Qualifications and training

There is no set qualification requirement to be a gallery educator and there are a variety of routes in.

Most gallery educators have a degree (common subjects are Fine Art, Art History, Education—but these are not exclusive). Some gallery educators have a postgraduate qualification e.g. an MA in Gallery Studies, Arts Management, Education or Art History or a PGCE. Other gallery educators enter the sector through completely different routes.

Many galleries will also require some experience of working in galleries or education. Some people gain this experience through casual or voluntary work.

Training for gallery educators and for those wishing to enter the sector is improving and there are some excellent specialised courses in the UK. A variety of university courses at graduate and post-graduate level focus on or have modules on gallery education. You can find out more by searching UCAS, the UCAS postgraduate course search or visiting universities’ libraries.

Informal training is offered by some galleries through internships and voluntary work/placements or shadowing. A good starting point can be to contact your local gallery, or a gallery you are interested in individually to find out what they might have to offer. You may find it easier to approach smaller organisations rather than national galleries.