History of Art


MSc News

Keep up to date with the latest news from the MSc Conservation of Contemporary Art and Media, based at UCL East.

a group of people stood in front of a stone wall
Guest session: Emma Schmuecker 
Huge thank you to Emma Schmuecker the Conservation Studio Manager for the National Trust. As part of the module Communicating Conservation staff and students of the MSc in the Conservation of Contemporary Art and Media spent a fascinating afternoon at the Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio looking at how the National Trust are communicating with their visitors about the conservation work they are doing. We were very impressed with the accessibility of the display and the work of the volunteers to engage the public in the work of the studio. We also enjoyed seeing the deer in the park surrounding Knole!

a group of people stood outside
Guest session: Alexandra Nichols and Daniella Briceňo Villamil
Huge thank you to time-based media conservator Alexandra Nichols and graduate conservation intern Daniella Briceňo Villamil for giving the staff and students from the MSc Conservation of Contemporary Art and Media a wonderful tour of time-based media conservation at Tate on the 22 March. It was fantastic to see the range of artworks being prepared for display from sound, to film to software-controlled sculptures. Thank you for such a stimulating morning!  


a woman with long dark hair smiles at the camera
Student spotlight: Lauren Chiu

Lauren Chiu is a postgraduate student at UCL History of Art, studying the Conservation of Contemporary Art and Media MSc at UCL East. She is the recipient of a UCL East scholarship.

Read all about her experience as a UCL student so far.


4 UCL students walking in front of a sign that says UCL Disruptive thinking since 1826

UCL East Scholarships
If you're considering applying to the MSc, there may be funding available to help support your journey. UCL East London Scholarships fund fees and living costs of all UCL East Master's programmes. You need to be a permanent resident of, or have completed GCSEs or A-levels, in specific East London boroughs. Aziz Foundation Scholarships provide funding for British Muslim students (other eligibility criteria apply) pursuing a Master’s degree at UCL Social & Historical Sciences. 


a group stand around a box
Guest session: Adrian Finn

Our students were introduced to various historical audiovisual media and technologies used by artists and the different forms their examination can take. Video engineer and preservation specialist Adrian Finn introduced our students to the basics of analogue video and the important things to consider when examining magnetic video tapes. They were thrilled to see the inner workings of a U-matic tape deck (part of a state-of-the-art equipment rack in our Media Conservation Studio) and the transport mechanism that winds the tape around the spinning tape heads. 


a class in a computer room
Guest session: Dr Tom Ensom

Computer-based art conservator Dr Tom Ensom led a two-day workshop on disk imaging, and the students successfully imaged and emulated (for the first time!) some CD-ROM-based artworks from iniva.



a group stand around a light box

Guest session: Lynn Loo

We were also joined by Lynn Loo - a renowned filmmaker, artist, and film archivist at the BFI - who introduced the students to the basics of film and film preservation and gave us an insight into her own creative practice. She performed one of her dual projector 16mm artworks for us, and our students created, spliced together, and projected their own looped 16mm artwork.


Sue Shepherd teaching a class on the MSc in the Conservation of Contemporary Art and Media at UCL East
Guest Session: Sue Shepherd
We were so lucky to have the opportunity to learn from Sue Shepherd's extraordinary expertise on the technologies involved in neon artworks and their conservation. Thank you, Sue, for taking us through what impacts the colour of the tubes, the different supports, how transformers have evolved, and how neon artworks age and what we can do to document and care for them. 

Sue brought a fantastic array of examples to the UCL East Conservation Lab. The MSc in the Conservation of Contemporary Art and Media cohort could see the different technologies, handle the various tubes, and see them light up! We came away with a greater understanding of how to care for neon artworks and the skill involved in their creation. The conservation of light-based artworks is a fascinating area of contemporary art conservation.

Dr Bronwyn Ormsby teaching a class on the MSc in the Conservation of Contemporary Art and Media at UCL East

Guest Session: Dr Bronwyn Ormsby

Thank you to Dr Bronwyn Ormsby for coming in to teach us about recent developments in the cleaning systems on the MSc in the Conservation of Contemporary Art and Media. Using our test boards to compare various cleaning options, from dry cleaning with sponges and erasers, pH-adjusted waters, and more sophisticated gels and microemulsions, was excellent. It was good to get a feel for these different materials and consider the environmental impacts of these different systems.


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MSc welcomes Class of 2023! 

We are delighted to welcome our first cohort to our MSc in the Conservation of Contemporary Art and Media programme at UCL East. We hope you all have a wonderful experience!



media and tech

Join our MSc Team as Media Conservation Studio Co-ordinator

We need a 0.5 FTE Media Conservation Studio Co-ordinator to support our MSc. You should have knowledge of a range of the technologies, hardware and software encountered in time-based media art.



Marshgate UCL East panoramic view

UCL East Marshgate opens to the public in September 2023

You can soon join us at Marshgate, which will feature academic, retail, community and engagement uses. The central atrium will encourage inclusivity and community engagement.


fund your future ucl east london scholarships
Applications open for UCL East London Scholarships

UCL is piloting a new scheme offering people in East London free tuition fees and a £15,000 living allowance to advance their careers with a Master's degree at our new UCL East campus.



key handing over paola ucl east

Key moment for Marshgate on our UCL East campus

Work is underway to put the finishing touches to the interior of the Marshgate building of our new UCL East campus, after it was handed over to UCL by construction partners Mace on Friday 17 March.