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Durham University

Careers & Enterprise Centre

Explore Arts and Heritage

Covid-19 Pandemic

As a result of the restrictions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of arts and heritage organisations remain closed. Re-opening is happening gradually, with the number of staff and visitors restricted. As a result of this, most organisations will not be in a position to host work experience students/internships at the present time.

Students are advised to check in advance before spending time on an application, to check the recruitment status of a particular organisation. We will continue to liaise with Explore: Arts & Heritage partner organisations and update you once they alert us to them being in a position to host students.

Please contact with any queries.

Oriental Museum

Work Experience Programme

Explore: Arts & Heritage is a programme created by Careers & Enterprise at Durham University, specifically dedicated to students interested in pursuing a career, or just finding our more, about working in the Arts and Heritage sector. We work in conjunction with some of the North east’s most successful arts and heritage organisations to create work experience opportunities designed for Durham students.

This successful programme is now in its sixth year; we have had students placed across a variety of regional arts/heritage organisations over the past few years including the Oriential Museum, and Palace Green Library (part of Culture Durham) Auckland Castle, Beamish Museum, Durham Light Infantry Museum (DLI), Sage Gateshead, and The Bowes Museum. Students volunteered with a variety of ‘working’ patterns; some worked ½ - 1 day per week during term time, others worked full time during vacation for a set number of weeks.

The programme is currently paused whilst we give our partner organisations the chance to re-open, update their policies and procedures, and identify how they can support interns/students seeking work experience.

Here are a sample of the opportunities available as part of the programme previously:

Culture Durham (incorporating Palace Green Library and Oriental Museum)

Voluntary Learning Delivery Assistants - Learning Delivery Assistants are responsible for helping learners of all ages to participate in our formal and informal learning programme. They will work with members of the Learning Team to set up and deliver sessions on subjects as wide-ranging as Ancient Egypt, Pre-history, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, the history of Durham Castle, Transatlantic Slavery, Research Skills and the political history of Britain. There are also opportunities to help the team deliver their exciting community engagement programme by running family activities and participating in hugely popular events such as Celebrate Science, Diwali celebrations, Lunar New Year events and the annual Holi Festival.

World Heritage Site Youth Ambassador - Become a Youth Ambassador (YAMS) for the UNESCO World Heritage Site here at Durham. You will need to be someone who is happy to give tours on open days, meet other Youth Ambassadors, have a passion for Heritage, be able to commit time to this role and be a positive role model to engage other young people into the fantastic heritage Durham has to offer. You will gain communication skills, experience of working in the Heritage Sector, network with other heritage, museum and cultural professionals, go on unique experiences at other World Heritage Sites, research skills and gain a recognised qualification from UNESCO as a Youth Ambassador.

Cultural Focus Group - The Focus Group aims to be made up of students who are both Learning Delivery Assistants and World Heritage Site Youth Ambassadors (YAMS) who will be willing to meet once a month at alternating museum sites. We want the students to have ownership of their experience with us here at Culture Durham and would love your ideas, suggestions and help in delivering our extensive learning programme. This can include research for sessions, collating data, social media and project work. This group will also act in helping steer the volunteer programme with the learning team and will be a great opportunity to gain leadership and organisational skills.

Durham Museum

Durham Museum is a charitable organisation dedicated to preserving and teaching the history of Durham. We rely on our volunteers to run the museum day to day. Volunteer roles include: greeting visitors, managing the front desk and shop, answering visitor questions and helping with museum displays. We also have a small garden which is tended by our volunteers. Volunteers are needed for weekends/bank holidays in April and May. Opportunities are then available every day in June, July, August and September. Shifts are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 2 p.m.-4.30 p.m. But the schedule can be flexible.

Volunteering with us is a great way to learn about the local history of Durham and engage with the community.


Victoria Cawkwell, Work Experience Development Manager