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Media Studies

Aims and Overview of the Media Studies Department


The mass media is one of the world-changing phenomena of the last one hundred years. We are constantly surrounded by media products that compete for our attention, while the technology behind the media is changing and advancing all the time. It is easy to argue that the mass media not only reflects our values and attitudes, but also has an influence in shaping them. Placed in this context, it is easy to see that media studies is a fascinating subject, which provides students with the opportunity to assess, analyse and produce a range of different media products.

Media Studies is a very popular choice for students who appreciate a subject which is academic in its foundation but also provides opportunities to apply learning in a practical context.


Media Studies is one of the most popular optional subjects at Ballyclare Secondary School and continues to attract high numbers of students and achieve excellent results year on year. Students are offered the opportunity to analyse and engage with a wide range of media products, helping them to develop an understanding of the distinctive forms and conventions the media industry uses.

Students learn how to produce and evaluate their own media products. They learn, too, how to consider the implications of media representations of individuals, groups, events and issues. Importantly, students explore the relationship between the production of media texts by institutions and their consumption by audiences. It is a very popular choice for students who appreciate a subject that is academic in its foundation but also provides opportunities to apply learning in a practical context.

This dynamic subject is offered at both GCSE and AS/A2 levels and there is comprehensive and integrated coverage of media theory and practice with a major focus on new technology. Opportunities are incorporated so that students can investigate what interests them with practical productions being a main thread across the possible four years of study.

The basis of the course is the framework of the key concepts of Media Forms, Media Representations, Media Industries and Media Audiences which are then applied across the three Media Platforms of Broadcasting, Digital/web-based media (e-media) and Print.


Mrs L McKay (Subject Leader)
Mr A Nicholl
Ms S O'Connor


The department has an excellent range of resources, including a Mac suite with 20 Apple devices, a PC suite with 20 Dell desktops, an Apple MacBook Pro laptop and iPad, equipped with industry-standard software. Dell PCs are accessible for web research and desktop publishing.  Rooms are suitable for screenings of films, documentaries and television programmes and there is an extensive library of textbooks, exemplar and stimulus materials.

Why Study Media Studies?

This course will encourage students to develop and enhance their enjoyment and appreciation of the media and its role in their daily lives. They will develop a critical understanding of the media through an engagement with media products and concepts and through creative application of practical skills by exploring production processes, technologies and other relevant contexts. They will become independent in research skills and in their application of their practical work in developing their own views and interpretations and becoming critically autonomous.

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