Art History Internship

Our internship programme is a work placement scheme that gives students an opportunity to gain direct experience in a non-profit art institution. Students can apply skills that they learned in the classroom at a professional level and get a track record of working in the art field. This first-time experience is going to make a great start in students’ career development.

The department works with various institutions to make this internship programme possible every year. Taking ARTH4005 Art History Internship means students get the invaluable internship experience, while they fulfil their capstone and 4000-level course requirements.

Vivian Sheng
Vivian Sheng
Internship Coordinator

Who is eligible?

The department takes our connections with the partners seriously. We look for strong candidates who are representative of HKU Art History with their academic excellence as well as professional work ethics.

ARTH4005: Art History Internship is capstone course that opens to all Art History students, who have completed at least one 3000 level Art History course, and at least three other Art History courses at the 2000 or 3000 level. Students outside the ARTH4005 class shall watch out for department announcements on other internship opportunities.

How to apply?

Time of the year 2023-2024 Relevant link/ documents
Mid August Internship information session 14 August 2023, 11 am (Zoom) PowerPoint
Late August Deadline for submitting application form 24 August 2023, 10 am Application form
First two weeks of September Period for interviews, and writing up internship contracts Internship contract
Mid September Deadline for submitting internship contracts Work log
Application Submission

The digital application form is available here and paper copies are also available at the department office. Fill out the form and print out an unofficial transcript. Students can select up to two institutions from available placements, but submit one application only. 


Once an application is submitted, the department will match students’ skills and interests with our partner institutions. They will get in touch with students for an interview and possibly request a trial. Students can discuss with institutions and their potential supervisors about the specific arrangement of the internship. To proceed, with the help of the Internship Coordinator, an internship contract will set out responsibilities and tasks. The contract needs to be approved by the internship coordinator and signed by the student and the host institution before the internship officially begins.


What if I apply but do not get in?2020-05-08T03:55:14+00:00

Demand for internships usually exceeds supply. Therefore we cannot guarantee that every applicant will get a place (or even an interview), and some disappointments are inevitable. For this reason, the internship application process runs parallel to the regular application process. If you are applying for an internship, you should also apply for another 4000 course, for which you will receive ‘pending’ status. You should also attend initial classes for that course if it is in semester 1. If you do not secure an internship, you will then be enrolled in this course.

Can I make my own arrangement for a credit-bearing internship?2020-05-08T06:27:36+00:00

No, you cannot make you own arrangement for a credit-bearing internship.

What is the internship contract?2020-05-08T06:55:29+00:00

The internship contract is a document signed by interns, the internship coordinator at HKU, and a responsible party at our partner institutions, setting out the obligations of all parties e.g. the internship provider sets out the tasks you will be given, and you undertake to attend regularly and discharge them professionally.

Some elements e.g. the 80 hour cap on total work hours, are common to all contracts. But as each internship is different, the contracts will also differ in setting out your tasks.

To ensure that the internship goes according to plan, your internship coordinator will also require you to make a log of hours worked, and provide feedback over the course of the internship, and will also remain in contact with your internship provider.

What internships are available for 2023-2024?

Asia Art Archive (AAA)

Semester 2: 1 intern

Nature of work
Art Basel

N.B.: 10 working days (8h/day) in spring 2024.

Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (CHAT)

Semester 1: 2-3 interns
Semester 2: 2-3 interns

Nature of work
Semester 1: Winter exhibition 2023 (a solo exhibition of Thai contemporary artist)
Semester 2: CHAT 5th anniversary events; the interns will also participate in The D. H. Chen Foundation Gallery changeover and another 3 projects in Spring.

University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG)

Semester 1: 2-3 interns
Semester 2: 2-3 interns

Nature of work
UMAG offers a range of possibilities. They will meet qualified students to learn about their interests and guide them, so they develop a more tailor-made internship, and students will have a valuable learning experience. Options include collection management, exhibition preparation, education and public outreach.

Former internship collaborators

What should students expect in an internship?

Students will be enabled to take a proactive role in observing and experiencing how things work in a professional environment. The exposure and value of an internship experience varies from one to another, often depending on the opportunities available at the time, individuals’ work ethics, as well as the chemistry between the institution and the intern.

Interns are generally expected to assist permanent staff in the institution. Broadly speaking, these tasks can be divided into a few categories:


Research and Management

e.g. digital cataloguing, data entry, research on permanent collections



e.g. writing exhibition proposals, preparing object lists and loan requests, exhibition design, cataloguing


Education and Communication

e.g. arranging public lectures and workshops, outreach to schools and community, exhibition-related programming, social media, Art Basel


Student performance in this credit-bearing internship progamme is graded on the same A-F scale as a regular course. Staff from our partnering institutions will assess interns’ competence in fulfilling the tasks set out in the internship contract. In most cases, an academic style assignment is not part of the assessment, but general professional qualities are. If, however, a particular internship is assessed differently, the method of assessment will be made clear in the contract.


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