Mr C Foxall BA (Hons)
Head of Media Studies
Why study media? What’s the point? What will I gain? These questions are often directed to us. To a media analyst it’s similar to asking, ‘Why should I be interested in my world?’ Media Studies is about understanding how our world is constructed and how we are encouraged to perceive it. If you understand how the media works, you understand how the world works.
We should also point out that Media Studies is not a celebration of the media. We teach young people to stand back, reflect and deconstruct their media saturated world. In fact, to call it ‘Media Studies’ is quite misleading. Yes, we use media texts but it’s much more than that. It’s essentially a cultural anthropology course. We live in a world where media is omnipresent. The largest and most powerful corporations are media industries – we need to acknowledge that many Colfe’s pupils will work in this field.
We therefore prepare them with ‘real life’ learning and practical skills, which make them desirable to institutions of higher education and employers. Media Studies involves pupils making their own films, writing their own newspapers, setting up their own websites, creating their own music videos and cross media campaigns. It’s extremely hands-on; pupils interact with modern technology in lots of ways, using the latest IT programmes and video and sound editing software.
We offer GCSE Eduqas Media Studies as an option in Year 10. In Sixth Form we offer two courses: the Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma in Creative Digital Media Production and Media Studies A-level. Both courses offer our students the best opportunity to put theory into practice, whilst developing their creative skills and soft skills – essential if you wish to thrive in the workplace.
Finally, let’s dispel a common myth – Media Studies isn’t easy. It isn’t soft and it isn’t a ‘Mickey Mouse’ subject. Nevertheless, we might use Disney to explore issues of media imperialism, Marxists’ approaches to hegemony and the concept of liberal pluralism in a capitalist society. The study of media is a lot more than you may think.
A-level course details: