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Teaching Dual Certification : GCSE English/Media Studies

Course aim:

Many departments nationally have realised that, for some of their students, offering dual certification in GCSE English and Media Studies is more sensible than the English/Literature pairing. This approach seems to have the following advantages:

  • It tends to improve the statistical profile of A*-C grades of the English department.
  • It addresses the area of boys under-achievement and improves their behaviour
  • The range of text types studied is much more varied. As well as the novels, plays and poetry studied for English, students can spend longer on the process of producing and analysing moving image or ICT based texts
  • The course content of Media Studies has more appeal and contemporary resonance for a significant number of KS4 pupils.

This course ran successfully in a number of venues throughout the country. This year’s course takes a similar approach and is designed to provide:

  • a clear framework for how such a course fits together
  • some resources to support teaching of the coursework
  • a chance for “hands-on” experience of digital video editing.


What does the course cover?

The course is based on the use of the AQA Specification A English GCSE and the AQA Media Studies GCSE. The day consists of three sessions:

1. What is involved running dual certification GCSE course in English and Media Studies?

  • The session will provide an overview of the issues and suggest a course structure based on actual case studies of successful practice. Examples of students’ coursework assignments in Media Studies will be discussed and grades given will be exlained, as will the direct links between the courses

2. What can we do when teaching the course?

  • A range of practical classroom activities to use when teaching will be explored, including work on Newspapers, Advertsing and Pop Music. Resources provided will include a free CD ROM and free DVD.

3. Digital video editing.

  • A hands-on practical “taster” workshop on digital video editing will give course members the chance to try their hand at editing using inexpensive editing software.


Venues will include courses at:

  • Tue 18th January: Newcastle
  • Wed 19th January: Leeds
  • Thu 20th January: Manchester
  • Tue 1st February: Southampton
  • Tue 8th February: Birmingham
  • Wed 9th February: Bristol
  • Tue 1st March: London


The dMEC is happy to support any departments interested in improving their English GCSE provision in this way. We can offer:

  • School based training. This could be sessions looking at the way a course could be implemented or more practical "hands on" training in video making or graphics/layout. Half or full day training courses can be arranged to suit the needs of your school/department
  • Coursework suggestions for those wanting to make the best use of the "dual" route to improve standards in English and Media Studies and the resources to implement them
  • Attendance at the one day course detailed above.


Evaluations from last year showed 100% Good or Very Good. Some typical comments were:

  • Wonderful! Very practical. Tutors very supportive and helpful. I feel inspired! (Helen, Weston Fairfields High , Droylesden)
  • Excellent. MUCH better than naff NOF training. (Rosie Adams, Graham School, Scarborough)
  • Superb. Ready to start course now! Great to have such a sharply focused day, practical info. And also using software. Rare to leave a course feeling so satisfied! (Ginnie O’Farrell, Whitley Bay High School)
  • Very useful info on how Dual cert media/lang might work in practice. Great potential in engaging kids again at KS4 (a big issue in Durham!!) and raising achievement. Practical workshop very useful also. Many thanks! (Christopher Crick. Literacy Co-ordinator for Peterlee EAZ)


Course leaders:
Martin Phillips
Tutor for sessions 1 and 2. As well as leading the DCS digital Media Education team, Martin has been Chief Moderator for A/AS level Media Studies and is currently an Assistant Principal Moderator for AQA GCSE English. He has written a variety of books and articles on English and Media Studies teaching, most recently GCSE Media Studies for Heinemann and was the consultant for the BBC English File series Reading Media Texts.

Tim Arnold
Tutor for session 3. Tim is Adviser for Digital Media for DCS and DfES consultant for videoconferencing. He also works with the TTA, developing the use of new technology to support early language learning. He is the co-author of the book Videoconferencing in the Classroom.



A place on the course costs £145 and includes a variety of notes and teaching materials which will be of immediate use in the classroom. Your school or college will be invoiced.



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