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Conservation Practice (MSc)

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


2 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Archaeological Conservation

Course type


Course Summary

This hands-on conversion programme is dedicated to teaching the next generation of conservators through problem-based learning on real heritage objects.

Our MSc Conservation Practice programme takes a theory into practice approach to bench conservation, led by accredited conservators and taught through lectures, seminars and laboratory practice.

Designed as a conversion programme for humanities and science graduates seeking a career in Conservation, this two-year programme offers significant experience working on archaeological and historical objects in the lab, plus real-world conservation placements.

Gaining a sophisticated understanding of theoretical principles and practical applications under expert tuition, you will become adept in the care and protection of cultural heritage artefacts through laboratory experience. Developing your skills in the practice of both new and traditional conservation techniques, you will amass considerable experience of working on cultural heritage objects from the UK and across the globe. More than this, you will demonstrate valuable transferable skills in project and resource management, problem solving and communication.

Taught by leading practitioners respected worldwide, our programme combines the knowledge and expertise to operate at professional conservation levels in the heritage sector, with a solid platform for pursuing future research.

Your strong interest in the subject is a given, but our internationally-respected entry-level programme does not require a fixed prerequisite volunteer or intern hours. The degree has been established as a conversion course making it ideal for those from humanities and science backgrounds. Within your application please share with us the evidence you have for your interest in the sector and your highest level of scientific qualification.

Celebrating the centenary of Archaeology and Conservation in 2020, we’re ranked in the world top 150 (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020) while our research ranked 12th among archaeology departments in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).


Preservation and decay of organic materials in burial, post-excavation or museum contexts is closely linked to environmental factors such as light, biological agents, pH and availability of oxygen and water. Managing organic collections in the long term requires manipulation of the environment to minimise deterioration. Making effective management and conservation decisions is only possible with understanding of materials and empirical evidence of the success of interventive and preventive treatments. Into the preservation equation must be input the needs of stakeholders, such as the public, and the practicalities of implementing decisions.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For tuition fees for this course, please visit our website.

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK/ international students

Please contact university and ask about this fee

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

This is a conversion course. Conversion courses allow you to study a subject unrelated to your undergraduate degree or current career, and support you with a change of career path. No prior knowledge or degree in the subject is required. Applicants should normally possess a higher education degree with a first or good upper second class Honours (UK), or a qualification recognised by the University as equivalent to this. This programme is suitable for graduates in Archaeology, History, Ancient History, Conservation and Heritage and the Sciences. If you have an arts-based degree you must supply evidence of your highest level of education within science. Evidence of an interest in or commitment to the cultural heritage sector will strengthen an application.