Media and Film Studies

The Intent of the Media Studies Curriculum

The Media Studies curriculum has been created with the intention of developing a critical awareness of how media products create meaning. We live in a society where we are surrounded by media messages, and it is important that students recognise that all media representations are constructions, not just “windows on the world.” At Key Stage 3, we aim to give students an introduction to the analysis of these constructs and to consider the significance of their meanings. We will use the key concepts of genre, narrative, representation, and audiences. We also aim to introduce students to the practical skills required in making print and moving image products.

How is the Media Studies Curriculum Implemented?

Year 9 students are given weekly lessons in Media Studies for half the school year. The curriculum is divided into two parts:

  1. Constructed Representations in Media – news, advertising, TV and film
    1. Semiotics – the analysis of visual signs and their connotations
    2. Stereotypes and Binary Oppositions – their importance in construction of representations and narratives
    3. Film Marketing Materials – analysis of the conventions of film posters, the planning and design of products, and the production of products using photography and photo editing software
  2. Analysing and Producing Film
    1. Analysing Film – an introduction to cinematography, editing, mise-en-scene, and sound
    2. Representation, and Genre and Narrative Conventions
    3. Film Production – scriptwriting, storyboarding and planning a film sequence. Shooting a film sequence. Editing a film sequence.

The Impact of the Media Studies Curriculum at the end of Key Stage 3

The curriculum gives students foundational knowledge of important concepts and skills in both Media and Film Studies. Students will recognise that media representations are constructions that convey meanings. This allows them to not only critically analyse texts as a developing media student, but to explore the societal issues that arise from representations in media texts, and the impacts these have on audiences. Year 9 will be able to successfully transition to formal GCSE study in Year 10. From the curriculum we offer in Year 9, they will be able to write using important subject terminology and will have a better understanding of how to structure an analytical response. Furthermore, students will develop planning and design skills, communication skills and an ability to work together to meet a deadline. The curriculum will also allow students to develop IT skills using photo and video editing software.

How is it assessed?

Students will produce three assessed pieces of work:

  • A short essay on representations in a film sequence
  • A film poster
  • A sequence from a film

How can I help my child?

You can help your child by asking them about the media they consume and encourage them to think critically about the messages these products contain. There are also many YouTube channels that analyze film and media – some suggestions are listed below:

Below is a link to a reading list for Media and Film Studies:

Media and Film Reading List


Media Studies develops the ability to write with clarity and using concepts drawn from a wide range of disciplines. Students will also learn about effective communication in media products. For this reason, Media Studies is a valuable qualification in a range of jobs, including PR and Marketing, as well as the range of more traditional media industries. The skills learned using a range of editing software are essential if aiming for a career in graphic design, video games and many other media careers.


Media Studies enables students to develop a critical understanding of a range of media texts (TV, games, music videos, websites, advertisements, magazines, graphic novels, news material) and the ways in which they are understood by different audiences.

Media Studies develops a critical awareness of media representations of individual groups and issues, and will debate the role of the media in today's society. The course enables students to use a wide range of technical terminology. Students create their own media texts using digital technologies, for example: DVD covers, storyboards, print adverts, scripts, film treatments and cinematic images.

The non-exam assessment means students will use cameras and software to create products such as advertisements, film sequences, TV show openings, radio shows, game designs and film promotion material.