Professor Andrew Reynolds
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 1522
Fees and funding
UK and EU students are eligible to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council funding.
Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website
Research Assessment Rating
60% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
(What is the RAE?)
The programme information on this page relates to 2013 entry. 2014 content to appear here shortly.
Principles of Conservation MA
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.
What will I learn?
Students gain an in-depth understanding of approaches to collections care, risk assessment, conservation strategies, ethics, management and professionalism, and develop critically aware perspectives on professional practice and research processes.
Why should I study this degree at UCL?
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 the College'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.
See subject website for more information:
Availability: Full-time 1 year; Part-time 2 years
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).
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.
Teaching and Learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, lectures, small-group tutorials and practical projects. Some courses include visits to conservation workshops and museums, including the British Museum and the Museum of London. Assessment is through coursework, essays, project reports and the dissertation.
Further details available on subject website:
Entry and application
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree normally in archaeology, anthropology, history of art or the physical sciences from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Degrees in other subjects may be accepted, and relevant experience (e.g. in conservation, archaeology or museums) is an advantage.
For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.
How to apply
You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. The final deadline for submitting complete applications, including references, is 1 April 2013. Please contact the department if applying after this date to see if places are available. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
The programme does not provide practical training in objects conservation, but is an excellent preparation for scientists wishing to undertake research in conservation science, or for those considering a career in collections care and management. It is a prerequisite for the two-year MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums; together these two programmes provide a professional training in conservation practice.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Principles of Conservation at graduate level
- why you want to study Principles of Conservation at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
- whether you have any previous experience of work in the general heritage field (e.g. as a volunteer)
- where you would like to go professionally with the MA in Principles of Conservation
- whether you intend to take this programme as a prerequisite for the MSc in Conservation for Archaeology in Museums
- how you envisage your career if you take both the MA and MSc degrees
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 (in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia). Some students have also used this degree as a platform to become a PhD candidate at both UCL and elsewhere.
Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website: