Creative arts and design

We've linked to key resources about graduate careers in creative arts and design

Use this page as your starting point for finding out about working in this sector. 


These sector guides, produced by leading careers information providers, include overviews of the sector and more detail on specific areas, such as creative arts and design. They contain suggestions of employers and, where relevant, further study. 

Creative arts and design (Prospects)

Creative arts, media and design (TargetJobs)

Below, we list profiles of some roles specific to this sector. There are also other roles which are common to this and many other sectors.

Each of the profiles we list includes information about: 

  • typical responsibilities in the role 

  • average starting salary range for new entrants 

  • entry requirements 

  • career progression 

  • professional bodies 

  • typical employers  

  • where to look for vacancies. 

Job profile: Fine artist (Prospects)

Job profile: Graphic designer (Prospects)

Job profile: Illustrator (Prospects)

Job profile: Photographer (Prospects)

Job profile: Product designer (Prospects)


What's it like?

The resources below will give you an insight into the creative arts and design sector:

Everything you need to know when entering the creative industry

Advice from Creative lives in progress

Creative Scotland - Arts council in Scotland

Arts Council England - Arts council in Wales


Our Creative and Cultural Careers (CCC) is an annual event that aims to support our students in gaining an insight into the creative sector, networking and exploring opportunities. You can find our next event here:

Creative and Cultural Careers

You can find our previous CCC recording on Media Hopper (University of Edinburgh login required):

Media Hopper - #EdCreativeCareers


How can I develop my skills and get experience?

Build knowledge, experience and contacts by joining  art societies, volunteering or creating your own opportunity. This is a great way to expand your network, develop your skills and enrich your CV and portfolio. 

For example: 

Contemporary Arts Society - University of Edinburgh society

Classical Arts Society - University of Edinburgh society

Volunteer Edinburgh - you can look for volunteering opportunities across Edinburgh

Volunteer with Edinburgh University Students' Association

Creative Access, a social enterprise, supports those from under-represented backgrounds in the UK. They operate across all creative sectors, including arts and design, and partner with global brands through to smaller independent organisations. Register to apply for opportunities such as internships: 

Creative Access 

Consider upskilling through LinkedIn Learning. The University has a campus-wide licence offering students access to an extensive library of high-quality video courses in business, creative and technical skills: 

LinkedIn Learning

Become a member of Creative Edinburgh,  which provides  events, monthly meetups and support for members to make connections and collaborate – membership is free: 

Creative Edinburgh

Meet and network with likeminded artists through a local Meetup – search for ‘arts’ to find local groups:


Where can I find job vacancies? 

Check MyCareerHub for vacancies. It’s worth looking at the expired opportunities function to find companies who have advertised vacancies in the past to approach speculatively:

MyCareerHub - Opportunities

Our webpage on creating your own opportunity gives more advice on this speculative approach: 

Create your own opportunity

Also, our recording below will give you an insight into how to find a work as an employee in the creative industries (University of Edinburgh login required):

#EdCreativeCareers: Finding Work as an Employee in the Creative Industries


Creative Opportunities: jobs board for creative students and graduates 

Artshub: jobs, internships and voluntary work (need to be member to view all vacancies)

Artsjobsonline: jobs in arts, heritage and culture (you can sign up for newsletters and alerts) 

The Guardian Arts and Culture Jobs 

Arts Professional Jobs

Creativepool: mainly for showcasing work/freelance opportunities, but has jobs board too 

Crafts Council: research, training, events and job postings 


Freelancing is a popular path. If you want to get some advice, Edinburgh Innovations is a good place place to start.  It is the University’s enterprise service for current University of Edinburgh students and recent graduates (up to two years), offering free advice on areas such as freelancing and start-ups through workshops, online resources and one-to-one appointments. 

Networking and making connections is an important part of working in the creative industries, not only as a freelancer but as an employee as well. Read the following article to find out how you can make connections.

A guide to networking and building connections - Creative Lives in Progress