Level 2 Media Studies

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mr D. Hanson

Recommended Prior Learning

Recommended prior learning: Level 1 Media Studies, but not compulsory.

This course is suited to students who are creative, who enjoy watching and analysing films as well as engaging with other media.  If you like writing, design, photography or making films and like to analyse what you see in the media, you will also enjoy this subject.

Media Studies is a blend of theory and production. During this course you will design and create your own media product ( either a printed article or a short film ) You will also study the science fiction genre and analyse how different groups are represented in the media.

This course will develop both your critical thinking skills and media production skills.

Course Overview

Term 1
The Hero’s Journey in Film
AS 91249 Demonstrate understanding of narrative in media texts
Internal Standard, 3 credits.

Assessment by essay/report or video/presentation.

This standard requires that you demonstrate understanding of how selected narrative features contribute to narrative in media texts. Narrative, in this context, means the way story or character is developed over the course of the film or television programme.

There are some key elements such as film structure and visual techniques that help the story to move forward or to help characters change. To achieve at Merit students need to demonstrate in-depth understanding of how selected narrative features contribute to narrative in media texts. Excellence requires students to demonstrate critical understanding of the implications of the contribution of selected narrative features to narrative in media texts.

In this study of narrative we will look at what techniques the filmmakers use to drive the narrative.

Narrative features that contribute to the narrative may relate to:
• mise en scène
• Visual elements
• Character
• Conflict or opposition
• Narrative perspective
• Symbols, motifs, or themes
• Sound
• setting
• Manipulation of time
• Narrative structure.

Time will be spent looking at these features and considering what effect they have on the story and on character development.

Focus of the standard?
Students examine two media texts to demonstrate understanding of how two narrative features are used to further the narrative in those media texts.

Term 2
Representation in the Media
AS 91250 Demonstrate understanding of representation in the media
(Internal Standard, 3 Credits)

Assessment: report or presentation.

Demonstrate understanding involves describing the representation and its effect.
This includes describing:
- what the representation is
- how features of the media texts create the representation
- the effect of the media representation

Representation means the way a group, issue, idea, event, or place is represented in
the media. A representation communicates messages and values that have social
significance. These reflect world views, ideologies, societal assumptions, and

Term 3
Film Production: Short Film
AS 91253 2.6 Complete a developed media product from a design and plan using a range of conventions.
(Internal Standard, 6 credits)

This standard requires you to complete a media product which:
• uses some key conventions of the intended media product
• shows some control of production technology
• reflects the details of the design and plan
• has some appeal to its target audience.

In level 2 you will create a 3-5-minute short film shown at a public showcase of student work later on in the year (Briefs Film Festival). To achieve well a student needs to make well considered design choices and to be creative in their storytelling and use of the camera.

They should incorporate key conventions of the intended media product to create an effective media product that has a clear, sustained focus and shows consistent, precise control of production technology. The piece needs to be effective and appeal to the audience. It must engage and capture attention.

Students will create a design and plan in which to complete their film. A design and plan includes a concept, treatment and pre-production activities that:
• contain design choices that meet the requirements of a given brief
• incorporate a range of key features of the media product
• identify the practicalities that will enable the completion of a media product
• identify milestone dates and resources required to complete pre-production activities
• demonstrate evidence of reflection and reworking of ideas.

The design and plan phase is vital as it helps make creative decisions before a student starts filming.

What is the focus of the standard?
This standard teaches film making techniques and allows the students to put the theory into practice. All stages of the production are scaffolded and monitored to ensure that students are making well considered and creative choices.

Term 4
Horror Genre
AS 91251 2.4 Demonstrate an understanding of a media genre
External standard 3 credits – this will be assessed in an exam (essay) at the end of the year. You will have a chance to practice this standard in the school exams in Term 3 (August).

This standard allows you to demonstrate your understanding of an aspect of a specific media genre using supporting evidence. In level 2 we study the horror genre. In particular we look at how the genre has changed in terms of the characters and the source of fear.

What is the focus of this standard?
This standard looks at what the genre is and how it has changed and developed over time. Students will explore how changing social morals and feelings can change the content and subject matter of the films.
• Changes in the genre (e.g. development of sub-genre, changes in the use of features)

What is the assessment?
The assessment for this standard is in the final year exams in November. In the exam you will be asked to choose from a range of statements and you will need to write a single essay.

How can I get Excellence?
Students who have achieved this standard with excellence tend to develop a concise discussion that examines the wider implications of the aspect on the genre and the audience/society. They can demonstrate critical understanding of the significance of the aspect and coherently weave evidence into their answer, often including and examining how the aspect reflects relevant media theory. They have provided insight into the complexities of an audience’s response and expectations or commercial considerations of change in a media genre and have critically examined and appreciated the complex causes for success or failure within a genre.

Learning Areas:

English, Media Studies


Level 3 Media Studies

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

Approximate cost is $380 for the optional, 3 day Wellington trip.