Media Studies

Results in Media Studies at Sutton Valence School have been excellent for a number of years. It is both an academic and creative subject and is a popular choice at the school.


As a young person beginning to find their place in the world, students need to be thinking critically about the way their understanding of this world is shaped by the media they consume. Media is ever-present in our lives and to take it for granted is to ignore the profound influence it can have on us all. Today’s media is evolving at an incredibly fast pace and we are all becoming ‘prosumers’ of media: that is, we both produce and consume media products. Studying the media helps us recognise how media products try to manipulate our responses, and as we are so bombarded with media messages recognising this is the starting point of being an active and engaged citizen.

Studying Media will enable students to:

  • Think critically about how the media shape the way we see the world;
  • Become better at analysing texts and making comparisons between texts;
  • Learn new theories and apply these when analysing media texts;
  • Explore the pros and cons of different theoretical perspectives;
  • Improve written skills and the ability to structure ideas;
  • Develop creativity and the ability to apply creativity to a set problem;
  • Learn new technical skills.

A Level

Board: WJEC

Pupils do not have to have studied Media at GCSE to take the subject at A Level. All students are given a thorough grounding in key media concepts and helped to develop their technical and design skills. We would expect students to have obtained at least a C grade in English Language at GCSE, but there are no other set criteria for entry into the A Level course. We want young people who are enthusiastic and engaged and are willing to learn, focus and apply themselves.

The course consists of three units

Unit 1 Meaning and Representations in Media 

Written essay format examination comprising 3 questions: 2 hours 15 (35%)

Explores the key media concepts of representation. Students will develop their ability to examine media products using media language and an analytical framework, including the exploration of genre and narrative. Texts studied will include music video, video games, advertising, film trailers and posters, newspapers and radio programmes.

Unit 2 Media Forms and Products 

Written essay format examination comprising 3 questions: 2 hours 30 (35%)

Particularly focuses upon the media concepts of audience, genre and narrative, representation and the media industry itself. Texts studied will include Life on Mars, The Bridge, magazines and online media for example vloggers and news websites.

Unit 3 Cross Media Practical Production

Coursework which is internally assessed and externally moderated (30%)

Coursework production unit. Students will complete two individual media productions that are linked. For example, they might choose to create a marketing campaign for a film including a DVD cover, three posters and a short documentary about the making of the film or, four pages of a new magazine and a short documentary about the launch of the new magazine.


Department Staff

Mr Julian Zane has a BA (Hons) from Exeter University in Social Science, an MA in Media and Communication Studies from City University and completed his PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church in Media and English. Mr Zane is a senior examiner for the WJEC board and has many years of teaching experience. He is a huge fan of the British social realism film and likes to think of himself as an artist who cannot draw. He brings his experience, enthusiasm and creativity into the classroom.

Mr Tim Sealy has a BA (Hons) in Media Production from the University of South Wales.   A self-confessed ‘tech geek’, Mr Sealy brings both experience and youth to the team – a winning combination. Mr Sealy specialises in the area of video production and is also passionate about photography.  He is a film fanatic and as well as more esoteric European art house films, is particularly a fan of the horror film genre.

Mrs Becci Ball has a degree in English Literature but has been teaching Media Studies since her first year of teaching. Mrs Ball has examined for WJEC GCSE Media for many years and has both written resources and delivered training for them. Like Mr Sealy she is a film fanatic with a special love for the polar opposites of action movies and the films of Powell and Pressburger.

Mr Julian Zane
Head of Department


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Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL


Tel: 01622 845200


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