Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Media Studies: Hated by Tories...

This past week, the Conservative party have come out saying that, if they were to get in power, they would propose a 'shake-up' of the schools league tables. They want to give different amounts of points (they diplomatically call them 'credits') to certain subjects, such as maths, chemistry and physics, and less to ;softer' subjects such as media studies. This, because some subjects are more academically challenged than others and, presumingly, other subjects are just easy to pass.


Have these guys actually taken these qualifications so they can decide these things? As a recent A-level student who took both Maths and Media Studies I really disagree that one be valued above the other. I worked hard on both of them and got the same grade for both, neither I found harder than the other. As a current Media student also, I hate when Media Studies and affiliated subjects are shown out as the subject that it easy and anyone can pass: it's much harder than people think, I think. The BBC have made a quiz on media studies, have a go to see some things that I think only a media student would know about.

What we need to look at is not how academic a subject is but what purpose it has. There is no need to put one above the other, a-levels are designed to be at a similar standard for what they're there for. The Tories say they want to folow the best universities (Oxford, Cambridge, LSE) who will not take a-levels such as media studies. Fair enough, if you're applying to a 'top' university like Oxford, you should be taking subjects at A-level which correlate with your chosen university course/career.

The Tories' idea to put subjects like maths and physics at a higher value than other like media studies is too elitist for my liking. A much better idea, I think, is to split A-levels into categories: 'academic' could be one to fit maths into while art or music could fit into 'creative' and media or journalism into 'vocational' which in turn could be in other categories. Then, you want to apply to the London School of Economics, you would need to take the A-levels which that uni want. Similarly, an A-level in maths wouldn't necessarily be useful towards a Fine Art degree and may not be counted either.

I may be biased but lay off the media studies please! If it wasn't for people learning about the media, the Tories would never have been able to slate them in the first place...