Saturday, 15 October 2011

Overview of GCSE Media Studies

GCSE Media Studies (AQA Specification)

Unit 1- Examination Unit; topic changes each year (40%)
Unit 2- Coursework; comprising of three units (60%)

Exam Unit
Unit 1: Investigating the Media

Written Paper (1hour 30mins) 40%.
Based on a pre-released topic with guidance and stimulus.
Task 1: Knowledge and Understanding.
Task 2: Research, Planning and Presentation; Production and Evaluation.
Exam taken at a date specified by AQA in June

2012- TV Crime Drama
2013- The Music Press: Print and Online
2014- Promotion and Marketing of Computer Games
2015- Television News

Coursework Units

Unit 2: Understanding the media
Unit Learning Outcomes

Assessment Objectives, students will be expected to:
AO2 Analyse and respond to media texts/topics using media key concepts and appropriate terminology
AO3 Demonstrate research, planning and presentation skills
AO4 Construct and evaluate their own products using creative and technical skills

The aim of the coursework unit is for students to develop an understanding of how and why media texts are produced as they are. In Unit 2 students will produce one introductory assignment, one assignment that requires students to look closely at cross-media platforms which more closely reflects the media industry today and one Practical Production and Evaluation, each chosen from a different bank of assignments (set by AQA). The assignments must cover three discrete media forms/platforms, and no work submitted for Controlled Assessments in Unit 2 may cover the External Assessment topic for Unit 1 for that year.

Coursework Assignments
Assignment 1- Advertising and Marketing (Analyse two print advertisements. How effective are they in selling their products? Design your own advertisement for a product targeted at a specific audience. You should design the advertisement itself.)

Assignment 2- Film Promotion (Compare the impact and effectiveness of two promotional methods used by one film eg – poster; cinema, television or viral trailer; web page; magazine article; television interview. Print or web-based/new media – mock-up design for a poster, magazine article, DVD case, internet home page, or other promotional material for a film. Audio-visual media – devise a storyboard for a trailer or a script for a television or radio interview promoting the same film.)

Assignment 3- Print Magazine Production (Four pages, including the front cover or front page, for a magazine or newspaper aimed at a specific audience. No more than two candidates producing four pages each.)

Controlled Assessment

This unit is assessed under controlled conditions.
Each task is specified by AQA. For each assignment students must complete one assignment from Assignment Bank 1, one from Bank 2 and one from Bank 3. The supervision of students must ensure that they complete tasks themselves. Research may be undertaken with limited supervision. Students need not be under the direct supervision of staff at all times. However students are required to complete all of the work other than research under informal supervision. This means that the centre must ensure that:
• plagiarism does not take place
• the sources used by students are clearly recorded
• each student’s preparation for the final production of the work is his/her own.

Teachers may provide guidance and feedback to students, feedback may evaluate progress to date and propose suggested broad areas for improvement but the detailed correction or annotation of work for feedback purposes is not allowed.

The work of individual students may be informed by working with others, for example in undertaking research, but students must provide an individual response as part of the task outcome. For Assignments 1 and 2 all work submitted for assessment will be the student’s own. For Assignment 3, groups of students, as explained below, may collaborate in the construction of the media product but their evaluative responses must be their own and their individual contribution clearly identified.

(For the full spec/detailed guidelines see

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