Getting started in Film & Television (with an apprenticeship)

Film and Television production is a huge industry in the UK, encompassing a variety of creative and practical occupations. 

From lighting, costumes and set building to scriptwriters, props, and continuity experts, lots of different types of people contribute to each production. 

While it’s not all glamour and involves much hard work, a film and television production career can be exciting and rewarding.

It may seem like an impossible dream, but the UK has a large and diverse film and television production sector, creating many opportunities for young people and those wanting to switch careers. 

There are a few different routes in film and TV; apprenticeships, work experience, and university. 

Film & Television Apprenticeships

One of the best pathways into a career in film and television is via an apprenticeship.

Not only can you learn about the industry on real sets, but you will also earn money and not have to pay for tuition.

In 2019, the Creative Industries Council’s Diversity Charter (DCMS) committed £100,000 to help deliver the innovative Film and TV Apprenticeships pilot. Before this, it was difficult for many studios to offer apprenticeships due to the 12-month minimum legal requirement because many filming projects last 2-4 months. Today, there are more flexible options.

Companies such as the BBC, Channel 4, and ITV run regular apprentice schemes and internships so keep an eye on their websites and sign up for updates. 

Types of Apprenticeship

TV and film apprenticeships are available at various levels, from intermediate apprenticeships all the way up to degree level

You can find apprenticeships in all aspects of film and television production, including but not limited to:

Visual  Effects

  • Junior 2D artist – Level 4
  • Assistant Technical Director  – Level 4
  • Junior VFX Artist (Generalist) – Level 4
  • VFX Technical Director – Level 6
  • VFX Supervisor – Level 7


  • Junior Animator  – Level 4
  • Storyboard Artist – Level 7


  • Production Apprenticeship – Level 3
  • Junior Content Producer  – Level 3
  • Broadcast Production Assistant  – Level 3
  • Junior Advertising Creative – Level 3
  • Media Production Coordinator  – Level 4
  • Creative Industries Production Manager – Level 7

Production Crafts 

  • Assistant Puppet Maker – Level 3
  • Costume Performance Technician – Level 3
  • Props Technician – Level 3
  • Scenic Construction Technician – Level 3
  • Scenic Artist – Level 3
  • Hair, wigs, make-up and prosthetics technician – Level 3
  • Scenic Automation – Level 3

Post Production

  • Post Production Technical Operator  – Level 4
  • Assistant (audio) recording technician  – Level 4
  • Post Production Engineer  – Level 5


  • Camera Prep Technician – Level 3
  • Broadcast and Media Systems Technical Operator – Level 3
  • Broadcast and Media Systems Technician – Level 5
  • Broadcast and Media Systems Engineer (Degree) – Level 6
  • Outside Broadcasting Engineer (Masters Degree) – Level 7

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements vary depending on the level and the role. For example, to be eligible for a level 4 apprenticeship, you will typically need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths. 

You also need to be 16 or over, a UK citizen and not in full-time education. 

Work Experience in Film & TV

Practical experience is highly valued in this industry, and there are several opportunities for young people especially to gain work experience at studios or on film and TV sets. 

While most work experience is unpaid, it’s a chance to learn the ropes and build up your contacts. 

You can find film and TV work experience through one of these methods:

  • Contacting major film and TV studios such as Sky or Pinewood Studios to ask about opportunities
  • Getting in touch with smaller local companies, such as Endemol Shine UK and Tiger Aspect 
  • Find the film agency for your location – eg Screen Yorkshire, Screen Ireland, and search the opportunities in your area
  • Search film job sites/generic job sites 

You may find that you get assigned the ‘grunt work’ – ie the tasks no one else wants to do. However, if you impress the right people you may be given more responsibilities. 


Alternatively, you can study many aspects of film and television production at a university such as the University of Sunderland, the University of Kent, or the University of Glasgow or a specialised film school, such as The London Film School, Met Film School or the National Film and Television School.

You can study film or television production at university to a degree or Master’s level. Course titles include film and TV studies, creative media production, and film and television production. These courses have been designed to develop natural talents and transferable skills such as operating a camera, budgeting, problem-solving, teamwork and time management. 

You may then go on to further studies in a specific area, such as documentary and sports production, wildlife, or TV drama.

Other Options:

There are a few other things you can do to get a head start on the competition:

  • Join The Production Guild of Great Britain 
  • Create a showreel or portfolio
  • Create and maintain a website, blog, or vlog
  • Get involved in local productions
  • Source the best equipment you can find to help you create more professional productions
  • Look for shoots in your area and apply to be an extra 
  • See if you can find a masterclass or speaker event in your locality
  • Take a free e-learning course in a related subject
  • Research – read books on film & TV production, and watch a variety of mediums 

If you want to work in Film or Television production, it is a good idea to gain as much practical experience as you can. A strong work ethic, adaptability and a willingness to learn can be just as important as your qualifications and initiative is highly prized. 

Whichever route you choose, you’ll need the determination to succeed in a competitive industry. UK film and TV production is a busy and vibrant industry, and this could be the start of a long and exciting career.

Relax. We’ll send the jobs to you.

Reckon you know what you want to do, but can’t find the perfect role? Most companies hire their apprentices in a ‘recruitment window’. This means many great jobs are only available for a short time once or twice each year.

Sign up for our job alerts service, and we’ll send you any jobs that fit your search criteria.