What is Media all about?

VCE Media provides students with the opportunity to analyse media concepts, forms and products in an informed and critical way. Students consider narratives, technologies and processes from various perspectives including an analysis of structure and features. They examine debates about the media’s role in contributing to and influencing society. Students integrate these aspects of the study through the individual design and production of their media representations, narratives and products. VCE Media supports students to develop and refine their planning and analytical skills, critical and creative thinking and expression, and to strengthen their communication skills and technical knowledge.

Students gain knowledge and skills in planning and expression valuable for participation in and contribution to contemporary society. This study leads to pathways for further theoretical and/or practical study at tertiary level or in vocational education and training settings; including screen and media, marketing and advertising, games and interactive media, communication and writing, graphic and communication design, photography and animation.

This study enables students to:

      • investigate and analyse their and others’ experience of the media
      • examine the relationship between audiences and the media
      • understand the codes and conventions that are used to construct media narratives and products
      • develop an understanding of traditional and contemporary media forms, products, institutions and industries through theoretical study and practical application
      • develop an understanding of the nature, roles, structure and contexts of creation and distribution of media forms and products
      • analyse media stories and narratives to understand how meaning is constructed and how audiences are engaged
      • develop an understanding of the relationship between the media and audiences that produce and engage with it
      • develop the capacity to investigate, examine and evaluate debates around the role of contemporary media and its implications for society
      • develop skills in critically understanding the significance and aesthetics of the media
      • develop and refine skills in the design, production, evaluation and critical analysis of media products in a range of contexts and forms for different audiences.


The study is made up of four units.

Unit 1: Media forms, representations and Australian stories

In this unit students develop an understanding of audiences and the core concepts underpinning the construction of representations and meaning in different media forms. They explore media codes and conventions and the construction of meaning in media products. Students analyse how representations, narrative and media codes and conventions contribute to the construction of the media realities audiences engage with and read. Students gain an understanding of audiences as producers and consumers of media products. Through analysing the structure of narratives, students consider the impact of media creators and institutions on production. They develop research skills to investigate and analyse selected narratives focusing on the influence of media professionals on production genre and style. Students develop an understanding of the features of Australian fictional and non-fictional narratives in different media forms. Students work in a range of media forms and develop and produce representations to demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of each media form, and how they contribute to the communication of meaning.

Unit 2: Narrative across media forms

Students explore reproduction and the transmission of biological information from generation to generation and the impact this has on species diversity. They apply their understanding of chromosomes to explain the process of meiosis. Students consider how the relationship between genes, and the environment and epigenetic factors influence phenotypic expression. They explain the inheritance of characteristics, analyse patterns of inheritance, interpret pedigree charts and predict outcomes of genetic crosses.

Unit 3: Media narratives and pre-production

In this unit students explore stories that circulate in society through media narratives. They consider the use of media codes and conventions to structure meaning, and how this construction is influenced by the social, cultural, ideological and institutional contexts of production, distribution, consumption and reception. Students assess how audiences from different periods of time and contexts are engaged by, consume and read narratives using appropriate media language. Narratives are defined as the depiction of a chain of events in a cause and effect relationship occurring in physical and/or virtual space and time in non-fictional and fictional media products.

Students use the pre-production stage of the media production process to design the production of a media product for a specified audience. They investigate a media form that aligns with their interests and intent, developing an understanding of the media codes and conventions appropriate to audience engagement, consumption and reception within the selected media form. They explore and experiment with media technologies to develop skills in their selected media form, reflecting on and documenting their progress. Students undertake pre-production processes appropriate to their selected media form and develop written and visual documentation to support the production and post-production of a media product in Unit 4.

Unit 4: Media production and issues in the media

In this unit students focus on the production and post-production stages of the media production process, bringing the media production design created in Unit 3 to its realisation. They refine their media production in response to feedback and through personal reflection, documenting the iterations of their production as they work towards completion. Students explore the relationship between the media and audiences, focusing on the opportunities and challenges afforded by current developments in the media industry. They consider the nature of communication between the media and audiences, explore the capacity of the media to be used by governments, institutions and audiences, and analyse the role of the Australian government in regulating the media.


There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4. Units 1 to 4 are designed to a standard equivalent to the final two years of secondary education.


Satisfactory Completion

Demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit.

Levels of Achievement

Units 1 and 2

School-based assessment consisting of coursework, assessment tasks and an exam

Units 3 and 4

School-assessed coursework and an end of year examination

  • Unit 3 school-assessed coursework: 10 %
  • Unit 4 school-assessed coursework: 10%
  • School assessed task: 40%
  • End-of-year written examination: 40 %