Institute of Archaeology

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This course examines the historical, political, cultural and professional aspects of conservation, and elucidates the role of conservation in archaeology and museums.

Aims of the course

This course examines the nature and history of conservation, and discusses practical, professional and ethical issues. It focuses on the role of conservation in related disciplines, and on political, cultural and institutional contexts and their effects on conservation practice.

The course is linked to ARCLG142 Issues in Conservation: Understanding Objects and together these make up one of the two main core courses for the MA in Principles of Conservation.


At the end of the course, you should:

  • understand the history and development of conservation, and the role it plays in the study and appreciation of the cultural heritage
  • be familiar with the ethical principles which normally govern conservation processes
  • understand the effects of context and specialism on the approach to conservation
  • be aware of current developments in the conservation profession, including accreditation
  • be familiar with different modes of communicating conservation to fellow professionals and to the public
  • be able to discuss and present current conservation issues

Teaching Methods

The course is taught through weekly two-hour lectures and smaller group tutorials.


As part of the assessed work for this course, students are asked to design and produce a poster communicating an aspect of conservation of their choice.

The topic proposed for 2012-13 is:

Previous topics:

  • Code: ARCLG141
  • Credits: 15
  • Coordinator: Renata Peters
  • Prerequisite: This course does not have a prerequisite. However, students will need proficiency in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint and/or Photoshop.
  • Handbook: open»

For registered students

Availability: Runs every year

  • ARCLG141 Coursework Poster 2011-12 (S. Thomson)
  • ARCLG141 Coursework Poster 2011-12 (L. Stewart)
  • ARCLG141 Coursework Poster 2010-11 (S. Minnet)
  • ARCLG141 Coursework Poster 2010-11 (M. Miller)
  • ARCLG141 Coursework Poster 2010-11 (L. Sapsford)

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