A minimum of four grade 5s at GCSE including English Language.
What will I study?Whether it is games, mobile telephones, social networking sites, digital television or iPods, there's barely an hour of the day that goes by when we are not immersing ourselves in the media. When we spend so much time exposed to something, doesn't it make sense to understand it better? By focusing on specific parts of the media, we can understand the wider context in which it exists, the forces that act upon it, and how it influences us.
The course allows you to investigate different themes that underpin the subject: the way we are influenced as an audience and how we as an audience can manipulate the media; issues that affect big and small media organisations and the big debates and themes that surround the media as a concept.
Based on an equal share of practical and academic work, the course allows you to create your own media artefacts, think about how they work and discuss how they compare to the real thing. You will also focus on a specific aspect of the media as a way of developing your understanding of the issues and debates that surround the subject: currently we are focusing on television drama, so there's plenty of opportunity for discussion and debate!
In the first year coursework focuses on print production, letting you explore production techniques and styles as you research, plan and produce a magazine that reflects professional practice, while the exam unit focuses on representation in television drama and issues surrounding media audiences and institutions. The exam is based on a case study of a particular media industry eg. film, video games etc. You will explore production, marketing and how we interact with media products and think about how this mirrors general media practices.
In the second year your coursework will include video production and you will explore key media theories and concepts.
How will I be assessed?Coursework (50 per cent)
Written examination (50 per cent)
CostsA materials contribution is applied to this course. This will be confirmed at interview.
Good course combinationsFilm Studies, Sociology, Photography, Drama and Theatre Studies and English.
What could it lead to?Media Studies gives you excellent analytical, technical and group-working skills, all of which are attractive to employers and universities. It is an excellent contribution to arts-based undergraduate programmes. Students who have successfully completed both years have gone on to study Media at university, giving them the practical skills and academic knowledge to work in the industry.
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100% Achievement in 2016.
a relationship between
signifier and signified which is
not obvious (e.g. the word ‘cat’
in the Roman alphabet and our
mental image of the animal)
an approach to the study of
culture which considers how
various forces are at work in its
the study of structural aspects
of language, with many sub-
later work on structuralism
which both extends its ideas
and critiques its approach
a layered and more subtle
interpretation of a complex
Saussure’s term for the study
of signs, which he regarded as
a way of analysing culture
which prioritises its form/
structure over function
according to codified systems
third order of
the relationship between the
first and second orders of
signification and myths and
common term used for Peirce’s
description of how we read
(1857–1913), Swiss structural
linguist often credited along
with Peirce with the founding
of semiotic theory as we know
(1839–1914), American multi-
disciplinary academic who
contributed to the field
of semiotic theory from
his broad background as a
and communication theorist.
The technical codes and features used in print
In the previous section, we talked about codes as a group of conventions which
are used to organise and create meaning. In addition to using semiotic terms when
analysing print media texts, there are some other codes and features which are
likely to be frequently used. Other terms, some of which have their origins in the
industry, are specific to one or two forms.
In this section, we will explore the relevant codes and more general features first.
You will find in Chapter 2 that some of these codes appear again, but given a
slightly different context as their usage varies depending on the media form. In the
final section, we will look at the features peculiar to each main print form in turn –
newspapers, magazines and print advertisements.
Dress code forms an essential part of the signification process in any print media
text. The clothing worn by anyone can be used to signify particular meanings about
their social status, lifestyle, age and many other factors. It isn’t enough to simply
identify a dress code as ‘casual’ or ‘formal’ – look at the details of how the clothing
is being worn, any accessories or details, the colours, whether they coordinate
connoting more simple ideas, or clash and suggest contradictory meanings and
conflict, and to what extent they help meet generic expectations.
Colour codes may be inherent in the environment in which a photograph is taken,
particularly if it is photo-journalism. Colours may still be subject to manipulation such
as colour correction or saturation of the whole or part of an image in post-production.
The extent to which this acceptable is a grey area of
in photo-journalism and
documentary photography. In the case of photo-journalism, colour codes are part of
the factors considered in the editorial process along with framing and cropping. For
magazine shoots or print advertising, colour codes are often contrived from a limited
palette which strongly signifies a mood, theme or atmosphere.
Reading Print Media