Aims and learning outcomes: AQA Year 11 Media GCSE/WJEC Year 10

GCSE specifications in media studies must enable candidates to:

• develop enquiry, critical thinking and decision-making skills through consideration of issues that are important, real and relevant to them 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 skills through opportunities for personal engagement and creativity

• understand how to use the key media concepts to analyse media products and their various contexts.

Units 1 and 2 comprise the GCSE. For both, pre-production and production skills are fully integrated into both the Controlled Assessments and the External Assessments. Controlled Assessments make up 60% of Unit 2 and the External Assessments for Unit 1 count for 40%. Unit 1 is externally assessed and requires candidates to investigate a pre-released media topic and to undertake research and planning in order to respond to four tasks. Unit 2 comprises three controlled assessments which require candidates to build on their understanding of the media key concepts for their own pre-production planning, leading to a realised production for Assignment 3. The topic for Unit 1 will change each year and the topics for Unit 2 will be taken from assignment banks that allow for personal choice and flexibility.

Key Concepts

GCSE Media Studies uses four major concepts which form the basis of the subject content. • Media Language: forms and conventions

• Institutions

• Audience

• Representation

Media Forms/Platforms

Underpinning the Key Concepts, the subject content is classified according to the following media forms/platforms:

• Print and Electronic Publishing including newspapers, comics, magazines etc.

• Moving Image:

• Television including genre study, franchises, scheduling etc.

• Film covering features, shorts, trailers, production, distribution and exhibition as well as genre study

• Video including promotional, training and corporate

• Radio including commercial, network, public broadcasting, community etc.

• Web-based Technologies/New Media including Internet, web design, social networking, weblogs, vblogs, podcasts, gaming etc.

It is noted that the following can be found across the media forms/platforms listed above:

• Advertising and Marketing – including advertisements in print publications, on radio, on television, in the cinema, film trailers, billboards etc.

• Popular Music – including Artistes & Repertoire (A & R), promotion, marketing etc.

• News – including television, newspapers, internet, radio etc.

Candidates must cover at least three discrete media forms/platforms.

Generally, a media form is a description of the type, content or communication you are using to create the content, whereas a media platform is the technology used to deliver and access the content. For example, television can be the form by which we create a new situation comedy, but it can be delivered via an internet platform to a PC/Mac, a cable platform via a set top box, a broadcast platform via an aerial.

Media Skills

Candidates are expected to be able to demonstrate competence in a range of media skills. These include:


• Pre-production/planning skills: storyboarding, poster design, print advertising design, scripting for television, film and radio, treatments for television programmes and films, flat plans for magazines and newspapers, news selection, mock-ups for comic panels, scheduling, sketching etc.

• Production Skills: photography to create still image work, video/digital cameras to create moving image work, recording equipment for sound media, editing techniques to produce finished products, desk-top publishing packages to create finished newspapers, magazines, comic extracts or advertising examples etc.

• Evaluation: candidates are expected to be able to effectively evaluate their production work in light of media practices.

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