ASHS Coursebook: 3MED (Level 3 Media Studies)

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Information icon.svg 3MED
NCEA Level:
Primary Qualification:
Primary Learning Area:

What is this course about?

'The media are everywhere. They feed us fact and fantasy, ideas and information, sign and symbol, truth and lies. Their influence is profound.' (Victoria University Career View)

So much of what we 'know' about the world comes to us through the media that it is vital we understand what lies behind the making and marketing of media products, and the ownership and control of the media industries that deliver them to us.

Media technologies are developing so rapidly (consider, for example, the short time the internet has existed, the speed at which it continues to develop, and the influence it has) that they outstrip attempts to control them. Technological developments mean that many of us are now also media producers and broadcasters through the internet and cellphones.

Because the media are such a large part of our lives, Media Studies is an authentic and relevant course of study which builds on the knowledge students already have.

What will I learn?

A basic focus of any media course is the development of close reading skills for media texts. The alternative ways in which a text can be read and the reasons for this will be one aspect of this course. Another will be the examination of a specific development in the media and its impact on media. There will be an in-depth study of one specific media genre and its relationship with society, and students will design and create a media product (a 4-6 minute film). Developing a vocabulary of appropriate media terminology and using this effectively will be a focus, as will independently keeping up with developments and issues in the media and discussing these in groups and with the class.

What sorts of things will I do?

You will be involved in a variety of learning activites in both group and individual situations. Some areas of study will involve research and you will be expected to independently build your knowledge through reading around the areas of study and practising close-reading skills in your own viewing. You will also need to keep up with issues and developments in the media throughout the year. This is especially essential for those students who are entering the Media Scholarship examination. You will be expected to contribute to class and group discussions and use this opportunity to clarify your ideas and explore other possibilities. We will invite media practitioners in when appropriate and take advantage of involvement in the media when we can. In 2013 for example, students won the 48Hours Schools Film Competition and one student, Lucy Timmins, won the Best Female Director.

What standards can I enter?

Summary of standards:
NCEA Level: Standard Number: Name of standard: Version Number: Credits: UE Literacy Reading: UE Literacy Writing: UE Numeracy: Assessment:
3 AS91491 3.2 Demonstrate understanding of a media text through different readings
3 N N N Internal
3 AS91493 3.4 Demonstrate understanding of a relationship between a media genre and society 2 4 Y Y N External
3 AS91494 3.5 Produce a design for a media product that meets the requirements of a brief 2 4 N N N Internal
3 AS91495 3.6 Produce a media product to meet the requirements of a brief
2 6 N N N Internal
3 AS91496 3.7 Demonstrate understanding of a significant development int he media 2 3 N N N Internal

Total available credits: 20

Key Dates/Assessments:

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4

3.5 Design short film

(due mid March)

3.6 Produce short film

(due late May)

3.7 Significant development in the media

(due mid July)

 3.2 Different readings of a text

(due mid September)

3.4 Revision for Genre and Society (External in November)

Scholarship opportunities

Scholarship for Media Studies is a separate 3-hour examination during the examination period at the end of the year. The level 3 course covers the core information you will need but, to do well, you must supplement this with your own reading and independent learning. Scholarship rewards depth and breadth of knowledge and confident expression. Discussion groups will run during the year to support Scholarship students and you will need to submit practice essays to prepare for this examination. There are worthwhile financial rewards for those who reach the required level in the examination. 

Vocational Pathways

Vocational Pathways provide a framework for students to show how their learning and achievement is valued in the workplace by aligning learning to the skills needed for industry.  

Follow this link to see the profiles for this course:

Assessment Calendar

Link to Year 13 Assessment Calendar

Frequently asked questions:

Do I need to have taken Media Studies before? 

No, you do not. You can pick this subject up in Level 3 but need to understand that you will need to be prepared to work to build your knowledge and skills.  A good level of English skills is important, however, since much of the assessment, the final examination, and Scholarship, should you decide to do this, require written responses.

Where does Media Studies go from here?

Media Studies continues on into universities and other tertiary institutions. Courses can be theoretical, practical or mixture of both.

How is this learning related to future pathways?

A knowledge of media is increasingly important for a wide range of careers. Those directly associated with media include advertising, broadcasting, journalism, scriptwriting, copy-writing, film and television production, web design, sound, light and camera engineers and operators, roles in the music industry and media law.

Knowledge of media processes and industries is also valuable in a wide range of other careers - some examples include public relations, event management, company management, the hospitality industry, tourism, marketing and research.

Is Media Studies a University Entrance approved subject at Level 3?

Yes, Media Studies is U.E. approved.

How do I obtain a Subject Endorsement in Media Studies?

To obtain a Subject Endorsement in Media Studies, you must achieve 14 credits at Merit or Excellence from both internals and the external.

Are there costs associated with this course?

Class trips may incur charges for transport and entry fees.