GCSE Course ContentYear 9 | Year 11

GCSE Media studies is assessed by 60% coursework and 40% final exam. Coursework comprises three pieces; two textual investigation essays and a production. The Media Studies course is taught by topics, and each topic generates coursework, while giving the students opportunity to develop their examination skills.

The final examination assesses students' knowledge of the following Media concepts:

  • Media Language/ Forms
  • Representation
  • Genre
  • Narrative
  • Audience
  • Institution

The examination topics change each year, leading to an annual adjustment in course content.

Exam topics


  • Section A: Print Advertising
  • Section B: TV Advertising


  • Section A: TV Crime Drama
  • Section B: TV Magazines


  • Section A: Newspapers
  • Section B: Radio News

For detailed information about the course, view or download the specification.

Year 9

Year 9 is an introductory year involving a range of activities that ensure pupils are fully prepared to begin coursework in Year 10.

  • Introduction to key concepts
  • Preproduction practice
  • Group work activities
  • Production skills lessons
  • Production practice
  • Class essays
  • Mock exam

Year 10

Unit 1
Textual Investigation 1
  • Textual Investigation essay with genre focus e.g. Analysis of genre codes and conventions in a comic front cover.
Unit 2
  • Research and planning for production coursework e.g surveys and questionnaires, annotation of existing media products, whole class or group research, fact finding, mood boards, mind-mapping and sketching etc.
Unit 3
  • Production work (coursework) e.g. Taking and editing photos or moving image and using software such as Photoshop to manipulate images and create fully realised media products such as film posters, DVD covers or short films.
Unit 4
  • Evaluation and refinement of production work.
Unit 5
Textual Investigation 2
  • Second Textual investigation with representation focus e.g. Analysis of representation of gender in a video game or young people in a teen targeted film.

Year 11

Unit 1
Exam Topic Familiarisation
  • Introduction to exam topics.
  • Coursework catch-up
Unit 2
Section A Focus
  • Section A Exam focus whole class teaching and learning.
Unit 3
Section B Focus
  • Section B Exam focus whole class teaching and learning.
Unit 4
Revision and Exam Preparation
  • Mock examination.
  • In-class and homework based exam practice.
Unit 5
Revision and Exam Preparation
  • Revision and further preparation for final GCSE exam.

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