Career Prospects - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Career Prospects

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Career Prospects

“Studying at The Courtauld was an important springboard for my career, working first as a freelance writer, then at the National Gallery, and now at the Hayward Gallery”

Our graduates have pursued a broad range of careers. Many stay within the arts and become art historians, conservators, curators (including directors of many of the world’s leading galleries and museums), collection managers, museum education professionals, critics, art dealers, art consultants, researchers and auction house specialists, to mention but a few popular pathways.  However, a great number of graduates choose to work in other fields, some of which are related, like  journalism, publishing, broadcasting, advertising, marketing and public relations, while others are not, such as law or the civil service.

What History of Art gives you

All of our courses offer highly transferable skills. Not only will our graduates be equipped with a detailed knowledge and understanding of the history of art, but they also develop many transferable skills, including how to:

  • Retrieve and organise information and carry out research with limited guidance;
  • Analyse and interpret information from a variety of sources;
  • Use critical judgement to produce logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence;
  • Deploy visual material in conjunction with written, oral and other forms of communication, such as illustrated essays and seminars, slide, moving image or multimedia presentations;
  • Communicate information, arguments and ideas coherently and effectively as appropriate to particular audiences, and in written, spoken or other form using visual aids and IT resources;
  • Work to briefs and deadlines, including managing multiple projects;
  • Work constructively and productively in groups;
  • Listen effectively, being open and receptive to new ideas and participate constructively in discussions;
  • Understand aspects of the culture of more than one geographical region and/or chronological period
  • Reflect on one’s own learning, and make constructive use of feedback.

The Graduate Diploma offers similar skills in a compressed 9-month course, while the MA courses and research degrees develop academic and critical abilities at the level of advanced study and professional research.

Three of our postgraduate courses provide specialist education required for careers in conservation and the arts. Virtually all graduates of the MA in the Conservation of Wall Painting, the Postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings, and the MA in Curating the Art Museum have gone on to careers in these specialist fields.

Preparing you for your career

The Courtauld Careers Service offers bespoke, confidential and impartial one-to-one careers guidance to students right from the start through to graduation and beyond, whatever their stage of professional development.

Students can follow a comprehensive careers education programme, called the Courtauld Association Careers Certificate, that is designed to help them to explore their career options, develop essential career management and employability skills, and receive labour market informaton and useful tips from alumni and employers. Those who attend a required number of sessions can join an exclusive alumni networking event at the end of the programme. Each year students secure job opportunities at this event.

In addition, students can book one-to-one appointments to receive bespoke guidance to suit their needs and benefit from a variety of online and offline careers resources. For more information about how to access careers support, see the careers pages on the VLE.

The Courtauld Association

Students and alumni have access to the Courtauld Association Network, a live and online community which enables them to meet others in the art world and discuss opportunities. It also identifies employment and internship opportunities, which are often exclusively available for Courtauld students and alumni.

Find out more about the work of the Courtauld Association and the benefits of membership.

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