Careers with art history

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Three years dedicated study of art history teaches you skills that are widely transferable and highly valued by employers across all business sectors.

Our graduates are ideally prepared for roles in the media, advertising, museums and galleries, education, publishing, charities, fashion and public relations, as well as more specialised roles such as conservators, auctioneers, antiques specialists and arts lawyers.

The cultural sector in the UK is crucial part of the economy. Recent studies report that over 50 per cent of people visited a museum, or gallery in the past year and that the arts and culture industry pays on average nearly five per cent more than the UK median salary of £26,095.

Transferable skills

We live in a visual world, and the ability to process, analyse and conceptualise complex primary and secondary sources into coherent narratives; to confidently and clearly synthesise and re-present ideas; to assess the quality and reliability of information; and to have a grasp of several centuries of human success and failure through the media of their artistic and cultural endeavours are increasingly invaluable.

If you’re not yet focused on a very specific vocation, and if you’re interested in art, culture and the histories and theories of human endeavour, then a degree in art history is an extraordinarily sensible option, as well as being intellectually fulfilling and highly enjoyable.

How we help you

We assist our students with professional development and their search for employment or further study. We encourage you to speak to any member of staff about your plans for the future, but particularly to Fiona Hughes, our careers link in the School, or to Lynne Jordan, our dedicated adviser for art history in our Employability and Careers Centre. Lynne can help you make the most of all the available opportunities for professional development during your studies, as well as assisting with finding jobs, CVs and making applications.

Gain experience during your studies

There are many opportunities to gain work experience while you study with internships and our frontrunners work placement scheme. Our students have also benefitted from working with the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America, Art Exchange, and Firstsite, as well as from participating in internship projects including at the Minories art gallery and with Colchester Hospital art collection.

We also offer a variety of options for study abroad and our Languages for All programme allows you to learn a language for free alongside your course.

Support after graduation

You can use the services of our Employability and Careers Centre for up to three years after you graduate. Our staff also regularly provide references for our students to assist with applying for jobs and further study.

Learn languages

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All our students can learn languages in a number of ways, including as part of your degree, in evening classes or online at no extra cost, or via Essex Modern Language Certificates.

frontrunners placements

Frontrunner students gathered round a table

frontrunners is our original placement scheme that offers students paid work opportunities on campus. You'll get on-placement training and great experience to add to your CV.

Essex Interns

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Internships are an excellent way to earn money and develop a stand-out CV. Register with us for information on paid internship opportunities with local, national and even international employers.

Employability advice

Our Careers Centre

Our Employability and Careers Centre helps you develop the skills for a successful career. Our friendly staff and excellent resources help you to make informed career choices and to enter your chosen field.