Media Studies

Head of Department: Mr D Powell


The Media Studies Dept offers courses in A Level Media Studies and Film Studies and works in close collaboration with the English Dept.  Both Media Studies and Film Studies are available to study at A Level and both courses produce very good results. They can be taken together or studied separately. This combination of subjects is aimed to develop students’ communication and creativity.

The vision of the department is to provide students with the opportunity to learn and develop creative skills
in a professional working environment. The ethos of the department is inclusive and all students of are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning, share facilities and work flexibly as members of a team in which individual interests and specialisms are recognised, encouraged and nurtured.

The department aims to provide the students with learning which is relevant to living in the modern world, to make them aware the media industries’ influence on student’s everyday lives. We also aim to engender an appreciation of creative opportunities within the media and to help students develop high level skills.

Increasingly diverse ways of learning are being explored and the department and the department’s classrooms include two computer rooms in which the students work on a range of creative activities including magazine print based projects, web-design and video work which demand high level use of image manipulation. The software used by the students include Adobe Premier Pro and the Adobe Creative suite including Photoshop and InDesign.

Our classrooms also include a green screen and photographic back drop as well as a range of lighting. Students are encouraged to utilise these and the Sony A5 digital cameras to produce high quality images for their work.

Expectations for students are high and media students are expected to be both responsible and professional. Our methods of working allow for opportunities for independent learning and for students to take responsibility for their learning, combining theory with practical skills while always remembering to have fun.

There are also clubs and activities offered by the department which is home to the Warlingham Film Club offering a chance to younger students to develop an interest in film and open a window on the wider world with a range of genres and films from other cultures. Those who join are encouraged to participate actively in the club and we have had students become national Filmclub Ambassadors. The Media Department often contributes to whole school projects and club members have also participated in the BBCs School Report as well as making an film about the school’s Olympic Ambassadors.

Film Studies Course Overview

This specification is divided into a total of 4 units, two AS units and two A2 units. Weightings noted below are expressed in terms of the full A level qualification (AS in brackets).

The AS/A specification in Film Studies is designed to deepen students' understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of film, the major art form of the twentieth century, and one developing new modes of expression and exhibition in the first decades of the twenty-first century. The specification builds on the cineliteracy learners have developed informally since childhood. They will study film deriving from a variety of production contexts and experienced in a variety of viewing situations. They will also engage with a wide range of different kinds of films, developing skills of observation, critical analysis and personal reflection, as well as developing their creativity and practical skills, either in audio-visual or written form. A variety of forms of assessment are used, with the intention of producing imaginative, active learners. In particular, the specification explores the relationship between the film and the individual by exploring how films create meanings and produce both intellectual and emotional responses. Additionally, the aesthetic and sensory qualities of film are emphasised as integral to a study of the interaction between films and spectators.

Analysis is enabled by the application of critical approaches appropriate to this level, as well as through creative project work. The study of film producers and audiences explores issues of production and consumption: the supply of and demand for films. Some of the recurring debates within film culture will be explored. These include the global dominance of Hollywood, strategies for supporting indigenous film and the significance of fandom. The specification introduces students to the diverse range of film forms and film styles developed in different places throughout the history of cinema. In giving students the opportunity to study significant film movements and aspects of national cinemas, it is intended that an interest in film culture will be fostered which can be taken forward in lifelong learning.

As the only dedicated Level 3 specification in Film Studies, this contributes to the quality and coherence of provision nationally. With its emphases on visual storytelling and aesthetics, it extends areas of experience covered by literature and art history specifications. With its emphases on contexts of production and reception, and on cultural politics, it has close affinities with courses in Media and Cultural Studies. With its options in creative work, it opens up the study of film aesthetics and film form, as well as broader political and ethical issues through experiential learning. 

AS Level Film Studies Course Overview

Unit 1: FM1 20 % (40%) Internal Assessment

Exploring Film Form

One analysis of how the micro aspects of a chosen extract from a film of candidate's choice produce meanings and responses (1500 words) (30).

One creative project based on a film sequence or short film (50: sequence or short film [40]/reflective analysis [10]).

Paper raw mark total: 80

Paper UMS total: 80

Unit 2: FM2   30% (60%) External Assessment 

2½ hours Written Paper

British and American Film

Three questions, one from each section:

Section A: Response to stimulus material set by Awarding Body based on producers and audiences of film (40)

Section B: Topics in British Film (40)

Section C: US Film - Comparative study of two films (40)

Paper raw mark total: 120 

Paper UMS total: 120


A2 Level Film Studies Course Overview (the above plus a further 2 units)

Unit 3: FM3 25 % Internal Assessment

Film Research and Creative Projects

a small-scale research project (40)

creative project (60 - 45 product/15 reflective analysis)

Paper raw mark total: 100

Paper UMS total: 100

Unit 4: FM4 25 % External Assessment:

2 ¾ hour Written Paper

Varieties of Film Experience: Issues and Debates

Three questions, one from each section:

Section A: World Cinema topics (35)

Section B: Spectatorship topics (35)

Section C: Single Film - Critical Study (30)

Paper raw mark total: 100

Paper UMS total: 100

Media Studies Course Overview

WJEC Media Studies specification is designed to allow media students to draw on their existing experience of the media and to develop their abilities to respond critically to the media. It enables students to explore a wide variety of media, including digital media technologies, drawing on the fundamental concepts informing the study of the media: texts, industry and audiences. 

The specification also encourages creative work to enable students to gain a greater appreciation of the media through their own production work and to develop their own production skills.   At A2 in particular, students are given the opportunity to research a topic which will then form the basis for their production, thus encouraging them to create productions informed by an awareness of contemporary media issues.

AS Level Media Studies Course Overview (2 units)

Unit 1: MS1 25 % (50%)   External Assessment: 2½ hour Written Paper

Media Representations and Responses

Three compulsory questions, including one question on unseen audio-visual or print- based material (interactive media will be presented as print-based) (40, 30 & 30).

Paper raw mark total: 100

Paper UMS total: 100