Media Studies

Students live in a media-saturated world. They have an accumulation of differing media that is designed to affect them in some way. From video clips on their phones, to TV ads to blockbuster movies, to posters at the bus stop, to the music in their headphones, they are surrounded by media messages for most of their waking hours. Media Studies teaches students to begin to analyse and make sense of them all. Students develop and understanding of what the media is trying to communicate — both on an obvious and a less obvious level. They can then demonstrate an analysis on how they know how much they have been influenced -consciously or subconsciously - by these media messages.Students discuss the idea of whether media reflects reality, or controls the way people view it. Students then use this to create their own media messages and identify how and why they wish to influence a certain audience/consumer/demographic.

Media Studies helps students to develop an important set of skills that will help them navigate the rest of their education and then, their working lives. Media Studies will also help increase students’ knowledge and understanding of: literacy, communication, design, planning, presentation evaluation, creativity, critical thinking, research, narrative structure, technology, politics, business, gender stereotyping, geography and demographics, history, psychology, culture and citizenship, as well as several other areas.

The Media Studies GCSE course consists of an external examination (40%) and controlled assessments (60%) of both the traditional media (such as radio, newspapers and television) and the newer media (such as the internet and electronic games). Students will also be graded on their use of spelling, grammar and punctuation!

Throughout the course, students work on a variety of tasks and in various peer pairings/groupings. This enhances their knowledge and clearly supports any independent work. Students also have the opportunities to work in ‘real life’ situations to offer more depth and understanding about careers in Media.

During their studies in Media students develop a key understanding of codes and conventions demonstrated by different types of media. They also analyse how culture, belief, gender, socio-demographic, psycho-demographic, sexuality, race etc. are explored and represented in different types of media, for example, bias and opinion demonstrated on television, or representation within advertising.

Students enjoy and excel in Media Studies, as they develop an ownership (through choice of assignments) of their course. They have the opportunity to adapt to differing challenges and set themselves key targets. This course is supportive of future studies and careers.

Year 9 Students

Our current Year 9 students are studying a different curriculum to the current curriculum being studied by our Year 10 and Year 11 students. The syllabus will be finalised in September, but in its current draft form the Year 9 Media GCSE (9-1) will follow the following assessment format:

  • 70% Examination
    • Paper 1 - 35%
      • Theoretical framework: Industries, Audiences and Representation
    • Paper 2 - 35%
      • The contexts of Media
  • 30% Practical Non-Exam Assessment
    • Media Project (as yet unspecified)

Assessment Without Levels

The following document highlights the skills required to meet each grade using our new Assessment Without Levels system.

Media Studies - Assessment Without Levels

Curriculum Content and Skills

Year/Term

Name of Module/Unit


Year 10



Autumn 1 Assignment 1 - Introduction to the media - Print - Magazine covers
Autumn 2 Assignment 1 - Introduction to the media - packaging of DVDs

Spring 1 BBC School Report and introduction to television and film
Spring 2 Assignment 2 - Cross media study - Students’ own choice from bank
Summer 1 Assignment 2 - Cross media study - Students’ own choice from bank
Summer 2 Preparation for Assignment 3 - Practical production and evaluation - Students’ own choice from bank

Year 11

Autumn 1 Redraft - Assignment 1 and 2 then begin Assignment 3
Autumn 2 Assignment 3
Spring 1 Redraft assignment 3/Exam preparation (topic changes annually)
Spring 2 Exam Preparation
Summer 1 Exam Preparation
Summer 2 Exam 
Media Studies Staff

Mrs J. Vernon-Tinsley Head of Department / Head of Careers and Enterprise / Teacher of Art

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