School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

History Internships

The unique award-winning* Public History Internship module is very much a bespoke experience that provides students with a practical introduction to the world of Public History and enhances their employability through an internship carried out in an organisation of their choice. Working alongside practitioners in the field, students will be introduced to the real challenges and opportunities in the work of a wide range of public history organisations. The internship is supplemented by field trips, guest lectures and lively informal discussion sessions with professionals working in a range of museums, heritage sites and visitor experiences

Year on year we are developing an ever-expanding range of internship opportunities in the museums and heritage sectors from which to select.  We also encourage students to identify and organise internships that suit their particular interests.


Current opportunities include:

Museums: Ulster Museum, Ulster-American Folk Park, Newry and Mourne Museum, Lisburn Museum, Museum of Free Derry, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Historical Buildings: Hillsborough Castle (Historic Royal Palaces), Lissan House, Blessingbourne House, Castle Leslie

Public Libraries: Armagh Public Library

Other: Titanic Belfast, Presbyterian Historical Society, Heritage Lottery Fund, Belfast City Council


Student feedback

‘I enjoyed the opportunity to go out on an internship and gain some valuable work experience in the field of public history. For an MA student hoping to enter employment in a similar field, this was an invaluable opportunity’ (June 2014)

‘an enjoyable and rewarding experience all round’ (June 2013)

‘It has been the most enjoyable and rewarding module I have taken as part of the masters! (June 2013)

‘Working in a small museum for a prolonged period enabled me to fully grasp the realities of employment in a public history environment and allowed me to spot opportunities for career development’. (June 2012)

‘The module was a joy. Thanks for the opportunity’ (June 2012)


Some internship experiences:

Kyle Inman, Linen Hall Library (2011-12). Kyle’s interest was in music and conflict, specifically with relation to Northern Ireland. For her internship she chose to work with the Linen Hall Library in Belfast where her project involved the creation of a promotional video to be used to raise awareness of the library as a historic site.

Sam Manning, BBC (2012-13). Sam has a strong interest in the history of film, so the BBC was the obvious choice for him. His role was to help in the organisation of a stage adaption of the BBC radio play Lilibulero. Part of Sam’s remit was the production of interpretive literature for the event and work on an exhibition to accompany it.

Gemma McMurray and Viktoria Guentcheva, Titanic Foundation (2013-14). This was an exciting new opportunity introduced this year. The foundation, which has overseen the development of Titanic Belfast, is currently working to develop the former Harland and Wolff Headquarters Building & Drawing Offices as an interpretive centre open to the public. Gemma and Viktoria worked with the foundation to develop this facility, in particular establishing an oral history collection of people associated with the shipyards.


Where are they now?

Anna Decatur (2011-12) –After leaving Queen’s Anna took up a post as Assistant Director of Principal Gifts at the Art Institute of Chicago. She has just been appointed Associate Director of Membership at the Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis.

 "I think the internship module is a highlight of the program. Being able to apply what I'd learned in class the first semester in the workplace during second semester was rewarding and a great change of pace from regular academia."

Kirsten O’Brassill-Kulfan (2011-12)-  Kirstentook up a post as a research analyst and archivist for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Archives and is also studying for a PhD with the University of Leicester.