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What is Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage?

The Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage programme will once again be taking place in 2024. Successful students will take part in four days of training, delivered by industry experts, followed by an internship focused on the arts, culture or heritage sector. The programme is open to all students from all campuses, however please see full eligibility criteria under the 'Am I eligible' heading below.

The interactive programme comprises of 3 key elements:

  • Employer-led training - 4 days of technical and employability training delivered by sector professionals (17 - 20 June 2024)
  • Group project - During the training you will work in small groups on a business challenge before presenting back on the final day
  • Paid internship - You will be assigned an organisation where you will undertake a 35 hour paid internship (full-time or part-time between 24 June - 5 July 2024)

"The Pathways training, group project and internship itself all made major contributions to my understanding of the sector and the types of roles available within it. It increased my desire to pursue a career in this sector and I feel better equipped to do so." (Rhianna, BA History and Ancient History - Pathways 2023 cohort)

If you are an employer and interested in getting involved in the Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage programme, please visit the employer-facing webpage here.

  • Gain an insight into different roles in the arts, culture and heritage sector
  • Increase knowledge of sector specific activities
  • Be inspired by experienced professionals
  • Gain confidence in your abilities
  • Develop your career plan
  • Culminates in an essential work experience, undertaking a paid internship with an arts, culture or heritage employer
  • This activity counts towards the Exeter Award
  • Receive a certificate

We welcome applications from all disciplines and levels of study from first year to final year, undergraduate or postgraduate as long as you can demonstrate a keen interest in this subject area. However, please see full eligibility criteria below: 

Student status

  • You must be a current University of Exeter student when you apply for and take part in the programme in June/July 2024 (please note, students graduating in Summer 2024 are eligible to apply).
  • Even if the internship is remote working, you must be physically based in the UK to undertake the role.*
  • Students from any campus can apply for this pathway.
  • If you have previously completed the Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage programme, please note you are not eligible to apply again. However you are welcome to apply for a different Pathway. 
  • If you are an interrupted student, you will not have current student status and are therefore ineligible to apply for Professional Pathways.
  • If you are a full-time Postgraduate student, you are limited to working a maximum of 6 hours per week, however if you are able to gain supervisor approval to complete both the training and the 35 hour internship, you will be able to undertake the Pathways programme. You will need to seek approval if you are successful at the assessment centre stage.
  • If you are a part-time Postgraduate student, you are limited to working a maximum of 18.25 hours per week, so would need to split your 35 hours across two weeks, unless you get supervisor approval to work full-time (35 hours) in one week. You will need to seek approval if you are successful at the assessment centre stage.

Right to Work (RTW)

  • You must have the right to work in the UK at the point the Professional Pathways programme commences in June 2024 and this must cover both the training and the internship taking place into July 2024. 
  • In order to expedite the right to work checking process, you will be asked to provide your right to work evidence at the application stage. Please refer to the List of acceptable documents for right to work checks.
  • If you have been employed by the University within the last 12 months and provided your right to work evidence, this should still be up-to-date and you would not need to provide it again. You can declare this to us at the application stage.
  • For more information about Right to Work please see the eClaims webpages. 

International, EU and EEA students

  • You must have the right to work in the UK at the point the programme commences in June 2024 and this must cover both the training and the internship taking place into July 2024. Depending on your visa restrictions, if you are successful onto the programme, we will try to match you with an employer that will accommodate part-time hours across two weeks, if needed.

*Please refer to the university's webpage here for further information on the university's position on remote/homeworking outside the UK.

Applications for our 2024 programmes are now closed.

Professional Pathways takes place annually and applications for our 2025 programme will open around November 2024. Please note, the training and internships will take place in June and July 2025 and you would need to be a current student at this point to be eligible to apply.

The successfully selected students will attend a four day training programme, delivered by industry experts between 17 - 20 June 2024. The training will take place on our Streatham campus in Exeter. You would be expected to attend all sessions for your Pathway programme.

The training will equip you with vital industry knowledge, sector specific information, support to improve your employability and an opportunity to ask the experts any questions and hone your networking skills. You will also attend a session providing preparatory support to help you make the most out of your paid internship.

When applying, please think carefully about your accommodation situation during the training dates and the internship period. If successful in gaining a place on the programme, you will need to be in commutable distance to the Streatham campus in Exeter to attend all the training days. For successful Cornwall campus students only, we will look to secure and fund accommodation in Exeter from Sunday to Thursday morning to cover the training dates. We will also provide a contribution of up to £75 towards travel expenses to and from Cornwall to Exeter for the training.

If you are on a year-abroad, year-in-industry, first year student with an accommodation contract ending prior to the training dates, or a student who will not have accommodation for any other reason during the training period, it will be your responsibility to arrange this. Please note, you may be able to apply for up to a £200 bursary from the university to support any accommodation costs.

Training schedule: 

Please see below the training sessions from our 2023 Pathways to Arts, Culture & Heritage programme. While the schedule is subject to changes each year, it is likely many of these topics will once again be covered in sessions:

Training session topic: Organisation delivering training:
Marketing and Communications Northcott Theatre
Creating and funding a project vision Devon and Exeter Institution
Curation The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum
Education Programming in the Cultural Sector University of Exeter Arts & Culture
Commerce and the Cultural Sector Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM)
Working in Archives University of Exeter Special Collections
Visitor Experience Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM)
Partnership and Resilience  The Charles Causley Trust
Planning an event in cinema exhibition Exeter Phoenix

Group Project

In addition to the sessions, the training will include experiential learning and group work projects set by industry professionals. This will give you the opportunity to work in small groups on a real life business challenge and put the content covered in the training sessions, into practice. You will be allocated time at the end of each training day to work on this. On the fourth and final day of training, each group will present their findings in front of a panel to receive feedback.

Hear from some of our Pathways 2023 cohort on their experience of completing the training week:

Watch some highlights from our 2022 Professional Pathways training:

If selected onto the programme, you will undertake a paid 35 hour internship in a role focused on the arts, culture or heritage sector. These internships will be either part-time or full-time roles and take place between 24 June - 5 July 2024, after your training has been completed. During your internship, you may be asked to work on a specific project, undertake a particular piece of work or carry out a range of tasks that will enable you to gain an insight into how the company and sector operate. 

Once selected, a range of internship projects will be sent to you and you will be required to identify which roles you are most interested in. The internship opportunities on offer via the programme will be a mix of in the workplace, remote-working and hybrid roles. For internships undertaken in the workplace, you will need to arrange and fund your accommodation and travel expenses, however our aim will be to secure a number of opportunities local to the Exeter and Penryn campuses. For remote-working roles, you must be based in the UK for the duration of the internship due to tax regulations.

A matching process will be completed in late May based on your application form and identified preferences. No guarantee can be made that you will be matched to your top preferences. You will be expected to make contact with your internship host prior to starting your internship. Full guidance will be given on this at the relevant time. 

The salary of £13.45 per hour (includes £12.00 basic hourly rate + £1.45 holiday pay) for this 35 hour internship will be paid by the University of Exeter. 

Past internship hosts and roles in 2022 and 2023 included:

National Trust Killerton House - Collections and House Intern

The Devon and Exeter Institution - Curatorial Assistant

University of Exeter Humanities Department - Research Support Intern (Warnings from the Archive) 

Exeter Historic Buildings Trust - Heritage Tour Producer 

Daisi - Arts Administrator

Fish Factory Art Space - Events and Marketing Assistant 

Paddleboat Theatre CIC - Assistant Stage Manager/Producer

Twofour - Television Production Junior Researcher

Kensington and Chelsea Art Week - Festival Assistant 

Make it Better (Mitber) - Marketing Assistant

Exeter Phoenix - Film Programme Intern

Teign Heritage Centre - Assistant to the Curator/Senior Archivist

Coldharbour Mill Trust - Interpretation Assistant

Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) - Museum Research Assistant

Somerset Art Works - Arts Development and Marketing Intern

Lightbear Lane - Arts Research Assistant

The Charles Causley Trust - Events Support Officer

Devon & Exeter Medical Heritage Trust - Research & Exhibition Assistant

Mor Media Charity/Cornwall Film Festival - Archive Assistant

Mayes Creative - Heritage and Arts Research Assistant

University of Exeter Special Collections Team - Collections Access Assistant

Theatre Alibi - Marketing and Events Assistant 

Museum of Cornish Life - Assistant Museum Curator

Villages in Action - Assistant Producer: New Audiences

We recognise that with rising costs, the cost of living is very high, and we are therefore looking to try and support students where we can. For those students that meet Widening Participation (WP) criteria and are successful in gaining a place on the programme, you may be eligible to apply for up to a £100 travel bursary to support costs related to your Professional Pathways internship. You will need to have been matched to an internship involving some time spent in the workplace (fully workplace based or hybrid working). Please note, we will have limited funding available and where students are eligible, more information will be provided following the internship matching stage.

If you wish to check your WP eligibility, you can visit the Widening Participation (WP) funding page for full criteria and details, or contact us at if you have any questions. 

For students who have gained a place on the programme, we have put together the following guide on Making the Most of Your Internship‌‌. We would recommend reading this prior to starting your Pathways internship to be fully prepared. The guide includes useful information on points to action before your first day, things to consider while in the role and what to do when your internship finishes.

If you would like to see where your fellow students have undertaken their Professional Pathways internship and read about their experiences on the programme, you can take a look at their blog posts here. There are also some blog posts written by employers to give their perspective on hosting a University of Exeter student on an internship!

Quotes from former Pathways to Arts, Culture & Heritage students: 

"Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage provided me with an extensive introduction to the sector through the training and internship and the experience will certainly stand me in good stead for my future career in this sector."

"The internship has been integral to understand the sector of Heritage and now I know that I would like to further my career into this area."

"Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage was an insightful and exciting way to gain experience and knowledge about the industry I am interested in going into after my degree. Both the training week and the placement allowed me to explore the arts industry and learn about career paths that I wouldn't have otherwise known about."

"My Pathways experience was key in helping me develop my interests in the workplace, and get a more firm idea of the job I want in the future."

"My Internship has provided me with valuable experience which will look great on my CV, especially when applying for graduate roles. I have learned how to work independently while developing my communication skills and confidence. I would particularly recommend an internship for anyone who is looking for work-place experience, exploring their career options."

"Professional Pathways was a fantastic experience. I felt that I was constantly learning, both about myself and the working environment I would enter. My internship was very rewarding and I only wish I could have stayed there longer!"

"I have found my internship through the Pathway scheme to be incredibly beneficial in helping me to explore a sector that I had previously had no knowledge of. It has helped me to find an area that I’m interested in and would consider a career in in the future."

"An absolutely invaluable insight into the industry, this is certainly an experience that I will be able to talk about proudly with future prospective employers!"

"This internship was invaluable to my progression both personally and professionally - would recommend to every student!"

"It was an amazing experience that has really helped me with my degree, and even allowed me to think about my future career plans and masters programme."

Elements of Pathways to Arts, Culture & Heritage align with the following UN Sustainable Development Goals.

If you would like to ask any questions, please contact the Pathways team at: