Gcse media Studies Information

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GCSE Media Studies Information
Media Studies is an academic discipline that includes elements of politics, psychology, sociology, economics and ethics in its core content. Its main aim is to shine a light on the modern media and ask what current trends in Television, Film, Music, Print media, the Internet and Computer Games can tell us about society today.
Media studies examines a range of contemporary critical issues and debates including the dangers and benefits of new technology, the treatment of minority groups in society and the amount of influence that the media can have on audiences. Students are encouraged to develop independent thinking and to be able to critically evaluate the output of media institutions.
In our opinion Media Studies is an essential subject because the media plays such a huge part in everybody’s lives today. In Media Studies there are no set texts. We will look at any new film, television show, music artist or computer game that is relevant and useful for learning. Students get to follow their own particular interests and the exams and course work are flexible to allow them to apply their own research to answering questions. What is more, we also arrange for them to meet professionals working in the world of media. This year for example, we have Thomas Niblock from BBC Northern Ireland Sport holding workshops on presenting and producing news programmes. There are lots of jobs in this exciting area, from presenting to producing, from animation to computer games development, from camera operating to advertising and marketing. Many of our ex-students are now pursuing careers in journalism, film, TV production and Gaming. At present, for example, three former media students are working on the hugely popular HBO series Game of Thrones in Belfast. Even if students have no interest in pursuing a media career, media studies will help them to think independently and inspire them to be creative. It will encourage them to develop an interest in current affairs, contemporary culture and ethical issues which will enrich not only their learning but their lives outside of education.
There are no specific subject or grade requirements for students wanting to take the subject at GCSE level, although they need to have sound written communication skills as the examination and coursework is partly essay based. Our main request is that students are inquisitive, willing to learn about the contemporary media and prepared to encounter media texts from a wide variety of sources.

Course Content -
In Media Studies 60% of the marks are allocated to coursework and 40% to an exam. The topic of the exam changes each year. Students are informed of the topic in advance.

Unit 1: Investigating the Media

Written Paper – 1 hour 30 mins – 60marks – 40%

Based on pre-released topic with guidance and stimulus

Topic for 2016 is Science Fiction Films. Topic for 2017 is Television Game Shows.

Four tasks


Unit 2: Understanding the Media

Controlled Assessment taken from banks of set assignments – 90 marks – 60%

Three Assignments:

1. Introductory assignment; 500 word essay and sample electronic media production

2. Cross-media assignment; 800 word essay, storyboard and short magazine article

3.Practical Production and Evaluation. Short video on youth issues, sport or music.

This year assignment 1 was on Analysing web pages. Assignment 2 was on Music, where students chose their favourite band or artist and examined how they promoted a new single or album. Assignment 3 was on making a short video of your own choice.

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