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Media Studies


Our aim is for all students in Media to have the skills to enable them to turn intuitive knowledge into a ritualised strategy for learning. Our aim is for our learners to engage critically with both contemporary media and its historical context, focusing on issues of representation, industry, genre and audience. We want students to have the technical skills to construct texts that are creative and relevant to both media consumers and the wider economy. Above all we want students to view media as a tool to understand cultural diversity, technical convergence and aesthetic debate in a complex global society.

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Media Studies is one of the most popular subjects at The Burgate School and Sixth Form Centre with exam results that are consistently excellent. In part, the success can be attributed to excellent facilities and teaching but also the way in which Media Studies embraces visual, kinaesthetic and auditory forms of learning. Students can opt to take a GCSE course at Key Stage 4 as well as A-level Media Studies in the Sixth Form. In addition to this, Media is part of the National Curriculum in English at Key Stage 3 and students in Years 7,8 and 9 have the opportunity to participate in Lights, Camera, Action during Activities Week in which students make a science fiction film in a day.

What is Media Studies?

dsc 0362 mediumMedia is often defined in relation to the study of discrete media forms (television, film, advertising, radio, magazines etc) and this is reflected in the diversity of units on offer at the Burgate School and Sixth Form centre. However, students are also encouraged to reflect upon the nature and purpose of the key concepts of audience, institution, representation and genre. In addition to this we strive to position the study of media texts in the context of cultural history, exploring the social dimensions of technological change.

Upper School: GCSE

Our GCSE course is taught in purpose built rooms and compromises both coursework and exam units. In addition to studying radio, television and advertising, students have the opportunity make their own short film utilising digital video cameras and a purpose built editing suite.

Sixth Form: A level

dsc 0528 mediumLessons takes place in purpose built rooms and offer a range practical and taught units. Lower Sixth students study television drama and the magazine industry before producing their own practical production: the opening to a film in the thriller genre. Alongside their practical work students are required to keep an online record of their work in the form of blogs, pod casts and video diaries.

dsc 0645 mediumIn the Upper Sixth students build on the skills acquired in the Lower Sixth and the examined units require students to reflect upon their practical work in terms of genre, audience, representation and institution. Time is also spent studying what is meant by the term ‘post-modern media’ from the early days of film to the proliferation of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. The Advanced Portfolio in Media constitutes the course’s practical component and includes a popular music video, magazine advert, and DVD cover.

media and cultural theory 180 mediumOCR Media Studies:

A selection of student work can be sampled on the Burgate Media YouTube channel and MySpace pages:



Media Studies Curriculum Overview

Year 9 Media Studies

Autumn One
  • Intro to Sci-fi films – focus on terminology of conventions, production, representation. (Analysis of sci-fi conventions)
  • Induction Unit: Neo Noir and Thrillers (Analysis of opening of Shutter Island).
Autumn Two
  • Sci-fi film posters –Comparison of 2 posters from different era. (Design a film poster for a new sci-fi film).
  • Magazine Industry: music magazines. (Analysis of Kerrang front cover).
Spring One
  • Comic group project – focus on front cover appeal and conventions (Design a front cover for a new comic and create a character and double page story)
  • Music video – history and cultural contexts. (analysis of music video – audio visual)
Spring Two
  • Branding and gaming: Revision of terminology and prep for exam.
  • Music video: research, planning and storyboarding (group project)
Summer One
  • Revision of terminology and prep for exam. Radio – target audience and appeal – local v Radio 1
  • Music video: filming, editing and evaluation
Summer Two
  • Advertising and marketing – focus on industry and conventions of adverts, print and tv/radio. (Script a radio advert for a new product)
  • Television Drama – Sitcom – forms and conventions and socio-cultural context. (Compare the construction of representation in two sitcom from different eras)



GCSE Media Studies Eduqas

Component One:  Written examination - 1 hour 30 minutes 40% of qualification 80 marks.

Exploring the Media: This component provides a foundation for analysing media products, introducing learners to media language and representation through the study of print media forms. Learners will develop their ability to analyse media language, representations and meanings in a range of media products. In addition, learners will study products from specific media industries and audiences to develop their knowledge and understanding of those areas of the theoretical framework. Learners will also begin to explore how media products reflect, and are influenced by, the social, cultural, historical and political contexts in which they are produced.

Component Two: Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes 30% of qualification 60 marks

Understanding Media Forms and Products: This is component builds on the introduction to key areas of the theoretical framework provided in Component 1. In Component 2, learners will gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of media language and representation, as well as extending their appreciation of these areas through the study of media industries and audiences. Learners will also develop knowledge and understanding of how relevant social, cultural, political and historical contexts of media influence media products. 

Component Three: Non-exam assessment 30% of qualification 60 marks

Creating Media Products: This component draws together knowledge and understanding of the media theoretical framework gained throughout their course by requiring learners to apply their knowledge and understanding of the media synoptically through practical production.

In Components 1 and 2, learners gain a detailed understanding of media language, representation and audience in relation to a range of media forms. In this component, learners must apply their knowledge and understanding of media language and representation to an individual media production for an intended audience in response to a choice of briefs set by EDUQAS. The set production briefs will change every year, requiring learners to create a production in a different genre/style and/or for a different intended audience.

The briefs will be released annually on 1 March in the year prior to assessment, and will be published on the WJEC Eduqas website. Task-specific indicative content will be issued each year with the non-exam assessment briefs. Production briefs will always be set in the following media forms: television, magazines, film marketing and music marketing. The briefs will always specify the intended target audience, as well as other key requirements such as genre/style. Learners will develop a response to their chosen brief by creating a production aimed at the specified intended audience.


Year 10

Autumn One
  • Induction: Shutter Island
  • Component 2: Section A – Film Posters and Magazine Covers
Autumn Two
  • Component 1: Section A - TV Crime Drama: Luther and The Sweeney
  • Component 2: Section A – Newspapers and Print Advertisements
Spring One
  • Component 1: Section B – Popular Music Promotion: Introduction and context
  • Component 2: Section B – Pokemon Go and Spectre
Spring Two
  • Component 1: Section B – Popular Music Promotion: Katy Perry, Pharrell, Duran Durand and Michael Jackson
  • Component 2: Section B – The Archers and The Sun
Summer One
  • Component 3: NEA set brief – research and planning
Summer Two
  • Component 3: NEA set brief – construction


Year 11

Autumn One
  • NEA refinements and revisions
  • Component 1: Section A - TV Crime Drama: Luther and The Sweeney revisited
Autumn Two
  • Component 2: Section A and B revisited
  • Component 1: Section B – Popular Music Promotion: Pharrell, Katy Perry, Duran Duran revisited
  • Year 11 Mock Exams
Spring One
  • Revision Component 1 Section A
  • Revision Component 1 Section B
Spring Two
  • Revision Component 2 Section A
  • Revision Component 2 Section B


A-level Media Studies - Eduqas

This specification offers learners exciting opportunities to:

  • Make connections: between different media forms and products, between media products and their contexts, and between theory and practical work.
  • Engage with a range of rich and stimulating media forms and products.
  • Develop media production skills, apply their knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework to media forms and products.



Lower Sixth

Component 1: Products, Industries and Audiences                                                                                            

Written examination – 2 hours 15 minutes 35% of qualification 90 marks

Autumn 1
Autumn 2
  • Section: B Film and film marketing (industries only): Straight Outta Compton, I, Daniel Blake
  • Section: B Radio: Late Night Woman's Hour (2016)
Spring 1
  • Section: B Video games: Assassins Creed III Liberation
  • Section: A Newspapers: Daily Mirror (Nov16) US Election and The Time (Nov16), front and back pages
Spring 2

Component 3: Advertising and Marketing (Music). A cross-media production: an original music video for a new artist or band and related print or online products.

Summer 1

Research and Planning - Music Video

Summer 2

Filming and Editing - Music Video


Upper Sixth

Upper Sixth Component 2 : Media Forms and Products.                                                                    

Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes 35% of qualification         90 marks

Autumn 1

Section A  -Television: Life on Mars (UK) Series 1, Episode 1 (2006) The Bridge (Denmark/Sweden)

Autumn 2

Section B - Magazines: Vogue (July 1965) The Big Issue (October 17 2016)

Spring 1

Section C - Online Media: Zoella and Attitude

Spring 2

Component 1 Revisited

Section A

  • Advertising and marketing: Tide (1950s) and Water Aid (2016)
  • Music video: Dream, Dizzee Rascal (2016), Beyoncé Formation (2016), Riptide, Vance Joy
  •  A Newspapers: Daily Mirror (Nov16) US Election and The Time (Nov16), front and back pages

Section: B 

  • Radio: Late Night Woman's Hour (2016)
  • Video games: Assassins Creed III Liberation
  •  Newspapers: The Daily Mirror and The Times
  •  Late Night Woman's Hour (2016)
  • Video games: Assassins Creed III Liberation

Summer 1