Scheme of assessment

Find past papers and mark schemes, and specimen papers for new courses, on our website at

This specification is designed to be taken over two years.

This is a linear qualification. In order to achieve the award, students must complete all assessments at the end of the course and in the same series.

GCSE exams and certification for this specification are available for the first time in May/June 2019 and then every May/June for the life of the specification.

All materials are available in English only.

Our GCSE exams in Media Studies include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to:

  • recall information
  • draw together information from different areas of the specification
  • apply their knowledge and understanding in practical and theoretical contexts
  • analyse and compare how media products construct and communicate meaning and generate intended interpretations and responses
  • respond through discursive writing to show knowledge and understanding of media issues
  • use specialist subject specific terminology appropriately.

Aims and learning outcomes

Courses based on this specification must encourage students to:

  • demonstrate skills of enquiry, critical thinking, decision making and analysis
  • acquire knowledge and understanding of a range of important media issues
  • develop appreciation and critical understanding of the media and their role both historically and currently in society, culture and politics
  • understand and apply specialist subject-specific terminology to analyse and compare media products and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed in order to make informed arguments, reach substantiated judgements and draw conclusions about media issues
  • appreciate how theoretical understanding supports practice and practice supports theoretical understanding
  • develop practical skills by providing opportunities for creative media production.

Assessment objectives

Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all GCSE Media Studies specifications and all exam boards.

The exams and non-exam assessment will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.

  • AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
    • the theoretical framework of media
    • contexts of media and their influence on media products and processes.
  • AO2: Analyse media products using the theoretical framework of media, including in relation to their contexts, to make judgements and draw conclusions.
  • AO3: Create media products for an intended audience, by applying knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media to communicate meaning.

Assessment objective weightings for GCSE Media Studies

Assessment objectives (AOs) Component weightings (approx %) Overall weighting (approx %)
Paper 1 Paper 2 NEA
AO1 20 10 0 30
AO2 15 25 0 40
AO3 0 0 30 30
Overall weighting of components 35 35 30 100

Assessment weightings

The marks awarded on the papers will be scaled to meet the weighting of the components. Students’ final marks will be calculated by adding together the scaled marks for each component. Grade boundaries will be set using this total scaled mark. The scaling and total scaled marks are shown in the table below.

Component Maximum raw mark Scaling factor Maximum scaled mark
Paper 1 84 x1 84
Paper 2 84 x1 84
NEA 60 x1.2 72
Total scaled mark: 240