The University of Birmingham was ranked first for graduate prospects for History of Art in both the 2015 Complete University Guide and the Sunday Times Good University Guide. We have graduate employability rates above the national average - 85% of our graduates were in employment and/or further study six months after graduation.
You will develop skills including visual and textual analysis and interpretation. You will also acquire skills that are highly prized by employers in many sectors:
- Strong communication skills
- An awareness and appreciation of other cultures
- The ability to identify and target key audiences
- Researching, analysing and interpreting information
- Handling complex information
- The ability to critically analyse information and form concise, articulate arguments
- Managing your time and prioritising your workload.
Throughout your degree you will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in museums and galleries, both on and off campus.
You can also benefit from our biennial Art History Careers Fair. Graduates return to campus to talk to current students about their careers, how to find opportunities and the wide variety of roles available in the industry. Recent speakers hold positions at the Wallace Collection, BMAG, Sotheby’s Institute, Manchester’s Craft and Design Centre and the White Cube Gallery.
Our graduates have also gone on to work at: Kettle’s Yard, the Bodleian Library, Cath Kidston, Historic Royal Palaces, The National Portrait Gallery, Christie’s, National Museum of Wales, the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Examples of graduate jobs include: Archivist, Curator, Gallery Coordinator, Events Officer, Exhibitions Assistant, Learning and Access Officer, Programme Coordinator, Researcher.
Other History of Art graduates choose to forge a career outside the Arts sector. Recent graduates have obtained graduate positions in sectors such as teaching, media, law, sales, local / central government, management, accounting, horse-racing, real estate and business.
Developing your career
Employers target University of Birmingham students for their diverse skill-set and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of our wide range of opportunities you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.
- Careers events - we hold events covering careers in teaching, event management, marketing and working with charities to help you meet potential employers and learn more about these sectors.
- Global Challenge - you can apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement during your summer vacation through our Global Challenge initiative.
- Work experience bursary - we encourage you to apply your skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer. Our work experience bursaries allow you to apply for funding to support you during unpaid internships.
- Cultural Internships - our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market. Our current partners include Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, Library of Birmingham.
There are also internships available at our own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.
To enhance your career prospects even further, you will need to think about engaging in some extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and network of contacts.
- Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme - our College of Arts and Law undergraduate research scholarship scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project being run by one of our academic researchers. Undergraduate research scholars gain work experience over the summer after their first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.
- Personal Skills Award - our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
- Guild of Students - there is a vast number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, which cover a wide variety of interests.