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Culture, Arts & Media

  • Overview of the Sector


    1 in 11 jobs of all UK jobs now fall within the creative economy.
    1 in 6 of all UK graduate jobs are also creative economy positions.
    (  2018)

    In Northern Ireland, over 25,000 people work in the creative industries or in creative occupations. This represents 43.1 per cent of the workforce. (Source: Creative Industries economic estimates for Northern Ireland 2019)


  • Main Areas of Work Include:

    Performing Arts: Music performance, Composition, Music Therapy, Performing Arts

    Arts Administration & Management

    Media and Internet: TV, Radio, Film, Journalism, Digital Media

    Teaching & Academia

  • What do I need to gain Graduate Employment?

    Creative Arts graduates are more likely to be self-employed or work freelance. A relevant degree can increase your chances of success. However, talent, enthusiasm, determination and experience can be just as important.

    Industry-specific courses may boost your chances of finding a job, by giving you practical and technical skills in areas that are in demand such as digital media and film & music technologies.

    For journalism you will need qualifications from the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ,) either as part of a first degree, a Masters or as a stand-alone professional qualification. For management and administration roles a business degree can be useful. The Creative Skillset Courses Directory  lists accredited degree and postgraduate courses that are endorsed by the industry. This website is also a good source of information on creative and media careers.

    You’ll need to be proactive in hunting down opportunities. Build up a portfolio of work experience - and get yourself known. Raise your profile online and face to face.

    • Follow organisations/groups on Facebook, Twitter.
    • Attend industry events, screenings, and festivals.
    • Enter competitions.
    • Connect with groups on LinkedIn.
    • Contact organisations speculatively to show interest.
    • Seek out internships and opportunities to volunteer

    Larger companies including: the BBC, Channel 4, RTE, Virgin Media offer work experience and internship opportunities – but these are very competitive. Smaller independent production companies, theatre groups and orchestras may accept speculative approaches.

    Get involved in student media, drama and musical ensembles at university or at community level. Writing your own blog or commenting on others peoples' blogs can also get you noticed by employers.

    Creativity, originality and innovation are vital for success.

    Skills: strong communication, organisational & team work skills. Practical and technical skills. Entrepreneurial skills and commercial awareness.

    Personal qualities: ability to evaluate & self-reflect.  Flexibility & perseverance.

  • Key Employers

    Northern Ireland:

    Arts Council NI lists opportunities across the culture & arts sector in NI including music, theatre, film & TV and community arts. 

    NI Screen lists vacancies and calls for crew for productions which receive NI Screen funding. 

    Other key employers include; BBC, UTV and smaller independent production companies.

    UK and Global:

    Arts Councils in England , Scotland, Wales and further afield are a good source of information

    Broadcasting Companies e.g. BBC, Channel 4

    Local & National Theatre Companies, including Theatre NI and Mandy

    Orchestras and Association of British Orchestras

  • Local/ Nortnern Ireland Opportunities

    NI ScreenOn Campus resources:

    • RTS Media Evevnt – check MyFuture - an opportunity to hear from a range of professionals about their knowledge, experiences and tips on getting in to the media industry.
    • MyFuture– access graduate jobs and internships.

    Digital media, film, television and music industries in Northern Ireland are forecast to grow in the coming years not only within the creative industries sector, but across the wider Northern Ireland economy. Opportunities in this sector are not always advertised so it is important to develop a good network of contacts and get as much experience as you can to develop a strong portfolio of work.

    Useful websites to search for internship and job opportunities in N.I. include:
    NI Screen Nerve Centre
    • CommunityNI- paid and volunteering positions in the community sector
    • VolunteerNow– find volunteering opportunities across Northern Ireland