What can I do with a degree in History and Philosophy of Art?

Find out where the range of skills you develop studying history and philosophy of art can take you. Here we list potential careers and tell you how you can find a job in this sector.

History and Philosophy of Art careers

The jobs listed below are a selection of those which may interest History and Philosophy of Arts students and graduates and offer the opportunity to use your degree directly.

Art Gallery Manager

Art galleries vary in style, size and purpose, and because of this, the role of a gallery manager can differ. The role can change depending on whether you work in a public or private gallery.

Job profile of an Art Gallery Manager on the Prospects website

Exhibition Designer

Exhibition designers typically work on cultural exhibitions which include museums and galleries, or on commercial exhibitions which include showcase events, trade shows and conferences.

Job profile of an Exhibition Designer on the Prospects website

Museum/Gallery Curator

With the key goals of informing, educating and inspiring the public, a museum or gallery curator acquires, cares for, develops, displays and interprets a collection of artefacts or works of art.

Job profile of a Museum/Gallery Curator on the Prospects website
Job profile of a Curator on the TARGET Jobs website
icould: Katie M - Associate Curator

I want to work in The Heritage Sector

University Lecturer

As well as teaching through lectures and seminars, academic staff in higher education also carry out research and a wide range of administrative and pastoral tasks. Although a teaching qualification is not required, you will need a higher degree, normally a PhD. Competition is strong for entry-level academic posts.

Job profile of a higher education lecturer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a higher education lecturer from the TARGET Jobs website

I want to work in A University

Please note that some of these careers may require further study.

For further information on these careers, see also:

People in some History and Philosophy of Art roles may be self-employed

Thank you to Prospects for the content on these pages.

Other careers

A History and Philosophy of Art degree may be useful in the following career areas because the skills it develops are likely to be important to do these jobs:


Archivists work in national and local records offices, specialist organisations (such as Canterbury Cathedral) and in businesses. They acquire, manage and maintain documents and other materials that have historical importance and make them accessible to researchers and other users.

Job profile of an archivist from the Prospects website
Job profile of an archivist from the TARGET Jobs website
The Archives and Records Association

I want to work in Librarianship and Archives

Arts Administrator

An arts administrator manages activities and services which support the arts sector, involving projects and initiatives provided by arts organisations

Job profile of an Arts Administrator from the Prospects website
Job profile of an Arts Administrator from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of an Arts Administrator from the National Careers Service website

Civil Service Fast Stream Administrator

The Fast Stream is a development programme designed to prepare graduates for careers at the highest levels of the Civil Service.

Job profile of a Civil Service Fast Streamer on the Prospects website


This covers the production of books, magazines and online publishing, generalist or specialist (including academic publishers). Graduates may work in editorial roles or in business roles such as production and marketing.

Types of jobs in Publishing and Journalism from the Prospects website

Tourist guide

Tourist guides show visitors around towns and cities, historic buildings, gardens, religious sites or museums and art galleries. Some travel companies specialise in historical and cultural tours, but a knowledge of history is valuable for all tour guides.

Job profile of a tourist guide from the National Careers Service

You may be interested in graduate roles outside of History and Philosophy of Art. There are many employers who are looking for graduates with good degrees but that don’t have a preference for the subject studied. To explore different career options see:

Skills gained

Studying History and Philosophy of Art typically gives you a range of skills and abilities sought after by all types of employers, for example:

  • analysing and interpreting information from different sources
  • attention to detail;
  • 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;
  • ability to work independently and in teams;
  • listening skills.

Studying History and Philosophy of Art therefore develops a wide range of transferable skills, which are important in many career fields:

Historians develop excellent skills of analysis, frequently assessing multiple and often conflicting sources before condensing opinions into concise, well-structured prose.
Graduates are able to demonstrate self-motivation and the ability to work independently, demonstrating to potential employers that you respond positively to various challenges, that you can work to tight schedules, and that you can manage heavy workloads.

This is not an exhaustive list of skills - you will develop many skills from your course, extra-curricular activities and work experience. Find out more about the skills employers look for and how you can develop them.

Find a job

The Careers and Employability Service provides information and advice on job searching to University of Kent students and recent graduates. This includes a vacancy database advertising a range of graduate jobs, sandwich placements and vacation work/internships. The websites listed below may also be useful when searching for a job and when looking for further information on this sector.  

General Arts and Heritage sites

Art Institutions and Galleries

Auction Houses

Heritage Organisations

Museums and Galleries

  • Gallery Jobs  Careers advice website, simple overview of gallery roles
  • Leicester University – Great free job, internship and volunteering listings, not just for Leicester University students
  • National Museum Jobs  jobs across the UK’s national and major regional museums, libraries and archives.
  • Museums Association   See jobs board, careers advice, and lists of museums and suppliers, includes job listings
  • Museum Galleries Scotland See skills, training and jobs section
  • Museum Jobs Jobs in Museums, Galleries, Libraries and archives
  • Mustard Jobs  Jobs in the design and creative industries including exhibitions and events
  • The British Museum Search under jobs – includes Museum Pathways which is an 18 month paid training programme working across museums in London

Recruitment  Companies

Local Organisations

Finding work experience

In addition to the above organisations the following could be useful

A number of opportunities the Arts Sector are volunteering opportunities and are unpaid. The Careers and Employability Service offers a modest bursary for students who have secured some unpaid work experience in the UK to help towards travel expenses. 

More websites offering graduate jobs, internships and placement years

You may also find useful reviews and application/interview tips for specific organisations on the following websites:
The Job Crowd

Further study

Postgraduate study may enable you to explore aspects of Art History or History and Philosophy of Art in greater depth or to study a new subject. You should consider why you want to do postgraduate work, whether it will affect your career prospects and whether you are likely to get funding. There is no equivalent of UCAS for postgraduate study, so investigate courses early, starting with the Postgraduate Study section of this website and the Prospects website. If you are already a student on a taught Master’s degree, you may wish to continue your studies by research, in the UK (at Kent or elsewhere) or overseas. Again, early planning is important. You should seek advice from your supervisor as to the possible options.

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