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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 2023. 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 (19 - 22 June 2023)
  • 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 26 June - 7 July 2023)

"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." (Georgie, BA Liberal Arts with Study Abroad)

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 2023 (please note, students graduating in Summer 2023 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 2023 and this must cover both the training and the internship taking place into July 2023. 
  • 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 2023 and this must cover both the training and the internship taking place into July 2023. 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.

Please note, applications for our 2023 Pathways programmes are now closed. 

If you would be interested in taking part in Professional Pathways next year, you can register your interest here. Please note, the training and internships will take place in June and July 2024 and you would need to be a current student at this point to be eligible to apply. Applications will open late 2023.

The successfully selected students will attend a four day training programme, delivered by industry experts between 19 - 22 June 2023. 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 schedule from our 2022 Pathways to Arts, Culture & Heritage programme. While the training 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
Visitor Experience  Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM)
Curation Bill Douglas Cinema Museum
Partnership and Resilience The Charles Causley Trust
Working in Archives Special Collections Team, University of Exeter
Commercialisation Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM)
Education Programming in the Cultural Sector University of Exeter Arts & Culture Team
Planning an event in the arts sector 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.

Watch the video below from our 2022 Professional Pathways training days:

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 26 June - 7 July 2023, 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 £12.22 per hour (includes £10.90 basic hourly rate + £1.32 holiday pay) for this 35 hour internship will be paid by the University of Exeter. 

Past internship hosts and roles in 2021 and 2022 included:

National Trust Collections and House Intern 

Exeter Cathedral - Research and Design 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 

Powderham Castle - Educational Visit Programmer 

Twofour - Television Production Junior Researcher 

Kensington and Chelsea Art Week - Festival Assistant 

Make it Better (Mitber) - Arts Administrator 

Exeter Phoenix - Marketing and Programming Assistant 

Teign Heritage Centre - Assistant to the Senior Archivist 

Coldharbour Mill Trust - Audience Development Assistant 

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

Somerset Art Works - Arts Development and Marketing Intern 

Documental Theatre - Producing Assistant 

The Charles Causley Trust - Digital Developer 

Devon & Exeter Medical Heritage Trust - Research & Exhibition Assistant 

Mor Media Charity/Cornwall Film Festival - Archive Assistant - done

Radio Exe - Communications and Community Outreach Coordinator 

Double Elephant Print Workshop - Marketing Assistant 

Theatre Alibi - Marketing and Events Assistant 

Museum of Cornish Life - Assistant 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, by selecting the various Pathway programmes under the 'By Internship Scheme' drop-down menu at the top. 

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."

"I was completely in charge of the Cornwall Film Festival social media pages, so promoted their work, online events, and competitions on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I would highly recommend students apply for a Pathways internship in the future, as it has opened my eyes to an entire industry I previously knew very little 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."

"It has been paramount in helping me gain a footing in my future career prospects!"

"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!"

"My internship with the Culture Team at the University of Exeter was an exciting and useful working experience which has definitely helped me make some decisions about my future career, as well as supporting me in this moment of low job confidence that us students are experiencing."

"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 and Heritage align with the UN's Sustainable Development Goal, Sustainable Cities and Communities.

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