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Conservation of the Historic Environment - MA / PgCert / PgDip

Conservation of the Historic Environment - MA / PgCert / PgDip

Different course options

Study mode

Part time


2 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Heritage Administration/Management Building Conservation Environmental Studies

Course type


Course Summary

This Conservation of the Historic Environment course will help you obtain key knowledge in the conservation of buildings and the historic environment with practical skills-based workshops and lectures. Our alumni find employment as conservation officers, and can apply via their professional body to become accredited conservation architects, engineers and surveyors, as well as skilled conservation contractors. The programme is recognised as having the biggest cohort in the country (Conservation Course Directors Forum 2016). Accredited by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), if you need to understand a building or landscape in order to apply appropriate conservation techniques managing change in the historic environment, this course is for you.

Through introducing a range of different skillsets and disciplines, our course gives you the skills to become a professional within the field of historic building conservation. The foundations of conservation are introduced through firstly establishing the basic concepts, understanding philosophical, legal and historical aspects of British buildings. You will experience an emphasis on practical learning within the course as you choose from a series of workshops surrounding building materials. Explore and acquire a range of specialist industry skills in areas such as metal and timber, ceramic building materials and the use of lime in historic buildings.

As well as instilling the fundamental skills needed to be a professional in the field of conservation, the course also prides itself on producing professionals that are able to manage and lead a project from visualisation and design, through to implementation. The second year provides insights into the realities of a project, such as ensuring sustainability and financial viability, encouraging forward thinking professionals that are able to see a project through to completion. The second year also focuses on building elements and the historic environment, including working in a range of environments from historic interiors, parks and gardens to exploring the heritage of canals. A dissertation at the end of the second year culminates all of the knowledge, perspectives and practical skills that you have developed whilst on the course, and provides the opportunity to specialise in an area of conservation that you have found most stimulating.

The programme encourages a diverse learning environment, encapsulating site visits to live projects, case studies at stunning locations including National Trust, hands on practical workshops as well as class room based presentations and group work. Assessment is based on case studies and relevant industry templates.

Opportunity: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market. It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles. Students can progress into the MA after successful completion of the PgCert and PgDip.


Those involved with the management of our heritage work with a finite resource which they must manage appropriately to ensure its long-term survival. This module is designed to develop your understanding of constructive conservation - from the identification of building defects and the palette of remediation techniques, through accessing funding, knowledge of contemporary issues of energy efficiency, ideas of localism in relation to the historic built environment as well as approaches to sustainable heritage management.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

Contact University and ask about this fee

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Candidates require a good honours degree (2.1) plus some built environment experience or practical construction experience in heritage and conservation. Entry at Diploma Level may be considered with those with a skills background eg Bricklayer – City and Guilds, or NVQs. Candidates who wish to transfer with existing credits from other institutions must contact the Academic Director in the first instance to see whether these are transferable and acceptable against part of the Conservation of the Historic Environment degree.