Media

Media researcher

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

Annual Salary

£16,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

Variable

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Media researcher jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

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

You may also cast people by calling or visiting people and recording them.

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

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

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

You'll usually need:

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

Apprenticeship

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

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

Other Routes

The right skills, contacts and work experience are highly valued. 

You could get contacts and experience by working:

  • on radio productions, or student film or TV productions
  • in local newspapers, student publications, hospital or community radio, film archives or picture libraries

You don’t need a degree to work in most areas but it can help.  You may need a degree, postgraduate qualification or background in a relevant subject to work on factual or specialist programmes.

You could also:

  • start as an administrator, runner or production assistant in TV and work your way up
  • move into programme research from a background in journalism or research in a non-media field, like social or political research
  • take a course in media production

BBC, Media Nation and Creative Skillset have more information on courses and work placements.

£16,000 to £40,000

Starter salary: £16,000 to £25,000

Experienced salary: £35,000

You could work freelance, and be paid a fee for each contract.

The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has information on current pay guidelines.

These figures are a guide.

Variable

Working hours can be long and irregular, and may include evenings and weekends.

You’ll mainly work in offices and studios, using the telephone and the internet. 

You may also make research trips, which could involve travel in the UK or overseas.

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

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

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.

You can find out more about becoming a media researcher from ScreenSkills and BBC Careers.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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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