Museum and Curatorial Studies | MCS
The Department of Visual Arts at Western University offers the only undergraduate Major in Museum and Curatorial Studies in Canada. Students prepare and train for careers in the cultural sector with equal emphasis placed on “front of house” (curation) and “behind the scenes” (collections management, arts administration). The major combines experiential learning, practical experience such as internships, and skill building, with seminars and lectures dedicated to understanding museums as complex social and cultural institutions. The Major in Museum and Curatorial Studies is unique in the way that it encourages a combination of practical skills, creativity, historical knowledge, and critical thinking. Classes taught by our award-winning faculty are complemented by field trips to museums, galleries, and heritage sites, and by major curatorial projects led by students.
The Major Museum and Curatorial Studies makes students very competitive for graduate programs in Museum Studies, Conservation, Digital Conservation, Art History, Public History, and Critical Heritage Studies, as well as for careers in the arts field and the heritage sector. Graduates from the program have gone on to work internationally at major museums and galleries, in universities, and other cultural institutions.
Meet an alumna
"My year in Visual Arts was fundamental in providing the art historical knowledge and context to develop my understanding of museum and gallery procedures. The mentorship I received from my professors, in particular Dr. Barteet and Dr. Kirsty Robertson , was invaluable and I am so appreciative of the time and support they offered both during my studies and years afterwards. My coursework in Museum Studies was especially relevant to my current role, particularly the hands-on projects in which I was able to work within a team to develop and produce exhibitions in the Concourse and ArtLab galleries. My experience at Western was pivotal in shaping my professional career and I am very proud to call myself an alumna."
-Kristyn Rolanty, (BA'13) Project Manager of Exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario
Discover our program
In this interview, the Western Gazette shines a light on our class exhibition, Cabinet of Shadows: The Reliquary for Lost Animals
Behind the Scenes
Get hands on experience, researching, organizing, and exhibiting in a professional gallery.
MCS coursesCourses in the Major in Museum and Curatorial Studies include:
- VAH1648A/B - Collecting Art and Culture
- MCS2600F/G - Introduction to Gallery, Museum & Curatorial Studies
- MCS2620 F/G –The Greatest Shows on Earth
- MCS3620A/B/Y - Introduction to Exhibition Design & Museum Management
- MCS3610F/G – Controversies and Contestations: Museums
- MCS3686F/G – Project-Based Internship
- MCS4600F/G - Seminar in Museum & Curatorial Studies
- MCS4681E - Museum and Curatorial Practicum
- MCS4684A/B/Y - Practicum Internship in the Visual Arts
See all Museum and Curatorial Studies courses on the Academic Calendar:
MCS 4605E : MUSEUM AND CURATORIAL PRACTICUM
In this capstone seminar class, students work together with the professor to plan and execute a major curatorial project. This class provides essential skills and practical experience for those hoping to move into careers in the museums and culture fields. Explore our past exhibition sites to learn more about these projects.
2018: 95% Invisible- Learn more about the exhibition.
- See exhibition photos.
- Read an exhibition review via the Western Gazette.
2017: Protectorate 1
2016: Cabinet of Shadows
2015: Beneath the Surface
Major in Museum and Curatorial Studies at Western
Please contact our Undergraduate Chair
Prof. T. Johnson