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Careers Centre

TV and radio

About this sector

You can read information about role responsibilities, salary, working hours, what to expect, qualifications, skills, work experience, career prospects and related roles on the following Prospects Job Profiles:

You might also see other job profiles of interest in the Media and internet profiles page (which gives links to the 47 profiles in the sector).

How to gain experience/internships

If you're serious about a career in TV or radio, it is important to show potential employers that you have made good use of your time at St Andrews. Examples of relevant activities include student journalism, involvement in student drama, hospital radio and in film societies. To be competitive you will have to show your dedication and enthusiasm through this kind of involvement. It is also vital to get work experience, ideally in the vacation periods, although often this is followed by a further period after graduating.

In St Andrews

There are plenty of opportunities to be involved in the media at the University of St Andrews, whether you would rather be in front of the microphone or behind the scenes:

UK

 

Making speculative applications/networking

Many media employers do not advertise vacation opportunities, so you will need to adopt a speculative approach and network - start by making good use of the contacts on LinkedIn and Saint Connect.

Write speculatively to companies whose films/programmes you like to watch and ask them for work experience. If you don’t have a named contact then address to “Head of Talent”. Make your letter stand out - highlight your experience. Try to keep your CV to one page and show examples of working on your own initiative and being delegated work.

Most radio stations will have their own websites, so find a relevant contact and email address and write to them. When writing, explain who you are, what you want to do and what skills you can bring to the job. Be passionate in your application and demonstrate your enthusiasm for new ideas, preferably with examples of your own ideas.

In this industry (perhaps more than any other) you will need to push your way forward. Some people are uncomfortable networking but if you have contacts you will need to use them to get your foot in the door!

How to find a (graduate) job

The main graduate employers in the media sector include:

Independent Television Companies and Production Houses

There are around 1,000 independent production companies in the UK. Most belong to the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT).
A small number of these do run trainee schemes; but not necessarily annually. Examples of companies who have previously run graduate schemes include:

The Knowledge Online - use this online resource to contact production companies directly. It has a list of those operating in the UK.

Formal training schemes are the exception, with the majority of new entrants to the sector getting their first post as a result of an independent company receiving a contract, often at relatively short notice, to produce programmes to order, hence needing additional staff. Sometimes these companies advertise and we have had a few openings advertised on CareerConnect, but more usually they have had enough recent speculative applications or personal contacts to fill any vacancies many times over. Some independent production companies also make videos for all sorts of specialist ‘non broadcast purposes’, for example, training films, corporate communications; the advertising commercial market and short promotional films.


Jobsearch websites

There are many job search websites which advertise TV and Radio jobs, eg


This is an area where many jobs are never advertised, so it's worth making speculative applications and networking

Applications, interviews and assessment centres

The application process for TV and radio jobs will vary according to which company (and role) you are applying. Recruitment is likely to be more formal if you are applying for a graduate training scheme. Smaller organisations may just ask for a CV and covering letter. Check employers’ websites as many provide details on their recruitment and selection processes.

BBC

The BBC uses competency based interview, psychometric testing and assessment centres but there are a variety of other selection tools used, depending on the role to which you are applying.


Additional information

Relevant Postgraduate Study - is it a requirement?

While courses can be useful, they are no substitute for good quality practical experience in the sector and are best seen as a compliment to, rather than a replacement for, the need to get practical industry experience.

There are a number of websites which offer comprehensive listings of relevant courses, namely:

Having identified possible courses we recommend that you contact the course provider(s) of your choice and enquire particularly about the employment outcomes of previous students, and also to check that the course is vocationally, rather than academically, focussed.

Additionally, it's important to think about where you intend to undertake a relevant course of study. Remember that larger cities may provide more opportunities to do quality and worthwhile work experience placements.


The BAFTA Scholarship Programme - The BAFTA Scholarship Programme will award scholarships to UK students in need of financial assistance to take a postgraduate course related to a career in film, television or games at an institution in the UK. Each scholarship will provide up to £10,000 to cover one year's course fees, an industry mentor, and free access to BAFTA events around the UK for a year. Applicants are also considered for one of three Prince William Scholarships in Film, Television and Games, supported by BAFTA and Warner Bros, which additionally provides a short funded work placement within the Warner Bros group of companies and access to additional Warner Bros. mentors.

Key UK resources

Online

Use CareerConnect, your central careers hub, to:

 

General TV/Radio links

International resources

GoinGlobal

The Careers Centre subscribes to GoinGlobal, a specialist website with information and job vacancies worldwide.

USA

The USA job market and recruitment timetables, for both internships and graduate jobs, for sectors of employment often differ from the UK.

The Careers Centre subscribes to the reputable independent USA careers information and vacancy provider Vault. The links below will take you directly to Vault subscription resources which cover this sector. You may find further useful and relevant resources linked from there as well.

 

Internships USA