Media Studies

The Media is one of the fastest growing industries in the world; it is also the one facing the most change. In Media we open students' eyes to the world around them through deep analysis of media texts such as film, tv and - more importantly - new media. The Department has grown significantly over the last five years, to be one of the biggest in the Sixth Form. This reflects national trends where Media Studies is now the most studied course at university. Results have been outstanding and in 2009/10; 75% of A2 Students achieved A*/B. Students at Collingwood enjoy Media Studies and excel at it.

Practical coursework is very popular within the course. We benefit, not only from the assistance of a full time Media Technician in the Media Studio, but also from state-of-the-art Media facilities in the Sixth Form Centre that include studio space and a dedicated Editing Suite for student research and practical production. Students use Photoshop and Final Cut Express software, digital cameras and other desktop publishing programs to produce visual display work of the highest standard. Staff include Mr Woods (Acting Head of Department), Mrs Seys (Media Co-ordinator), Miss Angell and Mr Redrup.

Who is the course suitable for?

This course can appeal to those with Arts, Humanities, or Science/Technology backgrounds. Some love the practical coursework; others enjoy looking deeply at Films and Advertising. Some enjoy work on Journalism, others on issues about Television. We look at solid issues and culture today, from lifestyles to attitudes to propaganda. There is much lively discussion.

How is this course assessed?

AS: Year 1, Unit 1 “Investigating The Media” (50% of AS course)

We look at many media texts, asking who made them, why and for whom; newspaper and magazine front pages, advertisements, film trailers and extracts, TV excerpts, documentaries, digital web-based media, and so on. We “take them to pieces” - developing a grasp of media aims and techniques and industries. There is an UNSEEN exam, an analysis of a print or moving image text together with one ESSAY question based on topics studied about today’s media.

AS: Year 1, Unit 2 “Creating Media” (50% of AS)

This is the practical production coursework module, and is linked to work we cover in Unit 1 topics. You will be creating 2 media products from a choice of 3, covering moving image, digital media or print. The production of film trailers or excerpts, or of magazine materials, or of campaigning videos or leaflets, are popular choices. Video, photography, audio, desktop PC publishing - can all be used. The Media Studio and the additional Media Studies Suite provide excellent resources. A written evaluation of both your Media productions is worth 20% of this paper.

A2: Year 2, Unit 3: Critical Perspectives (50% of A2 exam)

This is like Unit 1, only more advanced. You’ll be asked to analyse an unseen text, which could be print or AVA or an example of e-media (web page, podcast etc). You will then have 3 questions to answer on this material in 45 minutes. There will be a further 45 minutes to write one exam essay based on topics studied in class featuring the 3 media platforms which underpin the course: e-media, broadcasting and print. At A2, media issues are debated, such as the impact of New Media in the digital age.

A2: Year 2, Unit 4: Research and Production (50% Coursework)

Coursework at A2 is a synoptic unit where students will build on their skills from AS to investigate a media theme/text in more depth. Students research a topic of their choice, and write a 2000 word investigation on it. They must then use their practical production skills to produce a linked practical production. For example; a student investigating gender representation in soap operas could produce a linked piece of filming of the opening sequence for an episode of a new soap opera. We will help you, but YOU do the research for this and gather material. As with the AS course, our Media Technician will be on hand to give advice, although it is expected that A2 students will rely less on outside help of this form.

What courses or employment can you progress on to?

There are many Media courses at university level. Some are very creative, others more technical, others more social/political. This broad subject offers many careers, which include journalism, management, advertising and marketing, market research, TV/film/radio director or specialist, public relations, market research, website manager, publicist. The analytical and evaluative skills that are developed in Media Studies are generally well valued in all university courses.

Resources for Media Studies are extensive. We have our own digital video cameras and stills cameras. We have a new Media Studio plus editing room to supplement the existing Media Studio.

Our students have attended live studio recordings in London. We go on a trip to either Los Angeles or New York every 2 years. (see picture of our students outside Universal Studios in Los Angeles.)

The 'The Oscars' evening we celebrate students' practical work in an informal way each July (see picture, right).

(see picture, left, of our accelerated Year 11 students completing practical work.)

Contact: HOD: Mr Woods

Phone: 01276 457600

Email: O.Woods@collingwood.surrey.sch.uk

For more information, promotional material and examples of students' work please visit our Departmental blog: www.screenagers.me