“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
In the Media Studies department, we aim to equip students with the skills and understanding which will help them to understand the messages being sent – and often manipulated – by the mass media. As such, we value a rigorous analytical approach to the subject, allowing students to understand the effects of the media on society. This approach is based on the fundamental values of rigor, hard work, and a strict adherence to deadlines, all of which allow our students to achieve their potential in the subject.
To see examples of our students' work, go to the 'Showreel' tab on the right.
Key Stage 3
In years 7 to 9, Media Studies forms a part of the national English curriculum. Each year, students will study one unit of work on the media in preparation for Key Stage 4.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, Media Studies is an optional GCSE subject. From 2010, the department is using the new AQA specification, which is an untiered qualification. The course is split into two units:
Unit 1: Investigating the Media
This unit is assessed by one examination, and is worth 40% of the overall GCSE grade. In this unit, students will study a wide range of media industries, and will develop an understanding of how each industry affects society. In the exam, students will be required to respond ‘in role’ to a set brief, which might include explaining media concepts, or drafting media products.
Unit 2: Understanding the Media
This unit is assessed as coursework, and is worth 60% of the overall GCSE grade. In this unit, students will produce three different pieces of coursework, each one in a different medium – print, cross-media products, and film. Each coursework assignment will consist of both analysis of existing media products and drafting or producing media products based on these analyses. If you want to see examples of Unit 2 coursework produced at JRCS, go to the 'Showreel' tab on the right.
In the 6th Form, Media Studies is offered at both AS and A Level. For more details of each of these courses, select the relevant tab on the right of this page. You can also see examples of students' work under the 'Showreel' tab.
Like any other GCSE, AS, or A Level course, Media Studies requires students to work in their own time to reinforce what they have learned in class. At GCSE level, students should expect to receive around an hour of homework per week. At AS and A Level, students are expected to be doing around five hours of independent work every week for the subject. In most cases, this homework will take the form of structured tasks set by the classroom teacher. However, in these Media Studies courses there is also the opportunity to complete aspects of the coursework assignments outside school hours, meaning that students are not restricted by the setting of the school when making film or other media. In addition to the work set, students are also expected to keep up-to-date with developments in the media – useful background knowledge can be built up by reading newspapers and magazines, and watching TV and film critically.
The department follows the whole-school marking policy.