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‌What's On

This is a selection of upcoming exhibitions, activities and events at MUSA's venues. For a full list of events please visit 

You can see also download the full Whats On guide January to June 2018 (PDF, 4,125 KB).

Booking information

All events and exhibitions are free but some must be booked. To book please email or call 01334 46 1660.

If you would benefit from an audio description before or during an event please let us know at the time of booking.



Enduring Gifts: 600 Years of Philanthropy in St Andrews 

17th March - 30th June 2018
Since its foundation in 1413, the University of St Andrews has benefited greatly from public generosity. Enduring Gifts: 600 Years of Philanthropy in St Andrews explores a range of donations and the motivations behind them, revealing how these charitable acts have shaped the University's existence. Come and discover some of the most influential personalities and fascinating objects which have made the University of St Andrews what it is today.

Family Programme

Out of the Box: Spring-time

Every Sunday in March, 1pm-3pm (All ages)
Celebrate the (supposed) passing of winter by making some spring-inspired crafts. Design some paper flowers and butterflies or create your own spring-inspired cards for Mother's Day.

Baby MUSA Time

First Friday of every month, 10:15am-11:15am (0-5 years)
Held every month, Baby MUSA Time allows your little one to discover some of the fantastic things found in museums through stories, songs, art and messy play. This drop-in activity is for babies, pre-school children and whoever looks after them. The MUSA Learning Loft provides a place to relax, park your buggy and enjoy time with your children.
Friday 6th April           Funny Faces
Friday 4th May            Light and Dark
Friday 1st June           Our Bodies

Spring workshops

Wild About St Andrews

Bell Pettigrew Museum
Saturday 10th March, 11am-3pm (All ages)

Go wild about the wildlife here in St Andrews! Join us and the Wild About Scotland bus for a fun-filled afternoon of activities. Find out more about Scotland’s native local wildlife and complete a mini-beast trail. You can also feast your eyes on our fabulous zoology collection in the Bell Pettigrew Museum! Free, drop-in, no booking required. Held inside and outside the Bell Pettigrew Museum.


Electro-magnificent Science

Saturday 17th March, 1pm-1:45pm (3-6 years) & 2pm-3pm (7-12 years)
Come to MUSA to learn about the wonders of magnetism (and its radiation) through ultraviolet paint and magnets. Make your own ultraviolet painting and discover the link between electromagnetic radiation and walkie-talkies. Takes place at MUSA. Free, but booking is essential.

Deep Sea Creatures

Bell Pettigrew Museum
Monday 2nd April, 10am-10:45am (3-6 years) & 11am-12pm (7-12 years)
What lurks in the deepest parts of the ocean? Join us as we dive into the deep blue sea and find out for yourself! Surround yourself with the odd underwater creatures of the Bell Pettigrew Museum and bring your very own deep-sea creature to life! Free, but booking essential.

Modern Masterpiece

Thursday 5th April, 1pm-3pm (All ages)
Ever tried to turn an old piece of wood into art? Have a look at our Boswell Art Collection and try your hand at creating a modern masterpiece using the weird and wonderful techniques of the artists! Held at MUSA, free, drop-in activity. Children should be accompanied by an adult.

Medieval Mosaics

Monday 9th April, 10am-10:45am (3-6 years) & 11am-12pm (7-12 years)
Transport yourself to the magnificent mosaic courtyard of the Great Palace of Constantinople, which remained a mystery until the University began digging in the 1950s. Uncover the hidden medieval mosaics and create your very own mosaic fit for the Emperor! Held at MUSA, free, but booking essential.

Picture Yourself

Thursday 12th April, 10am-10:45am (3-6 years) & 11am-12pm (7-12 years)
Capture an image of yourself to last a lifetime. Portraits are full of clues about the person they depict. Come and unveil the secrets of the grand portraits around the University, and then create your own to take home! Held at MUSA, free, but booking essential.

Adult Programme  

Talks and Tours

Films and Artefacts: Paterson

Byre Theatre
Thursday 8th March, film starts at 10:30am
Having a daily sketching routine is as important to an artist as writing is to a poet. After enjoying the film 'Paterson', see how the Scottish artist, James Watterston Herald (1859-1914) captured everyday life in his colourful sketchbooks now held in MUSA’s collection. As his friend and patron John Taylor Ewen observed,
“ to examine an artist’s sketchbook is to look into the engine room of his creativity.”
Part of the Byre Film Club. Tickets cost £6 and include a cuppa and a scone. Book via the Byre Box Office: 01334 47 5000.

The Natural History of Parasites

Bell Pettigrew Museum
Saturday 17th March, 11am-12pm
What do the botfly, bitterling and cuckoo have in common? They are all parasites, living off other organisms. About half of all species are parasites or have a parasitic stage to their life cycle, making it a common feature of the natural world. This tour of the collection will consider what makes a parasite, what adaptations organisms show as parasites, and how they evolve. Held at the Bell Pettigrew Museum. Free but advance booking required.

Ever to Excel: An Afternoon of Discovery

Saturday 19th May, 2pm-4pm
Donating to a University like St Andrews makes world-class research possible. Explore some of this research with experts in the Enduring Gifts gallery. They will highlight the impact that the donations of St Andrews’ most generous benefactors have on research today: from Art History to Medicine. Refreshments will be provided. Held at MUSA. Free, but booking essential.

Creative Workshops

StAnza Creative Writing Workshop

Wednesday 7th March, 2pm-4:30pm
In this workshop, led by the poet J.L. Williams, we will explore portraits, self-portraits and a collection of masks and figurines from MUSA’s archaeology and ethnography collection associated with rituals for transporting people from one world to another. Masks of the imagination are employed by writers to create characters, explore the self and discover new worlds. We will write our way around and into these objects and seek to echo their physicality, history and transformational power in poetry, while embracing the potential of our own creative masks. Held at MUSA. Tickets £7.00 on sale from mid-January: or 01334 475000.

StAnza Digital Installation

Byre Theatre
Thursday 8th March - Sunday 11th March, 10am-10pm
Taking the 2018 Festival theme of
‘Borderlines’ and ‘The Self’, StAnza will commission poets to respond to a selection of related artefacts and artworks from the University of St Andrews’ collections. Enjoy the digital installation at the Byre Theatre, Abbey Street – Level 2 Foyer. For more details see:

StAnza Musings@MUSA

Thursday 8th March - Sunday 11th March, 12pm-4pm
From skulls to self-portraits, create poetry inspired by the objects you encounter in MUSA at this popular event and share it with us. Send your StAnza musings to and we’ll share our favourites online! Free, drop-in, no booking required. For more details see

Portrait Masterclass

Saturday 14th April, 2pm-4pm
Let our guest portrait painter, Mark H Lawrence, teach you how to capture your essence in the form of a self-portrait. Artists and their subjects have long used portraiture to present an image of themselves as they wish to be remembered. Learn the stories of some of the University’s portraits, think about your visual legacy, and create your own portrait. Held at MUSA, free, but booking essential.

Still Life Masterclass

Saturday 28th April, 2pm-4pm
Instil some life into your drawings at this practical workshop using artefacts and specimens from MUSA’s collection as a still-life display. You’ll learn some tips and tricks on how to make a structural drawing and the basics of painting. Held at MUSA. Suitable for all abilities. Free but booking essential.

Film Screening

The Women Who Shaped St Andrews


Friday 13th April, 7:15pm-8pm
Enjoy an exclusive screening of our short documentary, ‘The Women Who Shaped St Andrews’. Discover the legacies of the powerful female benefactors who influenced everything from natural history research to student accommodation. Ponder the reasons why stories of these women are often ‘hidden’ from view, and join us as we celebrate their contribution to the University we know today. View the Enduring Gifts exhibition before settling down to the documentary. Refreshments will be provided. Held at MUSA. Free, but booking essential.


Guided Walks 

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants Walking Tour

Tuesday 20th March, 6pm-7:30pm
The University of St Andrews is built on the gifts of generous donors. Take a peek behind the scenes in some of St Andrews’ most famous landmarks and discover the tales of those whose lives have shaped the town. Tour begins and ends at MUSA. Free, but booking essential.

Birdspotting Walk

Saturday 21st April, 2pm-4pm
Bring your binoculars or borrow a pair from MUSA to discover which feathered friends can be seen in St Andrews. Ranger Tony Wilson will take you for a short walk along the seashore and help you spot and identify birds on the way. This walk begins and ends at MUSA. Free but booking essential.



Saxophone Quartet

Sunday 8th April, 2:30pm-3:15pm
Immerse yourself in music at MUSA with the talented musicians of the University of St Andrews scholarship ensembles. The students work to create these unique concerts inspired by the objects on display at the museum. Performances are held at MUSA and are suitable for all ages. Free, no need to book.