School of Arts


School of Arts’ programmes combine academic rigour, personal development, life skills and career opportunities. During your time studying at the School of Arts you will gain key transferable skills in communication, planning and organisation, creative thinking, researching, working in a team and many others. You will develop key competencies and attributes graduate employers look for, both through the curriculum, and extracurricular activities offered by the school and other university services.

According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the creative industries provide around two million jobs in the UK, in the creative sector itself and in creative roles in other sectors. Encouragingly, employment in the sector has grown at double the rate of the economy as a whole.

In 2014, 100% of our History of Arts students, over 92% of our Drama students and over 90% of our Film students went on to further study or employment within 6 months of graduation.

The University of Kent is committed to enhancing the employability of all our students, undergraduate and postgraduate, in order to enable them to compete and flourish in a competitive, fast-moving knowledge-based economy.


Across the different modules available in your degree programme you will develop a number of key skills.

Skill Activities in which students develop this competency
Excellent Communication Skills Working in Groups, Delivering Presentations, Writing Essays, Carrying out Research, Developing Reflective Journals
Organisation and Planning Working to a specified deadline, Prepare Essay Plans, Work with Peers, Manage Tasks and/ or Projects.
Analytical skills and Creative Thinking Critically Evaluating Learning Materials, Analysing Key Texts, Evaluating Different Arguments, Developing New Lines of Enquires.
Research Skills Using Secondary Sources, Developing Draft Proposals, Refining Proposals based on new Research.


The past decade has seen huge growth in postgraduate education in the UK, with an increase of over one-third in the number of students studying for higher degrees. In fact, the postgraduate sector grew faster than the undergraduate sector during that time.

Upon graduation postgraduate students in the School of Arts go into a wide range of jobs, some in, or related to, academia and others in the public, private and third sectors. Through studying at postgraduate level students will be able to demonstrate an advance level of skills and knowledge. In addition to key skills developed through undergraduate studies the transferable skills most often sought by employers of postgraduates are:

Skill Description
Problem Solving Taking a systematic approach to problems; being flexible in finding solutions; looking at different angles and approaches; identifying the most appropriate solution for the situation.
Innovation Ability to take a fresh approach, think laterally, be original and creative, willing to try new things.
Maturity and confidence Wide experience of life generally and specifically of working with other people; strong career focus; credibility with employers and clients.
Self-motivation Ability to work independently without the need for constant direction or feed-back. Anticipating what needs to be done; setting your own goals and working towards them. Being positive and professional. Taking responsibility for your own work and personal development.
Commercial awareness An awareness of the environment in which an organisation operates (public sec-tor and charitable organisations face commercial and financial pressures too!). A focus on the purpose of the organisation and its clients and/or stakeholders.
Co-operation The ability to work with other people, inside and outside your own department or organisation. Working together to achieve a common goal. Allocating and shar-ing responsibilities and tasks.
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Your course will already be helping you to develop a wide range of employability skills. But there are many extracurricular schemes available to help you to develop your skills further. To help you recognise and develop the employability skills you need for your chosen career we have gathered together information about what's available.

Students can obtain Employability Points for participating in these activities and more. Employability Points convert to rewards! There are currently a range of rewards on offer from training opportunities to internships. The scheme has a range of sponsors including a number from the arts sector, such as Bright Shadow Community Theatre Company, Lilford Gallery and Framing and Penguin Publishing.

Over 100 students in the school have already signed up to the Employability Points Scheme, have you.

Employability initiatives

Student Employability Testimonial

Francesca Kluessendorf was selected to be a runner for the BBC's Big Questions and tells us what it was like working on a prestigious full scale television production:

"On the 11th and 12th of March I was selected to be a runner for Season 10, Episode 10 of BBC1’s live television series The Big Questions, along with 11 other students. Luckily enough, the show was being televised from the Colyer-Fergusson building at the University of Kent, making transportation for the runners on both days fairly easy. We were all asked to come in on Saturday the 11th of March to set up everything for the following day. We assisted the team by organizing and setting up everything for the audience. This included the reception, cloakroom and café area in order to ensure that everything would run smoothly the following day. When the preparation for the next day was finished, we were all shown around the production set. All runners were shown how the cameras, sound and lighting equipment worked. We were even allowed to try everything out ourselves! The team was very excited and enthusiastic about showing us around and telling us about their profession. As a film student and aspiring filmmaker, this was all very enlightening, informative and helpful. On the actual day of the show (Sunday, 12th March) we had to be at the production at 7am in order to set up everything for the audience’s arrival. All runners were given individual tasks on the day. My task was to welcome the audience members, lead them to the café/waiting area and eventually guide them to their seats in the audience. Many audience members were missing, which allowed all of us runners to sit in on the audience. I was privileged with the additional task of being the “clapper” for the show. This meant that every time the presenter nodded at me throughout the live show, I had to start clapping loudly and energetically in order to get the audience to join in. The whole experience was very rewarding and I learned a lot about how a live television set functions. It has definitely inspired me to continue to find work experience on film and television productions in order to gain first hand work experience for my future career."


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This exciting network of current students, staff, alumni and friends from the creative industries was launched in October 2013 and is already making a significant contribution to the current and future life of the School of Arts and the wider community.

KAN has become a useful network for alumni and friends of the School of Arts as it enables them to:

  • Keep up to date on research and developments at Kent
  • Connect and network with their peers
  • Be involved in cultural events connected with the School of Arts (either as participant or visitor/audience). These events include exhibitions, screenings, performances, annual lectures, annual dinners with honorary speakers
  • Maximise potential employment opportunities (The School of Arts is committed to continued engagement with our alumni in the area of careers and KAN is a way of including alumni in professional development activities after they leave us. We believe that the current student body (as well as future students and their parents) will be encouraged by this approach to on-going alumni relations
  • Establish global connections – membership of the society will provide opportunities for international networking at a business and at a social level e.g. when travelling or looking for work abroad
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This is an opportunity for students to gain relevant workplace experience as part of their programme of study. We have long recognised the benefits of taking a year abroad and the increased awareness and confidence the experience brings.

We now want to offer these benefits to students within the workplace. This will also give them an opportunity to increase their contacts and network to let them hit the ground running when they graduate.

The Placement Year is in addition to your standard undergraduate programme. It falls normally prior to you entering your final year. The year itself will be assessed on a pass/fail basis and is assessed through employer feedback and a written report that you submit. For more information about the Placement Year please contact the Rachel Evans.

Ben Gregory-Ring (BA Hons in Drama)

"I would highly recommend the School of Arts Placement Year, you get the experience needed to go along with the knowledge you gained from your degree, you also get the chance to make connections and future pathways for when you finish your degree. I have had to chance to work in a school for a year as a Drama teacher. I get to plan and run lessons, the opportunity to have feedback from other teachers, and be a part of a full-time school workplace - which all looks great on a PGCE application."



Becky Challoner (BA Hons in Drama)

"I chose to undertake the placement year because I was eager to challenge myself with new possibilities and gain a wider understanding and knowledge of professional working life in order to prepare myself for after I have graduated. I can honestly say that it was the best decision I have ever made as so many adventures and opportunities have emerged from what is already an incredible placement within a creative arts institution. I have gained a wide knowledge of all areas within the business and opened many doors for future employment. In addition, I was a successful applicant for a creative arts placement in Spain for two weeks which resulted in a job offer abroad as well as taking part in a variety of performance work and charity work. Overall it has been the most rewarding and beneficial year of my academic life so far and has undoubtedly increased my self confidence and ambition."

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If you have secured some unpaid work experience you could be entitled to the B-KEW bursary of up to £250! Apply today!

Did you know there are lots of industry experts and alumni waiting to offer you support, advice and mentoring on KEW-NET?




School of Arts - © University of Kent

Jarman Building, The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7UG, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

Last Updated: 24/03/2017