Welcome to Media Studies

Powerful knowledge in Media Studies starts from the understanding that everything presented in the Media is a construction. It is from this understanding that learners can analyse and produce Media products. Media Studies empowers students to become critical receivers of the Media and question what they are faced with. In addition, the freedom of personal choice in their practical work represents the overriding intent of the media courses on offer at John Henry Newman Catholic College, which is to encourage passionate, personal interaction with this vast, creative and constantly shifting industry.

Course Intent

The Media Studies curriculum at John Henry Newman Catholic College aims to develop our students’ confidence in critically engaging with media texts of all styles and types. On completion of their studies in Media at both KS4 and KS5, students will have developed a deep understanding of the way in which media products are constructed to create meaning and then how these messages are consumed by audiences, as well as relevant and high quality production skills that can be used directly in the industry.

Course Overview

Media Studies is a creative, contemporary and cultural subject that offers students the opportunity to analyse, evaluate and produce texts across a range of different Media platforms. With the recent investment of an impressive Media Suite, consisting of sixteen Apple Macs and state-of-the art software, you will construct industry quality portfolios in print, advertising, multimedia and photography. Much of this subject is steeped in theory as you are encouraged to debate, discuss and examine diverse examples of current Media within a historical context, particularly at KS5. You will develop an understanding of the key media concepts of language, representation, audiences and institutions. Theory is also largely focused on developing key skills; with a focus on mise-en-scene, camera use, sound, design, marketing, editing and composition.

What will I learn?

Key Stage 4

The course is made up of 75% coursework and 25% external exam. Pupils will produce three industry standard portfolios. Students will plan, design, create and then evaluate:

– A Book Sleeve using Adobe Photoshop (R082)
– An Interactive Multimedia Product (R087)
– A Photography Portfolio using Specialist DSLR cameras (R090)

Students studying these coursework units can use the following knowledge organisers to assist them:

R082 - Knowledge Organiser 
R087 - Knowledge Organiser
R090 - Knowledge Organiser
– R082/87/90 - Knowledge Organiser - Further Reading

Alongside the three coursework units outlined above, students will then sit an exam based around the pre-production topic. In this exam, students will apply their knowledge of the pre-production elements to an unseen scenario.

Students can use the following study materials attached to prepare for the examination:

– R081 Media Studies Personal Learning Checklist
– R081 Media Studies Flashcards
– R081 Media Studies Knowledge Organisers (LO1LO2 A/LO2 BLO3LO4, Further Reading)
– R081 Media Studies Revision Guide

Key Stage 5


In Years 12 and 13 the course involves detailed planning and construction of media products using appropriate technical and creative skills. The units require engagement and skilled use of new and innovative technologies to create high quality productions. Students will be required to:

– Plan, design (Unit 4) and then create a magazine front cover and double page spread (Unit 14) using industry standard software via the adobe suite.


As well as developing practical skills that are beneficial to those seeking a career in the media industry, the course also has two exams.

Unit 1 - Media Representations: Students will develop an understanding of the media industry through analysing the way in which people, places and events are represented by the media. Students will be exposed to media theories and critical thinking which will allow them to have a deeper knowledge of the power and control the global media has on it's audiences.

Unit 8 - Responding to a Commission: Learners will complete an external assessment where they must plan and design a brand new media product based on a pre-release/commission. This unit allows students to build on the skills they have acquired in the coursework units and enables them to show creativity and media prowess by responding to a 'real life' client and brief.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more information please email cclark@jhncc.org