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Time Allocation: Media Studies is a GCSE option; therefore, during KS4, 2 hrs per week are allocated to its study.

Exam Board: AQA

Course Content: GCSE Media Studies is an interesting, challenging and creative course that attracts an increasingly large number of students every year. It offers rigorous but accessible learning on a subject of key importance for young people’s understanding of the world they experience. The course will enable students to develop media literacy through an exploration of contemporary media products, including advertisements, films, TV programmes, newspapers, magazines, and websites. These will be studied focusing on the key conceptual areas of: forms and conventions, audiences, institutions, genre and representation.

In Year 9, students will be introduced to the main themes involved in Media Studies, including media analysis and media production. This year helps students to build up the skills and competencies necessary to access GCSE level material in this subject. A summary outline of the course is as follows:


Year 9

Year 10

Year 11


Topic: Introduction to the Key concepts


Areas of study:

- Institutions

- Representation

- Audience

- Media Language

- Genre


Production Task:

  • Produce an presentation for a new drink product
  • Recreate an existing music video

Unit 2, Assignment 1: Introduction to the Media (Advertising & Marketing)


Analytical Task: Analyse two television or print advertisements. How effective are they in selling their products?


Research and Planning Task: Design your own advertisement for a product targeted at a specific audience.

Unit 2, Assignment 3: Practical Production & Evaluation (Moving Image)


Research and Planning Task:

Carry out research into existing products and their potential audience (annotated analyses of existing texts, charts, surveys or questionnaires). Submit evidence of planning (briefs, sketches, scripts, storyboards, mock-ups, drafts, contact sheets).


Topic: Film/Advertising and Marketing


Areas of study:

- Marketing

- Advertising

- Cross-media advertising & marketing

- Public relations

- Online advertising & marketing


Production Task:

  • Produce an opening sequence for a feature film aimed at a specific audience.
  • Produce a film poster and DVD for your opening sequence.

Unit 2, Assignment 2: Cross-Media Study (Promotion of Music)


Analytical Task: Explore the way in which one band or artist is represented and promoted across two different media platforms.


Unit 2, Assignment 3: Practical Production & Evaluation (Moving Image)


Group Production Task: Produce a trailer or an opening sequence for a feature film aimed at a specific audience.




Topic: Advertising/ News and Magazines



Areas of study:

- Newspapers

- The selection process

- Categorising & analysing magazines

- Magazine audiences - values & lifestyles

- Online news/magazines

- Publishing houses


Production Task:

  • Produce three pages for a magazine or newspaper aimed at a specific audience.
  • Produce an advertising campaign consisting of three print advertisements.

Unit 2, Assignment 2: Cross-Media Study (Promotion of Music)


Research and Planning Task: Present your ideas for promoting a band or artist across two different media platforms.

Unit 1: Investigating the Media


The topic for external assessment will change each year. The external assessment will take the form of unseen tasks based on the media topic and exemplified in the pre-released stimulus materials.

Formative Assessment:

Students will be assessed throughout the course. This may take the form of written assessments or the monitoring of coursework progress. Homework will also be set once a week. This may include preparation for coursework tasks, research or answering exam-style questions.

Summative Assessment:

There are two elements to the final assessment of this course:

Unit 1 (40%): Investigating the Media. A 1 ½ hour exam based on pre-released case-study stimulus material (the exam topic is changed annually). This assessment will take place at the end of Year 11.

Unit 2 (60%): Understanding the Media. A Controlled Assessment coursework project consisting of 3 Assignments:

Assignment 1: Introduction the Media; Assignment 2: Cross-Media Study; Assignment 3. Practical Production and Evaluation. This assessment will take place in during Years 10 and Year 11 (see course outline above).


Why you should consider studying Media Studies:

The subject will give you the opportunity to develop a range of multidisciplinary skills:

  • Ability to communicate clearly through good written English (including the ability to apply subject specific terminology).
  • Ability to analyse media texts, using textual evidence to support points.
  • Ability to create media products, using practical media equipment and ICT

What skills profile a GCSE Media Studies student should have:

You should consider studying Media if you have developed skills in:

  • Communicating clearly through good written English
  • Analysing and backing up ideas with textual evidence
  • Using media related ICT to create your own practical work

What opportunities will a GCSE in Media Studies lead to:

The skills in analysis, communicating, and using ICT that students will develop are transferable to a wide variety of different professions. There are numerous career paths one can follow as a result of studying Media, including: advertising, journalism, DTP, film/TV production, web design and graphic design. The GCSE course offers a solid foundation, upon which students can build with more specialised study of media in further and higher education. 

Famous Media professionals include: Mark Zuckerberg, Danny Boyle, Simon Cowell, Nick Robinson, Rupert Murdoch.

For more information, contact Ms Akindayini.