Media Studies GCSE


Examination Board



Overview of the course

The course is primarily a study of images (including photography), film genres (including thriller films, action adventure films and some horror extracts), advertising and television (comedy programmes).

Course content

·         Media Language: Forms and Conventions

How the media communicates to an audience.

·         Representation

How the media varies in its presentation of age, race, sex, groups, events and Issues.  How representation is constructed and therefore not ‘value free’.

·         Institutions

Production aspects of the media. Ownership and control and regulations.

·         Audience

How the media helps ‘construct’ audiences. Audiences’ relationship to the media.

Unit 1: Image Analysis

·         Analyse and interpret how images of various kinds create meaning; rules of photographic composition; how the meaning of images is anchored and changed through manipulation.

·         Select images from newspapers and magazines. Crop and re-anchor them.

·         Write an analysis and interpretation of still and moving images.

Unit 2: Film Language and Representation

·         Analyse and interpret the codes in films to reveal how they create messages and values about males and females.

·         Select your own film clips to analyse and to consolidate knowledge of codes.

·         Write an essay.

·         Construct your own film poster.

Unit 3: Producing the opening of your own thriller film

·         Analyse thriller films in class and at home.

·         Research thriller films and other genres at home and in class.

·         Plan and evaluate your own film.

·         Film and edit an extract using digital technology.

How you will be assessed


Assessment and duration

Percentage of overall result

Paper 1


Controlled assessment

1.   An essay comparing how women are represented in two films.

2.   Research, plan, produce and evaluate one film poster, building on the ideas explored in the essay.

3.   Research, plan, produce and evaluate the opening of your own thriller film.


Paper 2

Exam – 1 hour 45 mins

1.   Analyse the media language, representation and genre of action adventure films.  (Students watch an extract four times and then analyse it).

2.   Explore the concepts of audience and institution with regard to two television comedy programmes.


Students who successfully complete this course will be awarded a GCSE graded A*-G.

Post – 16 courses available to you

Students have the opportunity to follow the OCR AS one year course in Media Studies or the full two year A2 level course, both of which are currently available at The Sandon Sixth Form.