AS/A2 Media Studies
MS1 : Media Representations and Responses (1291)
MS2 : Media Production Processes (1292)
MS3 : Media Investigation and Production (1293)
MS4 : Media: Text, Industry and Audience (1294)
This unit develops the knowledge and skills acquired at AS and as such contributes to synoptic assessment. In particular, it is designed to demonstrate the importance of research in informing media production and to develop the skills acquired in MS2.
Candidates are required to produce three pieces of linked work:
• a research investigation (1400 – 1800 words)
• a production (informed by the investigation)
• a brief evaluation (500 – 750 words).
(a) Research Investigation
Candidates are required to undertake an individual investigation into a specific area of study focused on one of the following concepts: genre, narrative or representation. Their research should draw on a range of both primary and secondary sources. It should enable candidates to reach conclusions that will inform their production.
Examples of investigations include:
- the representation of teenagers in two British films
- the generic similarities between Dr Who and Stargate
- the narrative structures of The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing.
Candidates are required to submit a production which should develop from and be informed by the candidate's research investigation. This production must be in a different form from the AS production.
Audio-visual productions should be up to 4 minutes in length (depending on the nature of the production). Print-based productions (or their digital equivalent) should be a minimum of 3 pages.
Digital media (other than audio-visual productions) and print-based productions must be individual. Audio-visual productions can be produced either individually or in groups (maximum 4). Group tasks must offer appropriate opportunities for each candidate to demonstrate an individual contribution.
The evaluation can be produced in any appropriate form such as:
a discursive essay (with or without illustrations) a digital presentation with slide notes (such as a PowerPoint) a suitably edited blog.
The production must be accompanied by an individual evaluation which explores how the production has been informed by the research undertaken into the relevant media concept.
Candidates are required to submit:
a research investigation (1400 – 1800 words): 45 marks
a production (informed by the investigation): 45 marks
a brief evaluation (500 – 750 words): 10 marks
Each of the three pieces of work will be assessed separately and then combined to achieve a total mark for the unit.
MS4: MEDIA – TEXT, INDUSTRY AND AUDIENCE
This unit contributes to synoptic assessment. It is designed to develop candidates' understanding of the connections between different elements of the specification and to develop their knowledge and understanding of the relationship between media texts, their audiences and the industries which produce and distribute them.
Progression from AS is demonstrated through this emphasis on the relationship between text, audience and industry and the debates surrounding the nature of that relationship.
Candidates' understanding of the media will also be more informed by appropriate theoretical perspectives.
Centres will be required to select three different media industries from the list
below to study with their candidates.
- Magazine (including comics)
- Computer Games
For each industry, three main texts should provide the focus for candidates' study. At least two of the chosen texts must be contemporary and one must be British. Centres are advised to select contrasting texts so that candidates acquire as wide an understanding of the media industry as possible. What constitutes a 'text' will vary depending on the industry. See the Notes for Guidance for examples and guidance.
For each text selected, candidates should consider the following as appropriate:
• distribution (and exhibition where relevant)
• marketing and promotion
• regulation issues
• global implications
• relevant historical background
• audience/user targeting
• audience/user positioning
• audience responses and user interaction
• debates about the relationship between audiences/users and text.
Assessment A written examination of two and a half hours
The paper will consist of two sections:
Section A will offer two questions based on media texts;
Section B will offer four questions based on industry and audience issues.
Candidates will be required to answer one question from Section A and two questions from Section B, using a different media industry for each answer. Each question will require them to make reference to the three main texts they have studied for each media industry.