As well as working in museums and galleries, history of art graduates work in marketing, public relations and event management roles

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

Practical experience is extremely valuable and will make you a more attractive candidate in the world of art galleries and museums. Having the right knowledge and qualifications will help your application, so you should take any opportunity to carry out a work placement.

Your course may include a placement, but if it doesn't, try applying to small, local museums, which may not get as many work experience requests and can offer a range of experience. Think about the experience that will be most relevant to your career, such as education or outreach work.

For advice on work placements and volunteering, see the Museums Association, which offers a concessionary price on membership for volunteers. As well as linking you to volunteering opportunities, membership of the MA gives you access to training, events and networking opportunities.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Many graduates work in museums and galleries. As well as curatorial work, you can find opportunities in areas such as:

  • education
  • events management
  • marketing
  • outreach
  • public relations (PR).

Specialist booksellers, antique dealers and auctioneers are also key employers, and another option is to follow an academic career in higher education.

Alternative careers include working for the civil service or going into the screen industries in roles such as picture researcher or editor.

Find information on employers in creative arts and design, marketing, advertising and PR, media and internet and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Studying history of art allows you to examine the visual arts through a range of historical, social, geographical, cultural and psychological contexts. You'll consider the meaning implied by the subject and style of art forms, as well as the impact that art has on our lives.

You'll also gain a broader set of relevant skills that are desirable to future employers, such as:

  • analysing and interpreting information from different sources
  • using critical judgement to form opinions and strong arguments
  • presenting information in an intelligent, coherent and balanced way
  • oral and written communication skills
  • time-management skills
  • the ability to work independently and in teams
  • listening skills.

Further study

Many postgraduate qualifications relate to jobs in the art history field. For example, you can study an MA in museum and gallery studies, curating or conservation science. These qualifications can lead on to jobs in museums and galleries.

Arts and heritage management are also popular choices, as they provide a broader skills base and open up a range of job opportunities, often at a more senior level.

Research degrees, such as PhD or MPhil are useful, and sometimes essential if you wish to pursue an academic career and need to develop expertise in a more narrowly defined area of art history.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses in history of art.

What do history of art graduates do?

History of art graduates enter a variety of careers, but popular roles include sales, marketing and related associate professionals (14%), media professionals (6%), artistic, literary and media occupations (6%), welfare and housing association professionals (3%), business, research and administrative professionals (2%).

Further study9.5
Working and studying10.9
Graduate destinations for history of art
Type of workPercentage
Clerical, secretarial and administrative19.4
Marketing, PR and sales18
Retail, catering and customer service15.5
Arts, design and media11.3
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other graduates are doing after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Graduate Outcomes survey data from HESA.

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