideas and concepts of key media theorists, including Judith Butler, Jean Baudrillard and Roland Barthes. You’ll also refine your debating skills through the discussion of contemporary issues from a range of perspectives, thereby gaining a deeper appreciation and understanding of the role media plays in day-to-day life. The four main areas of in-depth study are: Media Language, Media Representation, Media Industries and Media Audiences. You will study media products from all of the following media forms: television, film radio, newspapers, magazines, advertising and marketing, online, social and participatory media, video games and music video. 

How is the course assessed? 

Assessment consists of two, 2 hour examinations (Media One and Media Two), each worth 35% of the A Level, as well as non-exam assessment (Creating a Cross-Media Production) worth 30% of the A Level. Section A of the first exam focuses on Media Language and Representations, where you are asked to analyse two media forms (advertising/ marketing and music video), while Section B focuses on Media Industries and Audiences, where you will analyse radio, newspapers and/or film. The second exam consists of analysis of the in-depth media forms of television, magazine and online, social and participatory media/video games. The non-exam assessment tests your understanding of the course’s theoretical framework through its application in a practical production in response to one of six annually changing briefs, and you will produce a statement of intent to support your cross-media production made for an intended audience.

Below is an example of a piece of work produced by one of our pupils working to a brief requiring them to create a 30s television advertisement promoting the launch of a new mobile fitness device, similar to ‘Fitbit’, as could be seen advertised in Men’s Health magazine.

Where next?