Interested in joining Sixth Form at Holcombe Grammar School in September 2024?

To apply, please click here.

Media Studies

Curriculum Intent

At HGS, we aim to deliver the following ambitious outcomes for our Media Studies students through our engaging and relevant curriculum. Students will:

  • Explore societal issues related to the media and gain a better understanding of the world around them, with a particular focus on advertising, newspapers, video games, cinema, television, music videos, radio and social media.
  • Use their creative flair to create a production of their choice. In previous years, this has included briefs in the creation of audio-visual scenes for television, film marketing, website design, YouTube campaigns and the creation of pages for lifestyle magazines.
  • Develop as effective, efficient, resilient learners who can work independently towards ambitious goals, both in their analytical writing and in the development of their chosen coursework projects.

  • Develop an awareness of their own strengths and acquire effective habits to be successful at school and beyond. The course will improve students’ written skills, particularly in terms of developing and sustaining written arguments based on evidence.
  • Achieve high quality academic outcomes which prepare them for further study in their chosen degree subjects.
  • Be ready to takes their first steps towards careers in journalism, website and graphic design, advertising, fashion and photography, television and radio production, and other Media-related careers.

Key Stage 4

Media Studies at GCSE introduces you to the complex and wonderful world of the media and includes the study of video games such as Fortnite, television series such as Man Like Mobeen, film series such as the James Bond franchise, magazines such as GQ, newspapers such as The Sun, music videos, radio and advertising.

The media is something that we all take for granted. As you part of Key Stage 4 Media Studies, we will question and challenge the hidden media messages which are pervasive in our society and ever-present in our lives.

We will explore how media products are put together and explore the impact that they have on different audiences. We will also explore the use of stereotypes in the media and how they impact upon our society. You will learn how to use computer programs to express your creative flair to design and produce creative media products such as scenes for television programs, film trailers and posters, and front covers and pages for lifestyle magazines.

You will develop a more autonomous approach to problem solving but you’ll also become a better team player. You’ll learn how to analyse and become more inquisitive about the media world and, in doing so, you will improve your ability to construct logical and well-reasoned written arguments, linking to your English GCSE. You’ll learn how to take photographs, how to shoot and edit video and how to layout print products, and you’ll also develop your creative skills and your ability to articulate your ideas both in discussion in class and on paper.

The course comprises of 30% coursework and 70% exam. Students who enjoy English, Art, DT and Humanities subjects should enjoy Media Studies at KS4.


Year 10

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Introduction to Media Studies and Component 1 - Advertising - Quality Street and This Girl CanComponent 1 Magazines - Pride and GQ, Film Industries - The Man with the Golden Gun and No Time to Die Media Language and Representations analysisComponent 1 - Film Industries - No Time to Die - Film IndustryComponent 1 - Radio - The Archers and Video Games - FortniteComponent 3: Coursework Research & Planning, Statement of AimsComponent 3 Coursework:  Production and Post-Production



Year 11

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Component 1 - Newspapers - The Sun and The GuardianComponent 2 - Television - Sitcom genre - Friends and Man Like MobeenComponent 2 - Music and Online Media - Lizzo, Bruno Mars and TLCRevision and Exam Practice Revision and Exam PracticeGCSE Exams


Please see below KS5 for the Learning Journey.

Years 12 and 13

Media Studies at Key Stage 5 is a rich and eye-opening subject which complements other analytical and societal-focused A-level subjects such as English, Sociology, History, and Law; on top of this, Media Studies is aligned with the creativity of Art and DT, includes similarities to Business Studies in an exploration of marketing and distribution of Media Products, and makes use of IT software to develop students’ own Media productions. In short, Media Studies is a relevant and topical subject which develops students’ thinking skills and practical skills in a number of areas, and it will prepare you well for careers in journalism, website and graphic design, and radio, television and film production work across a range of industries.

We will study social media, film marketing, television production, music videos, newspapers, video games, magazines and other media forms over this two-year course. As part of this, we will explore how and why media industries encode certain ideologies within their products and how different audiences decode the messages in different ways. We will explore how media representations of people, places and ideas shape our current society and have shaped societies of the past. We will explore how economic factors shape media productions and how industry factors such as regulation influence the media. We will study a wide-range of interesting media theories and apply them to a range of products and case-studies. You will improve your ability to write sophisticated and convincing arguments based on a range of evidence; we will also debate media issues in class and, eventually, create a media production of your own.

It is not essential for you to have studied Media Studies at GCSE; you will not be at a disadvantage, as the first half-term will include a “crash-course” introduction to key media concepts and terminology.

Year 12

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Introduction to Media Studies, Component 1 Set Products  (Tide, Tokyo Paralympics advert).Component 1 Set Products - Kiss of The Vampire, Black Panther and I, Daniel Blake          Component 1 - Newspapers - The Daily Mirror and The TimesComponent 1 - Newspapers - The Daily Mirror and The Times and Component 2 - Magazines - Vogue and The Big IssueComponent 2 - Magazines - Vogue and The Big IssueComponent 1 - Music Videos - Sam Fender and Alicia Keys and Component 3 Coursework projectComponent 3 Coursework Project (Research, Planning, Production and Post-Production) + June Prelims



Year 13

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Component 1 - Radio - Have You Heard George's Podcast, Component 1 - Video Games - Assassin's CreedComponent 2 - Television in a Global Age - The Returned and Black MirrorComponent 2 - Online Media - Zoella and AttitudeComponent 2 - Online Media - Zoella and Attitude, RevisionExam Practice and RevisionExams


KS4/5 Learning Journey

Please see attached Key Stage 4/5 Learning Journey for Media Studies.

Online Learning Support

Students will have access to TEAMS and a variety of online resources and materials to help develop their understanding of Media Studies. Students will also make use of IT throughout their course; they will, by the end of the course, be well-practised in Adobe Suite programs such as Photoshop, Premiere and In Design.


Media Studies is a demanding A-level that requires learners to think critically, apply analytical frameworks and develop their creativity. These skills can be utilised in a wide range of university courses and jobs, including – but not limited to – journalism, website and graphic design, marketing, fashion and photography, and TV and radio production roles. For students wishing to further pursue their interest in the subject, most universities offer an extensive choice of Media and Film related courses.

British Values

When we talk of British Values, what we usually mean is democracy and the rule of law. Democracy starts with a respect for each other, and the media plays an important role in responding to and shaping the attitudes and behaviours of the general public and wider society. We will explore this, and we will also examine the effects of media representations of different demographic groups. Media Studies is therefore a topical subject, which is extremely relevant to current affairs, our democratic society, and contemporary political and social issues.