Although this area of work is open to all graduates, a degree in one of the following areas is likely to improve your chances:
Currently, the only undergraduate degree course specifically in design for exhibition and museums is offered by the University of Lincoln . Other undergraduate degrees that incorporate a significant element of exhibition design include spatial design at Bucks New University and interior and spatial design at the University of Teesside , University of Hertfordshire and University of the Arts London . The University of Hertfordshire and the University of the Arts London also offer an MA in Interior and Spatial Design, and an MA/postgraduate diploma is offered in Museum and Heritage Exhibition Design at the University of Salford .
Courses focus on areas such as communication through spaces, involving 2D, 3D and time-based design in many combinations and usually include undertaking creative work through projects, written essays and proposals, hands-on production of models and artwork, and training in specific computer design programs. They are a preparation for work in the growing number of multi-disciplinary design consultancies, working in interior design, architectural modelling and visualisation, and exhibition design.
Some courses offer placement and live project opportunities, which are a good way to build contacts and your design portfolio. University or college design departments, schools and faculties typically have strong links with the design industry and it is a good idea to take advantage of these networking opportunities during your course. If your name, face or even your work is already known to an employer, it will help when it comes to getting a job. You can become a student or graduate member of the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD) , which offers professional recognition and training/networking opportunities. Design & Art Direction (D&AD) runs a graduate academy scheme to train and place a limited number of talented graduates in the industry.
Entry into this career without a degree is possible, but attitudes vary between employers. Some may favour a mix of the right skills and personality rather than academic qualifications. Others, however, may ask for specific degree qualifications and grades. Check with individual employers before applying. Irrespective of the views of employers on qualifications and training, it is essential to have a design portfolio and desirable to have some relevant work experience.
Candidates will need to show evidence of the following:
Make speculative applications by calling employers, sending them your CV or even going in person to meet with them.
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