Studies in Art History provide you with a comprehensive academic education. Possible professional fields include:

  • museums, art associations, exhibition agencies
  • heritage conservation agencies and other institutions within the field of art management, such as the Bavarian Administration of Palaces, Gardens and Lakes
  • universities and research institutes
  • art dealers
  • communication, publishing
  • many different areas of the cultural sector, journalism, adult education, tourism, etc.

Thanks to cooperations with the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, museums in Bamberg and the Bavarian Palace Administration, students are introduced to work in museums and the pertinent key issues. Information events are regularly held to give you an insight into this subject’s various professional fields. You will also gain your first practical experience in these fields by doing internships during your studies.

Graduates of the MA Art History not only find work at museums, at monument preservation authorities, and in the art trade, but also with publishing companies and in adult education, among other fields. Many recent Bamberg graduates were hired by prestigious museums directly after completing their degrees.

Furthermore, graduates have the option of pursuing doctoral studies to gain another professional qualification. By earning a doctoral degree, you will be especially qualified for higher-level positions at museums, monument preservation authorities, universities and publishing companies.

Testimonials of graduates of the master’s degree programme in Art History

Marie-Luise Kosan M.A.

I studied art history and Catholic theology in Tübingen and Bamberg. Even though I initially took a different path prior to my studies and began training to become a horse keeper, I quickly realised that art history was exactly the right fit for me. The subject unleashed a thirst for knowledge in me that grew with every lecture and every seminar. I believe this kind of curiosity and enthusiasm is essential when studying a subject that not only has a reputation for being unprofitable but also requires a lot of personal commitment. Studying art history does not primarily mean memorising facts but rather training yourself to notice the relevant details. As one fellow student once said, “I studied art history to learn how to see.” To me, this statement is an apt summary of what it means to study art history.

I began my studies with a lot of unanswered questions. Upon graduation, I realised that although most of these questions were answered during my studies, many more questions had popped up.  During my studies, I worked as a student assistant and tutor at several departments and in different projects. I thoroughly enjoyed this work in the University environment. That is why I decided to do a doctorate. In this way, I can continue to pursue these many unanswered questions and satisfy my curiosity.

Here’s my advice for all prospective graduates: Network early on with other students and art historians who share your academic interests – even beyond your own disciplinary boundaries. This works best at conferences, workshops and internships. These contacts not only allow you to engage in interdisciplinary exchanges but also help you to build a network, which is crucial in the careers of humanities graduates.

Paula Rosenboom works as a communications officer at the Berlinische Galerie - Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur in Berlin. In 2017, she completed her master's degree in Art History at the University of Bamberg.

After graduating from high school, I knew quite quickly what I wanted to study, but initially it had little to do with art. I first decided to pursue a very hands-on bachelor’s degree in marketing communication at a university in Berlin.

My interest in art emerged at an early age, but it didn’t occur to me at the time that I could earn any money in it. Berlin, however, with its numerous museums and galleries, further strengthened my interest in art. In the fourth semester, I had to complete a mandatory internship and sought to combine my knowledge of communication with my interest in art in a practical manner. As I also wanted to gain experience abroad, I boldly applied for positions in the city boasting the most famous museums in the world: New York. For five months, I worked in the Public Affairs Office at the Museum of Arts and Design. That was a key experience, which consolidated my desire to pursue a career working in a museum one day.

After my bachelor’s degree, I first worked in the marketing and communication department at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg for about one year. My aim was to get an even better impression of day-to-day museum work. I quickly realised what I enjoy most: giving other people, even non-visitors, access to art through exhibitions and projects.

To prepare myself for a long-term career as a museum worker and to build a theoretical foundation for my knowledge, I enrolled in the MA in Art History at the University of Bamberg. Fortunately for me, the master’s was offered as a non-consecutive degree programme. I could start the master’s straight away, despite having a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than art history. It was by no means easy, and I had to invest a lot of time to acquire the relevant knowledge quickly. But it was great fun and easier for me because I had a clear goal in mind and knew where I wanted to go professionally with this degree programme.

After graduation, I specifically looked for traineeships in the field of communication and art education. I got hired for a two-year training programme at Berlinische Galerie, where I was very fortunate to be offered the position of communications officer directly afterwards, which I still hold today and enjoy very much.

I hope you enjoy your studies, and if art is your passion, I would like to encourage you to continue on this path, despite all stereotypes or career uncertainties. Art history is a broad field that offers numerous opportunities. But as you proceed with your studies, you should try to sharpen your profile and find your own niche in order to stand out when applying for jobs. The best way to achieve this is through internships. Try out different areas and take advantage of all the opportunities offered by your degree programme: internships, field trips, lectures, semesters abroad, student jobs. Not only is it great fun, but it also gives you an idea of the wide-ranging career opportunities for art historians.

Another big advantage of studying in Bamberg is that the department is quite small, facilitating direct contact with the instructors.

Johanna Rosenzweig M.A.

Why study art history (in Bamberg)?

In the 2010/11 winter semester, I enrolled at the University of Bamberg to study art history as my major subject and heritage conservation and European ethnology as my minors. What made me choose Bamberg was above all the unique combination of art history and heritage conservation, which is reflected not only in the academic offerings but also visually in the cityscape and can thus also be experienced practically. Even when I was little, I was fascinated by art and churches, so I made up my mind early on concerning the subjects I would one day like to study at university.

During my studies, I worked as a graduate assistant at the department and was allowed to give the “Visual Arts Tutorial”.  After submitting my master’s thesis in 2015, I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant at the Chair for Medieval Art History in a project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). During that project, however, I realised that I would rather work in a practical capacity, and I was fortunate to quickly find a traineeship position at Städtische Sammlungen/Coburger Puppenmuseum in Coburg. There I could use all the experience I had gained during my studies. Specifically, I benefited from the experience I gained from various internships I did in the semester breaks at different museums and cultural institutions. During my traineeship, I was allowed to design and curate my own exhibition. I gained experience in museum education and deepened my knowledge of the inventory process. During my traineeship, the Coburg Municipal Office for Schools, Culture and Education advertised the position of Head of the Culture Department, for which I applied and eventually changed jobs. Until my parental leave, I worked full time on a permanent contract as Head of the Culture Department; today, I am the part-time deputy. At first glance, this job hardly has anything to do with my studies, but in fact there is a lot of overlap. My work ranges from cultural management to administrative tasks in the areas of theatre, museums, classical music, art, and urban culture. The versatility of this job has presented me with new challenges, but the position clearly has nothing to do with classical museum work. However, studying art history has enhanced my ability to look at things critically and to question them, to look left and right, and to embrace a broader concept of art and culture.

Since early 2020, together with my husband, I have been the art officer for the Protestant church district of Bayreuth, which is an excellent opportunity to contribute my academic experiences and to combine art and church once again.

Another reason why I am happy to have chosen Bamberg as a place to study is that I met my doctoral supervisor here, Prof Dr Christian Hecht, who supervises me as a Friedrich-Alexander-Universität professor. It was during one of the many exciting excursions that were part of my studies, at Museum Georg Schäfer, that I became aware of a key work for my doctoral thesis, which I am currently trying to write alongside work and childcare. In my opinion, practical relevance is essential when studying art history and is always encouraged by our instructors. The two major excursions to Paris and Rome, for example, are lasting and pleasant memories for me. Where better to learn from the object than in these two art metropolises?

I would always choose this subject again, and especially the programme in Bamberg. To me personally, the stand-out features of studying art history in Bamberg include the view from the lecture halls over the old town of Bamberg, the friendly interactions between instructors and students, the possibility of excursions and internships, and the interdisciplinary work between faculties and departments. As with other subjects in the humanities and cultural studies, the job market for art historians is certainly limited, but there will always be opportunities, as long as you are driven by your passion and curiosity for the subject and willing to continue your education.