Media Studies

KS4 GCSE Media Studies

Exam Board: WJEC

Candidates will explore at least three topics for GCSE Media Studies. These topics must involve study of a minimum of three different media, including at least one print–based and one audiovisual–based form. Examples of different media include film, television, animated film, radio, magazines, music videos, websites and computer games.

Each topic will reflect the convergent nature of contemporary media. The topics will be assessed through external examination and controlled assessment tasks.

Topics studied, some of which may be based on particular forms, may include:

  • Music
  • Television Drama
  • Advertising
  • Animation
  • Science Fiction
  • Lifestyle and celebrity
  • News
  • Comedy

Whether topics are more open or based on a particular form, they will be studied in the context of the convergent nature of contemporary media and its various digital platforms. Assessment for GCSE Media Studies is untiered, i.e. all components cater for the full range of ability and allow access to grades A*-G.

(a) External Assessment: Written Examination Paper (40% of the final mark)

This paper will be 2 hours 15 minutes and will include 5 minutes to read the examination paper and approximately 25 minutes to view a set audio-visual extract or to study the set print-based material.

Where appropriate, interactive media, such as websites, will be presented in a print-based format. The paper will assess candidates on a topic set by WJEC. Candidates will be expected to study the topic in a way which reflects the convergent nature of contemporary media.

The paper is divided into two sections. For each section, a different aspect of the topic, based on different media forms or platforms, will be set.

  • Section A: Thinking about the Media – Investigating will assess
    candidates on their knowledge and understanding of the set topic in relation
    to the main areas from the specification framework. Candidates will respond
    to stimulus material chosen by WJEC.
  • Section B: Thinking about the Media – Planning will assess candidates’
    planning and creative skills through a series of creative tasks demonstrating an awareness of the convergent nature of contemporary media. When an audio-visual extract is set for Section A, it will be played three times.

Candidates will have 5 minutes to read the questions before viewing the

(b) Controlled Assessment (60% of the final mark)

The controlled assessment consists of:

  • Two textual investigations of 400 – 850 words or equivalent, depending on the presentational form selected (10% for each investigation).
  • One media production consisting of research, planning, the production itself and an evaluation (40%).

Across the complete specification, candidates must study a minimum of three different media, including at least one print-based and one audiovisual–based form. ‘Media’ will be interpreted in terms of generic forms rather than platforms although there is a requirement that the topics for the examination will be studied in relation to the convergent nature of the media.