Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment
CCEA Curriculum Monitoring Programme 2018-19

Please note: this section relates to the legacy specification. The final resit opportunity will be January 2019 (for externally assessed units only - no controlled assessment units available). This will also be the last opportunity for certification.


Do students need any prior experience of studying journalism in the media and communications industry to be able to take this course?

No, students do not need any previous experience of studying journalism in the media and communications industry. However, students studying this GCSE must have an appropriate level of literacy and numeracy. They must be able to work within the ability range for which GCSE has been designed. We also expect that they will have had an opportunity to analyse and evaluate a range of media, for example magazines, newspapers, radio, television and the internet, in Key Stage 3 English (through Media Education).

What skills will students need when following this course?

Students who study this course will find the following skills helpful:

  • the ability to work in a team;
  • an interest in working with and providing a service to people;
  • some motivation to work independently, when required; and
  • initiative and an ‘enterprising’ attitude.

What grades can students be awarded through following this course?

We award GCSE qualifications on an eight grade scale from A*–G, with A* being the highest. For students who fail to attain a grade G, we report their results as unclassified (U).

We report the results of individual assessment units on a uniform mark scale that reflects the assessment weighting of each unit. We determine the grades awarded by aggregating the uniform marks obtained on individual assessment units.

What technology and software do centres need to provide for students?

We advise that centres provide the following minimum resources to deliver the course:

  • audio and video/DVD playback facilities (TV, video/DVD projector, DVD player and CD player); and
  • internet access and library resources for independent research.

To produce the tasks for Units 2 and 3, students should have access to:

  • ICT hardware facilities and DTP software;
  • digital cameras for taking still images;
  • facilities to record and edit audio material; and
  • facilities to record and edit visual/video/DVD material.

Are students assessed on the quality of their written communication?

Yes, students must show the quality of their written communication. In particular, students must:

  • ensure that text is legible and that spelling, punctuation and grammar are accurate and appropriate so that meaning is clear;
  • select and use a form and style of writing appropriate to their purpose and to complex subject matter; and
  • organise information clearly and coherently, using specialist vocabulary where appropriate.

Examiners assess the quality of students’ written communication in their responses to questions or tasks that require extended writing. Students must pay special attention to spelling, punctuation, grammar and accuracy.

What Key Skills can students develop through studying this specification?

This specification gives students opportunities to develop the following Key Skills:

  • Application of Number;
  • Communication;
  • Improving Own Learning and Performance;
  • Information and Communication Technology;
  • Problem-Solving; and
  • Working with Others.