Applied Museum Studies

Algonquin College’s Applied Museum Studies program provides students with specialized training in collections management, educational programming, exhibit preparation, museum management and conservation.

Mobile DeviceBring Your Own Device (BYOD): As a student in this on-campus program, you will require a mobile computing device that meets the specifications outlined by your program at

(Please note this was previously referred to as a Mobile Learning Program)

Another Mobile Device ImageeTextbooks: As a student in a program that has adopted etextbooks, your required texts and digital resources will be provided to you at the beginning of each term (with the exception of general education electives). For more information and associated fees, go to

Ontario College Advanced Diploma
3 Year(s)

Program Code: 0446C01FWO
Academic Year: 2016/2017

Our Program

This three-year Ontario College Advanced Diploma program provides students with technical knowledge and skills to support curatorial and conservation activities in the museum, heritage and cultural sectors. Students develop capabilities related to cultural resource management, focusing on collections care, research and interpretation. Areas of study include classifying, cataloguing and interpreting collections of artifacts and works of art, constructing and installing exhibits and displays, assessing, preserving and treating material culture.

The diverse scope of the program provides students an opportunity to integrate learning in a variety of educational and real-world settings. Through a field placement, students gain valuable practical experience and network with professionals in a cultural institution.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Students are expected to have and use a laptop or mobile computing device when registered in this on-campus program. Hardware and software specifications required by your program are outlined at Mobile devices/laptops and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin`s New Technology Store at educational rates.


This program is well-suited for students who:
  • Have an interest in preserving our cultural past.
  • Like to be creative with their hands and/or tools.
  • Enjoy educating others about cultures, historical events, people and our natural world.
  • Are observant and well-organized.
  • Have good interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Are detail oriented.

Your Career

Graduates may find employment in entry-level technical and management positions in museums and galleries or other cultural/heritage institutions. Graduates may also be employed as freelance museum contractors or as staff in antique or art shops.

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Apply course learning and training to function within an employment situation.
  2. Create and maintain well organized, managed and documented collection.
  3. Identify, advance and incorporate approved conservation principles into all museum practices to ensure the long-term preservation of objects.
  4. Create and deliver educational programs for/to audiences of all ages, interests and abilities with clearly defined and measurable learning objectives and outcomes.
  5. Design, construct and install interpretative exhibits which are accessible, relevant, accurate and effectively communicate defined and measurable objectives.
  6. Apply a range of management and administrative knowledge and skills to maintain and strengthen the role and the impact of museums in society.
  7. Conduct research for the following three areas: Subject Area, Museum Function, and Museological.
  8. Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.


Programs at Algonquin College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided an Algonquin email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.
Level: 01 Hours
ENL1813S Communications I Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Students practice writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information, and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments. 45.0
MUS1934 History of Technology Students explore the concept of technology and review its historical origins. The influences of early technology and how they have changed the way we see and develop technology today are investigated. Relationships between society and technology including the factors of religion, politics, economics and science are also examined. 45.0
MUS1997 Art, Architecture and Artifacts Style has influenced art, architecture and artifacts throughout history. Students discover some of the major style makers and examine the main style periods. Analysis and examination of social history and values, political history and material sources help resolve some historical and modern questions about how style has influenced the objects around us. 45.0
MUS1999 Introduction to Museum Research Focus is on research as it applies to the museum field including the different types of research, sources of information, research standards and formats. The role computers play in museum work. Students develop the attitudes, knowledge and skills to conduct their own research in museum studies using applicable resources. 45.0
MUS2000 Critical Thinking Students learn the art of analyzing and evaluating their thinking processes to improve them. Students learn how to apply reasoning skills, analyze information and problem solve using critical-thinking skills. 45.0
Elective: choose 1 Hours
FLS3000 French as a Second Language Beginner I Learning French is essential to understand and communicate in workplace environments. Students develop basic level abilities in reading, listening and speaking through active participation in a wide range of communication activities. Through the acquisition of basic French grammar, students give and receive personal and work-related information, describe surrounding objects and people by using very simple sentences and by asking and giving directions. Active participation in-class is required. 48.0
FLS3001 French as a Second Language Beginner II Success in bilingual postsecondary institutions and in the workplace rests upon good French language skills. Students increase reading, listening and speaking skills while using their program-related basic vocabulary to enhance their understanding of workplace French as they complete a wide range of assignments. Students explore sentence structure and grammar in order to write simple sentences, describe daily tasks in the present tense and explain their plans using the near future tense. Active participation in class is required. 48.0
Level: 02 Hours
ENL1853C Professional Writing for Museum Studies Communicating clearly to different audiences for different purposes is a skill required for success in the workplace. Students refine writing, speaking, reading, listening, research and oral presentation skills for the cultural sector. Students learn to compose and format standard business correspondence, reports, proposals, labels and brochures.

Prerequisites: ENL1813S
MUS1974 Canadian Studies Students examine the social, political and economic history of Canada from Confederation to the present. Through the investigation of selected political, cultural, social, and economic events students discover and evaluate several key themes in the development of the Canada that we know today. 45.0
MUS2002 Introduction to Museum Studies Students are introduced to the major fields of museum work. Students develop knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of professionals working in conservation, collections management, public programming, exhibitions and museum management and to understand the inter-relationships of these fields within the museum. 60.0
MUS2003 Introduction to Group Dynamics Students learn to apply knowledge from interpersonal relations and group dynamics to working in a team. The aim is to develop interpersonal effectiveness in teams and as individual team members. Students develop skills which allow them to operate more effectively in groups and to communicate more clearly. 45.0
MUS2004 Cultural Sector Career Preparation Students are prepared to locate employment opportunities and apply for employment in the cultural sector. They are provided with the tools necessary to effectively conduct job searches, register for government supported summer positions, create applicable correspondence and resume development specific to procuring employment in the cultural sector. 30.0
Elective: choose 1 Hours
FLS3001 French as a Second Language Beginner II Success in bilingual postsecondary institutions and in the workplace rests upon good French language skills. Students increase reading, listening and speaking skills while using their program-related basic vocabulary to enhance their understanding of workplace French as they complete a wide range of assignments. Students explore sentence structure and grammar in order to write simple sentences, describe daily tasks in the present tense and explain their plans using the near future tense. Active participation in class is required. 48.0
FLS3002 French as a Second Language Beginner III Clear and accurate communication skills in French lead to academic and career success. Students receive extensive feedback from instructors to improve comprehension and develop strategies for effective communication in the workplace and in postsecondary environments. Students communicate basic personal information using common and familiar words, as well as formulaic expressions, in response to simple questions about immediate needs, such as greetings and other goodwill messages. They read and understand short adapted texts using everyday vocabulary. Active participation in class is required. 48.0
Choose one from equivalencies: Hours
GED0446 General Education Elective Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.

Equivalencies: ARC9001 or DSN2001 or ENV0002 or FAM1218 or FIN2300 or GED5200 or GED5300 or GEN1001 or GEN2000 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or RAD2001 or SOC2003 or GED5002 or GED5004 or GED5005 or GED5006 or GED6022 or GED1896 or GED5009 or PSI0003
Level: 03 Hours
MUS0039 Digital Content in the Cultural Sector Students study best practices for creating and managing digital content. This includes basic operation of a digital SLR and the application of techniques for proper artifact documentation in conservation, registration and collections management. Students investigate contemporary standards for digitization of cultural material, explore preservation strategies and consider challenges faced in managing digital heritage collections. 30.0
MUS2006 Museum Management An overview of museum management and operations is provided by involving students in the process of management planning. Students create a business plan and project plan from criteria found in a long range strategic plan. 45.0
MUS2007 Collections Management I - Registration Students focus on the process through which artifacts and specimens enter the museum and are documented: acquisition, ethics, policy, identification and registration documentation, numbering, vocabulary and classification systems, labeling and related legal concerns are examined. 45.0
MUS2008 Shop Practices Basic development of practical skills in museum shop practices is provided. Students learn shop safety and the proper and safe use of hand and power tools. Students learn to identify and use appropriate materials and finishes. A variety of approaches for mounting 2D materials, producing museum labels, matting and framing works are examined. Finally, basic technical sketching, blueprint reading and model construction are introduced. 60.0
MUS2023 Preservation Principles 1 Conditions and agents of deterioration are introduced. Students explore the various environmental and human influences that can cause or accelerate damage, methods of monitoring and controlling those influences are demonstrated. An introduction to holistic preservation practices is explored. Areas of study include the principles of preservation management, policy development, integrated pest management, environmental assessment and establishing conservation criteria for exhibitions.

Prerequisites: ENL1813S

Co-requisites: MUS2024
MUS2024 Preservation Principles 2 Students examine the physical and chemical nature of a variety of object materials and historical methods of production so that they are able to anticipate stability in a given environmental circumstance. Students apply physical, chemical and microscopic examination techniques. The exploration of effective preservation practices and the demonstration of remedial treatment options are also undertaken.

Prerequisites: ENL1813S

Co-requisites: MUS2023
MUS2026 Digital Design for Museums Students learn the basics of design by integrating graphic design fundamentals with the development of essential computer graphic software techniques. The differences between design for print and web are emphasized. Design basics, colour theory and typographic principles are applied to a variety of museum projects. 45.0
Level: 04 Hours
MUS2010 Informal Learning in Museums Students develop an understanding of making exhibitions and programs more accessible to museum visitors. Students study learning styles, visitor profiles, and the use of evaluation strategies to identify appropriate objectives, means and methods of communicating interpretive messages. Strategies, such as interpretive writing and developing interactivities for exhibitions are examined in some detail. Finally, characteristics of successful visitor-centered exhibitions and programs are discussed and reinforced by visits to a variety of institutions. 45.0
MUS2012 Educational Programming An in-depth introduction with a focus on the educational aspects of interpretive programming is provided. The development process of program creation is examined with special emphasis on outcome-based objective writing, program evaluation, learning theory and styles and curriculum based programming. 45.0
MUS2013 Techniques in Exhibition Focus is placed on skills and techniques required in the fabrication and installation of interpretive exhibits/displays and for the protection of the objects being displayed. Students develop their skills in these techniques to a level that meets museum requirements and standards.

Prerequisites: MUS2008
MUS2014 Laboratory Procedures I Students develop knowledge and skills required to begin basic remedial conservation treatment of inorganic objects. Students learn to assess artifact conditions, provide appropriate remedial conservation treatment procedures, preventive recommendations and complete, clear, concise documentation of same. Safe and orderly laboratory procedures are taught and used.

Prerequisites: MUS2023 and MUS2024
MUS2015 Revenue Generation and Public Relations Students learn revenue generation and public relation skills by creating a fundraising proposal and creating relevant public relations materials for a museum project.

Prerequisites: MUS2006
MUS2016 Collections Management 2 - Cataloguing and Research Students develop and apply skills in identifying, researching, cataloguing, classifying and evaluating museum artifacts according to standard collections management systems.

Prerequisites: MUS2007
Level: 05 Hours
MUS1982 Human Resources Planning and Management Focus is placed on human resources planning and management of paid staff, volunteers and contract personnel. 45.0
MUS2017 Collection Management 3 - Care, Handling and Storage The student examines areas of collection management including care of different types of museum collections, artifact storage, loans, packing and shipping, and risk management and emergency preparedness plans.

Prerequisites: MUS2016
MUS2018 Program IntERPretation The delivery of museum programs is the primary focus, in which students learn about the many methods used to animate collections in museums today. Students are expected to show proficiency in developing and delivering an interpretive program, and in obtaining feedback from program participants.

Prerequisites: MUS2012
MUS2019 Plan and Develop Educational Exhibitions Students explore exhibit planning, design and development. The management principles, visitor evaluation strategies, interpretive planning details and design guidelines introduced in earlier courses are used as a framework to produce a comprehensive plan for developing an exhibition for an institution. As an exhibit team, students develop an exhibition brief to include proposal, research, storyline, timeline, budget, detailed designs, programming and promotional material. Applicable support materials accompany a formal presentation of the brief.

Prerequisites: MUS2010 and MUS2013
MUS2020 Laboratory Procedures 2 Focus is on the remedial and preventive care of artifacts. Students learn to work with a variety of organic materials in order to gain a better understanding of their properties and composition. Paper, textiles, photographs, and books are diagnosed, documented and treated.

Prerequisites: MUS2014 and MUS2023 and MUS2024
MUS2021 Museum Field Placement Preparation Students learn how to choose a relevant placement position, express learning objectives in a meaningful manner and prepare all of the background information needed to successfully complete their placement. 30.0
Level: 06 Hours
MUS2022 Museum Field Placement This element of the program allows students to experience and observe activities and operations common to the cultural sector. Students are required to develop a learning contract with clearly articulated, achievable and measurable learning objectives. All students must be partnered with a professional member of the cultural sector to ensure successful completion of the established learning objectives and must account for a minimum of 500 hours of service. Requirements: Successful completion of all courses in Levels 01 through 05. 500.0

Fees & Expenses   

2016/2017 Academic Year

Total Fees for the first year of the program:

Domestic tuition/ancillary fees: $5,231.80. *

International tuition/ancillary Fees: $14,757.84. *

* Amounts include tuition fee, program specific lab and material fees, applicable eText fees, Students` Association fees and compulsory ancillary fees. Fees are subject to change. For detailed fees information please visit

Note: For further information regarding your books, please visit

Books and supplies cost approximately $1,000 for first year, $410 for second year, $150 for third year. Supplies can be purchased at the campus store. See for more information about books. An extra $360 is added to second year costs and $160 for third year for minor equipment costs, such as lab coat, safety goggles, SD Memory card, safety boots, etc.

Admission Requirements   

2017/2018 Academic Year

College Eligibility

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or Mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $50 (subject to change) will be charged.

Program Eligibility

  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent) with a grade of 65% or higher.
  • Applicants with a recognized university degree may be admitted directly into Level 03 of the program and are required to complete questionnaire. 
  • Applicants with International transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either:
    • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service-Overall band of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band. OR
    • TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 88, with the minimum of 22 in each component: Reading 22; Listening: 22 Speaking: 22, Writing: 22

Applicants who have completed a university degree may be accepted for direct entry into second year of the program (Level 3). Direct entry applicants should clearly identify that they are applying to Level 3 (rather than Level 1) when applying to Competition for a limited number of direct entry vacancies is stiff. Ensure you apply and submit the questionnaire form by February 1st for equal consideration. Once the direct entry vacancies are filled, university graduates will be waitlisted and/or offered admittance to the regular 3-year stream.

Application Information

Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 5J3

Students currently enrolled in an Ontario secondary school should notify their Guidance Office prior to their online application at

Applications for Fall Term and Winter Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.

International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the International Student Application Form at or by contacting the Registrar`s Office.

For further information on the admissions process, contact:

Registrar`s Office
Algonquin College
1385 Woodroffe Ave, Room C150
Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8
Telephone: 613-727-0002
Toll-free: 1-800-565-4723
TTY: 613-727-7766
Fax: 613-727-7632

Additional Information

The Applied Museum Studies program consists of courses that are delivered in a variety of formats including face-to-face in a classroom, hybrid (combination of classroom and online learning) and online courses. Students participate in all three types of learning. Students also participate in laboratory and field placement learning activities.

Class schedules vary from term to term and courses may be scheduled between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Students are strongly encouraged to improve their French language skills to maximize job opportunities, particularly those available in the Ottawa area which require bilingualism. Students are tested in the first week of classes. There is a significant workload in the program, particularly in second and third year. Direct entry students may opt to take two French courses in addition to the normal program of study in Levels 0-06.

Students should be prepared to complete one to two hours of additional preparation, study and/or project work for each hour spent in the classroom or laboratory. Due to the specialized nature of the museum labs and equipment, a significant amount of this extra work needs to be conducted in the labs at the College and cannot be completed at home.

Students may apply for transfer of academic credits from Algonquin College (internal transfer) or from other institutions (external transfer). College Policies AA09 and AA10 apply to transfer of credits. For more information visit: Students may apply for credit by challenging courses using Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). College Policy AA06 applies to PLAR. Students pay a fee for each course they wish to be exempt from and, through either a portfolio or challenge examination, a PLAR may lead to the acceptance of work and life experience in lieu of taking certain courses. For more information visit:

Museum workers are often in contact with the public and frequently engage with others in a team environment. As such, interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing are considered crucial skills for our graduates. Workers who handle museum objects and works of art must be precise, detail-oriented and comfortable with assuming responsibility for collections that are often delicate, fragile and very valuable.

Experience is a key factor in finding permanent employment in the cultural sector. Volunteer positions and field placements help students determine their preferred areas of work and provide networking opportunities with industry professionals. The program schedule allows time for volunteering, provides a 15-week field placement and offers students many opportunities to establish industry contacts.

Note: Students must successfully complete all courses up to Level 06 to participate in a 15-week Field Placement.


Students who have two or more F grades in a given term or whose term grade point average falls below 1.7 are considered to be on academic probation (Policy AA14 Grading System). This requires the student to meet with their academic advisor or coordinator to sign a learning contract which identifies the conditions which must be met to continue in the program. Students who do not meet the terms of their learning contract are withdrawn from the program.

For more program information, contact the Program Coordinator, Michael Wheatley at 613-727-4723 ext. 7434 or

Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time