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Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage

Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage offers employers the opportunity to work with University of Exeter students keen to start their careers in this sector.

In June 2023, a total of approximately 25 successful students, selected from a range of disciplines and year groups, will undertake four days of experiential learning delivered by industry experts, followed by completing a 35 hour fully-funded internship with a UK organisation in the Arts, Culture and Heritage sector.

Feedback from previous Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage employers: 

"The programme has been fantastic. Our interns were proactive in working independently on their tasks but also asking questions or for support when needed. This allowed our team to crack on with important project deadlines, while overseeing the interns flourish in the work that they produced for us. We are so glad that they enjoyed the experience as much as we enjoyed getting to know them and reading their work." (Kate Debling, The Charles Causley Trust)

"The Professional Pathways program is easily one of the best schemes at the University to get involved in. The team make the onboarding process so easy and enjoyable. The impact from both the interns and the feedback from the group projects has been astounding. I would thoroughly recommend the scheme to all employers!" (Abigail Smith, Exeter Historic Buildings Trust)

"This is the second time we've been involved with the Professional Pathways programme. All the interns we've met have been extremely accomplished and talented individuals with a lot to offer any organisation - even within the short term of the programme. I'd highly recommend the experience to any employer." (Sally Barnett, Mor Media Charity)

"I was so impressed with the calibre of the students on the Professional Pathways scheme, the quality of the work they produced was excellent, and the whole experience from start to finish was really positive." (Andrea Bartlett, Trowbridge Museum) 

"The programme is an amazing opportunity to inject new ideas into the way we do things. Bright minds lead to bright ideas." (Annette, Museum of Cornish Life)


If you are a current student please see the Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage student page.

We will be delivering the training element of the programme in June 2023. In the months leading up to this, we will be seeking experienced and knowledgeable industry experts to volunteer their time to deliver a 1 hour session during the employer-led training week (dates tbc but likely to be mid-to-late June 2023). The training will take place on our Streatham Campus in Exeter.

We will be looking for industry professionals who would enjoy delivering one of the sessions below:

  • Fundraising
  • Communications and PR
  • Digitising Collections
  • Curation
  • Volunteer Management - recruitment and selection, training and motivating
  • Budget Management and Strategic Planning
  • Commercial Activities
  • Community Arts
  • Community Outreach
  • Visitor Experience
  • Event Management
  • Digital Presence - social media, blogging and e-commerce
  • Archiving

The sessions are based on the specialisations of the industry professionals available to take part. If you would like to deliver a session and have a suggestion for a different topic, the team would be happy to hear from you. We expect each session to last between 60 - 90 minutes.

If you would be interested in delivering a session, please get in touch with us at

If you have a distinct project that incorporates many of the training areas detailed above please get in touch with the team at This is an opportunity to have an area of your business researched or analysed by a group of students and could be of interest for any organisations / businesses with currently under resourced projects. Students will spend 2 - 3 hours per day during the training week to work on the project together before presenting their findings on the final day of the training week. You would be welcome to attend and be on the panel to hear the students present on your set project.

Please note, employer applications for this year's Professional Pathways programmes are now closed. In early 2023, we will be seeking established employers based in Devon, Cornwall or London who can offer an interesting internship or discrete project for a student to undertake. The role should involve 35 hours of work to take place between late June/early July (dates to be confirmed) with hours completed part-time or full-time. If you are interested in offering an internship opportunity via our Professional Pathways programme, please complete our expression of interest form here to register your interest for one (or more) of the Pathways. We will then be in touch via email with further details when employer applications open early next year. 

As the University will fully-fund the student's internship wages, we will employ and pay them through our payroll, but the student will be seconded to your organisation. Therefore all parties will need to sign the completed Student Secondment Agreement, and you will need to have suitable liability insurance. See the Internship Terms and Conditions section for more information.

The role or project must:

  • Be within the arts, culture and/or heritage sector
  • Use undergraduate level skills, knowledge and/or experience
  • Aid career development
  • Include tasks and responsibilities normally associated with a graduate level position
  • Provide training and support
  • Be a total of 35 hours and be undertaken either part-time or full-time between late June - early July 2023 (final dates TBC)

All students will go through a rigorous recruitment and selection process conducted by the University, to ensure we select the best candidates.

Students successful in gaining a place on the programme, will be presented with all the internships opportunities on offer and asked to identify their preferences. We will make the final decision of who will be matched to your opportunity and as such, your organisation will not need to undertake any recruitment or selection process of our students.

Once we have identified the most suitable intern for you, we will send you their details in May 2023. We very much hope that you will be satisfied with our selection, however if for any reason this is not the case, you will have the opportunity to withdraw from the scheme. Unfortunately at this stage of the recruitment process, we will not be able to find a replacement intern. 

We ask that all employer hosts work through a basic induction with their new intern(s). You are welcome to complete your own induction or you may wish to use the Professional Pathways Internship induction checklist we have put together. You can download this checklist here: Professional Pathways Internship Induction checklist.

We have also put together some notes of guidance for employers hosting an intern via the Professional Pathway programme. You can view these here: Employer Host Notes of Guidance.

We ask employers to set clear objectives for their intern(s) and be available to provide information and guidance throughout the 35 hour internship. 

The Professional Pathways Team will be available during the internship to support you and your intern(s) should this be required. 

At the end of the internship, we ask that you please complete the Employer Feedback Form. This will be emailed to you shortly after the end of the internship and your comments will be taken into account during our evaluation exercise.

All parties (the employer, the University and the intern), must adhere to the Student Secondment Agreement‌. This agreement ensures the student is committed to the internship and both the employer and the University understand the remit of their duty of care for the student. This document must be signed by all three parties before the internship can begin.