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Adult Programme

Visitors attending an exhibition talk at the Gateway Galleries.‌Booking information

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

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


Explorathon 2017

Friday 29th September, 5:30 pm until late
From Anthropology to Zoology, join University of St Andrews researchers for an evening of discovery, debate and entertainment in celebration of European Researchers’ Night 2017. Come along to talk about and try cutting edge research in one night of exciting hands-on activities, demonstrations, shows and torchlight tours! Held at the Byre Theatre, MUSA and the Bell Pettigrew Museum. All events and activities are free and open to families, with adult only events later in the evening. For times and booking information see:

Tremendous Tiles


Saturday 7th October, 2:30pm-4:30pm

Join Jos Willins of Hotplates St Andrews for an afternoon of pottery painting. Be inspired by our Delftware tiles in the museum collection to create your own tile to take home. Experience the design process from beginning to end, and finish by glazing your unique creation. Held at MUSA. Free, but booking essential.

African Drumming

Saturday 21st October, 2pm-3pm
The djembe drum, from West Africa, is one of the most versatile percussion instruments on the planet, producing a wide range of sounds. Come and try it for yourself in this fun and friendly workshop with ‘Infectious Grooves’. Suitable for all ages and abilities, including family groups. Held at MUSA. Free, but booking essential.

Busy Beeswax Candles

Bell Pettigrew Museum
Saturday 2nd December 1:30pm-3:30pm
Be inspired by the bees and insects on display at the Bell Pettigrew Museum to create your own beeswax candles. Join Alison from Beesy’s Beeswax Candles for a creative afternoon making a selection of candles and a delightful decorative gift box to keep them in. A perfect advent activity! Free, but booking essential.

Talks and tours 

Nearly Native, Barely Civilized: Henri Gaden’s Journey Across Colonial French Africa

Thursday 2nd November, 5:30pm-6:15pm
Join Roy Dilley, Professor of Social Anthropology and curator of ‘Encountering Africa’, as he describes Henri Gaden’s experiences in West Africa over a period of 45 years from 1894, when he first set foot on the continent, to his death in 1939. Roy will chart the personal transformation Gaden underwent, from a 19th-century bourgeois Frenchman with all the prejudices of his era to a colonial officer and later Governor of Mauritania, who cultivated a cultural sensitivity towards, and deep appreciation of, West Africa and its people. Held at MUSA, free but booking required.

The Natural History of Birds

Bell Pettigrew Museum
Saturday 4th November, 11am-12pm
Birds are a highly unusual animal group. The descendants of small, feathered dinosaurs, these animals show spectacular adaptations, including the evolution of intelligence comparable to that of apes. This tour of the Bell Pettigrew Museum, led by Curator, Dr Carl Smith, will examine some of the adaptations of birds, and consider why being ‘bird-brained’ is actually a compliment. Free but booking required.

Footprints and Flints: the Happisburgh Project

Wednesday 8th November, 5:30pm-6:15pm
Find out about the chance discovery in 2013 of ancient human footprints at Happisburgh, Norfolk and how they relate to nearby finds of 900,000 year-old flint tools. Join Dr Richard Bates from the School of Geography and Geosciences to learn how his research has helped us understand Britain’s landscapes, environment and earliest settlers. Held at MUSA, free but booking required.


North Uist – the ‘Scottish Galapagos’

Bell Pettigrew Museum
Saturday 18th November, 11am-12pm
The remote Hebridean island of North Uist supports the greatest diversity of body shapes of stickleback fishes on Earth - a rare example of an evolutionary radiation, comparable to that seen in Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands. This tour by Dr Carl Smith will consider why North Uist provides the conditions for sticklebacks to undergo rapid evolutionary diversification. Held at the Bell Pettigrew Museum. Free, but booking required.

The Evolution of Beauty in Nature

Bell Pettigrew Museum
Saturday 2nd December, 11am-12pm
Does natural selection explain everything we see in nature? Or can the act of choosing a mate on purely aesthetic grounds also represent an evolutionary force? This tour by Dr Carl Smith will explore how choosing mates can generate the extraordinary range of ornaments we see in the natural world. Held at the Bell Pettigrew Museum. Free, but booking required.

Films and artefacts series

For this unique series of events MUSA has teamed up with the Byre Film Club to bring you some of your favourite films paired with a curator’s talk on an associated topic. You’ll have chance to see intriguing objects from behind-the-scenes of the museum and your ticket includes a cuppa and scone (available from 10am). Screenings begin at 10:30am and will be followed by a talk of approximately 15 minutes.
Held at the Byre Theatre, Abbey Street. Tickets £6. Tel. 01334 475000. 

Slumdog Millionaire

Byre Theatre
Thursday 5th October, 10:30am
During the 19th century many graduates of the University worked in British-ruled India, sometimes returning with souvenirs of their stay. Hear stories of gods, goddesses, golf and governors in this whistle-stop tour of Indian-themed objects.

The Light Between Oceans

Byre Theatre
Thursday 26th October, 10:30 am
What exactly is a ‘kodja’ and a ‘taap’ and whywere they brought allthe way from Australiato Scotland in the early 1800s? These rareartefacts provide a fascinating insight intothe past lives ofmuseum objects, stories ofencounters and the motives of 19thcenturycollectors.

The Dam Busters

Byre Theatre
Thursday 9th November, 10.30 am
Catch a glimpse of Scotland’s landscapes, buildings and livelihoods depicted in the University’s Recording Scotland Collection and discover why artists were enlisted during the Second World War to create this important visual archive.