PDF version of Conservation for Archaeology and Museums MSc

Contact details

Professor Andrew Reynolds

Email: a.reynolds@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 1522

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£8,250 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£21,000 (FT)

UK and EU students who intend to enrol for this degree are eligible to apply for AHRC Funding for MA Museum Studies.

UK students may also apply to the Anna Plowden Trust.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

More information

Prospectus Entry


Key facts

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. 

Conservation for Archaeology and Museums MSc

Designed for students wishing to pursue a career in the practice of heritage conservation, this programme consists of one year's training at the Institute, with an emphasis on developing practical experience under specialist guidance in the conservation laboratories, followed by a ten-month assessed conservation internship in a museum or similar institution.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

Students gain an in-depth understanding of, and foundation training in, the practice of conservation of archaeological and museum objects and develop critically aware approaches to diagnosis, problem solving and conservation treatments. They gain practical training and an understanding of the professional context in which conservation takes place.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology has an established and widely recognised strength in providing academic and professional training in the practice of conservation, and many of its graduates are now employed in key posts around the world.

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:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 2 years

Students undertake modules to the value of 360 credits. The programme consists of three core modules (120 credits), in year one, a dissertation (90 credits), and an Internship (150 credits) in year two.

Year one

  • Core Modules
  • Conservation Processes
  • Conservation Studies
  • Conservation: Materials Science
  • Year two
  • During year two, all students undertake supervised work experience in a professional environment
  • Years one and two
  • Dissertation


  • There are no optional modules for this programme.


All MSc 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 lectures, seminars, practical demonstrations, practical sessions and one-to-one practical tutorials. The programme is assessed in year one through essays, projects and conservation practical work on museum-quality objects; and in year two, through practical projects, progress reports and oral presentation.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Plus Principles of Conservation MA or equivalent, or professional conservation experience.

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

The final deadline for submitting complete applications, including references is 15 January. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is normally open only to those who have successfully completed the Principles of Conservation MA. Applicants also require a good knowledge of chemistry and will need to provide evidence of manual dexterity and normal colour vision. Relevant experience (e.g. in conservation, archaeology or museums) is an advantage.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Conservation for Archaeology and Museums at graduate level
  • why you want to study Conservation for Archaeology and Museums at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


A very high proportion of our graduates go on to pursue careers in conservation in local and national museums, art galleries and heritage organisations (in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia).

Recent graduates are working in institutions such as the British Museum; the Victoria and Albert Museum; the Natural History Museum; York Archaeological Trust; the National Archives; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington; the National Palace Museum, Taiwan. Several students have also gone on to PhD studies at both UCL and elsewhere.

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

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