Work Placements

All students, no matter which course they are taking, and whether part-time or full time, are required to undertake the Work Placement module.

We have developed a network of contacts within the museum, gallery and heritage sector, not only in the UK, but also internationally. Previous students have been on placement, for example, at museums in New Zealand, Canada & Spain.

We work with a wide range of Museums, Galleries & Heritage Sites in the UK. We aim to offer approximately 100-110 placements each year.

Placements are organised by the ICCHS Placement Manager, Iain Wheeldon, who works with students from their arrival in September to find the most suitable, productive and practical venue. Please note: while every effort will be made to meet the student's first work placement choice, this will be dependent upon availability of suitable projects and adequate supervision at the various venues.

Experience and Employability

The placement provides students with the opportunity to experience the working environment of a museum, gallery or heritage organisation. It helps them to put into practice the skills, knowledge and understanding gained on the taught part of the course.

Placements also increase student employability by providing students with the opportunity to develop high level skills, knowledge and understanding required by potential employers. Students will acquire subject-specific skills and develop a range of key skills, including:

  • interpersonal,
  • teamworking, and
  • communication skills.

They will begin to understand the missions and functions of their organisation, analyse workplace structures and identify a range of line management and reporting arrangements, systems and procedures. Students also become familiar with workplace legislation, regulations and standards, and develop the ability to critically analyse the performance of the organisation in relation to its aims and objectives.

Overseas Placements

ICCHS has a track record of successful work placements outside the UK. Placements outside the UK are subject to the host country's own visa restrictions and employment legislation. In addition, some venues operate their own internships or placement schemes (for example, UNESCO, and most North American organisations.) The Placement Manager will advise the student on these matters but students are also encouraged to research these issues thoroughly if they have a placement venue in mind when applying.

Erasmus-funded Placements Overseas

Erasmus is a funding scheme that is intended to encourage exchange between Erasmus-participating countries by funding periods of study overseas in universities in Erasmus-participating countries. The scheme has been expanded to include work placements.

Only students from Erasmus-participating countries, who have not previously received Erasmus funding can take part in these placements. Erasmus placements last a minimum of 3 months, rather than 2, but it is still possible to do this and graduate with the rest of your year. Due to the timetable of the Erasmus process, students will be asked to submit an expression of interest at the beginning of the academic year. There are only a limited number of such placements. The process will be completed in the first semester, so it is worth deciding whether you are interested in this before starting the course.

Work Experience

Most students attending the taught courses have acquired some preliminary experience of work in museums, galleries or a heritage organization, (usually as a volunteer), and this is recommended, though not a prerequisite for acceptance onto our courses. It is worth remembering that some placement venues will require prior relevant work-experience. For more information on how to gain voluntary experience at museums, galleries and heritage sites, please take a look at our Voluntary Experience advice (PDF file).

Please note that the programme fee does not include accommodation and travel costs (including visa costs) incurred while on placement. In view of this students are advised to consider the financial commitment when choosing a placement venue.

Previous work placement venues

Placements are hosted by a range of organisations:

Students in the Art Museum & Gallery Studies programme have recently been placed in:

BALTIC, The Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead
Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow
Durham City Council Arts Development Team
Hatton Gallery
MACBA, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Barcelona)
Middlesbrough institute of modern art (mima)
National Centre for Craft & Design
Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland
National Glass Centre, Sunderland
Northern Print, Newcastle
Shipley Art Gallery, Tyne & Wear Museums, Gateshead
Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Tyne & Wear Museums, Sunderland
The Laing Art Gallery
University Gallery, University of Northumbria in Newcastle
Victoria & Albert Museum, Word & Image Dept., London

Students in the Heritage Studies programme were recently placed in:

Dalarnas Museum, Falun, Sweden
Durham Cathedral
Durham World Heritage Site
Ford & Etal Estate, Northumberland
English Heritage
The Heritage Lottery Fund, Newcastle
Fountains Abbey, The National Trust, Ripon
Gateshead City Council, Conservation Team
Gibside, The National Trust, Newcastle
Historic Environment Section, Newcastle Civic Centre
Holy Jesus Hospital, The National Trust, Newcastle
North of England Civic Trust
Northumberland National Park Authority
Northern Architecture, Newcastle
York Archaeological Trust

Students in the Museum Studies programme were recently placed in:

Beamish Open Air Museum, County Durham
Bede's World, Jarrow
The Bowes Museum, County Durham
Centre for Life, Newcastle
Discovery Museum, Tyne & Wear Museums, Newcastle
Great North Museum, Newcastle University
Hartlepool Arts & Museums Service
Museum in Docklands / Museum of London, London
Museum of Stratigraphy, Knossos, Crete
Museum of Te Papa Tongaewera, New Zealand
National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh
Portable Antiquities Scheme, Museum of Antiquities, University of Newcastle
Segedunum Roman Fort, Tyne & Wear Museums, North Tyneside
Seven Stories, Newcastle & Gateshead
Souter Lighthouse, The National Trust, Sunderland
South Shields Museum & Art Gallery, Tyne & Wear Museums, South Shields
Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Tyne & Wear Museums, Sunderland
The Light Dragoons Museum, Newcastle
The Oriental Museum, Durham
Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle
Victoria & Albert Museum, Word & Image Dept., London
York Castle Museum, York Museums Trust

Information for Placement Hosts

We are very grateful to the museums, galleries and heritage venues that are able to provide placement opportunities for our postgraduate students on our postgraduate taught programmes.

If you are interested in hosting a placement, please contact the ICCHS Placement Manager, Iain Wheeldon.

Alternatively, download and complete the following documents: