This is just a sample of the types of career you could work towards, there are many more options open to you and the careers service is always happy to talk through your ideas with you or explain how you can generate more ideas.
After graduation, our graduates go on to start a career, further study, or other pursuits. View some of our Alumni profiles to see the extraordinary range of careers available to History of Art graduates.
Studying for a degree in the History of Art will allow you to develop many transferable skills, suitable for a wide range of careers.
Combining the skills and knowledge you develop through your degree in the History of Art, with the skills and experience you develop through your extra-curricular activities could help you secure a great job after you graduate.
The majority of graduate jobs do not require you to have studied a specific subject, so if you want to do anything from investment banking to youth work, a degree in the history of art can set you on the right path.
There are of course some industries which require specialist knowledge, so if you are hoping to work within culture and heritage, like in a museum or gallery, then the history of art can be an excellent basis to start from.
Our degrees will help you to learn how to:
You will have the opportunity to develop additional skills through other activities at York, such as the York Award, volunteering, business enterprise, or participating in one of over one hundred student societies and charity groups on campus.
If you are unsure about the kind of role you would like to do or the industry you would like to work in, try a few things out - it will help you identify what you do and don’t enjoy and may help you generate some ideas.
We have a huge range of opportunities from lots of different sectors (including culture and heritage), so you could find something for a few days or participate in a year long project. To get a part time job whilst at York you can use our Unijobs service.
Another way to get work experience and develop your skills, is through the University of York Community and Volunteering Service (CAVU). After registering with them, you may search the database for relevant opportunities. YUSU, the students' union, also provides many opportunities to volunteer.
It’s never too early or too late to get some work experience, and potentially any type of work experience can provide you with useful transferable skills, as long as you make the most of it, reflect on it and articulate it effectively in your CV or application form.
Work experience in history of art
We have two innovative projects directly related to History of Art which have been running for a couple of years. These could give you the opportunity to help curate and manage exhibitions, design visitor programmes, organise relevant speakers and workshops. Contact the volunteering unit for more info.
- Fairfax house: Exhibitions project
- Langwith College: Arts project
In addition, if you are interested in working in a museum or gallery, they often invite the public to volunteer, so check their websites for information on how to apply. You may have more luck in getting in to a smaller, local museum/gallery than a national one, so make sure you research all the options.
Work experience in other areas
Some organisations offer work experience or internships at set times of the year and you have to apply for them like a job. These type of experiences are usually offered by large organisations in industries such as law, finance, management consultancy, and public sector work. To apply for formal work experience placements or an internship you can search on prospects.ac.uk or on the individual company websites you are interested in working for.
Alternately, you can organise work experience yourself at any time of year, by contacting an organisation directly. Check their website for appropriate contact details, telephone to ask if they consider offering work experience and if so, explain you will send them your CV and contact them a few days later to check they received it. Be clear about the time you can spare and what you want to get from the experience as well as what you can offer the company.
If you are an undergraduate and want to build a career in academia, you will usually have to start with a masters and then move on to a PhD. The History of Art Department at York offers a range of exciting postgraduate courses. Discuss this option with your supervisor, attend careers service events on the subject and of course you can always book up for a one to one appointment with a careers adviser to talk it through.
Some professions require a postgraduate qualification; this could be a masters, such as 'museum studies' or a professional qualification like the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) for teaching. Make sure you carefully research the options, as courses may need to be accredited by a certain awarding body in order to be acceptable to the profession you want to enter.
Deadlines for applying for further study can vary. For some courses there are no set deadlines - the institution just offers places until they have all been filled, however other courses have a recruitment cycle, so you need to research the area you are interested in as early as possible.
You may feel like you want a complete break to go travelling, volunteer somewhere or whatever else takes your fancy!
Remember, whatever you do during your time out, you will still need to make a decision about where you want to work and what you want to do at the end of it. Similarly, you will need to explain to an employer what you have been doing and describe the skills you developed through your experiences - many employers will value the experience you have gained through taking time out, but only if you articulate this effectively.
The Careers Service provides lots of useful information to help you research this option.
Who to contact
The Careers Service is for all University of York students, staff and graduates. They can help you plan your future career, review your CV, and offer advice and information about your options.
Places to look