Applied Museum Studies

Algonquin College
3 years
Diploma / certificate
Algonquin College

About this program

Applied Museum Studies

The three-year Applied Museum Studies Ontario College Advanced Diploma prepares you with the knowledge and skills to support curatorial and conservation activities in the museum, heritage and cultural sectors.

Gain skills and knowledge in:

  • collections management
  • educational programming
  • exhibit preparation
  • museum management
  • conservation and preservation

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

Put theory into practice in our well-appointed conservation and exhibition preparation labs. Working with our teaching collection and in collaboration with local cultural institutions, you complete a variety of hands-on projects and group assignments that will enhance your knowledge and skills and make valuable contributions in museums, galleries and the cultural sector.

This program includes a full-semester field placement. The field experience combines your theory and lab skills with professional practice in the cultural industry. At the end of your placement, highlight your work in a showcase event. The showcase event also gives you the chance to network with industry professionals for future employment.

Admission requirements

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.

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.
  • Eligibility for Direct Entry to Second Year: Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma or Degree in a History or Fine Arts.
  • Applicants with international transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above and may be required to provide proof of language proficiency. Domestic applicants with international transcripts must be evaluated through the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS) or World Education Services (WES).
  • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service (Academic) Overall band of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band; OR TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 88, with a 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).

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the college website.

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Program content

Level: 01

  • Communications I
  • History of Technology
  • Art, Architecture and Artifacts
  • Introduction to Museum Research
  • Critical Thinking

Level: 02

  • Professional Writing for Museum Studies
  • Canadian Studies
  • Introduction to Museum Studies
  • Introduction to Group Dynamics
  • Cultural Sector Career Preparation

Level: 03

  • Digital Content in the Cultural Sector
  • Museum Management
  • Collections Management I - Registration
  • Shop Practices
  • Preservation Principles 1
  • Preservation Principles 2
  • Digital Design for Museums

Level: 04

  • Informal Learning in Museums
  • Educational Programming
  • Techniques in Exhibition
  • Laboratory Procedures I
  • Revenue Generation and Public Relations
  • Collections Management 2 - Cataloguing and Research

Level: 05

  • Human Resources Planning and Management
  • Collection Management 3 - Care, Handling and Storage
  • Program Interpretation
  • Plan and Develop Educational Exhibitions
  • Laboratory Procedures 2
  • Museum Field Placement Preparation

Level: 06

  • Museum Field Placement

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the college website for more information.


For more information about tuition fees, please visit the college website. 


Credential: Ontario College Advanced Diploma

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

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

Career paths

Upon graduation, you may find employment in entry-level technical or management positions in museums, galleries or other cultural/heritage institutions.

Other employment possibilities may include freelance museum contracting, or working as a staff member in an antique or art shop. The skills you gain will essentially open the doors to your cultural career. Job opportunities may also exist at cultural attractions, interpretive centres, framing shops, government agencies and more.

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About this institute

Algonquin College

Consider Algonquin’s unique campuses Algonquin College, located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, offers an experience that includes personalized learning and industry-ready skills through field-work, work placement and co-op.  With more than 300 programs, including degrees and graduate certificates, we have the...

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