The cultural industries remain a key part of our economic future and 85% of our History of Art students enter employment and/or further study within 15 months of graduation (Discover Uni 2022).
You will 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
- Visual and textual analysis and interpretation
- 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, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the National Museum of Wales.
Examples of graduate jobs include Archivist, Curator, Gallery Coordinator, Events Officer, Exhibitions Assistant, Learning and Access Officer, Programme Coordinator, and 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.
Hear from our graduates >
Developing your career
The University of Birmingham is the 3rd most targeted university by the country’s top graduate employers according to The Graduate Market 2023 report [PDF - 1.4MB]. Our Careers Network are here to offer you tailored, expert advice on your career plans and support you with finding and applying for jobs, internships and further study. There are hundreds of events to help you meet potential employers and learn more about the breadth of opportunities and career sectors available to you.
Support will be offered to you covering the whole job application process, including CVs, LinkedIn, application forms, interviews and assessment centres. You can also email our experienced Careers Advisors and College Teams to review your applications or answer any careers related question, alongside our on campus and online 1:1 appointments.
We have a number of exclusive Internship Programmes such as our Cultural Internships, which will give you paid, professional experience to set you apart in the graduate market. We also offer work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships.
First years can take part in The Birmingham Project, with themes including celebrating arts and culture and shaping a global society. There’s also a successful Mentoring Programme, where you can gain access to experienced Mentors who can empower, inspire and inform you about their experiences. As a University of Birmingham student you will also be given access to LinkedIn Learning giving free access to real world training courses to kick-start your careers.
If you want to earn money WorkLink advertises convenient part-time job opportunities on campus to fit round your studies.
To enhance your career prospects even further, you may want to engage in extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and your network of contacts. Our employer-endorsed, award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme.
There are more than 500 student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students (our Students’ Union) so you’re bound to find activities that you want to be involved in whilst meeting friends who share your interests.