Heritage and Culture
The idea of working in this sector appeals to many graduates, particularly those who have studied history, classics and archaeology.
There are a wide range of different roles available within the sector so there are opportunities for graduates from diverse disciplines and areas of interest.
That said, jobs vacancies are limited and many are short-term contracts therefore job security can be an issue for some entrants.
Work experience is extremely important and postgraduate courses may be a requirement for entry into some areas. Most work experience is often gained through volunteering however there are a limited number of paid positions for students and graduates, follow the links in the ‘Job vacancy and information resources’ section below for more details.
As well as work experience one of the most effective ways to work out whether this is the sector for you, and, if it is, how to get started in it, is by researching and hearing from people who already work in the sector and you can use the following resources to do this.
Career Zone Employability Schemes
These are some of the schemes which you might be particularly interested in, there is also a wide range of other opportunities and support which will help you develop you skills and experience to benefit you in developing your chosen career, which you can explore on this website.
- Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage is a great opportunity to receive industry led training and gain work experience.
- Career Mentor Scheme - sign up to be mentored by someone in the sector for six months.
- Ask an Alum a question you have about working in tthis area through a short email exchange.
- Access to internships enables students from widening participation background to access funding to cover wages for internships with organisations of their choice.
The Career Podcast responds to the questions students are asking. The Team speaks to students, alumni, employers and experts to gain their insight and expertise on a range of topics, some of which might help you navigate your options. Episodes are short, ranging from 3 - 30 minutes and include topics such as Careers in the Creative Industries
Have a look at the following brief videos for an overview of this sector.
- Select Museums and Galleries from the list on this page: https://mycareerzone.careercentre.me/Resources/CareerPathways/#
- Explore the Create Your Future video library to hear from Alumni and employers scroll through to find the videos relating to this sector.
If you would like to do further research into this sector, the following webpages may be useful.
- Arts & Culture Exeter (artsandcultureexeter.co.uk) tells you about a range of initiatives and topics in the sector which the University is involved with.
- College of Humanities - The Career Zone Blog (exeter.ac.uk) has stories, insights and opportunities from students and alumni across disciplines and sectors, there are plenty about this sector if you scroll through and look.
For general information about finding graduate opportunities, please visit our Graduate Jobs page, and for a list of general job search engines please visit our general job sources page. You could also have a look at Handshake, our vacancy database with employers who are targeting University of Exeter students.
This reliable website has detailed information about a range of relevant graduate roles, if you scroll down these pages you will find links to specialist websites which are advertising opportunities within this sector as well as professional bodies which it may be useful for you to join.
- Arts Administrator: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/arts-administrator
- Fundraiser: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/charity-fundraiser
- Museum/Gallery Exhibitions officer: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/museum-gallery-exhibitions-officer
- Museum/Gallery Curator: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/museum-gallery-curator
- Museum/Gallery Education Officer: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/museum-education-officer
- Archeologist: Archaeologist job profile | Prospects.ac.uk
- Conservator: Conservator job profile | Prospects.ac.uk
- Heritage Manager: Heritage manager job profile | Prospects.ac.uk
- Historic Building Inspector/Conservation officer Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer job profile | Prospects.ac.uk
Remember that all culture and heritage organisations have a wide range of general roles too from HR to Marketing to Finance so you may want to explore some of those roles as well.
Diversifying the culture and heritage sector
Due to access to this sector historically advantaging people from privileged backgrounds there has been an increased interest in supporting accessible opportunities with the aim of diversifying the sector. The following organisations are committed to this aim and collate select paid opportunities.
Organistaions hosting paid internships
At the University of Exeter we support our students to participate in paid work experience opportunities wherever possible. This is not a definitive list of paid opportunities ion the sector but we wanted to highlight a few which you might be interested in.
- The Wellcome Trust offer an 8 week summer internship at their London offices.
- Save Britain’s Heritage offer a 6 month internship at their offices in London.
- Council of Europe offer 6 month ‘cultural route’ internships.
- International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property offer limited funding for some candidates on a wide range of internships.
- The British Library offer limited funded 9-12 month internships and 4-6 week placements throughout the year.
- The Royal Household have a range of roles including some paid summer jobs.
- Institute of Conservation -are an organisation offering bursaries for museum and archive conservation projects
- Global Museum advertise worldwide jobs and internships, news and other information on museums, art
These organisations are a valuable resource for understanding your sector, hosting events and finding work experience, job opportunities, there are often reduced student membership feeds.
- The Heritage Alliance is the heritage sector umbrelly organisation and advocacy body. Their website includes information about the sector as well as job vacancies.
- The Museums Association represents museums across the four nations of the UK and campaigns for socially engaged museums and a representative work force.
- The Archives and Records Association is the professional body for the record keeping sector.
- Chartered Institute for Archaeologists is a professional body representing archaeologists.
- University Archaeology UK represents University Archaeology departments across the UK.
- Association for Environmental Archaeology - gives a voice to those working within the discipline and includes vacancies and studentships
- The Association for Industrial Archaeology unites individuals, societies, academics and field professionals.
- European Association of Archaeologists is a membership organisation for professional archaeologists across Europe.
- Archaeological Institute of America - allows you to search for fieldwork opportunities world-wide
Additional professional and academic qualifications can be helpful in this sector, however they aren’t always necessary and sometimes can be more effective if completed later in your career as part of ongoing professional development or specialisation. These resources will help you evaluate your options.