MS3: MEDIA INVESTIGATION AND PRODUCTION
This unit develops the knowledge and skills acquired at AS and as such contributes to synoptic assessment. In particular, it is designed to demonstrate the importance of research in informing media production and to develop the skills acquired in MS2.
Candidates are required to produce three pieces of linked work:
• a research investigation (1400 – 1800 words)
• a production (informed by the investigation)
• a brief evaluation (500 – 750 words).
(a) Research Investigation
Candidates are required to undertake an individual investigation into a
specific area of study focused on one of the following concepts: genre,
narrative or representation. Their research should draw on a range of both
primary and secondary sources. It should enable candidates to reach
conclusions that will inform their production.
Examples of investigations include:
• the representation of teenagers in two British films
• the generic similarities between Dr Who and Stargate
• the narrative structures of The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing.
Candidates are required to submit a production which should develop from and be informed by the candidate's research investigation. This production must be in a different form from the AS production.
Audio-visual productions should be up to 4 minutes in length (depending on the nature of the production).
Print-based productions (or their digital equivalent) should be a minimum of 3 pages.
Digital media (other than audio-visual productions) and print-based
productions must be individual. Audio-visual productions can be produced either individually or in groups (maximum 4). Group tasks must offer appropriate opportunities for each candidate to demonstrate an individual Contribution.
The production must be accompanied by an individual evaluation which
explores how the production has been informed by the research undertaken into the relevant media concept.
The evaluation can be produced in any appropriate form such as:
• a discursive essay (with or without illustrations)
• a digital presentation with slide notes (such as a PowerPoint)
• a suitably edited blog.
This unit will be internally marked and externally moderated, assessing AO2, AO3
Candidates are required to submit:
• a research investigation (1400 – 1800 words): 45 marks
• a production (informed by the investigation): 45 marks
• a brief evaluation (500 – 750 words): 10 marks
Each of the three pieces of work will be assessed separately and then combined
to achieve a total mark for the unit.
MS4: MEDIA – TEXT, INDUSTRY AND AUDIENCE
This unit contributes to synoptic assessment. It is designed to develop candidates' understanding of the connections between different elements of the specification and to develop their knowledge and understanding of the relationship between media texts, their audiences and the industries which produce and distribute them.
Progression from AS is demonstrated through this emphasis on the relationship between text, audience and industry and the debates surrounding the nature of that relationship. Candidates' understanding of the media will also be more informed by appropriate theoretical perspectives.
Centres will be required to select three different media industries from the list below to study with their candidates.
• Magazine (including comics)
• Computer Games
For each industry, three main texts should provide the focus for candidates' study.
At least two of the chosen texts must be contemporary and one must be British.
Centres are advised to select contrasting texts so that candidates acquire as wide an understanding of the media industry as possible. What constitutes a 'text' will vary depending on the industry. See the Notes for Guidance for examples and guidance.
For each text selected, candidates should consider the following as appropriate:
• distribution (and exhibition where relevant)
• marketing and promotion
• regulation issues
• global implications
• relevant historical background
• audience/user targeting
• audience/user positioning
• audience responses and user interaction
• debates about the relationship between audiences/users and text.
A written examination of two and a half hours, assessing AO1 and AO2.
The paper will consist of two sections:
Section A will offer two questions based on media texts;
Section B will offer four questions based on industry and audience issues.
Candidates will be required to answer one question from Section A and two
questions from Section B, using a different media industry for each answer. Each question will require them to make reference to the three main texts they have studied for each media industry.
GUIDANCE ON POSSIBLE INVESTIGATIONS
The examples below have been grouped into complimentary tasks. In the first section there are tasks suitable for individual students. An example of a possible area for investigation is given first ,then there is a suggestion for a possible production which could develop out of the investigation. In the second section there are suggestions for individual research investigations which may lead to a group production.
SECTION 1: INDIVIDUAL INVESTIGATIONS AND PRODUCTIONS
• An exploration of the representation of teenagers in (two or three) British films.
• Campaign material for a low budget UK ‘teenage-rights-of-passage’ film
• An analysis of the representation of two stars from mainstream and alternative music.
• The official fan site for a new artist (this could utilise MySpace or YouTube)
• An analysis of news photographs: their structure and narrative appeal
• A series of anchored news photographs for a specific newspaper
• Do film promotional websites follow the same conventions? A close analysis of (two or three)
• A web site promoting a new film (this could become a group production with the insertion of film
footage shot by the students)
• How far are Soap Operas a representation of real life? (A close analysis of two contrasting
• Three to four page magazine spread launching a gritty new soap opera.
• Exploring the representation of gender in men’s magazines.
• Three magazine pages for a new men’s magazines which challenges stereotypical
• Analysing representations in teen magazines
• A photo story for a new teen magazine
• How do cause adverts represent issues?
• Three print cause adverts aimed at teenagers (e.g. anti drugs)
SECTION 2: GROUP INVESTIGATIONS AND PRODUCTIONS
• An investigation into how genre conventions are used to raise audience expectations in
• An analysis of the narrative structure of three contrasting trailers.
• A study of the representation of heroes and villains in three trailers
• A trailer for a new film.
• An analytical comparison between two narrative driven music videos
• A study of gender representations in two (or three) music videos
• How are music videos edited? A close study of two (or three) music videos
• A music video for a new band
• Investigating the styles of two radio presenters.
• Deconstructing reality: how are issues represented in radio programmes?
• A comparison between two radio news bulletins from contrasting channels
• The opening section of a new talk based radio programme
• An examination of the genre conventions in documentaries (two or three) aimed at teenagers.
• How are teenagers represented in documentaries?
• Exploring the narrative structure and editing techniques in two short Channel 4 documentaries.
• Three minute wonder documentary exploring a local issue.