Co-op program

Art History & Visual Studies student Astara Light broadens her experience with a co-op placement

Co-op and careers

Myth: A fine arts education doesn’t lead to a “real job”.

Fact: There are over 700,000 cultural workers in Canada — nearly 4% of the total Canadian labour force (greater than the automotive manufacturing, utilities and telecommunications sectors combined) — and a 2016 study suggests the cultural sector has a $61.7 billion annual impact on the Canadian economy —10 times larger than the sports industry, and nearly twice what's contributed by oil extraction from Alberta’s tar sands.

A 2016 survey of Fine Arts graduates found that 85% of our alumni are satisfied with their jobs after graduation. That same survey found that 93% of alumni named "creative thinking and problem solving" key skills they learned, along with critical thinking (92%). And 91% of those surveyed said they had a positive experience with their Fine Arts education! 

Learn by doing

It's no surprise that UVic's extremely popular Co-operative Education Program is one of our students' favourite features. The program connects students with paid, relevant work experience in their field of interest.

Co-op students alternate academic terms with work terms and graduate with up to one year of practical work experience, giving them a network of valuable contacts and the skills to find a job that makes the best of their degree. Many co-op students find permanent employment with a former co-op employer — and it doesn't get much better than that!

UVic’s Co-op is one of Canada's largest and most diverse co-op programs. Each year, students from more than 40 different programs areas complete more than 2,700 work term placements across Canada and around the world.

AHVS positions

To help our students get a better understanding of the cultural sector, we offer a number of co-op placements each year. During your work term, you will have full-time student status.

Recent AHVS positions include working as archival and curatorial assistants, museum interpreter, and community programs coordinator at the likes of Legacy Art Galleries, UVic Archives, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Mission Museum, and Pender Island Community Hall.

  • Undergraduates compete three work terms
  • MA students complete two work terms
  • PhD students complete three work terms

A work term consists of four months of full-time paid employment. You earn 3 units of credit for each co-op work term completed; these credits go towards the co-op designation you receive upon graduation, and are additional credits for your program.

Fine Arts work experience program

You would have the opportunity to complete one or two work experience terms (four to eight months) of full-time, discipline-related work.

Fine Arts Post-Study Internship Program

You would have the opportunity to complete an internship placement after all of your course work has been completed and prior to graduation. Internships are normally of four months’ duration. These internship placements may not be applied toward the graduation requirements for any co-op or work experience program.


Name E-mail Phone
Joy Andrews
Annette Bailey Smith
Co-op Assistant