Careers and employability

Student walking through a gallery with paintings hung on the walls.

A degree from the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies will provide you with the skills and experience for a successful career.

You will graduate as a thoughtful, lively, critical and creative thinker with the knowledge and capacity for high-level enquiry in your subject.

Our graduates

The aim of the School is more than just to enable you to graduate with a degree. We want you to become an independent and well-rounded graduate who, equipped with a range of transferable and critical skills, will have the confidence and experience to become successful in your chosen career.

Leeds graduates have an excellent reputation within industry and Leeds is the 5th most targeted university in the UK by graduate recruiters (The Graduate Market in 2021).

Our graduates have gone on to work in a variety of sectors, including:

  • curating;
  • design;
  • media;
  • arts administration;
  • law;
  • teaching;
  • journalism;
  • marketing;
  • charities;
  • cultural policy;
  • academia.

Many of our students remain at Leeds for postgraduate study to further their knowledge in their subject or choose to to specialise in a different topic. Alumni who continue to further study may be eligible for the 10% alumni bursary for tuition fees.

We count among our alumni many successful artists and writers, including Threadneedle Prize (2013), Mercury Prize (2012) and FUAM Graduate Art Prize (2016, 2017) winners.

A large number of our students choose to stay in the region and either work for organisations, often in the arts, or develop their own entrepreneurial opportunities, including setting up artist groups and studios.

We hold a range of events in which we invite our alumni to speak to students and lead workshops, to give a first-hand account of the wide range of future job possibilities open to our students.

Employability skills

We are committed to developing your employability and career prospects. All of our courses offer the option of a bespoke careers preparation module, which prepares you with not only subject knowledge but also transferable research, argument, analysis, communication and time management skills.

You will also have opportunities to broaden your knowledge and skills by taking discovery modules from subject areas across the University.

Careers advice

Our award-winning University Careers Centre offers support and advice to help prepare you for life after graduation, and has experienced advisors and strong relationships with graduate recruiters. The Careers Centre will help you right from the start and provide support after you graduate.

Careers and employability events

We offer a range of events across the academic year, including:

  • alumni talks and workshops;
  • careers talks and events;
  • employability skills workshops;
  • industry talks, panels and workshops.

The Bigger Picture is an annual event offering expert creative careers advice to final year undergraduate and taught postgraduate students in the School. It includes industry panels with alumni, workshops including interview techniques, advice on freelancing and CV tips. Speakers include artists, designers, editors, fundraising experts and more.

Work experience and opportunities

Our optional study abroad year and work placement year offer valuable experience and skills to help you in the competitive job market.

Wider learning opportunities include study trips, curation projects, talks by visiting artists and researchers as well as showcases and conferences. You can also get involved in Leeds University Students’ Union work or act as a student ambassador in the School or University.

Other types of experience and opportunities can be found in the wider city environment, including artists groups, volunteering in schools, internships in museums and galleries, work placements, and many more. The Leeds for Life website supports your extra-curricular and long-term career planning.

Enterprise

At Leeds, you can access support to help you start your own business. Whether you want to learn about enterprise or become an entrepreneur, we offer award-winning specialist support