One question to be answered from a choice of six topic areas offered by OCR. There will be two questions from each topic area.
The topic areas require understanding of contemporary media texts, industries, audiences and debates.
Candidates must choose one of the following topic areas, in advance of the examination and, through specific case studies, texts, debates and research of the candidates’ choice, prepare to demonstrate understanding of the contemporary issue. This understanding must combine knowledge of at least two media and a range of texts, industries, audiences and debates, but these are to be selected by the centre / candidate. The assessment of the response will be generic, allowing for the broadest possible range of responses within the topic area chosen. Each topic is accompanied by four prompt questions, and candidates must be prepared to answer an exam question that relates to one or more of these four prompts. There should be emphasis on the historical, the contemporary and the future in relation to the chosen topic, with most attention on the present. Centres are thus advised to ensure that study materials for this unit are up to date and relevant. Candidates may choose to focus on one of the following contemporary media issues:
- Contemporary Media Regulation
- Global Media
- Media and Collective Identity
- Media in the Online Age
How have online media developed?
What has been the impact of the internet on media production?
How is consumer behaviour and audience response transformed by online media, in relation to the past?
To what extent has convergence transformed the media?
Candidates might explore combinations of any two media, considering how each (or the two in converged forms) can be analysed from the above prompts. Examples might be music downloading and distribution, the film industry and the internet, online television, online gaming, online news provision, various forms of online media production by the public or a range of other online media forms.
In order to be fully prepared for the specific requirements of the question, the material studied by candidates must cover these three elements:
Historical – dependent on the requirements of the topic, candidates must summarise the development of the media forms in question in theoretical contexts.
Contemporary – current issues within the topic area.
Future – candidates must demonstrate personal engagement with debates about the future of the media forms / issues that the topic relates to.
In order to preserve the flexibility and freedom for candidates / centres to tailor the topics to their own preferences / interests, the list of examples offered above should be taken as a starting point but certainly not as a prescribed set of content. However, centres should approach a topic with the following general guidance in mind. Credit will be given for work which can be adapted to the specific requirements of the question.
Here is a copy of the Exam Board Scheme of Work :