Media is a subject which is ever growing in popularity and importance due to the vast developments in technology and the impact it has on society. The study of media deals with the concepts of genre, representation, audience, narrative, industry and technology, and explores the theories that producers use media as a manipulative tool to control the masses or, through the use of the internet. ‘We-Media’ can be a way of bringing democracy back to society. 

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students work within set topics to explore fundamental media concepts. The GCSE course consists of both coursework, in the form of controlled assessment, and an exam. The coursework is worth 60% and is developed over the first year of study. The exam is worth 40% and takes place in the summer of the second year.

Year 10

Students must complete three controlled assessments which include two textual investigations - the first looks at genre in print media and the second looks at narrative in audio-visual media. The final element of coursework consists of researching, planning, creating and evaluating a science fiction comic book.

Year 11

Students will study for the summer exam. The exam is split into two sections which both focus on genre, representation, audience, narrative and industry. Section A is based on textual analysis and section B is based on production skills. The topic for the exam, e.g. TV dramas and web dramas, changes each year.


Exam board

Exam code


Media Studies



Year 10

Term 1

‘Genre and magazines’ Controlled assessment

‘Representations and advertising’ Controlled assessment

Term 2

‘Research and planning’ Production (controlled assessment)

Term 3

‘Production and evaluation’ Production (controlled assessment)

Year 11

Term 1

Developing controlled assessment work

Exam preparation

Term 2

Exam preparation

Link to specification:

Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5, students undertake their AS and A2 Media Studies A Level. A Level Media Studies explores the same concepts as GCSE but in significantly more depth. The course consists of both coursework and an exam in each year. Each of these assessments is worth 50% of the grade for that year.

Year 12

Students study MS1 representations and responses for which there is a written exam in the summer, and MS2 production process for which students study magazine covers and double page spreads. They must research and create two front covers and one double page spread which they then evaluate.

Year 13

Students study MS3 investigation and production for which students choose an area of media to investigate, from genre, representation or narrative. They must produce a written investigative report, a media product based on their findings, and an evaluative report. Students will also study MS4 text, industry and audience for which students study three media industries and sit a written exam which looks at genre, narrative, representation, industry and audience.