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Clare Mount SpecialistSports College

Role Models and Catalysts for Change

Media Studies

The Media Studies course is in its fifth year now with both Year 10 and Year 11 students working towards the AQA GCSE in the subject. Our cohort achieved excellent results in the past academic year and all students entered achieved a GCSE grade which is fantastic for the development of the students. The format of the qualification is now changed, however, with a greater weighting towards the exam element.


The course and changes can be summarised as follows:


Subject content


"The GCSE subject content for media studies (set out by the Department for Education) specifies that all four elements of the theoretical framework below must be studied.

  • Media language

  • Media representations

  • Media audiences

  • Media industries


Close study product (CSP)


CSP – the range of media products that need to be studied in relation to all four elements of the GCSE Media Studies Framework. The new specification requires the study of relevant historical, social and cultural contexts, in relation to the CSP.

The CSP’s are chosen by the exam board and cover all the media forms.

  • Television

  • Film

  • Radio

  • Newspapers

  • Magazines

  • Advertising and marketing

  • Online, social and participatory media

  • Video games

  • Music video


Some CSPs require ‘in depth study’: Television (audio/visual); Newspapers (Print); Online, social and participatory media; Video Games. These CSPs are studied in relation to all four elements of the Theoretical Framework.


Other CSPs need to be studied as thoroughly – but only in relation to one or two of the elements of the Theoretical Framework.


Statement of intent


Students must complete a 'Statement of intent' that outlines what the aims of the media product are. This should be a maximum of 300 words and is a compulsory element.


What's gone

Set topics for external assessment


There will be no set topics for GCSE Media Studies.



Production tasks on the exam

Unit 1 will not include any elements of production tasks.

NEA productions must be individual productions


What's the same


Key concepts


The four key concepts (language, representation, audience and institutions) have been renamed as the ‘Theoretical framework’.


Whilst not identical, there are clear similarities.


NEA marking and moderation


Non-exam assessment (NEA) is internally marked by centres and externally moderated by the exam board.


Exam format


The format of the questions on both exams is a mixture of short and longer answer questions.


Although schools/colleges and students will not know which CSPs will be covered in particular sections, the sections will always be the same.


Paper One Section A: Media language and Media representations

Paper One Section B: Media audiences and Media industries

Paper Two Section A: Television

Pape Two Section B: Online, social and participatory media and Video games.


What's changed



As with all reformed GCSEs, the grading system has changed from A* to G to 9 to 1 (9 being the highest grade).



To avoid overlap with a GCSE in film studies, film should only be studied in the context of media industries.



There are now two exams. They are both 1 hour 30 minutes long and both worth 35% of the overall marks available.

Paper Two Section A will always be television. The exam will involve the screening of an extract from one of the television CSPs.


Controlled assessment

This has been replaced by non-exam assessment (NEA). The conditions for which the NEA should be produced under are largely similar to those for controlled assessment.

Three pieces of controlled assessment (worth 60% of total marks) have been replaced by one NEA assignment – creating a media product (30% of total marks).

NEA briefs will change annually and work must be an individual media production for an intended audience. It should apply knowledge and understanding of media language and representation. "



We also work closely with The BBC on their School News Report Project and the children featured on North West Tonight last year on School News Report Day. This is something which we are looking to roll out on a wider school basis through the year and will work on a number of topics culminating in the News Report Day. A trip to the BBC in Salford will also take place this year.