Purpose of study

GCSE Media Studies gives pupils the chance to develop a critical understanding of the role of the media in daily life.

Pupils combine practical and theoretical knowledge and gain a valuable insight into the way the media works. There is also extensive opportunity to be creative in areas of interest, like film, TV and music, for example, by producing their own videos, web designs or recordings.

Pupils analyse aspects of media they might otherwise have taken for granted, such as the packaging on DVDs or how the opening minutes of a film, radio show or game are designed to grab audience attention.


The national curriculum for media studies aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop an appreciation and critical understanding of the media and its role in their daily lives
  • increase critical thinking and decision-making skills
  • develop pre-production and planning skills, such as storyboarding, scripting, flat plans, news selection, mock-ups and sketching
  • develop production skills, such as photography, filming, recording, editing, and desktop publishing
  • understanding new technologies
  • develop strong evaluation skills

Attainment targets

By the end of key stage 4, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.