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The QKA Digital Media department are dedicated to deepening our students' understanding of the wider media as it exists in the modern world. Media products are now so deeply embedded into our daily lives, and it is more important than ever that young people understand the impact these products can have on individuals and societies. It is our core mission to equip students with a range of practical production and analytical skills in various areas of the media; both so that they may better understand how the media operate and develop the skills required to undertake further study or work in the industry itself. Students have access to a broad and varied curriculum offering an overview of the media during years 9, 10 and 11, moving to a more specialised approach in the Sixth Form. Our department consists of Mr D Barnes (Subject Head) and Mrs L Holmes  


Key Stage Three 

Year 9 

The year 9 curriculum is designed to introduce students to basic theories and skills in each of the three media platforms. 

Topic 1 

Students will study the language of print media, focusing on magazine production. This will involve building knowledge of media representations and target audiences. They will develop basic image editing and digital publishing techniques using industry standard software to create magazine covers. 

Topic 2 

During the second topic we focus on broadcast media and develop skills in video editing to communicate character and story. During this unit students will conduct close study tasks on music videos looking at genre, camera work and editing technique. They will then edit existing footage to create a video for a song. 

Topic 3 

In the final topic students investigate interactive media products. They will analyse a range of websites, looking at how they are designed to attract specific audiences and perform a particular role (entertainment, information, advertising etc.). Students will then design and construct an interactive site in response to a design brief assessing their ability to apply their understanding. This will involve using skills learnt earlier in the year alongside new software to create the interactive features of the site. 


Key Stage Four  

GCSE Media Studies (OCR) 

GCSE - Media Studies (9-1) - J200 (from 2017) - OCR 

GCSE in Media Studies helps students develop a wider understanding and appreciation of the media, both historical and contemporary, and their role in society, culture, and politics. Students apply their academic knowledge in the creation of their own media production. 


Component 01: Television and promoting media 

There are two sections: 

  • In section A: Television, students engage with an in-depth study of one contemporary and one historic television products, responding to questions covering the whole of the theoretical framework and a range of media contexts 

  • In section B: Promoting media, students study media products from the same global conglomerate producer illustrating the media forms of film, advertising and marketing, and video games. 


Component 02: Music and news 

There are two sections: 

  • In section A: Music, students engage with one in-depth study covering magazines, a comparative study of music videos and a study of contemporary radio. 

  • In section B: News, students engage with one in-depth study of online news, including its social and participatory media. Students also study contemporary and historical newspaper front pages and how they illustrate changing social, cultural, historical, and political contexts. 


Component 03/04: Creating media 

Students apply their knowledge and understanding of media language and representations to create media products of their own, using the theoretical framework to express and communicate meaning to an intended audience. 


Key Stage Five 

Media Studies A level and AS Level (OCR) 

AS and A Level - Media Studies - H009, H409 (from 2017) - OCR 

A Level in Media Studies encourages students to study the media in an academic context and apply the knowledge and understanding gained to their own media productions. They develop critical thinking skills as they study the media in both global and historical contexts. 

Students study nine media forms and associated set products using a theoretical framework covering media language, media representations, media industries and media audiences. They also consider the social, cultural, economic, political, and historical contexts of media products. 

Component 01: Media messages 

Students study news and online, social, and participatory media in depth and learn about how media language is used to construct representations and meaning in a variety of set media products. 

There are two sections: 

  • In section A: News and online media, students carry out two linked in-depth studies that focus on contemporary news in the UK, requiring students to explore how and why newspapers and their online counterparts are evolving as media products and the relationship between both online and offline news. 

  • In section B: Media language and representation, students focus on media language and representation and consider how meanings are constructed across different media forms. This covers advertising and marketing, magazines, and music videos. 

Component 02: Evolving media 

Students consider how media industries are evolving and using technology to reach, target and address audiences through a variety of set media products. Students also consider the media language, representations, messages, and values communicated by long-form television drama and how these dramas are produced and consumed globally. 

There are two sections: 

  • In section A: Media industries and audiences, students will explore media industries through film, video games and radio and audiences through video games and radio. 

  • In section B: Long-form television drama, students carry out an in-depth study focusing on contemporary long form television dramas, one English language and one European (non-English language). 

Component 03/04: Creating media 

Students create a cross-media product for an intended audience in response to a set brief. This gives them the opportunity to work independently and develop expertise built from their study in components 01 and 02. 


L3 BTEC Extended Certificate in Creative Digital Media Production (Games Production) 

This course is made up of four internally assessed coursework units and one externally assessed unit as detailed below: 

– Digital Games Production 

This unit of study develops a detailed appreciation of the aspects of game design. From core gameplay principals through to constructing a professional design proposal document for a client. All design work is carried out to a brief and students are required to apply their ideas to engage their target audience. This unit is completed alongside Units 33 and 34 below; students will bring together their planning, animation, and game engine work to create a working prototype of their game. This will involve developing basic programming skills and working to a strict production schedule to deliver the product to the client. Whilst programming for this course does not require or use scripted coding languages, it is beneficial for students to have had some prior experience in this area. 

– Game Engine Scripting 

This unit teaches students core concepts of game scripting. While they do not need to learn a scripting language students will learn the universal terminology and logical processes these languages use. This knowledge is then applied to their game deign plan to create the underlying program on which their finished game will run. As part of this they will implement basic physics systems, user input conditions, and both simple and multi layered AI. 

– 3D Modelling 

Delivered at the end of the course, this Unit is intended to prepare students for the next phase of their game development career by introducing the core concepts and techniques required to design and produce 3D models for use in video games. Models are designed to fit with a specific genre of game and are modelled and textured accordingly. Students will then import these models into 3D game engine and demonstrate how they would work within the game environment. 

– Digital Media Skills. (External Assessment) 

This unit combines elements from throughout the course to see students develop detailed research, preparation, and planning skills. They will analyse, investigate, and prepare documentation in relation to a commercial brief, present a proposal and production schedule and then complete production and deliver the finished product to the client. This unit is completed under controlled conditions within a 20-hour timed window and all work is assessed externally by the exam board. 


Cohort Dependent Units (One Unit from:) 

– 2D Animation Techniques 

As part of developing assets for their 2D game design, students study the principles and practices of 2D animation. Both traditional and digital techniques are covered, and students are required to plan and produce animation reels using a variety of these techniques. From traditional cell animation to programmed, vector and rotoscoping, this unit provides students with a deep understanding of the skills needed to create game animations. 

– Games Testing 

This unit requires students to follow a rigorous process of testing and iterative development of their game during production. Students identify issues and bugs, log them, implement a solution, test the solution, and repeat as required. Once the project is ready students will then engage a group of their intended audience to conduct play testing and get user feedback before completing the final stages of the project. 

– Concept Art for Computer Games 

Concept art is a crucial part of the early planning and development for the imagery and visual style of a game design project. This unit requires learners to explore a range of traditional and digital art techniques to create their own concept designs. More suited to students already focusing on an art and design route this is a particularly specialised unit.  



David Barnes Subject Leader-

Louise Holmes Teacher of Media-