Salesian School

Enlightening minds, uplifting hearts

Media

Head of Subject: Mr Andrew Carr

The mass media is one of the world-changing phenomena of the last 100 years. In Britain it is almost impossible to avoid: TV or radio in every room in the house, home computers and tablets connected wirelessly to the Internet, magazines and newspapers on the doormat and so on. Studying the Media allows students to explore how they can contribute to one of the biggest industries in the UK, while also teaching them to evaluate its impact on society.

We offer two challenging courses in the Sixth Form: an A Level with an academic focus, but opportunities for practical work in film-making and print; and a vocational BTEC designed to prepare students for the workplace, especially in print and creative design careers.

Media Studies (A Level)

The mass media has been the dominant cultural form of the last 100 years; today it not only reflects our attitudes and values, it may also shape them. How and why they do that, and the consequences for all of us, are at the heart of Media Studies: a fascinating field of study for students keen to understand the world around them and the ways the media informs, entertains and persuades.

Students learn both media analysis and media production. A significant part of the course comprises learning film and print production techniques, using digital camcorders and editing and page design software. Over two years, students explore:

  • Key Media Concepts, divided between analysis of representations in TV Drama, and a detailed case study on the magazine industry, its institutions and audiences.
  • Critical Perspectives on contemporary media, addressing issues such as identity and representation and their impact on media production and consumption, across a range of media industries.
  • techniques of film and print production through two group-based coursework production projects (one in each year), with evaluative production blogs.

Contrary to press reports, Media Studies is not an easy option, nor need it restrict progression to even the most demanding universities/courses. We follow the OCR specification. Teaching combines classroom-based theoretical learning with hands-on media production experience from the very beginning of the course, and students are encouraged to find connections between their emerging production skills, commercial practice and the implications for audiences and society. Assessment is through a 50/50 mixture of coursework and examination.

For more information, including admission criteria, see the Sixth Form Options booklet.

Creative Media Production (BTEC)

IMG_3865_380.jpgThis is the perfect course for students who are keen to design and create their own media productions using modern media technologies, and would like to be able to use these skills in the workplace. Students studying art subjects, ICT and Business will find this course accessible, useful and complementary to their other subjects.

This course is vocationally and practically oriented around the learning of work-related, transferable, media-based skills, which can be adapted for use in a wide range of future careers. Students will study seven units over the two year course:

  • Pre-production techniques
  • Communication skills
  • Research techniques
  • Page Layout and Design
  • Digital Graphics for Print
  • Factual Writing for Print
  • Graphic Narrative Production

Collectively, these units will give students skills and experience in: researching and writing for a variety of media; designing their layout; taking and manipulating photographs to use within these designs; and planning and producing complete media products. Students will also learn the legal, regulatory and ethical frameworks associated with this kind of work. The course teachers all have industry experience in media production, writing, marketing and design.

We follow the Edexcel specification. Tuition is classroom based, but dominated by hands-on application and investigation through project work. Field work is included and encouraged, with students organising their own photo shoots and research tasks off-site. Assessment is entirely through a series of coursework projects, including DVD cover design and (in the second year) the production of a magazine to professional standards, with a 300-copy print run. This Level 3 BTEC is equivalent to one A Level at Pass (E), Merit (C) or Distinction (A)/ Dist* (A*) grade.

For more information, including admission criteria, see the Sixth Form Options booklet.

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