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Architectural Design for the Conservation of Built Heritage MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Architectural Design for the Conservation of Built Heritage MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Arts / Culture / Heritage Administration Building Conservation Architectural Design

Course type


Course Summary

Why this course?

Architectural conservation is an emerging area of work which requires specialist training and knowledge to deal with its multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature. It requires the development of a critical approach for the analysis and design of the intervention, informed by the shared international principles and the specific nature and context of the historic building to be conserved. The course provides a platform for collaboration with both practice and research partners, architectural critique, and discussion and debate.

Architectural conservation – the action of conserving built heritage while maintaining its values - is practiced differently across the world; sometimes not at all due to cultural and economic constraints.

We need to attract new talent to the field of architectural conservation. To work with historic buildings is an enriching experience, which combines the creative aspects of designing a new building with the in-depth research required to understand in full the building and its context. Working with historic buildings is also a great training to improve the design of new buildings, as you learn a great deal about the importance of design ideas, innovation, durability and care. It is also a very sociable work, interacting with a variety of people from all backgrounds, joining forces in helping current generations to enjoy historic buildings, to create community identities around them, and to transmit the buildings and their values to the future.

Glasgow and its surrounding area provide an excellent location for the course, with architectural heritage from all periods, from Roman to Medieval, Georgian, Victorian and contemporary, without forgetting the better known Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson’s buildings. Strathclyde has a lively international community of staff and students and we enjoy a privileged position in the centre of Glasgow.

What you'll study

The course is a platform for:

  • collaboration with both practice and research partners
  • architectural critique
  • discussion and debate

All full-time students take instructional classes and a design project in the first two semesters. MSc students then complete a dissertation project.

Compulsory taught classes are delivered intensively, making them more accessible to part-time students and Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Areas explored in classes include:

  • theory
  • history
  • survey
  • investigations
  • legislation
  • materials
  • structures

The course is informed by the outcomes of the research being carried out at the Architectural Design and Conservation Research Unit (ADCRU). It is a platform for collaboration with both practice and research partners; architectural critique, discussion and debate are fundamental parts of the course.


The course is fully recognised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC). The IHBC is the principal professional body for building conservation practitioners and historic environment specialists working in United Kingdom.

Students will also achieve PgCert and PgDip exit awards during this course.


We work closely with the University's Careers Service. They offer advice and guidance on career planning and looking for and applying for jobs. In addition they administer and publicise graduate and work experience opportunities.

Different course options

Full time | University of Strathclyde | 12 months | SEP-20

Study mode

Full time


12 months

Start date



This class aims to introduce and overview the research methodology and techniques used in the study of historic buildings. Student will be able to identify survey, assess and analyse the buildings and sites as well as the sources available for its study. It will bring the archive research, building analysis and historiography of a historic building together with more technical surveying methods and condition recording techniques. A unified approach to the analysis of a building is then promoted that will help you make informed choices during the design of an intervention. This is a semester 1 module.

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

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

A first or second-class Honours degree (or equivalent) in Architecture, Structural or Civil Engineering. Consideration will also be given to candidates with other relevant professional qualifications in a discipline related to the built environment and/or professional experience. Evidence of motivation will be sought. A portfolio of project work may be required from studio-based first qualification holders.