Department of Education

Media Studies

Course Leader: Keith Perera

What does the Sussex ITE partnership offer?

You can apply directly to the university to study for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) specialising in Media Studies. Alternatively, many schools work in partnership with the University to offer School Direct places which also lead to a Media Studies PGCE award. Either route will prepare you, as a trainee teacher, to teach Media Studies at Key Stages 4 and 5 (14-19 years).

This course can also be undertaken part-time over two years by suitable candidates. 

Successful trainees will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Why is Media teacher education distinctive at Sussex?

The Media is at the heart of contemporary culture and its study enriches young people’s understanding of their place in the world. Sussex has a strong tradition of serious study of media and this has influenced our teaching training course. The Department of Education at Sussex has pioneered innovative teacher training courses in media over the last 10 years via GTP, School Direct and PGCE routes. This full PGCE course will offer you a strong grounding in the theoretical aspects of school based media study but also develop you as a media creator with specialist input using industry standard hardware and software.

It is a vital time to be engaged in media studies. Technological change has had a profound impact on media classrooms where the aims of preparing children for possible careers in media related fields vie with a learning design that develops an awareness of the power relations inherent in media communications.

Why teach Media?

We welcome applicants from all media-related disciplines. It is likely that you will have gaps in your knowledge, but the course will help fill these through structured seminars. Media education supports:

  • active civic participation in contemporary society
  • critical consumers of mass media
  • e-Safety and responsible use of online and social media platforms
  • a clearly defined conceptual framework for study
  • well-developed approaches to classroom practice
  • rigorous criteria for assessing media learning
  • a strong practical dimension
  • an analytical and critical study alongside creative, practical activities.

Your subject and pedagogic knowledge will also be enriched by visits to the BFI, the Globe Theatre and the Mass Observation Archive, modelling 'out-of-classroom' experiences, central to your pupils' learning. Visiting an 'outstanding' inner-city school will enable you to explore key strategies in teaching media in a different context. With us, you will develop your understanding of innovative, evidence-based practice, fusing theory and practice in academic assignments.

Some teacher trainees and mentors progress to our Masters and Doctoral programmes in order to continue to enhance their teaching abilities and deepen their subject knowledge, by researching best practice.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will learn to be a Media teacher through a combination of taught sessions at the university and school-led professional development and classroom practice. You will start your course with a 2-3 week induction at the University in September, which is followed by a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops every Friday. These involve presentations, group work, role play, classroom modelling and peer teaching, for which you will explore ideas and approaches and reflect on your own experiences.

Over the course of the academic year, you will undertake two periods of professional practice in two different schools (these may vary slightly in length, but will equate to a minimum of 120 working days in total). You will be supported in your professional placements by a Media specialist, who will act as a mentor, offering you tutorial support and developing a programme of practice-based professional studies for you. Your progress will be assessed through observations, feedback and discussion. To this end, you will create and maintain a portfolio of evidence demonstrating how you have met the various Teachers' Standards.

You will engage with the theoretical foundations of classroom practice and demonstrate the depth of your professional knowledge by completing three academic assignments during the course.

Additional entry requirements

To be accepted on this course, you must meet the partnership's established entry requirements for Initial Teacher Education. See 'Our Entry Requirements' at the bottom of our Applying web page. Additionally, given the significant competition for those applying for a place on the Media Studies Initial Teacher Education course specifically, you should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • A strong knowledge and understanding of the study of media, and a sound awareness of how the subject is currently taught within state secondary schools
  • A good honours degree (2:2 or above) in a Media Studies, Film Studies or a related subject. In certain circumstances, media industry experience together with a degree may suffice.   

Undertaking a short classroom type teaching task and showing an awareness of the curriculum and school life is part of our interview process, so candidates may wish to prepare themselves by spending some time in an appropriate school setting for the subject/phase they intend to teach beforehand.

All candidates offered a place on a teacher training course will be required to satisfactorily complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as a CRB check), including a check of all cautions and warnings as well as convictions, before their place can be confirmed. The University will pay the costs of this check on your behalf.

How to apply

Applications for all Initial Teacher Education courses are made online via the Government's Department for Education websiteSee also our 'Applying' web page for a step-by-step process for how to apply to train to teach at Sussex.


See our Scholarships, fees and living costs web page for information on fees and eligibility for financial support. Specific information on bursaries, financial incentives and other sources of funding for Initial Teacher Education are available on our PGCE & School Direct Trainee Fees & Bursaries: 2023 and from the Department for Education.


See full details of the Secondary Media Studies PGCE course at Sussex on the Prospectus.

General enquiries about any ITE course, including application queries, should be directed to the ITE admissions team: 

Specific course enquiries can be directed to the Course Leader: