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.
The Principles of Conservation MA offers students an introduction to the context of heritage conservation, of how conservation works, and of the issues and constraints which affect conservation practice. The programme explores the principles, theory, ethics and practicalities relating to the care and conservation of a wide variety of objects and structures.
Students gain an in-depth understanding of approaches to collections care, preventive conservation, risk assessment, conservation strategies, ethics, management and professionalism, and develop critically aware perspectives on professional practice and research processes.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).
Students are required to take the following:
Students choose further optional modules up to the value of 30 credits from the following list of related options (the degree co-ordinator may seek to guide the option choices made by those intending to carry on for the MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums.
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 seminars, lectures, small-group tutorials, workshops and practical projects. Some modules include visits to conservation workshops and museums, including the British Museum, National Trust and the Museum of London. Assessment is through coursework, essays, poster, portfolio, project reports and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Principles of Conservation MA
Institute of Archaeology Master's Awards: a small number of grants up to the value of £1,000 are available for the academic year 2018/19. All UK/EU and Overseas fee-paying students with an offer to start any Master's degree offered by the IoA are eligible to apply. For an application form please email [email protected]. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2018.
UK students are eligible to apply to the Anna Plowden Trust
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
The Institute of Archaeology has a long history of training in conservation, and many of its graduates are now employed in key posts around the world. Many students go on to take the Conservation for Archaeology and Museums MSc. Others pursue careers in preventive conservation and collections management in local and national museums, art galleries and heritage organisations (mainly in Europe, North America and Asia). Some students have also used this degree as a platform to become a PhD candidate at both UCL and elsewhere.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Knowledge and skills acquired during the programme include the understanding of the roles conservators play in the care and study of cultural heritage, and the ethical issues involved. This is complemented by a basic understanding of raw materials, manufacturing technologies, assessment of condition and the ways in which different values and meanings are assigned to cultural objects. The student will be able to perform visual examination techniques as well as assessments and monitoring of museum collections. They will also be proficient in various types of documentation, analysis of numerical data, report writing, and presentation of conservation issues through posters, social media, talks and essays.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK, and provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate study. Its conservation programmes have an international reputation.
Students benefit from the institute's lively international involvement in archaeology and heritage, from its well-equipped facilities, and access to UCL's extensive science, art and archaeology collections.
The institute's conservation laboratories provide a modern and pleasant learning environment, while the Wolfson Archaeological Science Laboratories provide excellent facilities for the examination and analysis of a wide variety of archaeological materials.