The purpose of this unit is to assess candidates’ knowledge and understanding of media concepts, contexts and critical debates, through their understanding of one contemporary media issue and their ability to evaluate their own practical work in reflective and theoretical ways.
The examination is two hours. Candidates are required to answer two compulsory questions, on their own production work, and one question from a choice of six topic areas. The unit is marked out of a total of 100, with the two questions on production work marked out of 25 each, and the media theory question marked out of 50
There are two sections to this paper:
Section A: Theoretical Evaluation of Production (50 marks)
Section B: Contemporary Media Issues (50 marks)
Section A: Theoretical Evaluation of Production
Candidates answer two compulsory questions. The first requires them to describe and evaluate their skills development over the course of their production work, from Foundation Portfolio to Advanced Portfolio. The second asks them to identify one production and evaluate it in relation to one theoretical concept.
Question 1(a) requires candidates to describe and evaluate their skills development over the course of their production work, from Foundation Portfolio to Advanced Portfolio. The focus of this evaluation must be on skills development, and the question will require them to adapt this to one or two specific production practices. The list of practices to which questions will relate is as follows:
Research and planning
Using conventions from real media texts
In the examination, questions will be posed using one or two of these categories.
Where candidates have produced relevant work outside the context of their A Level media course, they are free to additionally refer to this experience.
Question 1(b) requires candidates to select one production and evaluate it in relation to a media concept. The list of concepts to which questions will relate is as follows:
In the examination, questions will be set using one of these concepts only.
In some circumstances, candidates will be expected to select the production that appears to relate most effectively to the specific concept that arises in the exam question. However, the requirement for candidates to evaluate one of their productions in relation to a concept does not assume that the concept will necessarily always fit easily and in an orthodox way. Thus in some cases candidates will be describing their productions in terms of them not relating straightforwardly to the concept. For example, a candidate producing three websites over their two portfolios might describe ways in which websites cannot be understood easily through applying conventional narrative theory. Whether the candidate applies the concept to the product or uses the production to challenge the concept, it is essential that candidates are sufficiently knowledgeable about the concept for either approach. Candidates may choose to write about work undertaken at AS or A2, main task or preliminary/ancillary.