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Seminar BA3: Virtual Museums and Exhibitions


Admission requirements

The following courses need to be passed:

  • All first year courses of the BA Arts, Media and Society

  • Both BA2 Seminars


Cultural institutions increasingly explore the opportunities of expanding their physical venues with virtual galleries. With more people visiting virtual exhibitions than ever before, how will these online spaces continue to transform the ways in which art is displayed, framed and understood?

This module focuses on the display of art in virtual galleries and museums from a variety of angles and methodological approaches. The overall aim is to gain a critical understanding of how (online) exhibitions are mediations influencing the reception of art and artefacts. The digital environment defines the setting where the interaction between the individual viewer and the object takes place. This plays an important role in shaping the meaning of artworks and determinig the impact that artworks can have on their audiences.

As part of this module, you will work on curating a virtual exhibition. This will offer the opportunity to explore questions of curatorial concern and develop skills related to the research, interpretation and display of collections. Seminars and lectures, by both scholars and museum professionals, will give you a fuller understanding of state-of-the-art research and innovative exhibition practices. Visits to galleries and other collections will also play an integral role in the course.

Course objectives

Students will:

  • gain insight into current issues and controversies concerning museum curating and exhibitions;

  • get acquainted with theoretical knowledge of and practical experience in curating;

  • learn to critically review the relevant scholarly literature to present research results both in a presentation (15 mins) and a portfiolio (c. 4000 words);

  • acquire demonstrable skills in formulating a research question and putting together a relevant bibliography. Students will gain knowledge of relevant theory in the field of digital humanities, exhibition practices and collection management.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Study of compulsory literature

  • Excursion

Important: attendance in seminar sessions and excursions is mandatory! In case of no-show, the tutor should be informed by e-mail about your absence and the reason prior to the actual seminar session. Moreover, this course cannot be successfully completed by students that were absent more than twice. Only in exceptional cases, the Examination Committee may consider the possibility of an additional or substitute assignment. See also the Course and Examination Regulations.

Assessment method


  • Oral presentation: 20% of the final Grade

  • Portfolio: 80% of final grade


The final grade is the average of the two grades (20% and 80%). A student passes the class if the average is a 6.0 or higher (marks under 5.0 are not allowed) and the portfolio is a 6.0 or higher.


The re-sit consists of two parts:

  • When a student fails their project portfolio, the resit assessment is a paper (80%)

  • When a student fails their oral presentation, the resit assessment involves alternative assignments (20%)

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Readings will be made available via Brightspace.


Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Student administration Arsenaal


  • Fieldtrips and guest lectures are an important part of the course. Students will be expected to make frequent visits to museums.