The MSc in Architectural Conservation is a taught course aimed at professionals and academics world-wide with an interest in architectural heritage including architects, engineers, archaeologists, art historians, geographers and surveyors.
This course is fully recognised by The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC). The course provides both a thorough understanding of architectural heritage and the skills required to contribute to the preservation and development of historic sites. Benefiting from its location in the historic town of Canterbury, the programme combines the study of conservation theory and philosophy with an exploration of the technical aspects of repair and reconstruction. The city’s stunning Cathedral provides students with an education resource, giving them the opportunity to learn from the conservation of a World Heritage Site.
Open to students and professionals with an interest in architectural heritage, the course represents an ideal gateway to a career in demanding professional fields, such as conservation-oriented architectural practice, conservation consultancy and heritage management. As the future leaders in these fields, the course’s graduates are expected to play a central role in disciplines that lie at the centre of the current economic, environmental and social agendas.
This programme is offered jointly within two faculties, Humanities and Sciences.
Research at Kent School of Architecture achieves excellence in both the history and theory of architecture and in sustainable urban, peri-urban and environmental design. School staff have design expertise and specialist knowledge; they are at the forefront of current architectural issues, including sustainability, technology, professional practice and research. Our staff are active at academic and professional conferences, both nationally and internationally, and appear and publish in local and national media. The School promotes innovative and interdisciplinary research, emphasising sustainable design.
Much of the project work involved in the Kent School of Architecture is located on 'live' sites in the local region, using real clients and engaging challenging issues. Students in all stages of the school have been introduced to real urban and architectural design challenges in Lille, Margate, Folkestone, Dover, Rye, Chatham and, of course, Canterbury. Much of this work involves liaising with external bodies, such as architects, planners, council and development groups.
The MSc is composed of four taught modules (two modules per term full-time, one module per term part-time) and a dissertation on the topic of your own choice.
The programme has a varied curriculum which reflects the multidisciplinary nature of conservation. The autumn term cultivates a critical understanding of historic buildings and provides an introduction to conservation philosophy and policy. The acquisition of a strong theoretical background is the basis for the study of practical techniques for the survey and preservation of architectural heritage.
Case studies and workshops carried out in collaboration with Canterbury Cathedral introduce you to the properties of historic building materials and the techniques employed in the repair of historic buildings. This aspect of the programme benefits from cutting-edge survey equipment and the use of conservation laboratories. A conservation project offers you the opportunity to design an intervention to an existing historic site in the historic centre of Canterbury. The dissertation that concludes the programme invites you to study an aspect of the conservation cycle of your choice, employing a high standard of scholarship.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
AR841 - Structural Appraisal of Historic Buildings (30 credits) AR842 - The Legislative Framework (30 credits) AR843 - Intervention at Historic Buildings (30 credits) AR844 - Conservation Principles (30 credits) AR898 - Dissertation: MSc in Architectural Conservation (60 credits)
Assessment is mostly through coursework, with essays, reports, projects and the dissertation.
The programme aims to:
- ensure you are equipped with academic, professional, and personal skills and qualities that enable you to make a positive contribution related to the preservation of historic buildings.
- cultivate an appreciation of the different values that people can attach to historic buildings and places.
- promote an awareness of traditional building crafts as a valuable cultural resource.
- develop a thorough understanding of the processes that maintain and enhance historic places and the activities that change them.
- develop knowledge of the theoretical, historical, and professional context of architectural conservation.
- promote multidisciplinary collaboration and interaction with a wide range of professional bodies and individuals who have a role to play in the development of the built environment.
- ensure graduates develop the knowledge and confidence necessary to provide informed and specialist advice and to cultivate an awareness of their responsibility as consultants in the field of architectural conservation.
- understand the role that architectural conservation has to play as part of the modern ecological agenda.
- encourage the observation of the historic environment as a whole and its use as an educational resource.
- provide teaching informed by research and scholarship.
- develop an understanding of how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research.
- enable you to develop strategies for self-improvement and commitment to research and learning.
- build on close ties within Europe and elsewhere, reflecting Kent’s position as the UK’s European university.
- promote the understanding and preservation of local and national architectural heritage.
Our Master’s programmes have been devised to enhance your prospects in a competitive world. Professionals in the architectural, planning, environmental design and conservation fields who develop higher-level skills, accredited by relevant bodies, will find themselves well-placed to progress in their field. Our students have gone on to work for major public agencies and universities, as well as leading practitioners in the private sector.