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Different course options

Study mode

Full time


3 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Art Conservation

Course type


Course Summary


The MA in the Conservation of Easel Paintings is a 3-year full-time course which will prepare you for a professional career. Its interdisciplinary nature brings together art history, fine arts and the natural sciences. Applicants usually have a BA or equivalent degree in any of these subjects. The student body is international, with a yearly intake limited to six students, which makes the teacher-student ratio exceptionally high. The course leads to an exceptionally high degree of employment upon graduation, in both the most reputable institutions and private conservation studios in the world, such as the National Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Getty, the National Trust, and the Royal Collection. The strong practical and intellectual focus of the degree is reflected in courses designed to build on knowledge and to develop both practical and decision making skills underpinned by ethical and scientific principles.

After graduating you will have gained practical experience in a range of real easel paintings conservation and will be able to design, carry out and evaluate conservation treatments proficiently and independently. You will be able to interpret results from technical study and relate them to practice, and will be able to plan and develop original research relating to easel painting conservation. You will gain critical and communication skills that will equip you for diverse careers in conservation and beyond.

Assessment: The course involves a variety of methods of assessment:

The range of assessment methods requires students to demonstrate skills through the production of coherent written, verbal and practical responses to the questions or problems set. Assessments include essays, written exams, coursework and presentations, culminating in a viva voce examination.

Careers and employability

The course is designed to produce graduates who are prepared for a professional career in the conservation of easel paintings, but also will equip you with highly transferable skills, which will prepare you for a wide range of employment opportunities, or further academic study. As well as being equipped with a detailed knowledge and understanding of the conservation of easel paintings, our graduates will gain:

  • The ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing
  • Intellectual independence and maturity; self-discipline and self-direction
  • Respect for the views of others
  • Project management through developing, conducting, and managing conservation and research projects independently
  • Ability to work in a team, collaborate and share resources

With these skills, Courtauld graduates go on to jobs in the international art world, usually in private practice or in museums such as the National Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Getty, the National Trust, and the Royal Collection.


The majority of the year is spent in the conservation studio undertaking practical conservation treatments. One third of the final year is devoted to an independent research project.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

UK qualifications: Successful applicants will normally hold a Bachelor’s degree in either Fine Art, History of Art, or in the Natural Sciences, and have achieved a good 2.1, considered to be an overall average 65% or above. Overseas qualifications: Equivalent to a good 2.1 in a UK first degree (e.g. US applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above).

University information

The Courtauld Institute of Art is a research-led, highly specialised independent college of the University of London, with one of the world’s most prestigious programmes of art history, curating, and conservation. The campus is located at Vernon Square in King’s Cross. The Courtauld’s renowned gallery is based in Somerset House and is home to the UK’s finest collection of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, amongst others, and...more

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