Media Studies

Media Studies is available for students at KS4.

Subject Name Syllabus Examination Board
Media Studies 4810 AQA


The mass media plays an increasingly important role in contemporary society, providing information and entertainment, shaping attitudes and social values.

This course offers a balance of critical understanding of the media such as the way it shapes our lives; it also aims to give students tools to have a critical understanding of the media’s impact on society. It provides students an opportunity for creativity as the course requires students to design a number of media productions, some of which may require; designing in Photoshop, audio recording or filming. Topics studied may include sitcoms, newspapers, documentaries, action adventure films and advertising.

Why this subject is important?

The mass media is rapidly becoming the key window through which society, particularly young people access the world around them. Media Studies encourages candidates to respond critically and analytically to mass media texts and gain a broad knowledge of the industrial and commercial nature of media production.

What skills will I use?

There are four key concepts that form the basis for all tasks in Media Studies: Media Language, Audience, Representation, Institutions. The skills used include:

  • Analysis
  • Creation
  • Criticism
  • Investigation
  • Planning
  • Team work

What are the coursework requirements and when must it be completed?

There are three assignments that form 60% of the candidate’s final grade at GCSE.

Assignment 1 (10%)
A 500 word written assignment which analyses one or more media texts. Students must use appropriate media language. Students create a pre-production focused on an audience. Students write a brief evaluation to outline the decision made in preparing the media product.

Assignment 2 Cross Media Project (20%)
1000 word essay comparing two media forms, students must show understanding of representations and institutions. students create two pre-production media products from different forms. Students evaluate this unit by showing how successfully the two products relate to each other to form part of one campaign.

Assignment 3 Practical Production (30%)
Students plan, produce and evaluate a media product. They have to show research into pre-production work and include an 800 word evaluation. Production should strike a balance between creativity and understanding of the topic.

Each assignments must cover all 4 key concepts:

  1. Audience
  2. Representation
  3. Institutions
  4. Media Language

The Media products produced could be: television, radio, film, advertising, web-based media, newspapers and magazines.

How will the final grade be awarded?

  • 60% course work produced through controlled assessment. Internally marked externally moderated.
  • 40% final exam externally marked.
  • One and a half hour final exam, the topic is pre-taught and a brief is released giving students an idea of what kind of things to prepare.

Any extra-curricular activities?

  • Cinema visits
  • Project work
  • Visits to sites of media production

Can parents help with Media Studies?

Parents should encourage active discussion around the media usage of the family and by the student. Encourage the development of photography/video and media related written skills.

Progression – careers and further study

  • AQA GCE AS/A specification in Media Studies
  • Further study of related subjects

If you need further advice, who do you speak to?

Mr Smith.