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A Level Media

Media Studies takes a broad look at several aspects of modern media. Over the two years of the course students examine the workings of the media and their effects on society. There is also the opportunity to develop skills in the more practical aspects of media. Students should be interested in films, regularly view a wide range of television programmes and enjoy reading newspapers and magazines. A knowledge of and interest in media technology is also encouraged. The course is suitable for students who are creative and enjoy deconstructing texts.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language and usually Mathematics. Completion of an arts based qualification is advantageous. You do not need to have a previous media qualification but it is highly recommended that you should be actively interested in some aspect of the media.

Course Content

During the first year you will study Representation and Audience as key media concepts. You will learn how to analyse and deconstruct a wide variety of media formats including magazines, television programmes, films, computer games and CD/DVD covers in order to understand the ideologies offered and how audiences make sense of the media they consume. For the coursework, you will design selected pages for a magazine, supported by thorough research, and you will write a 1200-1600 evaluative report.

In the second year, you will develop your understanding of texts and audiences and learn about three different media industry sectors with close study of three contemporary texts or products from each industry. For the coursework, you will conduct a 1400-1800 word research investigation which explores either genre, narrative or representation then undertake a related piece of video production work with a written evaluation to conclude.

How will I be taught?

You will have one coursework lesson per week and two theory lessons for the majority of the course. You will be shown how to use InDesign for magazine design work. A variety of teaching strategies are used throughout the course.

How will I be assessed?

Coursework is submitted part way though the course and internally assessed and verified before being submitted for external moderation. There is also one written exam of 2.5 hours in the summer. Competence in English and creativity are essential. This A Level is challenging but the combination of well qualified staff with interesting and different styles of teaching make it enjoyable and achievable.

Will I need any extra equipment?

We will be using Apple Mac computers and Adobe software along with digital cameras. You are not expected to have this equipment or any previous knowledge as we will start from scratch.

What qualifications will I get?

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded an A Level in Media Studies.

What will it allow me to do in the future?

A good A Level pass in a range of subjects will assist a student to progress to higher education or appropriate employment.

Course Information

Students, aged over 19 on the 1 September of the year the course commences will be required to pay tuition and examination/assessment fees. There are a number of grants available for students on low incomes and for those studying on a first time qualification.

Please contact Customer Services on 0800 056 0511 or email customerservices@southdowns.ac.uk for further information.

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