The AQA GCSE Media Studies course attracts an increasingly large number of students because it makes learning interesting, challenging, creative and fun. It offers rigorous but accessible learning on a subject of key importance for young peoples’ understanding of the world they experience.
- Extensive and meaningful coverage of media theory and practice
- Practical work which integrates theories and concepts
- A choice of assignments for production and pre-production
- The chance to study across a range of different media
- Opportunities to learn about real media products and industries
- Opportunities for progression, especially to GCE Media Studies
GCSE specifications in media studies enable candidates to:
- develop enquiry, critical thinking and decision making skills through consideration of issues that are important, real and relevant to them and to the world in which they live
- develop their appreciation and critical understanding of the media and its role in their daily lives
- develop their practical skills through opportunities for personal engagement and creativity
- understand how to use the key media concepts to analyse media products and their various contexts
Unit 1 Preparation
Unit 1 Preparation
Exam Research & Plan
Assignment 1: Print
Assignment 2: Promotion of Music
Assignment 3: Moving Image
Unit 1: Investigating the Media
Written Paper – 1 hour 30 mins – 60 marks – 40%
External Assessment – 2015 topic for examination is Television News
Based on pre-released topic with guidance and stimulus.
Unit 2: Understanding the Media
Controlled Assessment taken from banks of set assignments – 90 marks – 60%
- Introductory assignment
- Cross-media assignment
- Practical Production and Evaluation
GCSE Media Studies uses four major concepts which form the basis of the subject content.
- Media Language: forms and conventions
Underpinning the Key Concepts, the subject content is classified according to the following media forms/platforms:
- Print and Electronic Publishing including newspapers, comics, magazines etc.
- Moving Image:
- Television including genre study, franchises, scheduling etc.
- Film covering features, shorts, trailers, production, distribution and exhibition as well as genre study
- Video including promotional, training and corporate
- Radio including commercial, network, public broadcasting, community etc.
- Web-based Technologies/New Media including Internet, web design, social networking, weblogs, vblogs, podcasts, gaming etc.
It is noted that the following can be found across the media forms/platforms listed above:
- Advertising and Marketing – including advertisements in print publications, on radio, on television, in the cinema, film trailers, billboards etc.
- Popular Music – including Artistes & Repertoire (A & R), promotion, marketing etc.
- News – including television, newspapers, internet, radio etc.
The core assignments of the course require demonstrating that you can analyze a videogame (or group of videogames) in the light of the theories covered in class, providing insight about the game or games which you are focusing on. Assignment 2 is a first approach to the game, where you have to introduce what makes the game worth of your study, what sets it apart, why they are worth studying. In Assignment 3, you have to expand the previous assignment, analyze the game in depth, and provide insight on it.
Assignment 2 Requirements
The goal of assignment 2 is to provide context to why the game stands out, what is it that makes it worth of study. In this essay, you'll identify what areas of the game are salient—it can be an area we have covered, or a forthcoming one. Look at the syllabus for a list of topics that will be discussed in class. Consult with the instructor if you don't know what discussion would be the most productive with respect to a game or games. If your analysis is comparative, outline what the points of comparison are.
This initial game analysis has to argue persuasively what makes the game relevant to study. Include a brief contextual overview, which should help situate the game as well as support your main argument. For example, if you were talking about how Zork constructs storytelling through the space and its descriptions, rather than providing a strong story during the player's gameplay, it would be important to highlight when the game was made, and the influence of Adventure, Dungeons and Dragons, and MIT culture in order to understand how the game pioneered environmental storytelling in games.
You must have started playing the game, to start providing some concrete examples of what you want to talk about. You'll evaluate and expand on those arguments after you finish the game for assignment 3.
Your analysis should be between 1200–1500 words, double spaced in 12 point standard fonts (Times, Arial, etc.), and submitted in one of the following standard formats: .doc, .pdf or .rtf.
The grade of the assignment is broken down as follows:
- Relevance (20%) - Providing a thesis statement which aims at generating insight on the game, and expanding on it. Superfluous retellings of plot, mere context descriptions, or disconnected pieces of data on the game usually indicate that you're not analyzing the game but just rambling about it.
- Organization (20%) - Your assignment should be well structured. Again, having an introductory paragraph and thesis statement and a conclusion are basic expectations in an assignment of this sort.
- Discussion (20%) - How well you construct and support the argument that you want to make about the game. This usually entails (among other things): defining your terms (particularly when you're borrowing them from the readings), including specific examples from the game(s), using the theories covered in class as support or contrast to your argument, and using counter-arguments to strengthen your discussion.
- Clarity (20%) - How well you write your paper. Be concise and intelligible, with proper grammar and spelling. Please proofread your paper before handing it in.
- References (20%) - Include your references at the end, including in-text citations. Use whichever citation format you prefer, just make it possible for your reader to find your sources. Include the URLs of webpages you may cite. The references must also include the game(s) you talk about, following the following model: Developer, Game Title. Publisher, Platform (Year).