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Media Studies

Head of Department:  Mrs K Calvert

Teachers:  Mrs Fernandez

Technicians:  Mr Fiveash

The Media Studies department currently offers AQA GCSE and AQA A level Media Studies courses. Media Studies as an academic subject encompasses texts from television, online, social and participatory media, and print media including advertising and magazines. The aim of the subject is to be able to critically consider the media that saturates modern life – both old and new. Students learn to analyse a wide range of texts looking at audio visual and written language, and are encouraged to develop their own opinions on how the media represents the world. These skills are then brought together in their own production work.

The Media Studies department is consistently very successful at both GCSE and A level. The course is delivered in two computer suites, and students have access to equipment and digital video editing facilities such as the Adobe Creative Cloud suite (including Premiere Pro and Photoshop). We also have a dedicated technician who supports the students through the practical coursework. Our strength is in providing students with the support needed to produce outstanding media production work, as well as providing an opportunity for challenging discussion, debate and written reflection on issues facing contemporary media audiences and institutions. [updated October 2019]

Co-curricular activities

We believe in providing opportunities to learn outside the classroom – visits and external speakers give students the chance to engage with the media in a professional context. The department runs a number of extra-curricular learning opportunities, including the Media Club, a filming trip, courses at the BFI and attendance to a national Media conference for A level students, as well as an Oscars Award ceremony celebrating work of Year 11–13 students.

GCSE: Years 10 and 11

What might we do in a Media Studies lesson?

  • Watch a range of adverts, and analyse camera shots, angles, sound, editing techniques and special effects; write an essay for homework commenting on how the product or brand is represented through these techniques.
  • Research the production process behind films such as Dr Strange or I, Daniel Blake. Students would find out what the budget for the film was, how the film was marketed to the audience, and how merchandise tie-ins were used in the promotion of the film.
  • Analysis of music videos to consider how a band project their image, and what pleasures the video offers for the music video audience.
  • Create a magazine in a genre of your choice, typically sport, film or music, taking on the roles of journalist, editor, sub-editor and photojournalist.


What skills do I need to be successful?

  • Interest in the media and current affairs
  • Good written communication skills
  • Creativity in responding to a brief
  • Team work
  • Effective research and organisation skills
  • Self-motivated and committed
  • Confident in use of ICT (although we will train you on all necessary software)


Allocation of marks at GCSE

  • Coursework 30%
  • Exam 70%





Objectives of the course

  • Develop enquiry, critical thinking and decision-making skills through the study of media texts, audiences and institutions
  • Develop your appreciation and critical understanding of the media and its role in your daily life
  • Develop your practical skills through opportunities for personal engagement and creativity
  • Understand how to use media key concepts to analyse media texts and their contexts, using appropriate terminology
  • Research, plan and construct media products using ICT




This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course. There are THREE components to the course.

COMPONENT 1: Examined Assessment – Media One

  • Exploring Theoretical Framework (1 x unseen source + targeted close study products).
  • Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes. 
  • 35% of qualification.

Section A will focus on Media Language and Media Representations. Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms:

  • magazines
  • advertising and marketing
  • newspapers
  • online, social and participatory media and video games.

Section B will focus on Media Industries and Media Audiences. Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms:

  • radio
  • music video
  • newspapers
  • online, social and participatory media and video games
  • film (industries only).

COMPONENT 2: Examined Assessment – Media Two

  • This paper assesses understanding of IN-DEPTH close study products.
  • Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • 35% of qualification.

Section A will be based on a screening from an extract of one of the television Close Study Products and can test any area of the theoretical framework.

Section B will be based on either newspapers or online, social and participatory media and video games and can test any area of the framework.

COMPONENT 3: Non-exam assessment: creating a media product

What's assessed

  • Application of knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework.
  • Ability to create media products.

How it's assessed

  • A choice of one of five annually changing briefs, set by AQA.
  • 30% of GCSE
  • Assessed by teachers. Moderated by AQA.


Students produce: 

  • a statement of intent
  • a media product for an intended audience.

A Level: Years 12 and 13

Qualifications needed: GCSE English Language grade 6. You do not need to have taken GCSE Media Studies.

The course challenges the students to evaluate critically how media texts are produced, the meaning that they convey, how audiences consume and interpret the texts, as well as the institutions that produce and control the flow of information. We study media forms such as TV drama, magazines, music videos, print advertising and new media technologies such as video blogging. The students have the opportunity to learn Publisher, Adobe Photoshop and Davinchi Resolve to create their own media texts. Creative, independent learning skills are essential, as is the desire to engage in lively discussion and debate in class. An interest in contemporary media forms such as news, social media and music is useful to the course.

Click for Course Specification


What is assessed?

Assessment Outline


Section A will focus on Media Language and Media Representations.
Questions in this section will test the following forms:

  • advertising and marketing
  • music video.

Section B will focus on Media Industries and Media Audiences.
Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms:

  • radio
  • newspapers
  • film (industries only).


2 hour exam, 84 marks


Questions will focus on the in-depth media forms of television, magazines and online, social and participatory media/video games.


2 hour exam, 84 marks


Application of knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework.

  • Ability to create media products.

Tasks: Students produce a statement of intent and then a cross-media production made for an intended audience.

Audio Visual: Produce an original music video to promote a new or unsigned artist or band.

Print: A front cover and double page spread feature article for a new, original music magazine including an interview with the artist or band


A Choice of six annually changing briefs, set by AQA, 60 marks.


Careers Education

  • The department has a successful track record of students proceeding to study Film Production, Animation, Journalism, Advertising and Marketing at University. Many of those have then gone on to secure jobs in the industry.
  • We are able to offer advice on different courses and universities related to the subject through visits and feedback from students. We encourage students to expand their portfolios by participating in independent projects and external competitions.
  • We have a lot of resources in the department to encourage students to widen their knowledge and expertise of the subject such as films on our youtube channel (, examples of past work, student media magazines and books.
  • We have guest speakers from the industry coming in to speak about their specific roles and possible pathways into their work.