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Course description 

It has been said that media literacy is as important to living in the 21st century as regular literacy was to the 20th century. Media Studies and Film Studies both allow students the opportunity to study all forms of the media and to become more critically informed about how the media affects our everyday lives. In both subjects students are able to develop their critical, analytical, research and communication skills. They also have the opportunity to develop their creative and technical skills through enjoying practical tasks using the Academy’s cameras and digital editing equipment.

Course structure 

Key Stage 3

Media and Film Studies and not studied as separate subjects at Key Stage 3, although students will get some experience of exploring film and media texts as part of the English curriculum

Key Stage 4

GCSE Media Studies

GCSE Media Studies gives students the opportunity to study a wide range of media texts. We will look at how they are constructed and how they represent people, places and issues. In particular we will study news, current affairs, advertising, video games, magazines and music videos. Special exam topics include TV Crime Drama  and the marketing of the Bond franchise of films.

Students will be expected to produce media texts such as short videos, radio/sound sequences, newspaper and magazine articles and to take still photographic images. Watching television and listening to the radio and ‘keeping an eye on the news’ will also be part of the course.

Assessment is through a coursework portfolio (30% of the final mark) and two final examinations (70% of the final mark).

GCSE Film Studies

Unit 1 is based around the study of American Cinema. We will examine three American films, both mainstream Hollywood and Independent, exploring how they are constructed and what meanings they communicate. Current possible films for study include: Singing in the Rain, Grease, Rear Window, Witness, Rebel Without a Cause, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, ET, Juno, The Hurt Locker, Whiplash.

Unit 2 focuses on the study of Global Cinema. Students study issues of character, narrative and representation in contemporary British and global English language and non-English language cinema. Current possible films for study include: Submarine, Attack the Block, Skyfall, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Slumdog Millionaire, District 9, Tsotsi, Let the Right One In, The Wave.

Unit 3 is a coursework unit which allows students to apply their knowledge and understanding of film in a creative piece of practical filmmaking.

GCSE Film Studies is assessed through two examined units (worth 70% of the overall total) and one coursework unit (30% of the total).

Book, Equipment, Materials and Resources

All students require normal writing equipment as set out in the Academy’s basic stationery requirements. However, all equipment and materials for practical work will be provided for students.

Opportunities for Study Beyond Key Stage 4

The Academy offers A Levels in both Media Studies and Film Studies. Both of these prove very popular subjects  - although there is no requirement for students to have a GCSE in these subjects in order to progress to A Level. Many of our students continue to study these subjects at degree level.

Career Opportunities Supported by These Subjects

The Media is a rapidly evolving and developing field with a huge variety of career opportunities. Employers in a wide range of fields recognise and value the technical, creative, analytical and communication skills that are developed in Media Studies and Film Studies.