Media researcher

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Media researchers support producers by finding information, people and places for television or radio programmes.

Salary Range: £16,000 to £40,000

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How to become a media researcher

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • training with a professional body
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University

It’s common for new researchers to have a degree in any subject, although it may be useful to do a degree in a relevant subject like:

  • broadcasting and media
  • English
  • history
  • journalism
  • politics

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More information

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College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge, useful for this role. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Creative Media
  • Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production
  • Level 3 Diploma In Creative Media Production & Technology

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

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Apprenticeship

You can work towards this role by starting with an advanced apprenticeship as a broadcast production assistant.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More information

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Work

You could start as an administrator, runner or production assistant in TV and work your way up.

Volunteering and experience

You could get contacts and experience by:

  • working on radio programmes, or student film or TV productions
  • helping out on local newspapers, student publications, hospital or community radio, film archives or picture libraries

Direct application

You can apply directly to employers if you’ve got some of the relevant skills and knowledge needed for this role.

Work experience, contacts and the right skills are highly valued and it could be possible to enter without a degree.

You could also move into programme research if you’ve worked in journalism or had a research job in a non-media field, like social or political research.

Other routes

You could do research training courses through a professional body like BECTU, the broadcast union. These are open to new starters as well as existing staff looking to progress.

More information

Career tips

You’ll need to get practical experience of media production, and to develop a network of contacts in the industry.

For general areas, knowledge of current affairs and the media, plus evidence of lateral thinking and creative problem solving is useful.

Specialist knowledge and research experience may be needed for specific subjects or documentaries.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a media researcher from ScreenSkills and organisations like:

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • customer service skills
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • persistence and determination
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include: 

  • discussing programme ideas and researching needs with producers
  • finding and checking information
  • searching media libraries and archives
  • writing briefs for presenters, or briefing scriptwriters checking copyright
  • finding studio audiences and programme contributors looking for locations
  • researching and writing content for websites and social media

Working environment

You could work in an office or at a TV studio.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could supervise a research team on larger productions.

You could also move into an assistant producer role, or writing or directing.