GCSE Media Studies
Examination Board: Eduqas
Students in Year 10 are first introduced to the core concepts of the theoretical framework: media language, representation, audience, and industry. These concepts are then applied to a series of case studies, our set products, which will be assessed in the exam. We start with the analysis of more familiar forms - film and video games (James Bond and Fortnite) - before moving on to advertising, magazines and television texts (Luther and The Sweeney). As we progress through each text type, students explore relevant contexts (social and historical, for example) as well as having the opportunity to practice their creative and practical skills. Towards the end of Year 10, students begin their non-exam assessment (NEA), selecting a brief provided by the exam board and creating their own media product.
In Year 11, once they have completed the NEA, students progress onto the case studies of the more complex media forms – newspapers (The Guardian and The Sun), radio drama (The Archers), and music marketing (Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber). Building on the skills developed in Year 10, we revisit the core concepts, make comparisons between set and unseen texts and revise those that were taught in the first year of the course.
The course is structured to give students increasing confidence to tackle complex concepts, such as representation, through a wide range of engaging print, interactive, and moving image texts. They are encouraged to question, look deeply, and make interpretations about how things are presented to us.
What will I study?
As a GCSE Media Studies student, you will analyse how media products like TV programmes and music videos use images, sounds, language, and representations to create meaning. You will learn about the media industry and how the industry affects how media products are made. You will investigate media audiences, exploring the people who watch, read and consume the products, and considering how different people might be affected by media products differently, and why. You will study many different media forms such as:
- online media
- advertising and marketing
- film marketing
- social and participatory media
- music video
- video games
Within these media forms, you will learn about a range of set products such as Spectre, Pride, The Guardian, The Sun, Luther, The Archers, Taylor Swift and many more. There is also a significant amount of practical work where you might create music videos, magazines, television programmes, advertisements and more. In your practical work you will be able to apply what you have learned about the media in the production of your own media products.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment will consist of a mixture of examinations and non-examined assessment:
Component 1: Exploring the Media
Written examination – 1 hour 30 minutes - 40% of qualification
Component 2: Understanding Media Forms and Products
Written examination - 1 hour 30 minutes - 30% of qualification
Component 3: Cross-Media Production
Non-exam assessment - media production - 30% of qualification
What skills will I develop?
Many. Media Studies will even help you to develop skills that you will be able use in your other subjects such as critical thinking, analysis, research, planning, practical skills, time management, essay writing skills and more.
Where can media studies take me?
During the GCSE media course you will develop and practice a range of skills which will equip you for progression to A-level study. They will also help in other areas such as film, English, humanities and social sciences. Looking further ahead, over one hundred universities offer courses in media, communications and cultural studies in the UK. An A-level qualification in media studies, informed by study at GCSEl, helps you to move towards these courses, as well as to those in a range of other areas.
If university is not for you, there is a huge array of career opportunities in the media; it is an industry that is growing very quickly. If you are interested in the idea of a career in TV and film production, advertising, journalism, interactive media, digital marketing, technical production, special effects, web design and post-production, then studying media at GCSE level is a great place to start.
A-Level Media Studies
Examination Board WJEC Eduqas
Media Studies is the essential tool for students to understand the power of the media, unpick the meaning and representations it creates, and to consume and create media in an informed and responsible way.
Introduction and Structure
We follow the EDUQAS specification, which balances theoretical application with practical production work. It mirrors the structure of the GCSE course and builds upon the knowledge delivered through this, although not all students will have studied the subject at GCSE.
In Year 12 we introduce the core concepts from the theoretical framework. This revisits learning from Key Stage 4 but also provides a platform for those who have not studied media before. We begin with our older case study texts from advertising and marketing, and engage with ideas about cultural and historical context and its impact on production and audience reception. We continue to apply the core concepts to film (Black Panther and I, Daniel Blake), music video, and then our extended study texts – television, online and magazine, before embarking on the non-exam assessment (NEA) which gives students the chance to create texts that they have been exploring throughout the course.
In Year 13 we complete the NEA before teaching the paired texts to the extended case studies from Year 12. These offer a global and cultural ‘difference’, exposing students to French television, alternative magazines and online content. The final set products to explore in Year 13 include newspapers (The Times and The Mirror) and radio (Late Night Woman’s Hour), building on the skills and key concepts delivered throughout the course (and GCSE, if this has been studied).
The course is structured to give students increasing confidence to tackle complex concepts, such as feminism, postcolonialism, identity theories, through a wide range of engaging print, interactive, and moving image texts. Unseen texts are introduced and compared throughout, as are opportunities for practical and creative tasks. Students are encouraged to challenge, analyse deeply and explore how meaning and representation is constructed in the texts studied.
What Will I Study?
As an A-level media studies student, you will analyse how media products use language and representations to create meaning. You will learn about the media industry and how the industry affects how media products are made. You will investigate media audiences, exploring who are the people who watch, read and consume the products and considering how different people might respond to products differently, and why. You will study many different media forms, such as:
- Online Media
- Advertising and Marketing
- Film Marketing
- Social and Participatory Media
- Music Video
- Video Games
Within these media forms, you will learn about a range of ‘set products’, such as Humans, The Times, The Daily Mirror, Black Panther, I, Daniel Blake, Assassin’s Creed, Riptide (music video), The Big Issue, Zoella and many more. You will explore and apply critical perspectives, including those of world-renowned media and cultural theorists, and will examine how social, historical, political and economic contexts affect media production. You will also have the opportunity to apply what you have learned through the production of your own media texts, exploring and creating media forms such as music videos, magazines, television, websites and film marketing.
Assessment will comprise of a mixture of examined and non-examined assessment.
Component 1: media products, industries and audience
Written examination - 2 hours 15 minutes - 35% of qualification
Component 2: media forms and products in depth
Written examination - 2 hours 30 minutes - 35% of qualification
Component 3: cross-media production
Non exam assessment - internally assessed and externally moderated - 30% of qualification
What Skills will I Develop?
Media Studies will help you to develop valuable transferable skills such as critical thinking, analysis, research, planning, skills of enquiry and evaluation, practical skills, creativity, time management, essay writing skills and more. Your studies will complement and assist your learning in other subjects such as English language and literature, humanities, sociology, film, ICT and the extended project.
Where Can Media Studies Take Me?
Over one hundred universities offer courses in media, communications and cultural studies in the UK. A-level media studies helps you to progress to these courses, as well as to those in other areas such English, humanities and social sciences. There is a huge array of career opportunities in the media, an industry growing at an exponential rate. According to accountancy giant PwC’s latest Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2018-2022, the entertainment and media sector was worth £76 billion by 2021, and the video games sector is currently valued at more than half the UK’s whole entertainment industry. If you are looking for a job in this area, studying media at A-level and at degree level is a route into careers such as TV and film production, advertising, journalism, interactive media, and digital marketing. It could help provide you with the foundation to secure roles in technical production, special effects, web design and postproduction.
Minimum requirement: 6 GCSEs Grades 9-4 (or equivalent), including Grade 4 or above in English and maths
Strongly recommended: Grade 5 in English