Key Stage 4

GCSE Media Studies
Students follow the AQA specification

Unit 1 Investigating the Media 40%

This takes the form of a 1 hour and 30 minute externally assessed exam paper based around a pre-released topic or genre. The topic changes annually; previous topics have included TV Crime Drama, Action Adventure Films or Reality Television. Learners look in depth at specific examples within the genre and are asked to present their own ideas for a production based on media brief released prior to the exam.

Unit 2 Understanding the Media

This takes the form of three controlled assessment assignments which require students to be able to analyse media texts, plan and create media texts and evaluate their own production work.

Assignment 1 (10%)

This assignment aims to introduce candidates to the analysis and interpretation of media texts through the analysis of media language and the application of media terminology and techniques. Learners study opening sequences of films and write an analysis of how media codes and conventions communicate meaning to the audience. In addition to this, they create a story board for their own opening sequence linked to a specific genre.

Assignment 2 (20%)

This assignment is a cross media study focussing on advertising and promotion of a specific product. Learners have to analyse existing advertising campaigns, before they create a poster and a storyboard that work together to promote a product of their choice.

Assignment 3 (30%)

This is a practical production. Learners plan and create 4 pages of a Print magazine using Adobe InDesign software: the front cover, a contents page and a double page spread. They evaluate their work applying key media concepts to explain their creative decisions.