Masters of Arts in Art Education (MAAE)

Division: Art History and Contemporary Culture
Degree: Master of Arts
Program: Master of Arts in Art Education

Program Length: 2 years (see Degree Requirements), part-time optional

Campus: Fountain Campus

Students specialize in one of three program streams* that allow exploration of current methodologies relevant to specific art education practices.

  • Applied Pedagogy in Art Education
  • Museum and Curatorial
  • Community-Based Practice
  • *Unstreamed: In consultation with the Program Director, students may select a combination of courses from the above stream areas that support their thesis research

NSCAD University’s Master of Arts in Art Education is an approved program towards increasing teacher certification in Nova Scotia.

Program Requirements

Full-time or Part-time Study

Four core courses (12 credits):
MAED-6205 Contemporary Issues in Art Education (3 credits) AND
MAED 6210 Human Development, Diverse Society & Art Education (3 credits) AND
MAED 6605 Research Methods in Art Education (3 credits) AND
MAED 6400 Art Education Studio Practice (3 credits) OR
MFAR 6100 Pedagogy Seminar (3 credits)
Completion of one of three streams (6 credits) or two courses (6 credits) that suit specific aspirations from two of the three streams:

Museum and Curatorial

MAED 6350 Museum & Curatorial: Theory & Practice (3 credits) OR
MAED 6410 Art in Public Places (3 credits) OR
MAED 6610 Indigenous Methodologies & Exhibition Practices (3 credits) OR
MAED 6650 Case Study: Museum & Curatorial (3 credits) OR
MAED 6690 Primary Research Techniques (3 credits)

Applied Pedagogy in Art Education

MAED 6330 Pedagogy Development in Art Education: History, Theory & Practice (3 credits) OR
MAED 6410 Art in Public Places (3 credits) OR
MAED 6630 Case Study: K-12 Art Education (3 credits)

Community-Based Practice

MAED 6370 Community & Art Education: History, Theory & Practice (3 credits) OR
MAED 6410 Art in Public Places (3 credits) OR
MAED 6670 Case Study: Community-Based Art Education (3 credits)
Practicum and Thesis –All Students (18 credits)
MAED 6505 Practicum (6 credits)
MAED 6705 Thesis Proposal and Preparation (3 credits)
MAED 6805 Thesis (9 credits)

Please visit the Academic Calendar for a description of all courses available at NSCAD University.

Graduate Research

Through comprehensive research and thesis components, this program will play an essential role in revitalizing scholarship in the area of art education. In turn, the information produced through graduate research and practice will help to inform regional arts teaching strategies (including development informed, community outreach, museum), professional development, and the activities of cultural and public institutions.

Thesis Component

A thesis is a substantive and independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member. An MA thesis is a systematic inquiry into some theoretical, or practical issue in art education.

All students in the MAAE program complete a merit-reviewed research-based thesis as part of their course of study. Students may choose from four types of theses:

  1. scholarly thesis: a conventional monograph;
  2. research-creation thesis: a significant, unified body of work with supporting written component that extends existing studio practice;
  3. teaching-based thesis: an in-depth teaching project with supporting written component
  4. curatorial-based thesis: an in-depth curatorial project with supporting written component.

Thesis Definition

The thesis is:

a document presenting original research; a demonstration of familiarity with previous work in the field including theoretical constructs, paradigms and methodologies, the ability to carry out research, organize results or present conclusions, and the defense of the work or approach in accordance with scholarly and disciplinary norms.

A conventional Master’s thesis is usually between 80-100 pages in length, but not more than 150 pages (including title page, abstract, table of contents, contribution of authors/preface, acknowledgements, bibliography/reference list, and appendices). Typically, such a thesis involves the collection and analysis of empirical data and the use of secondary sources through appropriate scholarly methods.

Thesis Evaluation

To graduate, students must successfully defend their thesis projects before a committee of experts. The committee assesses the thesis project (including written, classroom-based, and exhibition components) according to the following criteria:

  1. mastery of theories and concepts in the field of art education
  2. mastery of methods of inquiry
  3. quality of writing
  4. originality and potential contribution to the discipline.


Students also complete a six credit, 240-hour practicum with an educational institution, arts/cultural organization, not-for-profit, museum, gallery, visitor center, library, faith-based organization, community centre, or equivalent. During this placement, students may design, implement, or extend art education initiatives for specific age cohorts; plan and curate arts-based events; develop technical studio skills and produce a body of work or art intervention; and contribute to the outreach, administrative, and financial activities of the host organization. Students write and submit, for approval by the program director, faculty supervisor, and site mentor/host, a practicum proposal, which describes and defines the working relationships between the student and the host organization, the student’s learning objectives, as well as the needs and opportunities of the host organization. To formalize the placement and to register for MAED 6505: Practicum, students must complete the practicum form in the Forms Portal.

Previous practicum host organizations include Wonder’neath, Youth Art Connection, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, Guelph Arts Council, Ed Video, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Art Gallery of Ontario, Heist, WildBrain, and various faculty research projects.


Faculty members are accomplished artists, scholars, educators and leaders in their craft. Dr. April Mandrona is the Director of the Master of Arts in Art Education program. For a list of full faculty, click the button below.

April Mandrona