GCSE Media Studies
Media is about communication, particularly mass communication with lots of people. The media creates products that are designed to entertain and inform, created for lots of people to hear, watch or read, often at roughly the same time. Whenever you are watching television, streaming films, scrolling through social media or listening to a podcast, you are consuming media.
Does studying the media mean watching lots of television, then?
In fact, you will need to explore lots of different media products. The power that the media has is huge. Think about the idea that the average adult consumes media for almost 8 hours a day, and within that time, they are being bombarded by other people’s ideas and opinions and images of the world and its people. How someone responds to that will affect their ideas about people, places and society, of politics and culture, of themselves and of their place in the world. Doesn’t that sound like something we should know more about?
What will I study?
As a GCSE Media Studies student, you will analyse how media products like TV programmes and music videos use images, sounds, language, and representations to create meaning. You will learn about the media industry and how the industry affects how media products are made. You will investigate media audiences, exploring who are the people who watch, read and consume the products, and considering how different people might be affected by media products differently, and why. You will study lots of different media forms, such as:
- Online Media
- Advertising and Marketing Films
- Social and Participatory Media
- Music Video Radio
- Video Games
There’s also a significant amount of practical work where you might create music videos, magazines, television programmes, advertisements and more.
In your practical work, you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned about the media in the production of your own media products.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment will consist of a mixture of examinations and non-examined assessment.
- Component 1: Written examination: 1 hour 30mins, 40% of qualification
- Component 2: Written examination: 1 hour 30mins, 30% of qualification
- Component 3: Non-exam assessment: Media Production, 30% of qualification
What skills will I develop?
Lots. Media Studies will even help you to develop skills that you’ll be able use in your other subjects such as critical thinking, analysis, research, planning, practical skills, time management, essay writing skills and more.
Where might Media Studies take me?
During the GCSE Media course you’ll develop and practise a range of skills which will equip you for progression to A Level study. They will also help you hugely in other areas such as Film, English, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Looking further ahead, over one hundred universities offer courses in Media, Communications and Cultural Studies in the UK. An A Level qualification in Media Studies, informed by study at GCSE level, helps you to move towards these courses, as well as to those in a range of other areas.
If university isn’t for you, there is a huge array of career opportunities in the media, and it’s an industry that is growing very quickly. If you are interested in the idea of a career in TV and film production, advertising, journalism, interactive media, and digital marketing, technical production, special effects, web design and post-production, then studying Media at GCSE level is a great place to start.