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.


Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,750
  • UK/EU Part-time: £4,400
  • Overseas Full-time: £17,000
  • Overseas Part-time: £8,500

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 May 2014

More details in Application section.


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.


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).

Core Modules

  • Issues in Conservation: Context of Conservation
  • Issues in Conservation: Understanding Objects
  • Conservation in Practice: Preventive Conservation
  • Conservation in Practice: Conservation Management

Options

  • Archaeometallurgy 1: Mining and Extractive Technology
  • Archaeometallurgy 2: Metallic Artefacts
  • Archaeological Ceramics Analysis
  • Archaeological Glass and Glazes
  • Archaeology and Education
  • Archaeology and Ethnicity
  • Approaches to Artefact Studies
  • Chemistry for Archaeology and Conservation
  • Critical Perspectives on Cultural Heritage
  • Managing Archaeological Sites
  • Managing Museums
  • Museum and Site Interpretation
  • Public Archaeology
  • Rock Art Studies: Theories, Methods and Management

Dissertation/report

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:


Funding

A small number of IoA Masters Award bursaries, normally in the region of £1,000, are available each year.

Scholarships available for this department

Kathleen Kenyon Awards

Gordon Childe Studentship

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.


Entry requirements

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.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Good

How to apply

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 May 2014. Please contact the department if applying after this date to see if places are available.

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


Career

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.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Archaeological Services Inc, Field Archaeologist, 2011
  • British Library, Library Assistant, 2011
  • English Heritage, Visitor Operations Team Member, 2011
  • Fashion and Textile Museum, Museum Assistant, 2011
  • National Heritage of Singapapore, Assistant Conservationist, 2011

Next steps

Contact

Professor Andrew Reynolds

T: +44 (0)20 7679 7495

W: Institute of Archaeology

Apply

APPLY HERE

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Staff View

"UCL Archaeology has a great atmosphere for both staff and students; it's a great place to work, and with so many experts passing through from different countries to give lectures and seminars it is very much the centre of the archaeological world."

Professor Mike Parker Pearson

Professor of British Later Prehistory

Student View

"The Institute of Archaeology's library has been an invaluable tool due to the huge amount of material available that is related to our field, and is one of my favourite things about the institute."

Alexandra Salamunovich

Degree: Archaeology MA