MA in Principles of Conservation


Co-ordinator: Renata Peters
Other Major Contributors: James Hales, Caitlin O'Grady and Dean Sully

This MA degree programme provides an introduction to the principles, theory and ethics of archaeological conservation. It is aimed at:

  • students who need a good understanding of conservation issues before going on to research in conservation (eg graduates in the physical sciences)
  • students who want to focus on care and management of collections
  • students who are wanting to become practising conservators by continuing to the two-year MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums (for which the MA is a pre-requisite)
  • it provides training for those with a science degree who want to become conservation scientists.  
  • it is also suitable as mid-career development for students who have received training in practical conservation during the course of their employment, and are now looking for a theoretical background and a recognised qualification and/or update their conservation knowledge

The programme, set within a broad heritage context, explores issues and practicalities relating to the care and conservation of a wide variety of objects and structures. It is available either full-time over one calendar year or part-time over two calendar years (commencing September). The programme does not provide training in the practice of conservation; this is the objective of the MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums. Students who want to carry on for the MSc would normally have some background in chemistry (further details). The two degree programmes together make up a package which prepares students for professional practice (see here for further information).

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. The Institute was one of the first recipients of the Conservation and Heritage Management Award, from the Archaeological Institute of America, for exceptional achievement in these fields. Students benefit from the Institute's emphasis on the role of heritage in today's society, from the art and archaeology collections of University College London, and from the unrivalled resources of London's museums.

The Institute of Archaeology supports the principles of the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the 1995 Unidroit Convention and is unique as a UK academic department in having an ethics policy concerning the illicit trade in antiquities.

Bookmark and Share