Master in Art History: Curatorial Studies and Museology

Program in Exhibitions and Museums

Master Kunstgeschichte: Ausstellungs- und Museumswesen
Kevin Oehler und Andreas Wagner beim Ausstellungsaufbau

The single-subject (mono-master) program in "Art History: Exhibitions and Museums" is unique in Switzerland and offers students the possibility of combining a classic Master program of study in art history (major, 90 ECTS credits) with the "Application Area for Exhibitions and Museums" as a minor (30 ECTS credits). Along with all the extensive qualifications needed for becoming an art historian, the program also teaches students the basic skills needed for a career in art museums and exhibitions. The Master program focuses on the study of practice-oriented topics.

Flyer Curatorial Studies (PDF, 3 Seiten, 969KB)

Basic information
Degree: Master of Arts in Art History with special qualification in Curatorial Studies and Museology, Universität Bern
Number of credits: 120 ECTS credits
Degree programs: Mono 120 ECTS credits
Duration: 4 semesters
Language: German
Beginning studies: Fall or spring semester

The program is divided into the Master program (generally in the 7th and 8th semesters) and the final phase (generally in the 9th and 10th semesters).

The Master program has three advanced modules, each of which consists of a lecture and a master seminar. Students must also complete art history electives and six courses in the "Application Area for Exhibitions and Museums." The art history elective requirement can be met by attending specially labeled courses at the Institute of Art History, regardless of the student's main subject area or the type of course in question. The art history electives are designed to expand the student's knowledge in specific areas. The advanced modules, the art history elective courses and the courses in the "Application Area for Exhibitions and Museums" all include performance checks at the end of the courses.

The final phase of the program consists of a subject field module that encompasses a lecture, a master seminar and a research colloquium. This module also concludes with a performance check.
Lectures and master seminars in at least two of the five subject areas must be completed during both phases of the program.

Excursions and internships are designed to enhance empirical research skills.

The Master program in "Art History: Exhibitions and Museums" (single-subject mono-master) is concluded with a master thesis and an examination in "Advanced Art History" (45 minutes ) and in the topics addressed in the "Application Area for Exhibitions and Museums" (15 minutes).

Most of the courses are taught by external lecturers – curators, conservators-restorers, art intermediaries and gallery owners – with many years of experience in museums and with exhibitions. Teaching assignments are usually only issued once to lecturers, which means that students benefit from exposure to various institutional structures and conditions. The mono-master courses relate to both international and local institutions. Courses conducted in cooperation with Bern University of the Arts offer students the opportunity to learn about the interests and points of view of young artists.

Current courses (Spring 2022):

  • KHM – Medialität der Ausstellung in Theorie und Praxis
    Dr. Gudrun Swoboda, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Abstract PDF, 70KB)
  • Museumsrecht
    Dr. Sandra Sykora (Abstract PDF, 90KB)

Current courses (Fall 2021):

  • Sammlung online – Der digitale Weg ins Museum
    Dr. Susan Marti, Bernisches Historisches Museum (Abstract PDF, 43KB)
  • Wie plant man eine Ausstellung?
    Dr. Susanne Pollack, Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich

Current courses (Spring 2021):

  • Curating Work: From Industrial Arts to the Anthropology of Technology
    Dr. Arnaud Dominique Dubois, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers

Current Courses (Fall 2020):

  • „When a World Heritage becomes Laboratory of Perception.
    X-RAY: Theory and Reality of an Interdisciplinary Exhibition Project for Völklingen Ironworks World Heritage Site“ (Abstract PDF, 51KB)
    Dr. Ralf Beil, Völklingen Ironworks World Heritage Site
  • FUTURE NOW. Constellations of the Collaboration between Artists and Art Historians. From the Curatorial to the Catalogue of Works (Abstract PDF, 96KB)
    Dr. hc. George Steinmann

Current courses (Spring 2020):

  • Cultural assets in context. Insights into the biography of Swiss works of art
    Prof. Dr. Dr. Antoinette Maget Dominicé, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Abstract PDF, 109KB).

Current courses (Fall 2019):

  • Curatorial practice between the contemporary and collections
    Dr. Judith Welter, Kunsthaus Glarus (Abstract PDF, 51KB)
  • Curating the Middle Ages: History, Perspectives, and Directions
    Dr. Griffith Mann, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Abstract PDF, 70KB)

Current courses (Spring 2019):

  • The art-exhibition as a risk-factor – The curator as risk-manager
    Dr. Dietmar Stock-Nieden, Axa Art Insurance AG (Abstract PDF, 122KB)

Current courses (Fall 2018):

  • Exhibiting Provenance
    Dr. Nikola Doll, Kunstmuseum Bern (Abstract PDF, 23KB)
  • Presenting Medieval Art in Museums: History, Problems, Perspectives
    Dr. Gerhard Lutz, Dommuseum Hildesheim (Abstract PDF, 41KB)

Selection of previous courses

  • Inventory: The ABC of the Daily Work at the Museum
    Dr. Susan Marti, Bernisches Historisches Museum, Bern (Abstract PDF, 42KB)
  • Bringing Matter to Life: Materiality, Embodiment and Making in Renaissance Material Culture
    Dr. Marta Ajmar, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (Abstract PDF, 110KB)
  • Curating and Preserving Media Art
    Prof. Dr. Bernhard Serexhe, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe (Abstract PDF, 32KB)
  • Curatorial Tasks in Collections of Graphic Art
    Dr. Anita Haldemann, Kunstmuseum, Basel (Abstract PDF, 73KB)
  • In Between: Opportunities and Limits of Interdisciplinary Curating
    Dr. Daniel Tyradellis, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (Abstract PDF, 33KB)
  • Collection and Exhibition (incl. Excursion to Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid)
    Dr. Gudrun Maurer, Museo National del Prado, Madrid (Abstract PDF, 28KB)
  • Provenience Research at the Museum
    Several Instructors: Prof. Dr. Annette Baumann, lic. phil. Sonja Fessel, Prof. Dr. Norberto Gramaccini, Dr. Anja Heuss, Markus Stötzel, Benno Widmer (Abstract PDF, 77KB)

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master’s degree program in Art History: Exhibitions and Museums (mono):

a) Bachelor`s degree from a Swiss university with at least 105 ECTS credits in the branch of studies of Art history.
b) Bachelor's degree from a Swiss university in a different branch of studies with at least 60 ECTS credits in in the branch of Art History, provided that the master's degree can be successfully completed with an additional maximum of 60 ECTS credits or
c) Bachelor's degree from a recognized foreign university with equivalent qualifications, provided that the necessary requirements for the successful completion of the Master's programme can be met by earning a maximum of 60 ECTS credits.

If the bachelor's degree was earned more than ten years ago, additional credits may be required.

Language requirements

a) three modern foreign languages or
b) Latin plus two modern foreign languages

Evidence of language proficiency must be presented before the master's degree program can be completed. These language skills are acquired as part of extracurricular studies during the master's degree program. The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments.

For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

Current UniBE students

Apply for a change to the M A in Art History with special qualification in Curatorial Studies and Museology, Universität Bern by self-service as part of the re-registration for the next semester.
Renewal of semester registration → Self-service
Recognition of academic achievements
Procedure and timing of the renewal of semester registration

Application with a Swiss degree

Online application
Steps from application to registration

Application with an international degree

Online application
CHECKLIST - Documents for your application / Important information
Steps from application to registration

For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.