Development researcher training programme for unscripted TV - Bristol

Target job roles
Development researcher

The first session will be a double session on the morning of Saturday 7th May (online) and subsequent sessions will be on Monday and/or Tuesday evenings (online).

There will be one face to face full day midweek session on 24th May.

  • Do you have a passion for unscripted TV?
  • Are you brimming with ideas?
  • Can you spot trends, subjects and/or people who would make great TV?
  • Would like your next role to be part of a team developing unscripted TV show ideas?

If the answer to these questions are YES, then our unscripted development researcher training programme is for you.

The Unscripted TV Skills Fund has identified that there is an acute shortage of development researchers across the UK. This course has been designed to fast-track those with a demonstrable interest and aptitude to become development researchers.

The development researcher training programme will enable 60 participants, from across the UK, to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to make their next role development researcher.

This, free to attend course, is taught by a highly experienced unscripted development professionals and is aimed at ensuring that unscripted production companies have access to a cohort of skilled and trained development researchers who will bring new and fresh ideas to their companies. During the course participants will meet unscripted commissioning editor(s).

Development researchers need to be brimming with ideas and able to spot new trends, subjects or people who could make great TV.

This training course will prepare participants with the knowledge they need to become development researchers. By the end of the course participants will have created their own portfolio of unscripted ideas.

This programme is supported by the ScreenSkills Unscripted TV Skills Fund which invests in training for the unscripted workforce thanks to contributions from broadcasters, SVoDs and production companies.

Who it's for

The course is aimed at those who want a career in unscripted and who fulfil at least one of these criteria:

  • have a demonstrable interest in working in development
  • have transferable skills or experience from other industries
  • are returning from a career break
  • have approx. 2 or more years of work experience in any industry

We are looking for people who have a passion for unscripted TV and are brimming with ideas.

You don’t need to have worked in TV or development before to apply for this course.

This training programme will run across several regional cohorts. Please only apply for the one closest to you. The other cohorts are Birmingham, Glasgow and Brighton.

What it covers

This training course is a fast-track opportunity for individuals who are looking to make their next move as an unscripted development researcher.

Course content includes:

  • Developing and formulating ideas
  • Understanding genres
  • What makes a good development researcher?
  • The creative process
  • Shaping ideas
  • What makes a good sizzle reel?
  • Editing using Premier Pro and After Effects to create a sizzle
  • Interpreting briefs
  • Understanding your audience
  • Ofcom regulations
  • Ratings and why they matter
  • Creating a winning pitch
  • Pitching to commissioners

By the end of this training course participants will have:

  • been trained by respected and established colleagues
  • an in depth understanding of the role and requirements of a development researcher
  • developed their own portfolio of ideas for pitching
  • have met commissioning editor(s)
  • shared their knowledge, experience and questions with colleagues and peers
  • had the benefit of a peer support network

How to apply

Click the 'Apply now' button above.

Please note, this course would normally cost participants £200, but thanks to funding from the ScreenSkills Unscripted TV Skills fund, it is currently being offered to you free.

If you fail to attend we reserve the right to request reimbursement of costs, unless your place can be taken by someone else.


Alison Grade | Course Director

Alison runs Mission Accomplished and regularly delivers training for ScreenSkills. She is an experienced line producer and production manager as well as a Nesta Accredited Creative Enterprise Trainer. She regularly delivers training that enables creatives to demystify and take charge of the numbers! She is the course director and part of the training team. Her company Mission Accomplished regularly delivers training for ScreenSkills.

Sophie Morgan | Course Tutor

Sophie is a BAFTA nominated and RTS award-winning film and TV producer and commissioning editor. As head of development for production companies like September Films, Cineflix and World of Wonder she has developed, pitched, won and exec produced hundreds of hours of TV content for all major broadcasters across all genres with credits that include series Star Lives (ITV Saturday night Entertainment), European Nightmare (BBC Daytime), Pete Burns Unspun (Channel 4 Popular Documentaries), Haunted Homes (ITV2 Entertainment), Clubbing On The Frontline (Channel 4 Current Affairs) as well as originating and exec producing Channel 4’s first original digital content This is a Knife. She also set up and ran September Films’ Los Angeles Development Department and ran LA-based indie World of Wonder’s (Ru Paul’s Drag Race) UK division. As Commissioning Editor for Living TV, she commissioned and Exec Produced the channels highest rating series of Britain’s Next Top Model and the channel’s highest ever rating series Jade and Jade: With Love following Jade Goody’s battle with cancer.

She has also been nominated for a film BAFTA for Bouncer, featuring Ray Winstone and Paddy Considine.

Perjeet Aujla | Course Tutor

Perjeet is a Birmingham-based creative making and developing factual content for terrestrial and multi-platform broadcasters.

As a former head of development, she has a track record of developing ideas that win commissions and funded developments including: Shipmates (C4, 5×60), Joe Wicks: Body Coach (C4, 3×60), Tony Robinson’s Coast to Coast (C5, 6×60), Weighing up the Enemy (C4, 4×60), Fat Family Tree (C4, 1×60)

Alongside this her Series Producer credits include Secret Life of the Thames with Tony Robinson (6×60′ C5), Maddie’s Do You Know (15×20′ Cbeebies) and Great British Menu (BBC2) for which she won an RTS Midlands Award and Joe Wicks Body Coach (6×6, 4OD)

She is passionate about supporting and promoting diverse off-screen talent and has mentored via Creative Access and Channel 4.

Chris Roberts | Technical Tutor

Chris Roberts has spent the last 25 years editing everything from online corporate promos to broadcast television and using software from Avid, Apple, Adobe, and Blackmagic Design.  

He has provided video editing training since 2003 to university students and staff, broadcast journalists, and sports, factual, and drama editors. As a Blackmagic Certified Master Trainer, he has been responsible for providing DaVinci Resolve training across Europe and the US to end users and other trainers. 

Over the years, he has also written articles on video editing techniques and editing software for a variety of magazines and online publications, as well as serving as a technical reviewer for several books. 

Chris lives in Worcestershire, UK, with his partner Samantha and, when not working, enjoys reading post-apocalyptic fiction, listening to hard rock and blues music, and binge-watching the TV he has invariably missed.

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished is a private training provider based in the West Midlands. We focus on training across the full breadth of the screen and creative industries. Mission Accomplished is led by Alison Grade, author of The Freelance Bible and much of the training we offer is focussed on employability and career development including leadership and management

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