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Media Studies

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11):

GCSE Media Studies offers pupils the opportunity to develop their wide media knowledge in an academic subject context. Pupils will be studying nineteen media products from across media platforms (radio, television, music, film, advertising, magazines, and newspapers, online and video games) which are prescribed by the exam board (like in magazines – AQA have chosen Reveal magazine). They will also gain an insight into media industries from advertising and magazines to music promotion and film. The subject gives pupils the opportunity to discuss and engage with issues in the media, which is one of the most influential and powerful aspects of our modern lives.

This new course supports pupils to develop their creative, analytical and research skills through opportunities to apply key media ideas e.g. through the close study products (adverts, music video) which serves as a starting point giving pupils the opportunity to explore media products that are engaging and relevant to them. The course is split 70% exam and 30% NEA (Non-Exam Assessment known as coursework).

The aims of the GCSE Media Studies course are to:

  • Develop a critical and thoughtful approach to the media
  • Develop practical and creative skills through creating media productions using ICT
  • Analyse media products and their various contexts

Skills required:

  • Written, analytical and communication skills are some of the most important skills you will need
  • Organisation and the ability to meet deadlines
  • A willingness to learn new skills, terms, theories and concepts
  • Consume media texts, both traditional, like newspapers, to new media like websites and vlogs

Why should I consider taking GCSE Media Studies?

  • Contains more relevant content for the world we live in today, creating a richer experience
  • Links to and compliments many other subjects
  • Unique combination of academic analysis, research and practical work
  • Develops skills you will need beyond school
  • Good preparation for media-based work or study post GCSE

Things to consider:

There is now a heavier weighting on exam with two exam papers worth 70%. Therefore significant written requirements will need to be developed for the exams.

Pupils must also consider their interest in learning new ICT (such as Photoshop/ Final Cut).

 Course outline – both areas are assessed by an external examiner:

  • Introducing media key concepts in preparation for the two media exams that focus on media texts questions. In Paper 1 there are two section, A and B, which focus on the four key areas of the theoretical framework: In section A -media language and representation questions on certain media texts and in Section B – industries and audience questions on different media texts (Paper 1).
  • In paper 2 they will be tested on all four key concepts when studying the close media products, in TV, newspapers online participatory and video games. They will also get extended essay exam questions which will focus on contexts of the media. (Paper 2)
  • NEA practical (30%): produce practical production provided by the exam board – advertising, music video or magazines, using Photoshop or Final Cut

Summary: There are two external exam papers worth 70% which are made up of multiple choices, short answer and extended response questions. A NEA (practical production) is worth the other 30% of your grade.

Further information:

Please see below links for further information on the Learning Journey within Media Studies:

Media Learning Journey Key Stage 4

Media Learning Journey Key Stage 5