Career outlook for media researcher

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would find entertaining and interesting people, places and information to make enjoyable TV and radio programmes.

You’d help TV and radio producers. For example, you could research factual information for documentaries or find studio audiences and guests for entertainment shows.

In some jobs you might also come up with and research ideas for new programmes.

Depending on the type of programme you would:

  • Discuss programme ideas and the research you’d need to do with producers
  • Find and check information using sources like the internet, libraries and museums
  • Search media libraries and archives for music, photographs and film footage
  • Write briefs for presenters, or brief scriptwriters
  • Check copyright and get permission to use archive material
  • Find people for the studio audiences and to contribute to the programme
  • Look for locations
  • Keep detailed records
  • Write content for websites and social media linked to the programme

On some productions you might cast people for roles. You’d call or visit people and record short taster or casting films. On factual programmes made by small teams, you might also do filming with digital video cameras or edit films.

Working conditions


Your working hours could be long and irregular. This may include evenings and weekends depending on the needs of the production.


You would work mainly in offices and studios, spending much of your time using the telephone and the internet.


You may also need to make research trips, which could involve travel throughout the UK or even abroad.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Creative
  • Innovative
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


There is no standard route into this career but many media researchers have a degree (SCQF level 9/10) linked to the type of programme they work on. For example, if you were working on a political programme, a politics or social science degree might be relevant.

To enter a degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers. Some universities ask for qualifications to be gained in one sitting. 

You can also enter a degree with a relevant Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8). With Advanced Highers, HNC or HND qualification you may enter the second or third year of some degree courses. 

With a suitable honours degree and relevant experience you can apply to a masters (SCQF level 11). 

Some universities offer an integrated masters (SCQF level 11) combining a degree and masters courses. Entry is the same as for a degree.

Useful subjects

  •  English (required by most courses)
  • Administrative subjects
  • ICT subjects
  • Maths
  • Social studies subjects such as media

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience gained through Foundation Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media (SCQF level 6), Skills for Work Creative Industries (SCQF Level 5) and Skills for Work Creative and Digital Media (SCQF Level 4).