OCR – AS Media Studies

The Exam

The examination is 2 hours (including 30 minutes for viewing and making notes on the moving image extract) and candidates are required to answer 2 compulsory questions. The unit is marked out of a total of 100, with each question marked out of 50.

There are 2 sections to this paper:
Section A: Textual Analysis and Representation (50 marks)
Section B: Institutions and Audiences (50 marks)

Section A: TV Drama

You will be asked to answer a question on how one social group is represented in the extract through camerawork, editing, sound, and mise-en-scene. The question will specify which social group to focus on from one of the following:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexuality
  • Ethnicity
  • Social class and status
  • Regional identity
  • Disability/ability

You demonstrate textual analysis of all of the following technical areas of moving image language and conventions in relation to the unseen extract:

  • Camera Angle, Shot, Movement and Composition
  • Mise-en-Scène
  • Editing
  • Sound

The focus of study for Section A is the use of technical aspects of the moving image medium to create meaning for an audience, focussing on the creation of representations of specific social types, groups, events or places within the extract.

The unseen moving image extract will be 4 to 5 minutes long for 4 times and will be from the following genre:

TV Drama 
The sequence will be taken from a contemporary one-off drama or series or serial drama programme scheduled on British television stations including some sourced from other countries. There will be viewing and note-making time for Section A.

Candidates are allowed to read the question before the extract is screened. They should then watch the moving image extract, without making notes, for the 1st screening. They should then make notes for the 3 subsequent screenings.

Section B: Audience & Institutions

This unit should be approached through contemporary examples in the form of case studies based upon one of the specified media areas. The Exam Board will select 1 concept to devise a question for the exam.

Candidates should be prepared to understand and discuss the processes of production, distribution, marketing and exchange as they relate to contemporary media institutions, as well as the nature of audience consumption and the relationships between audiences and institutions. In addition, candidates should be familiar with:

  • the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;
  • the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing;
  • the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange;
  • the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences;
  • the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;
  • the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions;
  • the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour.


A study of a specific studio or production company within a contemporary film industry that targets a British audience (eg Hollywood, Bollywood, UK film), including its patterns of production, distribution, exhibition and consumption by audiences. This should be accompanied by study of contemporary film distribution practices (digital cinemas, DVD, HD-DVD, downloads, etc) and their impact upon production, marketing and consumption.





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