This course is equivalent to two full A Levels and requires real commitment. Whilst mass media forms a major part of everyone’s life, the variety of jobs where media skills and knowledge are needed is expanding greatly and this is reflected in the growing number of media-related degree courses at university level, many of which have a strong vocational focus.
This BTEC aims to prepare students for this world by teaching professional practices in a vocational context.
Summary of course content
This course is designed to give learners a technical understanding of film and television production. Learners gain knowledge and skills in areas such as single and multi-camera techniques, lighting, and sound recording and editing to produce practical film and television projects.
Equivalent in size to two A Levels, this course consists of 10 units of which four are mandatory and two are external. Mandatory content comprises 50% of the final grade and external counts for 33%.
• Digital media skills
• Media enterprise
• Responding to a commission
• Film production
• Script writing
• Single camera techniques
• Film editing
• Stop frame animation
• Sound editing
• Sound recording
The new courses are being modified but the biggest change will be the introduction of a mandatory externally assessed unit: digital media skills and responding to a commission.
How the course differs from GCSE
Whilst GCSE media provides a general introductory study of media forms and techniques across television, radio and print media, the BTEC focusses particularly on moving image, allowing for the study of a range of different genres, including drama, documentary and animation. There are also added opportunities to produce radio drama and develop script-writing techniques.
Photoshop is now a key skill in many media industries, and there is a specific unit that now assesses digital graphics in recognition of this.
Vocational skills relevant to media workers are developed, with particular importance given to research skills, organisational skills, writing and creative digital techniques across a range of professional software and equipment.
Above all, team working and leadership skills are given space to develop across a range of increasingly complex assignments.
Where the course leads
Media-related employment is one of the fastest growing areas, particularly in Dorset, where the Regional Development Agency recognises it as key to the region’s economic future (most large firms now have PR managers who are media trained). The main route into media jobs is through university and this BTEC is fully recognised by UCAS as equivalent to 2 A Levels.
Special entry requirements
Students require 5 GCSE grade 4 passes or above, including a grade 4 in English. In addition, because of the heavy coursework requirements and deadlines, it is important that any student applying should have a good track record of meeting coursework deadlines at GCSE. Finally, a real commitment to creative media work is necessary. Students progressing from the Level 2 First Award in Media will need to achieve a distinction grade.