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Media Studies Subject Overview


“He who controls the Media, controls the minds of the public”

Noam Chomsky

Statement of intent

The media is often referred to as the fourth estate. Power in most democratic countries is divided between the legislature, executive and judiciary. By including the media within this list, it shows the power of the modern media in influencing the political system and the lives of all of us. The media is immensely powerful and pays a central role in contemporary society and culture. Our views of the world around us are often shaped by the media that we consume. It also helps us communicate with one another and allow us to create our own narrative to others. The economic importance of the media is also unquestionable as media industries employ large numbers of people around the world. It is an ever growing global monopoly.

Students have the option to study the Eduqas specification at both GCSE and A level. The course centres around the study of set products from a range of media platforms; print, television radio and e media which includes the study of video games. They are encouraged to critically analyse and evaluate these through the use of subject specific vocabulary and the study of key media theorists. Students develop their skills in critical thinking and their knowledge and understanding of a range of media issues such as representation, political bias and the use of new technologies. Students will also study the historical, political and social context surrounding media products and the influence that these contexts have on the creation and consumption of the media product. Students will be able to make informed judgements and draw conclusions not just about the set texts but also any new media products that they are presented with. In addition to the written examinations, which form 70% of the course, students are also able to create their own media product (s) from an industry brief. This can be either as a print, audio visual or website.

Through the study of Media, students at St Mary’s have a greater awareness of the world around them which prepares them for the world of work but also opens their eyes to the global village that is the media and, as such, develops both their cultural capital and enables them to be global citizens.

Curriculum Map

Year 10 Overview

The topics are taught in sequential order, each building on prior knowledge. It covers all the key concepts of Media studies; language, representation, audience and industries across all the Media platforms of Print, e media and broadcast. Students also have the opportunity to complete a Media production in response to an industry brief.

Year 10 Topics

  • Autumn Term

    Subject 1: Introduction to the Media and the theoretical framework

    Knowledge:
    Media language- students will understand how the media communicates meaning through forms and codes and conventions.
    Representation- how the media portray events, issues, individuals and social groups.
    Industries- how the media industries’ processes of production, distribution and circulation affect media forms and platforms
    Audiences- how media forms target, reach and address audiences, how audiences interpret and respond to them, and how audience members become producers themselves.

    Subject 2

    Component 1 Exploring the media; analysing magazine front covers Exploring the media; analysing print advert

    Knowledge:
    Media theorists-students will engage with Propp’s theory of narrative.
    Representation (including Bell Hooks and Van Zoonen), how the media portray social groups, events, issues and individuals.
    Structuralism: Levi Strauss Binary opposition Language: Barthes.

    Skills and enrichment
    Develop the students’ ability to analyse print media products.
    Consider how social and historical contexts influence media products using one contemporary advert; This Girl can and one historical Quality Street.
    Theoretical perspectives on Representation that can be applied to GQ and Pride Magazine.

  • Lent Term

    Subject 1: Component 1Exploring the Media. Newspapers The Sun and The Guardian

    Knowledge:
    The difference between a tabloid and broadsheet newspapers Audience: demographics Newspaper industry (regulation and ownership) Media language Historical, social and political context.

    Skills and enrichment:
    Develop the students’ ability to use theoretical perspectives to critically analyse the texts Knowledge and understanding of how political bias can inform content.

    Subject 2

    Component 1 Exploring the Media Radio: The Archers

    Knowledge:
    Media Industries: how the media industries’ processes of production, distribution and circulation affect media forms and platform Media audiences How media forms target, reach and address audiences, how audiences interpret and respond to them and how audiences become producers.
    Skills and Enrichment
    Develop the students ability to analyse a radio episode and a website.
    Theoretical perspectives on Audience and Industries

  • Summer Term

    Subject 3: Gaming platforms Fortnite

    Knowledge:
    Media Industries: how the media industries’ processes of production, distribution and circulation affect gaming and platforms Media audiences: how gaming targets, reaches and addresses audiences. How audiences interpret and respond to content and become producers themselves (UGC) Media Regulation How and why games are regulated (PEGI) and adapted to address safety concerns. Fortnite as a commodity.

    Skills and enrichment:
    Develop the students’ ability to use theoretical perspectives to critically analyse the texts.

    Theoretical perspectives on Audience/Regulation Blumler and Katz, Henry Jenkins

    Subject 2 Film posters: The Man with the Golden gun and Spectre.

    Knowledge:
    Revisiting theoretical framework to underpin knowledge Students will analyse the narrative elements across both film posters.

    Skills and Enrichment:
    Applying Propp’s theory of narrative to the film posters. Applying representation (including Bell Hooks and Van Zoonen), Structuralism: Levi Strauss Binary opposition Language: Barthes

Year 11 Overview

In Year 11 we focus on the NEA and also Component 2 which involves a deeper comparison between Media texts across all 3 Media platforms. Each subject builds on the prior learning gained in Year 10.

Year 11 Topics

  • Autumn Term

    Subject: Component 1.Exploring the Media Spectre

    Knowledge:
    Media Industries: how the media industries’ processes of production, distribution and circulation affect media forms and platforms.
    Media audiences.
    How media forms target, reach and address audiences, how audiences interpret and respond to them and how audiences become producers.

    Skills and Enrichment:
    Develop the students ability to analyse a website.
    Theoretical perspectives on Audience and Industries.

    Subject 2: Coursework: Students will respond to an externally set brief and create a media product for a specific audience

    Knowledge:
    Codes and conventions of media language across all three platforms.
    Accurate and relevant representations.
    How products attract audiences Research similar products.

    Skills and enrichment:
    Drawing on prior knowledge, students will produce a detailed statement of aims which responds to the brief and target the intended audience. They will demonstrate knowledge and application of planning using primary and secondary sources. Students will create a product that demonstrates a good realisation of the brief using the codes and conventions appropriately.

  • Lent Term

    Subject: Component 2 Understanding Media Forms and Products Luther The Sweeney

    Knowledge:
    Develop an understanding of audio visual forms of media including social and historical context, Media Industries how the media industries’ processes of production, distribution and circulation affect media forms and platforms. Media language and Genres and how they change over time Representation of gender, age and ethnicity. Audience. How the TV product appeals and attract audiences

    Skills and Enrichment:
    Develop the students use of the theorists Propp, Todorov, Strauss, Neale Develop the student’s responses to extended answers.

    Component 2
    Understanding Media Forms and Products Duran Duran (Rio) Katy Perry (Roar) Pharrell Williams (Freedom)

    Knowledge:
    Representation of ethnicity, gender and age .
    Media Industries.
    Production, ownership and control.
    Convergence and synergy.
    Online Media.
    Theories of Genre, Narrative, Language, Audience and Representation.

    Skills and enrichment:
    Students will study both contemporary and historical music videos. Students will explore online, social and participatory media Students will consider the way a music artists videos, websites and social media pages can demonstrate convergence Students can also explore how the genre has changed over time.

  • Summer Term

    Subject: Revision Component 1. Exploring the Media

    Knowledge:
    This term is devoted to a revision of the key texts from Component 1 using the knowledge gained from the mock examinations to identify points of reteach and to clarify any misconceptions.

    Skills and Enrichment:
    Develop the students’ responses to extended answers. Practice questions.

A Level Overview

At A level we study the Eduqas A level Specification which is a continuation of the programme of study at GCSE and follows a similar structure. However, studying the subject at GCSE is not essential. All students will study the key concepts of media studies, Representation, Audience, Institution and Language. We will study these across the three platforms of print, broadcast and e media. Students will also have the opportunity to complete a cross media production in response to an industry brief that is set by the exam board.

Year 12 Topics

  • Autumn Term

    Subject 1: Introduction to the Media and the theoretical framework

    Knowledge:
    Media language- students will understand how the media communicates meaning through forms and codes and conventions.
    Representation- how the media portray events, issues, individuals and social groups.
    Industries- how the media industries’ processes of production, distribution and circulation affect media forms and platforms.
    Audiences- how media forms target, reach and address audiences, how audiences interpret and respond to them, and how audience members become producers themselves.

    Component 1: Media Products, Industries and Audiences Section A Language and Representation Advertising (Tide/Water Aid/Kiss of the Vampire)

    Newspapers: Daily Mirror/The Times

    Music Video Formation/Riptide

    Knowledge:
    Students will analyse media language, considering how it can incorporate viewpoints and ideologies, the significance of genre and how audiences may respond to media language. Students will consider the factors that influence representations and will explore representations of events, issues, individuals and social groups in the media, using relevant theoretical perspectives or theories in their analysis of media products.

    Skills and Enrichment:
    Students will develop the ability to:

    • analyse critically and compare how media products, including products outside the commercial mainstream, construct and communicate meanings through the interaction of media language and audience response.
    • use a range of complex theories of media studies and use specialist subject specific terminology appropriately in a developed way.
    • debate key questions relating to the social, cultural, political and economic role of the media through discursive writing.
    • construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning which is coherent, relevant, substantiated and logically structured in an extended response.
  • Lent Term

    Component 1: Media Products, Industries and Audiences Section B Institutions and Audiences

    Video games Assassin’s Creed. Film I Daniel Blake Black Panther Radio Late Night Woman’s hour

    Knowledge:
    Students will develop knowledge and understanding of key aspects of media industries, including the significance of ownership and funding, the role of regulation in global production and distribution, the impact of digitally convergent platforms and the effect of individual producers on media industries Students will study media audiences, considering aspects such as the targeting of mass and specialised audiences, the categorisation and construction of audiences, as well as how audiences' use of and responses to the media reflect identity and social, cultural and historical circumstances.

    Skills and Enrichment:
    Students will use a range of complex theories of media studies and use specialist subject specific terminology appropriately in a developed way debate key questions relating to the social, cultural, political and economic role of the media through discursive writing construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning which is coherent, relevant, substantiated and logically structured in an extended response.

  • Summer Term

    Component 3: Non-exam assessment: internally assessed and externally moderated.

    Coursework

    Knowledge:
    This component synthesises knowledge and understanding of the media theoretical framework gained throughout their course by requiring learners to apply their knowledge and understanding of the media synoptically to practical production. The production must be based on two media forms and completed in response to a choice of briefs set by the examination board.

    Skills and enrichment:
    Drawing on prior knowledge, students will produce a detailed statement of aims which responds to the brief and target the intended audience. They will demonstrate knowledge and application of planning using primary and secondary sources. Students will create a cross media production that demonstrates a good realisation of the brief using the codes and conventions appropriately.

Year 13 Topics

  • Autumn Term

    Component 1: Media Products, Section A Language and Representation

    Music Video Riptide

    Knowledge:
    Revisiting key concepts and theories surrounding Language and representation including Barthes,Todorov, and Van Zoonen with a focus on Gender representation.

    Section B Industries and Audiences

    Advertising (Tide/Water Aid/Kiss of the Vampire)

    Newspapers: Daily Mirror/The Times

    Video Games: Assassin’s Creed

    Knowledge:
    Revisiting key concepts and theories surrounding both Audience and Institutions including those of Curran and Seaton, Hesmondhalgh and Livingstone and Lunt as well as Reception theory and the end of audience.

    Skills and Enrichment:
    As in Year 12 with the focus on the ability to form judgements and draw conclusions.

  • Lent Term

    Component 2: Media Products in Depth

    Television
    Life on Mars
    The Bridge

    Magazines
    Vogue
    The Big Issue

    Knowledge:
    Students will explore the media forms through close analysis of the set products, comparing their use of media language and the representations they offer in relation to relevant social, cultural, economic, political and historical contexts. They will study the role of media industries in shaping media products, as well as considering the way in which both mass and specialised audiences are targeted and addressed. Relevant theories will inform study of the set products.

    Skills and Enrichment:
    Students learn to: analyse critically and compare how media products, including products outside the commercial mainstream, construct and communicate meanings through the interaction of media language and audience response use and reflect critically upon a range of complex theories of media studies and use specialist subject-specific terminology appropriately in a developed way debate critically key questions relating to the social, cultural, political and economic role of the media through sustained discursive writing construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning which is coherent, relevant, substantiated and logically structured in an extended response.

  • Summer Term

    Continuation of Component 2: Media Products in Depth

    Blogs and Websites
    Zoella
    Attitude

    Revision and exam practice for both Component 1 and 2.

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Head Teacher: Mr. Simon Eccles
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CEO: Mrs. Helen O'Neill
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