The cultural industries remain a key part of our economic future and 90% of our History of Art students enter employment or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).
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
There is a range of opportunities through our
Careers Network and beyond. For example, 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.
Current partners include Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, and the Library of Birmingham. There are also internships available at the University’s own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.
There are regular events each year covering careers in teaching, events management, working with charities and more, to help you meet potential employers and learn more about a range of sectors.
There are also summer internship opportunities and work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships.
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 College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project run by one of our researchers in drama and theatre. You gain work experience over the summer after your first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.
Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
There are also a huge number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the
Guild of Students, our students’ union, which cover a wide variety of interests across drama and the arts.
With more than 300 societies and groups at The Guild, there is something for everyone.If your interest does not yet have a group, then The Guild will support you to set it up and find likeminded individuals to join you.