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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 2024, 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.

"A fabulous programme, that brings benefits to both the individual and the having clear objectives and a dedicated, hardworking student, we now have a report that we can reference and build upon in years to come.(Robert Meakings, National Trust)

Employers can get involved in a Professional Pathway programme by:

  • delivering a 1-hour training session 
  • providing a business project for students to work on during the training
  • offering a 35 hour internship (submissions now open for Pathways 2024 - see below for more info!)

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 on our Streatham Campus in Exeter between 17 - 20 June 2024. The training is designed to give students an insight into the sector, covering as many areas as possible while also providing them with the opportunity to meet professionals working in the arts, culture and heritage sector.

We regularly work with a number of organisations who deliver a 1 hour session for us each year. For reference, please see below the schedule from our 2023 Pathways to Arts, Culture & Heritage training programme. If you would be interested in delivering a session and have a suggestion for a different topic not covered below, we would be happy to hear from you at:

Schedule from our 2023 programme:

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

As part of the training days (17 - 20 June 2024), students will work on a group project which will be a sector-related business challenge set by an employer. This enables students to apply the knowledge and skills gained in their training to a set task and could be of interest for any organisations/businesses with currently under resourced projects. Students will spend 2 - 3 hours per day from Monday - Wednesday to work on the project together before presenting their findings on the Thursday, the final day of the training. If possible, we'd be keen for employers who have submitted a project to attend the presentation day and be on the panel as this is a valuable learning experience for students to present back to the employer, plus a great opportunity for you to hear the students' findings and suggestions first hand and ask any follow-up questions. Presentations will take place on our Streatham Campus, Exeter on Thursday 20 June 2024 between roughly 10am - 1pm.

Ideally you would be offering a project alongside hosting an intern as we would then put your matched student intern(s) into the group allocated your submitted project. Your intern would therefore start their internship with you having already gained some initial knowledge of your organisation and area of work and can hopefully hit the ground running when they start their internship with you. Please note, the project task will need to be different to the submitted internship project, however it could tie in and be a good opportunity for your matched student(s) to work on some of the ground work before their internship. 

If you think you can provide a group project, please do get in touch with the team at or you can express your interest in providing a project within the employer vacancy form when submitting an internship opportunity.

Please note, we have now reached the maximum number of internship opportunities we are able to fund via this year's Pathways to Arts, Culture & Heritage programme and are therefore closed. To register your interest for our 2025 Professional Pathways programme, please email the team at

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 24 June - 5 July 2024.

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 2024. 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 student), 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.

Hear from employers who have previously hosted an intern via our Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage programme:

"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)

"We had a brilliant experience with our interns, who helped co-create an interactive exhibition for Heritage Open Days. It was lovely to hear their ideas, to show them some sector specific skills in handling and displaying historic objects, and welcome them into the culture & heritage sector through this programme. We are so impressed with their work, their enthusiasm, and what they completed during their time with us - it would be great to offer students the chance to co-create an exhibition with us every year." (Megan Woolley, Devon & Exeter Medical Heritage 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) 

"We took part in the Professional Pathways programme in summer 2022. What a great opportunity for [students] and organisations! The programme is very well organised and, as an employer, we were well supported. Each intern is matched to an employer and it was a pleasure to host our student, who has hopefully gained a valuable insight into working within the creative industry.(Cath Burnett, Daisi)

"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)