Graduate Intern: Art

Durham University

Graduate Intern: Art (
Job Number:
SPOT:  £20,578 per annum
Fixed Term  Full Time
Contract Duration: Until 31 August 2024
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Working Arrangements: To be agreed locally by Department
Closing Date
: 11-Jun-2023, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Please note that the successful applicant will require DBS disclosure. Further info: 

The Role Purpose and Activities

The intern will undertake a range of activities, delivering services to customers and gaining experience including some of the following:

·         Providing direct user engagement with a range of visitors with differing needs and access requirements.

·         Providing support where necessary to the development and planning of engagement programmes.

·         Providing advice and responding to enquiries from users, including students, academics and wider public research communities, on the services and collections available, in cooperation with senior colleagues. 

·         Participating in short-term working groups and project work.

·         Contributing to communications, social media activity, user-experience-related work, and user engagement.

·         Administrative activities in support of work areas described above.

They will also actively engage in staff development activities, including formal training sessions, reflection, and self-directed learning, to develop skills and knowledge appropriate to the role and context of the internship. 

The vacancy may close early if sufficient applications are reached.

Interviews to be held on 6th July 2023.


Specific role requirements

The intern role is fixed term to 31 August 2024 attracting a salary of £20,578 per annum pro rata (+ cost of living increase), plus 27 days holiday pro rata and excellent benefits.

This is a full-time post, working 35 hours per week.

The work pattern of the role may include weekend, evening, and bank holiday work as business demands.

The Department

In January 1833 Bishop William van Mildert donated 160 volumes to found the University Library, located on Palace Green and in the same year Durham’s first university museum opened to the public. Today the University Library and Collections offers spaces, collections, expertise, and services supporting education, research, the wider student experience and cultural and educational outreach. Collections and services operate across a wide estate of libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and exhibition spaces, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site on Palace Green. Our nationally and internationally recognised collections span early books, archives and manuscripts, museum objects and art, print and electronic materials and include a repository of digitised materials, research outputs and research data. Our users encompass anyone engaging with our collections, services, and facilities in person or remotely, this includes university staff, researchers from around the globe, students in higher education from Durham and other universities, school pupils and teachers, Durham’s local residents and tourists.

We are an ambitious and developing team with a focus on providing the best experience for our students, researchers, and the wider community. We are valued partners working with students, professional services and academics across the University, and professionals and organisations regionally, nationally, and internationally.

The University Library and Collections is made up of six sections: Collections; Customer Services; Education, Learning and Engagement; Research and Systems; Museums, Galleries and Exhibitions; and Finance and Administration. Staff work flexibly between the sections, seven enabled by cross-cutting groups, Collections, Education, Engagement, User Experience, Operations, Research, Staff Development and a Programme and Project Steering Group.


Library and Collections Internships are intended for graduates, from any discipline, to serve as preparation to undertake a qualification in the fields relevant to ULC’s scope of work, or to apply for future roles in the sector. During the Internship, the post holder will obtain experience of a particular area relating to libraries, archives and special collections, or museums within an HE environment. There will also been an opportunity to gain experience about other areas of work within University Library and Collections, managing and making accessible collections in support of teaching and learning, research, and wider engagement. Interns will establish and then work to fulfil a personal development plan, guided by their line manager and a separate mentor. They will also be encouraged to keep a diary or other record of their experience and personal development. A previous intern reports that “This internship has provided an opportunity to learn and develop both technical and person-centred skills, as well as allowing me to explore new passions and interests in a variety of different departments and roles within the library.

Art– within Museums, Galleries and Exhibitions (MGE). MGE is responsible for world-class museum and art collections, supporting their care, curation, and discovery, as well as facilitating public and research access to those collections. Our collections and spaces include the University’s modern and contemporary art collection, Oriental Museum, Museum of Archaeology (at Palace Green Library) and Durham Castle Museum. We work with pre-school children, primary and secondary schools, undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers, and the wider community through our creative programmes, and increasingly through digital engagement. The intern will work closely with the Curator, Contemporary Art and with the University’s art collection of primarily modern and contemporary art.The intern will be involved in a wide range of activities to support the management of and access to the University Art Collection and associated student and public-facing visual arts programmes, including our annual Student Art Prize and Summer in the City Arts Festival. They will play a key role in supporting public engagement with the collection, assist with ongoing and project-based collections management work, facilitate access to the collection for teaching, research and engagement, learn about collection care, and could gain experience of cataloguing methods and standards relating to museums and collections. The intern should have a genuine and demonstrable interest in pursuing a career in the museum, gallery or visual art sector. Please contact  Alix Collingwood-Swinburn (Curator, Contemporary Art),  [email protected] for further information regarding this intern position.

We have four intern positions across University Library and Collections, please see the following job positions if you are interested;


Graduate Intern (Learning and Engagement) 23000727

Graduate Intern (Archaeology and BioScience Collections within Museums, Galleries and Exhibitions) 23000729

Graduate Intern (Customer Services) 23000728


How to apply

We prefer to receive applications online. Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit

  • A CV.
  • A document providing supporting evidence of how you meet the essential and desirable criteria (preferably in a grid format using the different criteria as headings).
  • Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

    Person specification – skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

    Essential Criteria

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including an ability to communicate your knowledge, enthusiasm, and interest to others.
  • Digital literacy – an understanding and ability to apply of the interplay of information, communication, and technology.
  • Educated to degree level (or equivalent).
  • Evidence of commitment personal development to improve skills and knowledge.
  • Evidence of good team working and problem-solving skills.
  • Evidence of a customer focussed approach to ensure the delivery of high-quality services.
  • Ability to manage time to meet deadlines.
  • Genuine and demonstrable interest in pursuing a career in libraries or the museums and heritage sector, particularly community engagement, and commitment to gain the required skills, knowledge, and qualification in pursuit of career goals.
  • Desirable Criteria

    1. Ability to solve problems as part of a team and resolve straightforward issues.

    2. Relevant experience in a similar role / environment.

    3. Experience of using initiative within a team environment.

    4. Digital media skills, for example video creation and editing

    5. Experience and confidence in using social media in an engaging way

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