Tawa College Tawa College

NCEA Level 3 Media Studies 301

Course Description

Teacher in Charge:

Recommended Prior Learning

Preferred: at least 15 credits from Media Studies 201. Students with a strong interest in film/ documentary making/ print media/ media industries and a suitable number of credits from English results may be considered - please talk to the TIC of Media Studies.

Media Studies 301
The course aims to build on the skills developed in Level 2 Media Studies. Students will learn to critically analyse media texts through studies of media issues and investigations into elements of media language, new developments in the media, and representations in NZ media. The practical focus will be to produce a short film, documentary or mockumentary. The external examination will focus on a media industry. A key focus in Media Studies is student agency, with the teachers modelling the required skills and context and with you choosing topics and mediums (written, film, verbal/recorded, presentations) that you want, within the constraints of the criteria. 

Course Overview

Term 1
Embark on an exciting journey as we dive into the captivating world of coming-of-age films at the beginning of the year. This exploration will serve as a foundation for our creative endeavors, inspiring the projects we'll undertake throughout the course.

In this immersive program, students will have the opportunity to master the art of scriptwriting (3.8, 3 credits), a skill that holds immense value not only academically but also for University Entrance Literacy writing credits. Through individual work, students will craft their own compelling scripts, honing their storytelling abilities.

To further unleash their creativity, students will have the freedom to collaborate either individually, in pairs, or in groups of three. They will embark on the exciting task of planning a captivating short film, mockumentary, or documentary, all of which will be based on a carefully crafted brief (3.5, 4 credits).

As we progress through the term, students will bring their vision to life, with deadlines set for the completion of practice shots or a rough cut of their films. However, we understand that filmmaking may not be for everyone. Rest assured, alternative media projects can be negotiated with the teacher, as long as they adhere to the prescribed conventions and criteria. Planning these projects can be a mix of mediums, including slides, documents, voice notes, videos, images, and sketches, providing a dynamic and engaging experience and working to your communication strength.

Term 2
Prepare for an enriching experience as you explore issues in the media alongside your creative productions. This term, while immersed in your own projects, you will have the opportunity to delve into a cutting-edge media development (3.7, 3 credits).

As the term progresses, we will unlock the secrets of an external assessment (3.4, 4 credits, University Entrance Literacy writing credits) that promises to broaden your horizons. Our focus will be on the remarkable influence of post 9/11 American society in shaping the superhero film genre. Through insightful discussions and engaging study materials, you will gain a deep understanding of the powerful connections between society and cinema.

This will bring a Derived Grade Assessment, serving as a stepping stone towards the ultimate external exam in November. This gradual approach ensures ample time for comprehensive preparation and allows you to showcase your newfound knowledge and critical thinking skills with confidence.

This term blends creativity, analysis, and cultural exploration into a seamless tapestry of learning.

Term 3
In term 3, you may wish to embark on an optional standard which seamlessly blends theory and practice, this opportunity (3.2, 3 credits) and empowers you to explore a media text through the lens of two distinct theoretical perspectives, expanding your critical thinking skills and deepening your understanding of the media landscape.

Once you've completed your media product and Derived Grade Assessment, we shift our focus to the vibrant world of New Zealand media representations (3.3, 3 credits). Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of local narratives, exploring the diverse ways in which Aotearoa/ New Zealand society is portrayed and examining the underlying messages conveyed by various media platforms and how this impacts us as Kiwis.

This captivating exploration will pave the way for an exciting journey into the upcoming term, where you'll have the opportunity to showcase your newfound insights and perspectives. Together, we'll unravel the complexities of media representation, fostering a deeper appreciation for the role it plays in shaping our cultural identity.

Term 4
With an early deadline this term, you'll have ample time to delve deep into this New Zealand representations, uncovering the fascinating layers of media portrayal unique to our vibrant nation.

Following this exploration, we'll shift gears and prepare for the external assessment. This assessment offers you the flexibility to express your knowledge and insights either through handwritten or digital platforms. Moreover, success in this assessment not only brings you closer to your academic goals but also earns you valuable University Entrance writing credits, opening doors to a world of possibilities.

But that's not all! Throughout the year, we have thrilling excursions planned to further enrich our understanding of media. One such adventure will take us to Capital E, an immersive hub of creativity and inspiration. Additionally, keep an eye out for more exciting media trips on the horizon, offering you the opportunity to explore real-world applications of the concepts and theories we discuss in class.

For those seeking an extra challenge and recognition, you'll be thrilled to know that we offer Media Studies Scholarship sessions and exams. Opting into these sessions will allow you to push the boundaries of your knowledge, under the expert guidance of Ms. Neal. If you're eager to take your passion for media studies to the next level, Ms. Neal will provide you with all the information you need to embark on this.

Prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey filled with exploration, creativity, and personal growth. Let the world of media studies unlock new horizons and open doors to a world of limitless possibilities.

Learning Areas:


Career Pathways

Animator/Digital Artist, Sales Representative, Actor, Advertising Specialist, Sales and Marketing Manager, Art Director (Film, Television or Stage), Artist, Artistic Director, Film and Video Editor, Sound Technician, Tattoo Artist, Entertainer, Film/Television Camera Operator, Managing Director/Chief Executive, Journalist, Graphic Designer, Editor, Make-up Artist, Director (Film, Television, Radio or Stage), Radio Presenter, Media Producer, Game Developer, Kaiwhakaako Māori, Photographer, Private Teacher/Tutor, Production Manager, Secondary School Teacher, Television Presenter, Marketing Specialist

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

It would be valuable if students purchased their own 8GB SD card. There are no compulsory costs. It is beneficial for students to have access to their own digital camera. There may be one or two trips to investigate media industries in Wellington. It is anticipated we will take part in the “Censor for the Day” event run by the Classifications Authority.