The course has four units. At AS these are MEST 1 and MEST 2. At A2 these are MEST 3 and MEST 4.
MEST 1 is an exam that pupils will sit in May. Section A of the exam is an unseen stimulus which candidates are expected to analyse using the four main media concepts. Section B is a choice of essay style questions. These are based on a case study that candidates construct throughout the year. This case study is based on one of several available topics; Film and Broadcast Fiction, Current Affairs etc…which candidates need to have researched across the three main media platforms of broadcast, e-media and print.
This is coursework where candidates are given a choice of brief. They must research and produce two out of three media texts and evaluate their work. These texts must cover two of the following three media platforms; e-media, broadcast and print.
This is an exam unit where candidates are asked to study two separate topics. They will then use these topics to address two unseen stimulus texts in Section A of the exam and then write an essay style answer from a choice of questions in Section B of the exam.
This is a further coursework module. Candidates are to produce an essay around a current media issue or topic and to exemplify their issue by creating a media text to illustrate their points.
As well as regular homework internal tests take place roughly every half-term in line with Year 12 and 13 Assessment Points.
GCSE Media Studies
Unit 1: Investigating the Media
This is the externally examined unit. The exam is each June and AQA change the topic for examination each Year. Pupils will study the topic set in the lead up to the exam.
Previous/Current Exam Topics:
June 2011: Action and Adventure Films
June 2012: TV Crime Fiction
June 2013: Music Press
Four weeks before the exam takes place, AQA release a brief that allows the candidates to prepare for a range of tasks that will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topic as well as give them a chance to pitch their own ideas as well as analyse their own work.
Unit 2: Understanding the Media
This unit comprises of the three Controlled Assessments. For each of the three assessments AQA provide a bank of tasks that we can choose. These Assessment Banks allow pupils to study the main Media Concepts of Institution, Audience, Representation and Forms and Conventions.