What does a media researcher do?
Media researchers support television, radio and documentary producers by finding out details of show contributors, locations and background information. You’ll then provide briefs for the producer from which they can make the show.
You’ll use a variety of techniques to find out information, including interviewing people and using social media. You’ll need excellent organisational and communication skills.
You’ll often be working shifts, including weekends. You may be required to do some filming or sound recording on location. You may be working as a self-employed freelancer, or you could be employed directly by an independent production company or a larger broadcaster.
What do I need to do to become a media researcher?
While there are no specific qualifications that you need to become a media researcher, the industry is very competitive and it is becoming more common for new researchers to have a degree. You will also need to get practical experience of media production and to develop a network of contacts in the industry.
Some factual or specialist production companies will prefer you to have a degree, postgraduate qualification or working background in a relevant subject area. For instance, a natural history programme researcher is likely to need a degree or background in biology, ecology, or other specialist subject knowledge and qualifications.
To do a degree, you'll usually need five GCSEs (A-C) including maths, English and science, plus three A levels or an equivalent level 3 qualification. Check with universities for exact entry requirements, as vocational courses are acceptable for some degree courses but not all. If you want to specialise in particular programme subject areas, consider choosing relevant specialist courses or qualifications.
There are no specific A levels required but relevant ones include: English literature, English language, media, psychology, sociology, communication studies and law.
Vocational courses – a Level 3 qualification in media studies would be relevant for this work. Check with individual degree course providers regarding acceptability.
- A levels, including English literature/language, media, psychology, sociology, communication studies, and law
- Level 3 qualification in media studies
- Undergraduate degree
- Postgraduate degree
Where to find out more
- Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph, and Theatre Union (BECTU)
- National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
- Creative Skillset
- Creative Skillset (Young creative talent)