We live in a media-saturated world. From video clips on your phone, to TV ads to blockbuster movies, to posters at the bus stop, to the music in your ears, you are surrounded by media messages for most of your waking hours. How do you make sense of them all? How do you know what they are trying to communicate — both on an obvious and a less obvious level? How do you know how much you have been influenced — consciously or subconsciously — by these media messages? Does the media reflect your reality, or control the way you view it?

It’s been said that media literacy is as important to living in the 21st century as regular literacy was to the 20th century. Media Studies helps you develop an important set of skills that will help you navigate the rest of your education and then, your working life.

Digital Media plays an important part in many areas of our everyday lives and is also an important part of the UK economy. There is a demand from employers for an increasingly skilled and technically literate workforce as more and more media products are produced digitally.

It is a very creative but educational subject. It allows you artistic license when creating work but also teaches you about media outside of an education level and more on a career path basis.    Kiera Y11

Key Stage 3 Overview

Year 7

Project 1

Introduction to Media: Be able to analyse features of representation in images.  Understand that different representations can be delivered as a result of making changes.  Students will take their own photographs (3 lessons)

Project 2

Genre: Students will learn how camera techniques create meaning and represent the genre. They will apply their learning to a sequence from a horror (spooky) film (PG) Monster House.  (3 Lessons)

Project 3

Script Writing:  Students will understand how to construct a written narrative in script format for the original idea in Project 3. (3 lessons)

Project 4

Storyboarding: Students will understand how to construct a visual narrative for an original idea, building on skills learnt in Projects 2 and 3.  (3 lessons)

Project 5

Production: Students will plan, film and edit a  trailer. (3 lessons)

Project Evaluation
Evaluation of Projects 1 – 5. (1 lesson)

Year 8

Project 1

Representation:  Students will analyse how gender and stereotypes are presented in Disney films. (3 lessons)

Project 2

Audience:  Students will study who and why we consume a media text. (3 lessons)

Project 3

Stop Frame Animation: Students will produce a short animation, by constructing a set, taking photographs and editing.  (3 lessons)

Project 4

DVD Covers: Students will analyse how DVD covers are constructed to attract an audience and go on to create their own for a client brief. (3 lessons)

Project 5

Film Noir: Students will study the genre, then produce, film and edit their own Film Noir sequence.  (3 lessons)

Year 9

Project 1

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Representation of characters – students will analyse these characters, then create their own new ‘horrible’ Charlie character. (3 lessons)

Project 2

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – scriptwriting and storyboarding – students will take their new character into pre production by scripting and storyboarding a short sequence.  (3 Lessons)

Project 3

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – filming a scene – students will film and edit their short sequence. (3 lessons)

Project 4

PROJECT WORK – Digital Video Sequence – students will be introduced to a Level 2 GSCE style coursework unit. (6 lessons)

Project 5

Audio book – sound techniques – students will record audio and sound effects to create a audio book. (3 lessons)

GCSE Media Studies in Years 10 & 11

Course Leader: Ms Vince
Contact Email: svince@tgschool.net
Examination Board: OCR GCSE
Assessment: 30% coursework, 70% examination

Why should I study this subject at Key Stage 4?

Enabling a wider understanding and appreciation of the media in both a historical and contemporary context.

What does the course involve?

This course allows students to demonstrate skills of enquiry, critical thinking, decision-making and analysis by acquiring knowledge and understanding of a range of important media issues.  Students will learn subject specific terminology to analyse and compare media products and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed in order to make informed arguments, reach substantiated judgements and draw conclusions about media issues in a social, cultural, historical and political context.  They will also develop practical skills by producing a media product from a range of set briefs.


Television and promoting media (Examination - set brief)

Students will conduct an in-depth study which covers a contemporary and a historic television product.  The focus is on the changes to mainstream television drama over time, looking particularly at how representations and audiences change over time.

Students then look at how conglomerate organisations function with regard to production, distribution and circulation of a set film, how it is advertised and marketed to a specific target audience and how they use their subsidiaries to produce other media products, such as video games.

Music and The News (Examination - set brief)

Students will conduct an in-depth study into a music magazine, music videos and radio. The music magazine in particular will focus on ownership, funding, production processes and regulation, as well as exploring structure and layout and how magazines construct representations.  

Music Videos are studied with regard to media language, how specifically camera shots, framing, angle, lighting and other elements are used to create meaning to the audience.  

Radio is studied in relation to ownership, regulation and audience theory with regard to the gratification received by consuming the product.

When studying News, students will look particularly at the changes in news consumption, from paper to online news, the use of social media feeds and audience interpretation, regulation of online content, audience categorisation and how the selection, combination and exclusion of elements of media language can influence meaning in online, social and participatory news media.  Students will also explore historical and contemporary front covers of newspapers with regard to social, cultural, historical and political context.

Creating Media (NEA/Coursework)

Students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and understanding of media to research, plan and create a practical production piece, from a set brief in the following media forms: magazine, television, music video, online website.

Skills Developed

Students will be able to demonstrate skills of enquiry, critical thinking and analysis, as well as be able to analyse and compare media products.  They will be able to use and apply subject specific terminology and develop their own practical skills by creating an independent media production.


There is a written exam, which is taken at the end of Year 11.  The exam unit underpins the knowledge required to complete the coursework units.

The coursework units are assessed by teaching staff and once taught, are completed independently by the student.  This means that all students must be well organised, diligent and hard-working from the very start of the course.

Studying Media at Sixth Form

Students can continue to study media as a vocational qualification here at Thomas Gainsborough School.