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Art History - using your degree


Popular career areas for Art History students:

A degree from Scotland's first university is an excellent start to any future career. St Andrews has a reputation for excellence and the ability to attract the brightest students worldwide. With this as a starting point you are well on the way to impressing future employers.

As art history is studied in social, geographical, cultural and psychological contexts, you will develop an understanding of how different societies evolve and how art impacts on our lives. Additionally, as well as acquiring a number of academic skills, you will also develop more general transferable skills, all of which are highly valued by employers across all sectors.

Further study is a popular choice for art history graduates. In fact, if you wish to continue in a field related to your degree, a postgraduate qualification is often necessary.

Graduates with an art history degree are equipped for a wide range of professional careers, including arts and heritage management, galleries/museums and archives, journalism, the media, publishing and a wide range of positions around the creative arts.

Review your degree skills

The profile below identifies the skills that can be developed through the study of your discipline based on subject benchmark statements developed by UK higher education academic communities. It may help you to identify the valuable skills that you can offer to potential employers.

Where do our Art History graduates go?

Recent Art History graduates
IRIS Worldwide - Advertising graduate
Sothebys - Cataloguer
Aratella Swimwear Ltd - Designer
Ghost Magazine - Photography Editor
BNY Mellon - Rotational Development Program Associate
John Adams Fine Art - Gallery Manager
Graduates who are established in their profession

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center - Executive Director

Impressionist and Modern Art Group - European Business Manager

Peninsula Press - Investor Relations Director

Sotheby’s - Executive Assistant to Worldwide Head of Contemporary

BBC World TV News - Freelance art expert

Serpentine Galleries - Exhibition Curator


Rosalie graduated in 2012. She has worked as an Account Executive for Grey in London.

Read Rosalie's case study


Emma graduated in 2005. She is the Museums Manager at The Black Watch Castle & Museum.

Read Emma's case study

 Visit the Graduate Destinations page to see what graduates and postgraduates from your School are doing now.

Network with alumni

Many jobs and internships are not advertised.  One of the best ways to find out about these ‘hidden opportunities’ is by networking.  Networking can also help secure a job that is publicised or is part of a training scheme.  Your contacts can open doors, set up meetings, help prepare you for interviews, and provide you with an inside look at a company or industry. 

How to contact alumni

There are two main ways to contact alumni on-line:

  1. Saint Connect - brings together alumni and current students to facilitate networking, enable informal mentoring, provide industry discussion groups, and enable graduates and students to stay up to date with their student societies and sports teams.
  2. LinkedIn - most comprehensive resource to connect with alumni is the University of St Andrews LinkedIn – Alumni Tool. There are also many LinkedIn St Andrews Groups, mainly based on location, which you can join to network with fellow students and alumni, eg St Andrews North America Careers Link.

Postgraduate study/research

In 2014, 20.5% of Art History graduates went on to do further study.  
Advisers are able and willing to discuss postgraduate applications - vocational and academic. 

Summer internships/work experience

Campus Opportunities

Work experience is becoming ‘essential’ in the UK when it comes to securing graduate level employment.

During the 2015-16 academic year, more than 90% of the UK’s leading graduate employers offered paid work experience programmes for students and recent graduates. Altogether, 55% of St Andrews finalists had completed some element of work experience with a graduate employer whilst at university – much higher than the survey average. More than two-fifths had a part-time job during term-time and three-fifths had some form of casual vacation work. Source: High Fliers –The UK Graduate Careers Survey 2016.

Case studies

Key links and resources

Career related

Professional Bodies, Trade Organisations & Journals/Magazines

These can often be a good source of information on internships, jobs and postgraduate study.