A Level Media Studies
The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.
Exam Board: OCR
8 or more GCSEs at grades 9-4 including a minimum grade 6 in GCSE English Language.
The aim of the course is to enhance students’ engagement and appreciation of the media and its role in their daily lives, to develop a critical understanding of the media and to explore production processes, technologies and contexts. At both AS and A2, students study two modules: one exam based and one coursework module which is a practical production. The practical production uses the very latest technology including professional HD DV video cameras, SLR digital cameras and a fully functioning Mac editing suite equipped with the full range of Adobe Creative Suite programmes such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Fireworks and Final Cut Pro to create their own fully realised media products.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Creative Digital Media Production
Exam Board: EDEXCEL
8 or more GCSEs at grades 9-4 including grade 5 in English and Mathematics.
This is a vocational course that aims to enhance the skills of learners through practical work underpinned by theoretical study. At Hammersmith Academy we follow the Television and Film pathway, which comprises of four mandatory units and six optional units. Examples of these include: Single Camera Techniques, Film Studies, Factual Programme Production Techniques for Television and Music Video Production. We aim to include a wide range of units across the course to allow learners to gain a deeper knowledge of the pathway and be able to go on to a Higher Education course with a dedicated skill set. The course is designed for those with a keen interest in Media and the course will be taught through a series of practical workshops and theory seminars. All the theoretical work undertaken on the course is there to underpin the practical work and the course makes clear links between the two. The course is equivalent one A Level and can be completed other A Levels however, similar subjects such as English, History and Sociology would complement the course well.
It’s a competitive world if you want to start a career in journalism, publishing, broadcasting, film production, design or advertising. But the good news is that Britain is a world-beater in this sector and that jobs in this sector continue to increase year-on-year (most recent government figures show a growth of 10.2% between 2011-2013). The high spec technical set up with our media facilities at HA means that students leave here with an excellent understanding and experience of industry standard technology. Our internal production company, HA Digital, also gives our graduating students a competitive advantage when applying for courses and work, with experience in producing content for external clients.
- Creative (for example, advertising copywriter, director, script writer producer, food photographer)
- Journalism/Editorial (for example, digital content manager, broadcast presenter, editorial director, PR executive)
- Production (for example, location manager, production manager, account manager)
- Post production (for example, film editor, SFX editor)
- On Set (for example, boom operator, wardrobe assistant, lighting technician)
Entry & Training
In the same way that you don’t need to study law at university in order to become a lawyer, many of the roles in the media sector don’t require you to have a media degree. However if it’s your passion, you can find any number of fascinating courses that will either focus on the technical, or the theoretical/cultural side of the subject.
Given the range of niche subjects within the sector, it’s difficult to summarise which universities have a great reputation for particular courses in media, journalism and related subjects such as broadcast engineering, but HA Media will be able to advise. Some that might be on the list include:
- Queen Mary
- King’s College London
The industry is making a concerted effort to increase diversity at the moment (and it needs to); one of the routes that has been identified is the provision of more apprenticeships and the BBC, Sky, ITV and News UK now offer excellent apprenticeships in a range of roles (a 2014 HA graduate is currently completing a broadcast engineering apprenticeship at Sky). Other smaller organisations may offer apprenticeship and traineeships too. Work experience is often crucial to get a job in the media and even with a degree behind you, many careers start at the bottom in entry level positions that involve learning on the job, for example as a runner in the television industry. HA has good contacts in the industry and has helped our students arrange work experience and paid internships in the past with a number of different local employers.