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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 work placement in a museum or similar institution.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 2 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£10,430 (FT) £5,350 (PT)
£25,130 (FT) £12,680 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 1 April 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Second-year UK/EU and Overseas students pay 50% of the UK/EU full-time fee for the second-year internship.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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 and equivalent of the Principles of Conservation MA or significant professional conservation experience.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

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

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

  • Conservation Processess
  • Conservation Studies
  • Conservation: Materials Science

Optional modules

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  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.


During their second year, all students undertake superised work experience in a professional environment. 

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Conservation for Archaeology and Museums MSc


Institute of Archaeology Master's Awards: A small number of grants of £1,000 are available for the academic year 2017/18. All UK/EU and Overseas fee paying students with an offer to start any Master's degree offered by the IoA are eligible to apply. For an application form please email Lisa Daniel. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2017.

UK students may also apply to the Anna Plowden Trust.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS) - NOW CLOSED FOR 2016/17

Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Overseas students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


A very high proportion of our graduates go on to pursue careers in conservation in local and national museums, and heritage organisations (in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia). In addition graduates also progress to doctoral studies at both UCL and elsewhere.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Conservator, Antiques Vault
  • Conservator, British Museum
  • Conservation Laboratory Supervisor, UCL Qatar
  • Assistant Objects Conservator, Cincinnati Art Museum
  • Objects Conservator, Bevaringstenestene - Museumssenteret i Hordaland (The servic


The programme prepares students for entry into the conservation profession on graduation and ensures that graduates are able to meet the challenges of a long-term career as a practising conservator.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why 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 UCL'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.

Department: Institute of Archaeology

Student / staff numbers › 63 staff including 27 postdocs › 258 taught students › 115 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology
75% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. 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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
1 April 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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