Courses

English

Media Studies AS/A Level

At AS and A level, students follow the AQA Media Studies course and are taught to apply and develop their understanding of the media through both analysing and producing media products. Students are required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Media Language, Media Industries, Audiences and Representation. These areas are explored through a range of contemporary and pre-1970 Media including television, film, radio, newspapers, magazines, advertising, music video and video games, as well as through online, social and participatory media.

Students that have previously studied the media at GCSE level will find that the course extends their pre-existing media knowledge through the requirement that they study at least one media product produced for a non-English speaking audience and at least one produced outside the commercial mainstream. The course also includes study of contrasting media products that possess cultural, social and historical significance.

Depth of study and academic rigour is also presented through engagement with complex media theories including structuralism, postmodernism and theories around ethnicity and postcolonialism. Across the course students will enjoy rich and challenging opportunities for interpretation and in-depth critical analysis of media texts. Students will be led to develop a detailed understanding and, indeed, interest in how the media communicate meanings and how audiences respond.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade 5 or above is preferred. There is no requirement for students embarking on an AS or A level in media studies to have previously taken a GCSE media studies course. However, the demand for high levels of literacy and analytical skill means that students would be expected to have demonstrated through GCSE English that they possess the requisite skills for post-16 study of the subject.

Examination arrangements

AS Assessment Paper 1- Written examination of 2hrs 30 mins

This assesses understanding of the conceptual framework of the subject and the media products that students have engaged in. Students respond to a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions. This makes up 70% of the AS Level.

Non exam assessment: Students apply their conceptual knowledge and use practical skills to produce a media product made for an intended audience. This constitutes 30% of AS Level assessment.

A2 Assessment involves two written examinations together constituting 70% of the A Level and students complete a non-exam assessment involving the production of crossmedia products (30% of A2).

Recommended support materials and revision guides

There is a course book that can be purchased at the start of the course and there are a variety of revision guides available. Students are also encouraged to use the media journals in our library.

Careers

What can I do after I’ve completed the course?

Media studies naturally leads to careers in journalism, marketing, advertising or public relations. But an awareness of how the world of media works can also support other careers in business, social work, law, medicine and education.

English Literature A Level

(Stand-alone AS available)

The syllabus followed and outlined below is Edexcel. It is a text-based course which focuses on both classic and modern literature. From 2015 this course is linear . To achieve the full A level all exams/coursework will be completed in Year 13. A stand-alone AS is available at the end of Year 12.

> Component 1 Drama

Study of two plays (at least one by Shakespeare) and a collection of critical essays relating to tragedy or comedy.

(Assessed by 2 hour exam – 30% total qualification)

> Component 2 Prose

Study of two prose texts from a chosen theme, at least one must be pre 1900.

(Assessed by 1 hour exam – comparative essay – 20% of total qualification)

> Component 3 Poetry

Response to an unseen poem AND study of poetry from a literary period or by a named poet.

(Assessed by 2 hour exam – 30% total qualification)

> Coursework Free choice of two texts from any genre(s)

One extended comparative essay referring to two texts.

(2500-3000 words, internally assessed)

Examination arrangements

As outlined above. In addition, students may sit a stand-alone AS level at the end of Year 12, by sitting component 2 and a hybrid paper from components 1 and 3 (One drama question based on a play studied / One question responding to poetry).

Recommended support materials and revision guides

At the start of each year of the course, students are encouraged to purchase their own copies of the texts to facilitate note taking. Any study guides purchased should be recommended by the teacher as they can be of variable quality and value to the students.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade 5 and above is preferred (which must include English and English Literature)

Careers

What can I do after I’ve completed the course?

You can apply to do a degree in a wide range of subjects, such as English, Journalism, Media and Communication Studies or Law. You can also apply for a job with training in the public and voluntary sectors. By studying Literature you will become expert at reading and responding to a wide variety of texts; at interpreting, analysing and gathering and assessing evidence; and at working independently and creatively. In the real world, including the world of work, we are bombarded with texts; the skills that you will learn, therefore, including those of powerful and effective communication, are highly valued by employers.

English Language A Level

(Stand-alone AS available)

The syllabus followed and outlined below is Edexcel. From 2015 this course is linear . To achieve the full A level all exams/coursework will be completed in Year 13.

> Component 1 Language Variation

The study of varieties of contemporary language and language variation in English from Early Modern English to the present day. Students will explore how language choices reflect the identity of the user and how language use varies in context. (Exam, 35% of A Level)

> Component 2 Child Language

The study of spoken language acquisition, theories of children’s language development and how children learn to read write. (Exam, 20% of A Level)

> Component 3 Investigating Language

Research into a particular field of language: Regional Variation in English, Global English or Language and Gender/Journalism/Power. The subtopic to study is provided by the exam board. The investigation will include researching origins/development of language, main features of language use and changing attitudes. (Exam, 25% of A Level)

> Component 4 Coursework Crafting Language

Research into a selected genre followed by 2 assignments totalling 3000 words which demonstrate skill as a writer in that genre accompanied by a commentary reflecting on the writing produced. (Internally assessed and externally moderated coursework, 20% of A Level)

Examination arrangements

Students may sit a standalone AS by completing 2 exam papers: Language Context and Identity (a version of Component 1, 60%) and Child Language (a version of Component 2, 40%)

Recommended support materials and revision guides

At the start of both the AS and A2 parts of the course students will have access to text books to support the course. Any study guides purchased should be recommended by the teacher as they can be of variable quality and value to the students.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade 5 and above is preferred (which must include English and English Literature)

Careers

What can I do after I’ve completed the course?

You can apply to do a degree in a wide range of subjects, such as English, Journalism, Media and Communication Studies or Law. You can also apply for a job with training in the public and voluntary sectors. By studying Language you will become expert at reading and responding to a wide variety of texts; at interpreting, analysing and gathering and assessing evidence; and at working independently and creatively. In the real world, including the world of work, we are bombarded with language; the skills that you will learn, therefore, including those of powerful and effective communication, are highly valued by employers.