Porthcawl Comprehensive School / Ysgol Gyfun Porthcawl

Media Studies

Mrs R Mahoney

Media studies is not taught at key stage 3 but is an option for GCSE and the sixth form.

Key Stage 4

Media Studies GCSE

This exciting course develops students' critical understanding of the media and its role in our society. The key media concepts of narrative, genre, audience, institution and representation underpin this course. GCSE Media Studies aims to enhance students' appreciation and enjoyment of the media, as they analyse the composition of media texts and debate the influence of new technologies in our 'media-saturated' world.

Course Aims

  • Develop investigative, critical thinking and decision-making skills through consideration of issues that are important, real and relevant to learners and to the world in which they live;
  • Develop their appreciation and critical understanding of the media and its role in their daily lives;
  • Develop their practical and creative skills through opportunities for personal engagement and creativity;
  • Understand how to use media concepts and ideas to analyse media productions in their various contexts.

What types of things will I learn about in lessons?

Lesson content will broaden your knowledge and understanding of the key concepts, media theories and production processes. You will study two main exam topics. Typical tasks will include:

  • Content analysis of newspapers; privacy laws, celebrities and media intrusion; stereotypes - the representation of gender, race and nation in the media; powers of persuasion - advertising strategies and campaigns; storyboarding and TV scripts; genre conventions and technical codes.

In addition to improving essay writing, critical thinking and debating skills, you will also develop your practical, creative and IT skills.

Pupils studying Media from September will focus on the power of persuasion, advertising and marketing.

Assessment Procedure

  • Unit 1 – Exam 2hrs 30 min – 40% of GCSE award – Investigating and Planning (in-depth investigation and analysis of the media: moving image and print-based texts). Past tasks include a study of documentary photography and the analysis of narrative codes in the opening of films e.g. Psycho/Minority Report/Titanic.
  • Unit 2 Controlled Assessment – 60% of GCSE award – students will develop their understanding of media terminology and the production process, e.g. production of an advertising campaign or new magazine. Practical work will be completed using Adobe Fireworks and Photoshop software on the school's top of the range AppleMac PCs.

Career Opportunities

A qualification in Media Studies will provide you with useful skills for a range of careers, including broadcasting, advertising, journalism, IT, animation, drama-related careers, etc.

Further details are on the WJEC website. Develop new skills! Enjoy learning!

Key Stage 5

Media Studies

Course Details

Qualification Level: AS & A Level
Awarding Body: WJEC
QAN Ref. No. - AS Level: 603/1982/3
QAN Ref. No. - A Level: 603/1976/8

Course Content

This successful, exciting and popular course develops students' critical understanding of the media. The media plays a central role in contemporary culture, society and politics. It shapes our perceptions of the world we live in, impacts upon our daily lives and has real relevance in young people's lives and futures. The course develops pupils' understanding of key areas of the media through theoretical study, critical analysis, debate, research and creative production work.

Assessment Procedure

AS Level - Year 12

Unit 1 - 24% of Qualification
Investigating Media Language and Representation - You will study a range of media forms eg. newspapers, radio news, current affairs programmes, music videos, the horror genre etc. in order to respond to a range of short and extended analytical responses based on media language, representations and representations in context.
You will investigate media industries, media language, representation and audience theories via three key areas of the media: news, film and music videos.

Unit 2 (Non-examination assessment / coursework) Production Work - 16% of Qualification
You will create a media product in response to a choice of titles set by the WJEC e.g. Create a new print or online magazine for a specified target audience or create a print marketing campaign to promote a new film: a range of posters and DVD cover.

A Level Overview

The media's social and historical significance, developments and the global nature of media. You will study genre, narrative, structuralism and post-modernism. Typical texts used: advertising and film marketing to study historical context, gender and audience theory; newspapers and current affairs programmes to study points of view, discourse, media organisations, audience responses and ethnicity. Two pieces of production work.

Entry Requirements

Usually grade C or above in GCSE English Language.


The qualification helps to equip students with important analytical, research, essay writing and ICT skills for higher education courses. Past student have pursued studies / careers in a range of areas - advertising, media communications, public relations, journalism and law.

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