Our Arts Education programs provide students with knowledge to help develop creativity, problem solving, multiple modes of communication, self discipline, and critical thinking skills that can be implemented in a variety of traditional and non-traditional educative environments.

Master's Programs

The Arts Education MEd program is a course work only degree culminating in a portfolio/ interview examination. All students enter graduate work in Arts Education through the MEd route.

The Master of Education (MEd) in Arts Education develops critical knowledge of arts theory and practice related to education, program development, and learning and teaching across a range of arts disciplines.  This program is suitable for those working in schools and other educational, arts-based contexts.

The Master of Arts (MA) in Arts Education requires fewer courses than the MEd, but involves the completion and examination of an academic thesis. Students may be admitted to the MA after completing four courses and with approval of the arts faculty team. The MA prepares students for work in various arts educational contexts and is a suitable foundation for doctoral study.

How to Transfer from MEd to MA Degree?

Students wishing to transfer from the MEd to the MA degree may apply after four core courses are completed (students must complete five core courses in total for the MA plus a Master’s Thesis). In order to be accepted into the MA program students must demonstrate a strong writing ability, a clear research plan, and committed advisement from a senior supervisor.

Students should follow the procedure outlined below: 

1. Students will have completed four core courses before applying to transfer from the MEd to the MA.  At this point they must consult a prospective advisor for the thesis. If this faculty member is other than the pro-tem advisor, the pro-tem advisor is to be informed.

2. In consultation with the prospective thesis advisor, the student will then prepare a written thesis proposal. This will be a minimum of ten pages in length, and will include a) research question(s), b) context for the research, c) objectives, d) methodology, e) contribution to the advancement of knowledge and/or educational practice, f) student's special interest in the proposed area of research.

These questions can help to guide your research proposal preparation:

  1. What is your question/inquiry? (i.e., paragraph overview of your question or inquiry focus)
  2. What brings you to it? (a brief statement regarding what brings you to the question, i.e., what is the spark for this interest/why is this topic of importance/significance to you)
  3. How are proposing to approach this inquiry (i.e., what are your methods, and what methodology might be the overarching thread for these methods; what ethical or other requirements or implications do you need to bear in mind in conducting this research?)
  4. Who are the key thinkers you are drawing on, what are the key concepts, theories, ideas embedded in this area of inquiry?
  5. What educational significance do you feel this inquiry has or might have (and by 'educational', that might be everything from specific pedagogical or curricular or policy implications, or a broader philosophical and/or sociological significance).

3. The thesis proposal must be approved by your prospective supervisor before it is submitted to Graduate Programs office together with 1) Faculty of Education Change Degree, Program or Specialization Application form, 2) approval of supervisory committee form, and 3) required documentation as follows:

  • A letter/email from the faculty member who agrees to serve as the Senior Supervisor indicating that he or she has approved the thesis proposal
  • A thesis proposal (minimum ten pages as outlined above)
  • An annotated bibliography for the proposed thesis (minimum of 20 references to include current journal articles, books/chapters, and relevant online resources, etc.)
  • A copy of a written assignment undertaken for the MEd

If any of the above conditions are not met, the change of degree route will not be approved.

Your senior supervisor may recommend other course(s) for you to take related to your masters thesis research.

Doctoral Programs

Graduates of our Arts Education (PhD) program work in arts education in universities or colleges, on public and private school boards, in the provincial government, and within the broader community. The program is firmly grounded in critical arts studies and educational theory affecting arts education; is interdisciplinary across the arts, while allowing for specialization in a particular arts area; and ensures a link between arts students and other doctoral students. The non-departmental structure of this faculty makes it relatively easy for students to take advantage of a wide variety of faculty expertise, and for students to develop a view of arts education which encompasses the curriculum as a whole. This program has a biennial intake.

Our Educational Doctorate in Transformational Change (EdD) provides dynamic opportunities for understanding the world of teaching and learning in a variety of settings from classroom to boardroom.  This program is designed to provide participants with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs to create transformational change at the personal, social, and organizational levels. This program is an experiential/multidisciplinary opportunity that has at its core a desire to examine the complex world of learning. Curriculum and pedagogy are seen as being structured like a web of constantly evolving theories and practices. Tomorrow’s educational leaders will require the skills and knowledge encompassing an understanding of how philosophical, socio-cultural, multicultural, technological and political influences impact schools, ministries and leading edge organizations in education, health and industry.

Arts Education Community

Academic Coordinator

Teaching Faculty

Students and Alumni Experiences

Arts Education (MA, MEd)

  • Bonnie Nish MA alumnus and PhD student at European Graduate School, Switzerland

  • Thea Rutherford MA alumnus, writer, teacher and former journalist.

Arts Education (PhD)

  • Sheinagh Anderson PhD alumnus, artist, researcher, teacher, mentor, and designer of Contemplative Artist Praxis as...

  • Shannon Leddy PhD alumnus, mother, writer, artist and former Vancouver Arts and Social Studies teacher.

  • Julia Lane PhD alumnus, studied clowns and clowning (as ‘researcher’ and ‘performer’).


Research Projects

Learning Through Encounters with Technology (Fels)

Performer-Technology and Autism (Fels)

Leo Adams: A Case Study Documentary Film (Mamchur)

Profiles, an example of Arkhelogy (Mamchur)

Transformative Change (Mamchur, Kaufman)

Youth Music Engagement (O'Neill, Senyshyn)

Youth Participation in Music (O'Neill, Senyshyn)

Indigenous Education in Fort Ware (Kelly)

Aboriginal Educator Dialogues on Pathways of Indigenous Learning (Kelly)

“Learning Through The Arts”. The Royal Conservatory of Music: Five Year Study of LTTA Review. (Kelly)

Creating Authentic Characters (Mamchur)

Creative Process (Mamchur)

Process of Visual Artists: A Tri-angular study (Mamchur)

Understanding and promoting artistic learning and youth arts engagement in a digital age (O'Neill, Senyshyn)

Internal Research Grant for Institutional Research on Graduates (Richmond)

Technology-based Creativity in Performance Related Education (Richmond)

Anxiety and Theories of the Self in Live Musical Performance (Senyshyn)

Anxiety and Understanding Cultural Diversity (Senyshyn)

Reclaiming Armenian Identity through the Arts (Snowber)

Bodily Mindfulness and Educative Practice (Snowber)