Department of History of Art

Work experience and professional placements

Nottingham’s dynamic arts community offers excellent opportunities for students to gain valuable professional experience. 

As a curator at Crocus Gallery I gained vital practical skills in event management, working with the media, promotion, budgeting and, of course, curating. This enhanced my studies in art history and was a fantastic way to get involved with the Nottingham arts scene.


Rachel Tait, BA Art History (2013)

Listen to third year student Laura Rutty's account of her professional placement.



Develop professional and personal skills

In recent years, our students have undertaken placements at a range of local galleries and cultural organisations.

These have included:

Arts Professional Placement Module (Year 2) 

Our Arts Professional Placement module allows second year students to develop transferable skills, gain valuable experience, and cultivate professional networks, as part of their degree.

Students take a series of on-campus workshops focused on transferable skills, applications and interviews, self presentation, and research into specific careers sectors, followed by an eight-week professional placement at one of our partner arts institutions, which include Nottingham Contemporary, New Art Exchange, Primary, and Quad.

Placements help develop professional and personal skills that will give you a distinct advantage in pursuing a career in the competitive arts sector.

I had an incredible experience working at Nottingham Contemporary and thoroughly enjoyed learning and adapting to the tasks of the Exhibitions team. I was able to actively participate in the managing of exhibitions - from research and deciding proposals - to the installation and private views. I also had the opportunity to experience aspects of registrar work, marketing, fundraising and promotions. This definitely helped in regards to my career, opening up prospects and opportunities I never previously thought of.


Laura Rutty, BA Art History (third year)

In addition, our student-led curatorial group Crop-Up Gallery have organised exhibitions at local galleries including Backlit and The Wall, Hockley.

Outreach activities

The department runs an Art History in Schools programme, which provides creative workshops for local primary schools. Student volunteers are able to share their art historical skills with the wider community, while gaining valuable experience in the education sector.

Student Ambassador Scheme

Being a Student Ambassador is a great way to gain valuable skills and contribute to the University’s aim to widen participation in higher education.

Student Ambassadors represent the department and the University at Open Days and Visit Days, and at Widening Participation events such as summer schools organised by The Sutton Trust.

Working as a Student Ambassador will give you the chance to:

  • Work with young people from different backgrounds
  • Communicate with passion about your subject
  • Gain experience setting up and running events

The work is flexible, with hours offered during term and vacation time, and you are only committed to the hours you sign up for.

Graduate careers and Alumni profiles



Crop-Up Gallery

We are proud to be one of the few history of art departments in the country with its own student-run curatorial group.

Founded by in 2012 by our own students, Crop-Up Gallery offers members the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build links with Nottingham’s thriving arts community. As its name suggests, Crop-Up aims to take up temporary residence at established exhibition spaces in Nottingham.

The group staged its first exhibition, Illuminate, at Backlit Gallery in June 2012, featuring the work of students from Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham.

Crop-Up welcomes new members each year, offering students the opportunity to collaborate across year groups. Members can gain valuable experience in:

  • leadership
  • design
  • curatorship
  • fundraising
  • networking
  • marketing and promotions

The group provides an excellent platform for students to build professional confidence in a competitive field.

Crop-Up has recently attracted University activity development funding. The group is at the start of what we hope will be a lasting journey and we look forward to welcoming future students to the team.


Crop-Up Gallery blog

Members preparing for a Crop-Up exhibition
Members of Crop-Up Gallery preparing for an exhibition


Crop Up has allowed me to understand how I can transfer the skills from my degree into something more vocational and learn a lot about working in professional creative environments in the process. I have worked alongside students from different year groups, engaged with local arts communities and been mentored by industry professionals. The experience of being involved with Crop Up has gone far beyond my expectations of how it would enhance my degree and future prospects.

  Beth Sillince, BA Art History (third year) and Director of Crop Up Gallery

University of Nottingham links

Nottingham Advantage Award


Careers and Employability

Careers events guide

Becoming a global graduate

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Department of History of Art

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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