There are many ways for individuals from a variety of backgrounds and experience to secure their first role in Research: 

Specialist university degrees

Many degree subjects contain relevant market research modules which would help secure your first role in Research. Numerical degree subjects can be helpful for analytic or quantitative roles. Many psychology or social science degrees are great if you are looking to enter a qualitative role.

There are also a number of universities that offer Masters Degrees in market and/or social research which are viewed positively. 

You can search here for specialist university degrees.

Graduate training, learning and development programmes

A number of large employers offer university graduate programmes and a wide array of degrees are considered for these programmes.

These leading global organisations are accredited by MRS to offer the MRS Advanced Certificate in Market & Social Research Practice within their graduate training, learning and development programmes.

Please click on the logos for each company's website

Maru-edr-final        GfK NOP New Logo        Harris
Kantar-media-logo-careers      Wine-intell-logo-careers   Breaking-blue-logo-careers    YouthSight1


As part of the research sector’s drive on inclusivity and diversity, MRS facilitated an employer led Trailblazer group to develop an Apprenticeship in Market Research. An apprenticeship is key to opening-up the sector to a more diverse range of individuals from different backgrounds, and as an alternative route to the traditional model of graduate entry.

Apprenticeships are paid jobs combining practical, on-the-job training with off-the-job learning. The Market Research Executive Apprenticeship launched in 2022. You can find out more on the Apprenticeship standard and how to enrol here

MRS Qualifications

MRS Qualifications are widely recognised and are well worth getting under your belt in the early years of your career.

You can choose from a selection of online, face-to-face, and blended study modes, all of which are designed to be part-time study. This flexibility lets you fit your study around your working day. 

The MRS Certificate in Market Research

The MRS Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice

The MRS Diploma in Market and Social Research Practice

MRS Accredited Masters Degrees

Work Placements and Internships

A great way to gain on-the-job knowledge and training, either as part of your degree or after graduating, is to undertake a work placement or internship with an MRS Company Partner. Many companies choose to recruit students and graduates for specialist projects and really value the ideas young individuals wishing to pursue a career in research can bring. 

Click here for a list of partners that welcome applications.

MRS is supporting #10000BlackInterns which will help transform the horizons and prospects of young Black people in the UK by offering paid work experience across a wide range of industries, including the Research sector. The initiative aims to facilitate 10,000 paid internships over the next five years.

Career pathfinder tool

Find practitioner videos and job descriptions across all roles in the research sector - from insight to data analysis, entry executive level to insight director. 

This tool allows you to see what your next move could be and how to get there.

Visit the Research Career Finder.

Research Jobfinder

With 700+ jobs in research and insight, find your perfect job on Research Jobfinder. Through this website you also have access to over 60 recruiters to contact to help you in your search and give advice on your next step.

Direct hire

In addition to formal development programmes, many successful professionals will have started out within the operations side. In field agencies, telephone units, data processing, quality control etc. These individuals are often the unsung heroes of research and make the sector tick!

Career Change?

Even if you have several years’ experience in another career, you’ll find that some disciplines translate easily into market or social research. For example, marketing experience is usually seen as valuable and often has a research component; advertising planners often make good qualitative researchers; analysts from other fields, who are used to manipulating and examining datasets, can also make the transition pretty easily to a quantitative research role.

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