A2 media studies
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A2 Media Studies. Welcome to YOUR A2 Coursework. Summary.

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A2 Media Studies

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A2 media studies

A2 Media Studies

Welcome to YOUR A2 Coursework


Summary

Summary

  • 2000 Word Essay (individual). Critical Investigationinto a contemporary (5 years before start of A2 course) text, theme, issue or debate. You will submit a written report based upon a clearly focused title using analysis of texts as evidence for your argument and reaching a coherent conclusion.

  • Linked Practical Production (group work if moving image)Must be autonomous, secure and confident use of the chosen technology, use of institutional and genre codes and conventions to A2 standard. Moving image and audio work is not expected to be longer than 5 minutes and many products will be shorter than this. Groups may not consist of more than four candidates, to allow each group member sufficient opportunity to contribute.

  • Total: worth 50% of your A2 (25% of your overall A-level)

  • Research essay = 48 marks

  • Practical production = 32 marks


A2 media studies

Spirit/Philosophy of MEST4

  • Building on knowledge and understanding gained in Year 12.

  • Individual – allows candidates to follow what interests them.

  • Exploratory– candidates take their own route through the topic area.

  • Critical Autonomy – candidates encouraged to think for themselves and not just repeat conventional wisdom.

  • Research– audience data Interactivity.

  • Independent– teachers to guide and advise but candidates should go where they want to go.

  • Synoptic– encourages candidates to develop a holistic approach to the area under investigation.

  • Involves an approach to Media theory, media issues and debates.

  • Contemporary - AQA defines this as within the last 5 Years


Timings research essay

Timings: Research Essay

  • Start thinking about your area of interest now.

  • Coursework titles need to be submitted to exam board for approval.

  • Interim deadlines will be put in place for submission of drafts.

  • Final version to be submitted on deadline as advised by Mr Base.

  • As with A/S, this deadline is non-negotiable!


Timings linked production

Timings: Linked Production

  • Decisions on what to produce, which platform to work in, writing of scripts, storyboarding / mock-ups etc. to be negotiated with Mr Base.

  • You should aim to have your filming / photography / outline design work done well before your finaldeadline.

  • Remember how long post-production took place at A/S?

  • Leave sufficient time for this (weeks, not days)

    Total Around 20 weeks =

  • 14 Weeks Before Xmas (Planning, Essay & Pre Production)

  • 6 Weeks After Xmas (Linked Production)


Possible examples

Possible examples

  • The representation of women as victims in contemporary horror films.

  • How far can BBC’s Breakfast News be accused of “dumbing down”?

  • Pressures on men with regard to body image, perhaps via men’s magazines or via advertising.

  • The moral panic surrounding children’s TV in encouraging the objectification/sexualisation of children.


More examples

More examples…

  • Investigation of the current provision of programming aimed at the 11-13 year market.

  • Enduring nature of some genres (eg. could study “cop-shows” or “hospital dramas”) – why continue to be so popular with both audiences and producers?

  • Representation (egs. of women / men / motherhood / family) in soap operas.

  • Representation of Disability (perhaps of children or teenagers?) on BBC and Channel 4.


An essay title could look like this

An essay title could look like this:

  • Boy’s don’t cry: how do the contemporary documentaries Ross Kemp on Gangs (Sky One) and Tribe (BBC 2) represent masculinity?


Linked production

Linked Production

  • Following your research essay.

  • This is one single production piece and can be either print, e-media or moving image.

  • It is expected to be of higher quality than that produced at A/S level (although you can use the platform you didn’t use at A/S).

  • If moving image, you can work as a group (although need to co-ordinate your research studies so that you can each link to the product).

  • All other mediums are individual work


Examples of linked productions

Examples of linked productions

  • Research study:A study of the representation of females as victims in contemporary horror films.

    =

  • Linked production: Produce the opening of a horror film which either supports or challenges the representations which have been found in the study.


A2 media studies

  • Research study: How far can BBC’s Breakfast News be accused of “dumbing down”?

    =

  • Linked Production: Production of a broadsheet newspaper front page taking the stories covered during one (recorded) Breakfast News programme and presenting them in a different medium / more serious light.


A2 media studies

  • Research study: Pressures on men with regard to body image, perhaps via men’s magazines or via advertising.

    =

  • Linked Production: Four pages from (new or existing) men’s magazine which either challenges or supports understanding of current modes of address / representations etc.

    OR

  • Linked Production: Production of an advertisement (moving image or print-based campaign) for a body-product for men, following the codes and conventions of this genre of adverts.


A2 media studies

  • Research study: The moral panic surrounding children’s TV in encouraging the objectification/sexualisation of children. Could be a comparison of two texts, (eg. As the Bell Rings (USA) vs. Hannah Montana (Disney, USA) or Grange Hill or Child of Our Time episode on “Identity”

    =

  • Linked Production: Viral advertisement campaign aimed at “Tweenagers”.


A2 media studies

  • Research study: Investigation of the current provision of programming aimed at the 11-13 year market (CBeebies have considered extending their 7pm closedown to 9pm and commissioning programming for this market)

    =

  • Linked Production: Trailer or opening credits for show aimed at this market.


A2 media studies

  • Research study: Enduring nature of some genres (eg. could study “cop-shows” or “hospital dramas” – why continue to be so popular with both audiences and producers?

    =

  • Linked Production: Opening sequence from new show, following or subverting generic conventions.


A2 media studies

  • Research study: Representation (egs. of women / men / motherhood / family) in soap operas.

    =

  • Linked Production: Opening sequence from new soap opera either conforming to or challenging current stereotypes.


A2 media studies

  • Research study:Boy’s don’t cry: how do the contemporary documentaries Ross Kemp on Gangs (Sky One) and Tribe (BBC 2) represent masculinity?

    =

  • Linked production:Could be one or two 30-second TV adverts from a public information campaign designed to warn young men of the dangers of gang culture


A2 media studies

  • Research study: Representation of Disability (perhaps of children or teenagers?) on BBC and Channel 4.

    =

  • Linked Production:Create a campaign aimed at sixth-form students to show how ordinary disabled students are.


Support what you can expect from us

Support – what you can expect from us

  • You will be allocated a coursework tutor who will welcome/require frequent updates on how you are doing.

  • You’ll be offered support in identifying areas of research you could undertake and suggestions about resources where you can access appropriate information.

  • You’ll be given help in formulating an appropriate title for your written work.

  • You’ll be given help in deciding what to produce for your practical production.

  • You will be taught a wide range of theories, issues and debates plus wider contexts which will support your research work.


What we expect of you

What we expect of you

  • An engagement with your coursework during every lesson, (no lessons where you say you don’t have anything to do!)

  • Regular updates on how you are doing.

  • Close adherence to all of the deadlines set.

  • A mature attitude to independent study, as you WILL need to work outside of the classroom on this.

  • Independent work – this is your own, original work. Plagiarism will result in, at best, loss of marks; at worst, disqualification from this entire unit. If you’re unsure what constitutes plagiarism then check with your coursework teacher.


A2 media studies

  • This is an opportunity for you to undertake the kind of independent study which higher education establishments and employers welcome

  • Show what you can do

  • Enjoy!


A2 media studies

Group Activity

The first thing to do is to make sure you understand how the production and the essay are linked.

For each of these titles come up with a linked production

1. How and why has changing technology influence the ways in which audience consume and respond to the news?

2. How are suspense and tension conveyed in the construction of the narrative in (a film of your choice).

3. How is the representation of the hero in (film/fiction of your choice) constructed?

4. How has institutional bias affected the representation of a single news event by rival newspapers?

5. How do charity appeals identify and target their audiences?

For each of these productions, come up with two different essay titles

1. The opening sequence of a new Soap to be aired on BBC2, targeting multi-cultural teenagers.

2. The front cover and 5 pages of a Death Metal magazine targeting 16-25 year old males.

3. The website for LadyGaGa’snew freely downloadable track.

4. A talkshow focusing on the debate over violence in the media

5. A tabloid and a broadsheet front pages for the news of a school knifing, possibly inspired by ‘Grand Theft Auto’


Homework for week 2

Homework for Week 2

  • Come up with 5 x Pairs of Potential Essay Titles/Linked Productions


Research essay what this means

Research essay: what this means

These projects must involve the students:

  • Looking at Media Construction (Media Language); Representations; Audience; Institutions; Narratives; Genre to draw conclusions about Ideological values of the texts.

  • Exploring the wider cultural contexts (political / economic / cultural / social); how audiences respond to or interact with the texts and relevant theoretical perspectives.

  • Research studies must include media theories, issues, debates and wider contexts.


Research essay what this means1

Research essay: what this means

  • Looking at Media Construction (Media Language); Representations; Audience; Institutions; Narratives; Genre to draw conclusions about Ideological values of the texts.

    • So, could use a key concept as a starting point

    • Whatever you do, you must include the key concepts in your response.


Research essay what this means2

Research essay: what this means

  • Exploring the wider cultural contexts (political / economic / cultural / social);

    • Texts don’t appear out of a vacuum! They follow on from other texts, they reference contemporary issues, they may be shaped by political forces; issues of economics etc.


Research essay what this means3

Research essay: what this means

  • Exploring how audiences respond to or interact with the texts and relevant theoretical perspectives.

    • You’ve covered some audience theories at A/S level; we will do more at A2 and you will need to research more that are relevant to your particular audience / topic.


Research essay what this means4

Research essay: what this means

  • Research studies must include media theories, issues, debates

    • We’ve already studied a range of theories. At A2 we will be building on these, some of which will be relevant to your area of study

    • Your essay might be debate-driven (dumbing down / media-effects debate on violence in the media / media’s role in the sexualisation of children etc. etc.)

    • You will certainly need to include some media debates relevant to your area of study.


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