What is the Intent of the Media Curriculum?

The media plays a central role in contemporary society and culture. It shapes our perceptions of the world through the representations, viewpoints and messages it communicates. The media provides us with ways to interact with one another, it facilitates forms of cultural expression and it promotes participation in many aspects of society. Media industries employ huge numbers of people worldwide and operate as commercial industries on a global scale. It is likely that our students will witness a continued growth in the use and importance of different types of media as technology changes and develops. Media Studies offers young people opportunities to engage with contemporary and relevant texts that help them to define their place within the world.


Our focus is on the effective communication of knowledge, whilst offering opportunities for students to debate important questions about the media through the use of a theoretical framework. In this way, students are able to apply and test their understanding. We aim to recognise the fundamental relationship between theoretical understanding and practical work, providing students with exciting opportunities to develop media production skills. Students apply and develop their knowledge and understanding of language and representation in relation to media forms and products and become creators of meaning themselves. Furthermore, they are offered a choice of coursework briefs and forms within which to work, enabling them to explore and pursue their own media interests.


The study of a range of rich and stimulating media products is central to this specification, working from the product outwards to develop appreciation and understanding of the media and its context. Students draw on their existing experience, but they also extend their appreciation and critical understanding through the study of products with which they may be less familiar. We focus predominantly on contemporary media, although this is contextualised and enhanced through the exploration of significant products from different historical periods. Through studying both established and evolving media forms, students gain a true awareness of the role of the media in society and culture.

During the course students will study a broad and diverse range of historic and contemporary media forms in terms of a theoretical framework consisting of media language, representation, media industries and audiences. The following texts are studied in depth: Advertising and marketing, film, video games, music videos, radio, social and participatory media, magazines and newspapers.

Through this study, students will gain an understanding of the foundations of the subject, enabling them to question and explore aspects of the media that may seem familiar and straightforward from their existing experience in a critical way. Studying less familiar media forms provides rich and challenging opportunities for interpretation and analysis.

The content of our curriculum also reflects the need for students to gain a secure contextual and cultural knowledge base. Media Studies allows students to examine historical, social, political and economic contexts that operate within the media. Studying relevant contexts enhances and deepens students understanding of the media, as they explore key influences on the products studied.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)

Key Stage 5 (Post-16)