Film and TV

Discover what it’s like to work in film and TV and how you can build experience, stand out and get inspired


According to the Creative Industries Council (CIC), in 2019, around 84,000 people were employed in the UK film industry, of whom 66,000 worked in film and video production: 

CIC – TV and Film employment 

If you’re interested in a career in Film and TV but not sure how your skills fit in, try this short interactive quiz from BAFTA. It matches your skills to suggested roles and provides information on entry-level roles to consider: 

BAFTA Careers Quiz 

What are the common routes into Film and TV? 

Graduates of any discipline can enter both sectors. It's also possible to get an entry-level job such as a production runner with no degree if you have the right contacts and experience.  

If you’re applying for a graduate role that includes some technical work, it can help to have studied a media production course at either undergraduate or postgraduate level. If you're considering this, look for a course assessed by an industry evaluator such as Screenskills Select, as this shows evidence of industry relevance.

ScreenSkills Accredited Education Courses 

What's it like? 

Use these profiles of common roles within this sector to see what each role involves, how to get into it, what salary to expect and who the major employers are: 

Job profile: Broadcast journalist (Prospects)

Job profile: Film director (Prospects)

Job profile: Film/video editor (Prospects)

Job profile: Lighting technician, broadcasting/film/video (Prospects)

Job profile: Radio broadcast assistant (Prospects)

Job profile: Runner, broadcasting/film/video (Prospects)

Job profile: Sound technician, broadcasting/film/video (Prospects)

Job profile: Television camera operator (Prospects)

Job profile: Special effects technician (Prospects)

Working hours are often longer than the average 9-5 working day. Flexibility is required as weekend and evening work is expected. Work can be sporadic which can bring a great deal of uncertainty so you may need to budget accordingly. Working freelance is common. 

Start your own business or become a freelance

ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the screen industries, provides profiles of common roles within both sectors and highlights entry-level roles. Read more to see what each role involves, the qualifications required and entry routes: 

ScreenSkills – job profiles 

These short films discuss how to get into the world of TV, what the working environment is like, the many different jobs you could do and the skills you need:  

Industry insight: TV (University of Edinburgh login required) 

Discover what’s out there with the Creative & Cultural Careers events (CCC). These events are organised for all our students and graduates interested in working in the creative industries. Check our next Creative and Cultural event: 

Creative and Cultural Careers

Watch a recording of the CCCF 2019 – Careers in Film and TV event. The session brought together a panel of speakers all working in different roles within the film and TV industry. Hear how people started in the industry and what their day-to-day work entailed: 

CCCF 2019: Careers in Film and TV (University of Edinburgh login required)

In addition, watch this online panel of talented University of Edinburgh alumni working across the screen & stage industries – from film and theatre producing to lighting design and dialect coaching:

#EdCreativeCareers: Working in the Screen & Stage Industries: Industry Insights and Advice (University of Edinburgh login required)

Watch a recording of the CCCF Online 2021 – Insight into the Animation Industry event. The session, hosted by Caroline Parkinson, Creative Industries Lead for the Data Driven Innovation Programme, featured speakers from Axis Studios and Interference Pattern. The panel shared insights and top tips on what the animation and visual effects (VFX) industry has to offer for students from any discipline: 

CCCF Online 2021 - Insight into the Animation Industry with Axis Studios and Interference Pattern (University of Edinburgh login required) 

Building experience and getting started 

Volunteer for roles within student societies such as the Television Society (EUTV), Film Society (FilmSoc) and the Filmmaking Society. As well as taking part in workshops, you can improve your practical skills in areas such as camera work and editing. Find out more about these and other related societies: 

Edinburgh University Students’ Association – Find a society 

Making speculative applications and networking are key approaches to finding work experience and employment, as many opportunities are not advertised. Read our advice on this speculative approach:  

Create your own opportunity 

Check out the advice from ScreenSkills on how to make connections in the screen industries. They also list professional bodies and organisations as a good starting point: 

ScreenSkills – how to network well 

ScreenSkills also deliver free online masterclasses, training courses, a mentoring programme and comprehensive resources ranging from advice on how to build your portfolio through to information on their bursaries: 


Platform One is an online network of Edinburgh alumni and others. People are on there because they want to help, so it’s possible that you will find a contact whom you can ask for tips and advice: 

Platform One 

Creative Access, a social enterprise, supports those from under-represented backgrounds in the UK. They operate across all creative sectors, including film and TV, and partner with global brands through to smaller independent organisations: 

Creative Access 

The Edinburgh Television Festival takes place annually, in August. The Network Talent scheme that runs alongside the festival is a free entry-level scheme for anyone aged 18 and over who wants to start a career in TV. Find out more and register your interest: 

The Network 

Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) also takes place annually, in August, and offers a range of volunteering roles usually lasting from one to two weeks, to suit all levels of experience. Stay up to date with announcements about roles: 


Tiger Aspect Productions offer one to two-week placements to experience what it is like to work in a production company and the television industry in general: 

Tiger Aspect Productions 

The BBC provides work experience opportunities within TV. You can choose your location and category. Stay up to date on X (formerly Twitter) for insights and work experience opportunities @BBCGetIn:

BBC Get In 

Where can I find job vacancies? 

Check MyCareerHub for vacancies: 

MyCareerHub - Opportunities 

Apply for jobs via My First Job in TV Facebook Group, run by Michelle Matherson, who has almost twenty years’ experience in the TV industry. It’s free to join: 

My First Job in TV - Facebook Group 

British Council Films Directory, an extensive searchable database of new British films, allows you to search for films in different production stages (i.e. pre-production, production or post-production). It also provides contact details of the production companies whom you could approach speculatively: 

British Films Directory 

Tiger Aspect Productions offer a nine-month Department Runner Scheme: 

Tiger Aspect Productions