Our highly regarded Architectural Conservation programme is more than 40 years old; it is the longest-established graduate historic preservation programme in the UK.
Whether you’re approaching the field from an architectural, historical, geological or other viewpoint, this programme will guide you through the foundations and challenges of this important means of nurturing cultural and national identity.
You will benefit from learning on our historic campus (located in Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site), and from the wealth of academic and intellectual activities associated with an internationally-renowned university.
You’ll be part of the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies (SCCS), a specialist teaching and research unit that provides the depth of expertise and resources that ensures this programme is recognised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation.
Volunteering opportunities are also available through our partnerships with relevant organisations, allowing you to flex your skills in a practical setting.
The programme is assessed through individual written papers, group projects, presentations, and report writing. An intensive overseas field trip (optional; normally to Germany) will give you the chance to explore conservation issues in another setting. Following the taught courses, you will research and write a dissertation of around 14,000–15,000 words on an aspect of architectural conservation.
To complete your studies, you must demonstrate your familiarity with the historical and theoretical foundations and challenges of historic preservation; the techniques of recording and research; and the technologies of building repair. Elective courses can also develop more specific skills in areas such as the influences of planning law, contemporary architecture and building economics on the historic built environment; and the special conservation challenges of Modern Movement architecture and urban planning.
You will also develop more general practical and intellectual skills, in areas such as project organisation, historical research, or graphic and oral communication.
This programme aims to provide students with the broad base of knowledge and skills necessary to embark on a career in one of the many professional sub-disciplines of historic preservation, ranging from heritage management to conservation architecture.
Crucially, your qualification will be extremely well regarded thanks to its recognition by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, the UK’s official organisation of architectural preservation professionals.
This course enables you to become a professional within the specialist field of historic building conservation. London is rich in its collection of historic buildings, and the course team places great emphasis on using these to illustrate and inform elements of the course. In particular, past and ongoing works at the Historic Royal Palaces, together with several national and local heritage organisations and practitioners, are used as the basis for project work.
The course is designed to balance strategic analysis with a good working knowledge of core techniques. You will acquire the skills and knowledge to extend your current practice and/or gain knowledge and expertise in new areas. You will work with a range of professionals and specialists to broaden your understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of the field. A week-long field trip to a European city will provide the opportunity to further develop your technical knowledge and embed it within a practice scenario.
Essays, reports, seminars, workshops, group field trip, project work, presentations, and dissertation.
Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.
This course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Designed for a new generation of heritage leaders, this programme provides the interdisciplinary skills needed to deliver the heritage programmes and projects of the future. The programme combines aspects of cultural heritage - historic buildings, museums, collections, sites and landscapes - with the best preventive conservation and heritage management policies, projects, methodologies and practices.
Students are encouraged to take a long view of preservation and heritage management and challenged to define problems, set objectives and explore a range of sustainability issues and strategies. Concepts of value, sustainability, life expectancy, stewardship, ownership, vulnerability and risk are interwoven with the scientific study of historic materials, assemblies, technologies and systems.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (120 credits), a research report (60 credits) and an optional project placement (not credit bearing).
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.
All MSc students submit a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic can be chosen to enhance career development or for its inherent interest.
Teaching and learning
The programme is taught using a variety of media and strategies including problem-based and case-based learning, discussion groups, project work, exercises, coursework and reports. Assessment is through written assignments, oral examination and the 10,000-word dissertation.
A two-week study visit to Malta forms an integral part of the degree. This is hosted by Heritage Malta, the national agency responsible for the management of national museums, heritage sites and their collections in Malta and Gozo.
A video of the 2016 Malta field trip can be seen here Malta field trip .
Travel and accommodation expenses for the visit to Malta are covered by the programme.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage MSc
Most graduates are expected to assume responsibility for directing major projects within museums, libraries, archives, or organisations responsible for historic buildings and archaeological sites; or as a part of interdisciplinary architectural, engineering or project management practices. Additional career enhancement may be achieved by using the MSc as a foundation for PhD research.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The programme, which is accredited by RICS, is an internationally recognised qualification from a world-leading university that equips students with the skills and expertise needed to contribute to heritage projects at an advanced level. There is an opportunity to undertake a placement at a leading heritage organisation or practice during the programme and students gain access to an extensive alumni network of professionals who have studied on the programme and are currently leaders in the field.<br><br>
Please see the departmental Sustainable Heritage MSc careers page for more information.
The UCL Bartlett is the UK's largest multidisciplinary Faculty of the Built Environment, bringing together scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.
Students on this programme benefit from: international, interdisciplinary teachers who are leading professionals in their field; real-life heritage case studies as the basis for discussing complex and demanding issues; access to public stewards and private owners of heritage - in order to learn from practice and leading heritage stakeholders; a fully funded study visit to Malta; project placement opportunities with leading international heritage organisations.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources
81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
The Masters in Dress & Textile Histories provides you with the skills to research and interpret the history of dress and textiles. Drawing on the knowledge of interdisciplinary academic and curatorial experts, the programme combines taught and research components based on a combination of theoretical and object based approaches. Working with museum collections, archives and historic interiors you will also be given a unique insight into the curation, interpretation and preservation of historic dress and textile collections.
The taught component consists of three core courses and three optional courses running over two semesters. This is followed by a period of supervised research and writing of a dissertation.
A number of study visits are built into the programme, introducing important local collections.
Teaching is delivered by a combination of in-house specialist and visiting scholars and experts. The lectures are enhanced by seminar discussions, some based in museums and galleries, giving you the opportunity to present your ideas and discuss them with classmates in a supportive yet challenging environment.
You may also choose from the following options run by History of Art:
Or from the following options in the College of Arts:
These courses are supported by a self-funded four day study trip in semester 2. Previous trips have included Manchester (2012), Leeds (2013) and London (2014-16).
Submitted at the end of August, the dissertation (or other substantial piece of work) encourages independent work and the application of acquired research skills. It is expected that MLitt dissertations should make a contribution to some aspect of the subject. The dissertation is 15,000 words in length (including footnotes but excluding bibliography) and will be an in-depth critical exploration on a topic chosen in consultation with the tutors and the programme convenor.
The attributes you gain will be attractive to employers from museums, the heritage sector, art dealers and auction houses. You could also get into theatre, film and television production as a costume researcher/designer. The programme also offers an excellent foundation upon which to progress to PhD studies and an academic career.
The Managing Archaeological Sites MA examines why certain archaeological sites, including World Heritage Sites, are selected for preservation, and how power relationships and different perceptions of contemporary values impact upon this. It explores approaches to how sites can be successfully managed, conserved and presented to preserve their significance.
Students will grasp theoretical issues surrounding heritage management, and how to apply a planning process to holistic and sustainable site management, based on the recognition of a site's values to its interest groups. They will also learn practical methods for participatory processes, physical conservation, visitor management, site interpretation, World Heritage nomination, and heritage tourism.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of a core module (30 credits), optional modules (60 credits), an optional work placement and a research dissertation (90 credits).
Students are required to take the following:
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words (90 credits).
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical demonstrations and site visits. It includes an optional three-week placement in an appropriate organisation or on-site project. Assessment is through essays, project reports, projects and practicals (depending on the options chosen), and the dissertation.
Students will have the option to undertake a voluntary placement in an appropriate organisation or on-site project for a period of three weeks in total. In recent years, these placements have included organisations such as English Heritage, the National Trust, Historic Royal Palaces, ICOMOS (Paris), World Monuments Fund (Paris), UNESCO World Heritage Centre (Paris), the Museum of London, Atkins Global, the Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa (Portugal), MIRAS (Iran), City Museum (Palermo), Ancient Merv State Archaeological Park (Turkmenistan), and the National Institute of Informatics (Tokyo, Japan). This is not assessed.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Managing Archaeological Sites MA
Recent graduates of this programme have gone on to work in policy areas and project areas for national and international organisations, such as English Heritage, the National Trust, ICOMOS and UNESCO. They have also worked in development control, heritage consultancies (such as Atkins Global), museums, site interpretation and education. Many students have also gone on to further research in academic institutions around the world, such as Stanford, Athens and Leiden, or here at UCL.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Students on this programme gain understanding of a wide range of practical methods for the conservation, management and interpretation of cultural heritage, which provides a sound basis for a wide range of employment opportunities of the heritage sector. Students also master a technical vocabulary to communicate with heritage professional and agencies, and develop strong transferable skills in written and oral communication, teamworking and dealing with complex stakeholders.
The theory and practice of archaeological heritage management is undertaken within the context of the Institute of Archaeology's international outlook and membership, with student and staff involvement in field research projects around the globe. This provides a unique range of perspectives and circumstances, reflected in critical discourse.
UCL is located in central London, close to the British Museum and British Library. The institute's outstanding library is complemented by UCL's main and specialist libraries.
Students undertake placements with London-based agencies, such as Historic England and the Museum of London, or international bodies, such as UNESCO, ICOMOS and Global Heritage Fund.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology
73% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Textile Conservation is a multidisciplinary subject which combines academic knowledge with cultural awareness, aesthetic sensitivity and technical skill. This MPhil is both an academic programme and professional training; it will give you a framework of theoretical knowledge and a range of practical experience which will enable you to contribute to the understanding and preservation of culturally significant textile artefacts.
You will take core courses over two semesters in each year, with a work placement in the summer between the first and second years. You will write up your dissertation over the second summer and submit it at the end of August.
The core courses will develop an understanding of
The programme is at career-entry level and graduates are qualified to go on to a post-training internship or directly into the workplace as a textile conservator in a museum or other institution around the world, as well as to undertake further study at PhD level.
The great majority of graduates of this programme and of its predecessor, the Textile Conservation Centre’s MA Textile Conservation programme, now work in museums and other institutions. Graduates of the two programmes have an outstanding record of employment on graduation and of remaining in the sector. They now work in nearly 30 countries and are in senior positions worldwide.
MPhil graduates have been awarded Mellon Fellowships at Denver Art Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Institution in the USA.
In the UK, others work for:
Graduates also work in museums in Singapore, Japan, Qatar, the USA, Canada and other countries around the world.
However, it is worth noting that many graduates go on to short-term contract posts initially. It is easier to find a textile conservation post if you are able to be flexible in terms of location.