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St Colman's High & Sixth Form College, Ballynahinch

Media Studies


Department staff


Mrs P Clarke 

Mrs A Canning 


Our Departmental Aim

Our thriving local scene at St Colman’s allows many opportunities for students to engage with new creative technologies. Media Studies is designed to allow students to build on their existing experience of the Media.

A Level Media Studies was introduced to St Colman’s in 2012 and has been available at GCSE since 2014. It consistently attracts students who reliably exceed target grades, enjoy success, and often pursue the subject further at degree level. 

Media Studies offers students a unique insight into the mass media. It is a stimulating, creative subject that helps students to develop a range of skills, including Literacy, ICT, and Artistic creativity skills and attitudes that are valuable for employment in any career. 

Media work experience placements are arranged through the school’s Careers department and Charter Work, matching student’s vocational interests with suitable stepping stones into the workplace. Our students have enjoyed recent placements with multimedia companies such as: The Belfast Telegraph, UTV Live and Deloitte Digital.


Key Stage 4 provision

Media Studies is a contemporary and interactive subject which encourages students to develop their creative, analytical, research, and communication skills, through exploring a range of media forms  and perspectives. 

Many students choose AQA GCSE Media Studies at St Colman’s for its relevance to their lives and for the opportunities  it provides for exploring contemporary issues through the use of different media in creative and  practical ways. That’s why the written assessment is clear, well-structured and easy for students to  understand. Students will enjoy the variety of question styles, which include multiple choice, short  and extended answers. 


What will I explore in GCSE Media Studies? 

GCSE Media Studies engages students in the in depth study of media products in relation to the  four areas of the theoretical framework: 

  • media language 
  • media representation
  • media industries
  • media audiences

Students are required to study media products from all of the following media forms: 

  • television 
  • film 
  • radio 
  • newspapers 
  • magazines 
  • advertising and marketing 
  • online, social and participatory media 
  • video games 
  • music video 

How will I be assessed in GCSE Media Studies?

From September 2017, students will follow the new specification set by the AQA, outlined below and it comprises a balance of examination assessment with controlled assessment work.

GCSE course structure:

Media One is a written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes worth 84 marks [35% of GCSE]

Section A will focus on Media Language and Media Representations. Questions in this  section can test any two of the following forms: 

  • magazines 
  • advertising and marketing 
  • newspapers 
  • online, social and participatory media and video games. 

Section B will focus on Media Industries and Media Audiences. Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms: 

  • radio 
  • music video 
  • newspapers 
  • online, social, and participatory media and video games 
  • film (industries only).

Media Two is a written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes worth 84 marks [35% of GCSE]

Section A will be based on a screening from an extract of one of the television Close Study Products and can test any area of the theoretical framework. Whereas, Section B will be based on either newspapers or online, social and participatory media and video games and can test any area of the framework.

Regardless of ability, the course enables all pupils to exceed their target grades, and many students continue to study the subject further at A Level and on to Degree level. 

Subjects that complement Media at GCSE are ICT, English Literature, Moving Image Arts, Business Studies and Art & Design.


Post 16 AS/A2 Level


Is this subject for me at A Level?

The A Level Media Studies course at St Colman’s is a popular choice with students, regardless of whether they studied the subject at GCSE level; each year there is a mix of pupils who have had previous experience of the subject and those new to the course. 

A Level Media reflects contemporary media industries within past and present cultural contexts. You will explore the advertising industry, the newspaper industry and Welsh film. Alongside this, you will research, plan, and create a piece for a specific production brief of an opening title sequence for the film industry, completing a reflective analysis of your product.

The course combines committed and energetic teaching methodology and excellent levels of support, with an expectation for students to complete some independent research, preparing them well for the rigours of university academic study.

From September 2017, students will follow the new specification set by the WJEC, outlined below and it comprises a balance of examination assessment with controlled assessment work.

AS Course structure:

Unit 1 exam module: [24% A Level] Essays/questions on:

  • Section A: Advertising and Marketing (music videos and advertising campaigns).
  • Section B: News in the online Age (online newspaper, news website, social networks).
  • Section C: Film – from Wales to Hollywood (One Welsh film and one Hollywood film studied in-depth).

Unit 2 coursework module: You will choose a brief from a selection set by the WJEC and will produce and evaluate your own media product! [16% A Level]

A2 course, which is more heavily weighted as the final year:

Unit 3 – exam. Media in the Global Age [36% A level]

An in-depth study of media language, representation, industries and audiences.

  • Section A: Television in the global age – 2 TV programmes studied in-depth.
  • Section B: Magazines – mainstream and alternative Media – 2 brands studied.
  • Section C: Media in the Digital Age – Video Games – 2 games brands studied in-depth.

Unit 4 – Coursework. Creating a Cross-Media Production [24% A Level]

A cross-media production, including individual investigative research and development, created in response to a choice of briefs set by the WJEC. An individual critical analysis of the production.

It is essential you have at least a C at GCSE English. Other subjects which compliment this subject are Sociology, ICT, Art & Design, and English.




Into Film Club -

At St Colman’s all year groups can be involved with Film Club; an after-school extra-curricular activity that provides an exciting, safe, and comfortable environment for students to watch, discuss, review as well as explore filmmaking. 


CineMagic Festival & Young Filmmaker - 

KS4 & KS5 at St Colman’s are encouraged to plan and produce imaginative and original films to be screened online as part of CineMagic Film Festival - Young Filmmaker Awards each year. The films can be about anything at all! ­Fact or fiction, comedy or drama, news programme or documentary.




GCSE Media Studies 


A Level Media Studies