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Media studies and external qualifications

At the time of publication, achievement standards were in development to align them with The New Zealand Curriculum. Please ensure that you are using the correct version of the standards by going to the NZQA website.

Aligned level 1 achievement standards were registered for use in 2011 and level 2 for use in 2012; level 3 were registered for use in 2013

NCEA achievement standards

These standards are designed for use in a media studies programme or in other integrated or subject programmes of work at years 12 or 13. Most of the standards can be used to assess learning in a local context.

Guidance on NCEA achievement standards:

Level 1

Literacy requirements in media studies at level 1

In 2011, six level 1 media studies standards meet the criteria for level 1 literacy, and one of these also meets the requirements for level 1 numeracy. Media studies teachers will need to give special attention to deliberately teaching academic reading and writing skills. These skills include acquiring vocabulary particular to the subject of media studies and developing an understanding of the demands of particular writing genres for media, such as arguments, instructional texts, and explanations.

AS90989 Media studies 1.1 Demonstrate understanding of how individuals interact with the media; Internal, 3 credits.

This standard is intended to meet level 1 numeracy and literacy requirements. It can be used for assessing learning against LO 6.1.

AS90990 Media studies 1.2 Demonstrate understanding of selected elements of media text(s); Internal, 3 credits.

This standard is intended to meet level 1 literacy requirements. It can be used for assessing learning against LO 6.2.

AS90991 Media studies 1.3 Demonstrate understanding of the media coverage of a current issue or event; External, 4 credits.

This standard is intended to meet level 1 literacy requirements. It can be used for assessing learning against LO 6.1 and LO 6.2.

This standard might be integrated with assessment for AS90989 Media studies 1.1 Demonstrate understanding of how individuals interact with the media, Internal, 3 credits; and AS90990 Media studies 1.2 Demonstrate understanding of selected elements of media text(s), Internal, 3 credits.

AS90992 Media studies 1.4 Demonstrate understanding of characteristics of a media genre; External, 4 credits.

This standard is intended to meet level 1 literacy requirements. It can be used for assessing learning against LO6.2 and LO 6.3.

AS90993 Media studies 1.5 Produce a design and plan for a media product using a specified range of conventions; Internal, 3 credits.

This standard can be used for assessing learning against LO 6.2 and LO 6.3.

AS90994 Media studies 1.6 Complete a media product from a design and plan using a specified range of conventions; Internal, 6 credits.

This standard can be used for assessing learning against LO 6.2 and LO 6.3.

AS90995 Media studies 1.7 Demonstrate understanding of rules that govern the media in New Zealand; Internal, 3 credits.

This standard is intended to meet level 1 literacy requirements. It can be used for assessing learning against LO 6.1.

AS90996 Media studies 1.8 Write media texts for a specific target audience; Internal, 3 credits.

This standard is intended to meet level 1 literacy requirements. It can be used for assessing learning against LO 6.2.

Level 2

AS91248 Media studies 2.1 Demonstrate understanding of the relationship between a media product and its audience; External, 3 credits.

This standard can be used for assessing learning against LO 7.1, LO 7.2, and LO 7.3.

AS91249 Media studies 2.2 Demonstrate understanding of narrative in media texts; Internal, 4 credits.

This standard can be used for assessing learning against LO 7.2.

AS91250 Media studies 2.3 Demonstrate understanding of representation in the media. Internal, 3 credits.

This standard can be used for assessing learning against LO 7.1 and LO 7.2.

AS91251 Media studies 2.4 Demonstrate understanding of an aspect of a media genre; External, 4 credits.

This standard can be used for assessing learning against LO 7.1, LO 7.2, and LO 7.3.

AS91252 Media studies 2.5 Produce a design and plan for a developed media product, using a range of conventions; Internal, 4 credits.

This standard can be used for assessing learning against LO 7.1 and LO 7.3.

AS91253 Media studies 2.6 Complete a developed media product from a design and plan using a range of conventions; Internal, 6 credits.

This standard can be used for assessing learning against LO 7.2 and LO 7.3.

AS91254 Media studies 2.7 Demonstrate understanding of an ethical issue in the media; Internal, 3 credits.

This standard can be used for assessing learning against LO 7.1 and LO 7.2.

AS91255 Media studies 2.8 Write developed media text for a specific target audience; Internal, 3 credits.

Level 3

  • AS91490 Media studies 3.1 Demonstrate understanding of an aspect of a media industry; External, 4 credits.
  • AS91491 Media studies 3.2 Demonstrate understanding of the meaning of a media text through different readings; Internal, 3 credits.
  • AS91492 Media studies 3.3 Demonstrate understanding of the media representation of an aspect of New Zealand culture or society; Internal, 3 credits.
  • AS91493 Media studies 3.4 Demonstrate understanding of a relationship between a media genre and society; External, 4 credits.
  • AS91494 Media studies 3.5 Produce a design for a media product that meets the requirements of a brief; Internal, 4 credits.
  • AS91495 Media studies 3.6 Produce a media product to meet the requirements of a brief; Internal, 6 credits.
  • AS91496 Media studies 3.7 Demonstrate understanding of a significant development in the media; Internal, 3 credits.
  • AS91497 Media studies 3.8 Write a media text to meet the requirements of a brief; Internal, 3 credits.

Structuring a media studies scholarship programme

  • Students may sit a university paper extramurally or locally through STAR (the Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource).
  • They might participate in a Scholarship wiki or a shared class with other students locally or nationally.
  • Regions could consider running seminars and tutorials regularly for Scholarship students across a number of schools.
  • A scholarship student’s blog could be networked so that scholarship students can provide peer feedback and engage in discussion alongside comment from teachers.
  • An online forum could be used to host discussion on particular or ongoing topics.
  • Guest speakers could be invited at regular intervals to address a group of students from a number of schools.
  • A local or national essay writing competition around media trends or issues might provide a forum for students to further their writing skills in a meaningful context.

The scholarship performance standards and assessment specifications are located at  New Zealand Scholarship subjects.

Using local contexts for internal assessments

Several schools report students achieving higher levels of success in NCEA achievement standards when the focus has been on issues in local contexts. This means that teachers take into account a range of factors, such as the culture, gender, literacy needs, and specific learning differences and styles, when they choose texts or assessment contexts for their students. This may mean that teachers need to change assessment contexts or texts each year. For example, the horror genre may not be an appropriate choice for a class, or local issues might provide rich ground for exploration.

Learning contexts for media studies and other programme suggestions are covered in the section Learning programme design.

Last updated March 23, 2018



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