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Work Experience Programme

Durham University Library and Collections offer two opportunities for work experience and taster days, open to pupils in Year 10, 11 and 12. The opportunities on offer are:

  • Year 12 Students: Work experience week is an application based programme for those interested in careers in museums, archives, conservation and special collections. Hosted in July 2024. Applications open until midnight on Friday 19th April 2024.
  • Year 10 and 11 Students: Students can book onto museum and gallery career taster days. This will be a pilot programme starting in the Easter Holidays 2025, specific dates to be confirmed. Booking open from February 2025. 

These opportunities have been designed to be complimentary, so students can start with the Taster Days in Year 10 and 11 before applying for the work experience programme in Year 12.

Please note, it is not essential to have completed the Taster Days in order to apply for Year 12 work experience. 

Year 12 Work Experience Programme

Durham University Library and Collections offer work experience in July of each academic year, open to Year 12 (or equivalent). We invite applications from post-16 (sixth form and college students) who are interested in learning more about careers in the heritage sector.

During your time with us, you may spend time with staff from a variety of teams such as:

  • Archives and Special Collections
  • Conservation
  • Curatorial
  • Learning and Engagement
  • Visitor Services

We are a multi-site team, so your work experience will be too! You could be based at:

  • Durham Castle
  • Museum of Archaeology
  • Historic Libraries at Palace Green
  • Durham University Archives and Special Collections
  • The Oriental Museum

The aim of the work experience is to offer an insight into the careers and opportunities available within the heritage sector, while giving you the chance to contribute to the delivery and development of our services.

Just like a job, we also ask you to complete an online application form to join one of our programmes. If we have more applications than we have places, we use them to select who to make offers of places to.

The programme is a five-day on-site work experience, ran over the course of a week in July each year. Applications will be open to post-16 pupils local to Durham University. Successful applicants must be able to travel to and from our venues for each of the five days. 

For more information, please contact the Learning and Engagement Team. Please note, we do not accept applications by email, only via the online application form when open. 


Application process

Applications for Work Experience 2024 have now closed. We will release the application form for July 2025 in Spring Term 2025.

Please note, you will need permission from your school to take part. If you are under 18, you will also need your parent’s or guardian’s permission.  

Once completed, a member of the Learning and Engagement Team will be in touch with you to let you know if you have been successful or not. 

Application Form

When applications open, you will be able to click below to the application forms. For more information, please do get in touch with the Learning and Engagement Team.


On-site Work Experience July 2025

In July 2025, we will be running a 5-day on-site work experience placement for Year 12 students. Applications will be open from Spring Term 2025
A student works on an archival document in the conservation Studio

Applications are currently open for work experience.

On-site Work Experience: Applications close midnight on Friday 19th April 2024

If you wish to be notified when applications open for either of these work experience programmes, please contact the Learning and Engagement Team.


Quotes from previous participants:

“I’d just like to say how friendly the members of the learning and engagement team were, and also the other departments. I felt as though I always had the confidence to ask questions about anything and everyone I worked with was extremely helpful.” 

“It has given me further knowledge on careers I may be interested in pursuing in the future.” 

“Overall the work experience was brilliant and I would definitely recommend taking it to any student considering History or English.”

Year 10 and 11 Taster Days

From academic year 2024 / 2025, Durham University Library and Collections will offer museum and gallery taster days for Year 10 and 11 students starting during the Easter Holidays 2025. This will be open to all interested in finding out more about what museums, galleries and collections are, and an introduction to how they work. 

The Taster Days will be run as a pilot programme, with the aim of expanding in the future. For this academic year, we will open up booking in February 2025.

There will be no application process, but spaces will be limited and offered on a first come, first served basis. 


For more information, please contact the Learning and Engagement Team.