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Would you like to apply your arts or applied sciences background to the conservation of fine art?

Northumbria University’s MA Conservation of Fine Art course is the only Master of Arts course in the UK that specialises in the conservation of Easel Painting and Works of Art on Paper.

Integrating a mix of fine art, science and forensic techniques, you will study a range of subjects including studio and work-based practice, conservation theory, science, technical examination, preventive conservation and research training skills.

In addition to the core modules studied, you will have the option to undertake a work placement during years one and two in the UK or abroad. 

Modules and Learning

Offering the opportunity for you to specialise in either Works of Art on Paper or Easel Painting conservation, this course consists of modules that will explore a range of key areas including conservation theory and practice, conservation science, technical art history and preventive conservation.

You will leave with the technical skills required to undertake examinations, cleaning, structural repairs and stabilisation of works of art, in addition to an in-depth understanding of the historic significance artistic practice and materials play in interpreting artworks.

Significant emphasis is also placed on ethics, advocacy and developing your skills in research.

This course is primarily delivered through practical workshops where you will develop a range of skills using specially prepared materials and case studies selected from our unique archive collection. These activities inform and run parallel with work conducted on project paintings and other challenging artefacts.

Assessment methods focus on you applying your practical skills, academic concepts and theories to your project documentation and the authentically constructed materials that mirror real life scenarios. You will also undertake a dissertation to further demonstrate your knowledge, skills and understanding of selected conservation issues.

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

Full UK Fee: £13,995

Full EU Fee: £13,995

Full International Fee: £24,000

Additional Costs

Throughout the duration of your course you may incur costs for materials, these include; basic tools such as sable brushes, spatulas, scissors, tweezers, bone folder, scalpel handles, water colour sets, ceramic cop stick rest and small porcelain bowls. You will also require an A4 portfolio. To help you budget accordingly an approximate cost would be £200. There will also be an additional expense of approximately £50 to purchase a small framed and damaged artwork which will be used to support a number of scheduled workshops across the programme.

  • Click here for UK and EU Masters funding and scholarships information.
  • Click here for International Masters funding and scholarships information.
  • Click here for UK/EU Masters tuition fee information.
  • Click here for International Masters tuition fee information.
  • Click here for additional costs which may be involved while studying.
  • Click here for information on fee liability.

Your Future

This course will develop your skills and knowledge towards working effectively in the fine art conservation laboratories or conservation jobs across the world.

You may choose to work in galleries or museums, or progress your research to PhD level.

Recent illustrious alumni list, include Virginia Lladó-Buisán Head of Conservation & Collection Care Bodleian Libraries, Britta New, Paintings Conservator at the National Gallery in London and Eleanor Hasler, Head of Paper Conservation at Kew Gardens.

As your professional development is in-line with the current postgraduate professional standards for the Conservation of Fine Art, your access to postgraduate professional jobs within the conservation sector is likely to be enhanced.


Visit the Conservation of Fine Art MA page on the Northumbria University website for more details!

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