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MA Conservation of Historic Objects

1 year 2-3 years School of History & Heritage Lincoln Campus [L] Validated

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Distance Learning

This course is also available as a distance learning option.

  Download and view the ‌Conservation of Historic Objects Blended Learning Leaflet (PDF)

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The MA Conservation of Historic Objects is a hands-on programme, taught by experts in the field, giving you the opportunity to develop a wide range of advanced conservation skills in preparation for a career in the heritage sector.

The University of Lincoln aims to provide an ideal environment in which to advance your knowledge and conservation skills at postgraduate level.

You will have access to a wide variety of historic materials and can choose to focus on remedial treatment, preventive conservation or collections management.

For those already working in conservation, a blended learning option allows submission of practical projects derived from your current place of employment.

The School of History & Heritage has strong links with museums, professional bodies and agencies in the heritage field, which can provide opportunities for placements and study abroad. Please see the Features tab for more information regarding the potential costs of these placements.

Days Taught

2/3 days per week for practical classes. Theory classes are blocked to offer students flexibility and run on four separate weeks each year.

How You Study

Most Conservation tutors and technicians are qualified conservators with a wide range of professional experience in the museum and heritage industry. Blended learning opportunities combining flexibility, support and academic rigour also exist for those already working in conservation.

The composition and delivery for the course breaks down differently for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, practicals, work placements, research and one-to-one learning.

Contact and Independent Study

Weekly contact hours on this programme may vary depending on the individual module options chosen and the stage of study.

Postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend two - three hours in independent study.

For more detailed information please contact the programme leader.

How You Are Assessed

The programme utilises a full range of assessment including essays, reports, practical work, seminar and poster presentation and research project/dissertation.

Students on the blended learning option are required to submit a monthly report to monitor their progress and sessions through Skype or over the phone are offered by the module tutor.

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.

Interviews & Applicant Days

For international applicants, where interview is not possible, submission of a full-CV and supporting electronic portfolio is required.

We encourage all applicants to attend an interview. Interviews through Skype or over the phone can be accommodated for international applications. Submission of a full CV and supporting electronic portfolio is required.

Entry Requirements

Direct entry to the MA requires a minimum 2:2 honours degree in conservation, or equivalent professional conservation experience.

For those looking to enter the conservation profession from other degree courses, or from a non-conservation background, you can consider our Graduate Diploma route:

This is a one-year intensive introduction to conservation, which can give you the opportunity to gain the qualification necessary to apply for the MA.

International Students will require English Language at IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each element, or equivalent.

Key Contacts

Melina Smirniou
+44 (0)1522 895066

+44 (0)1522 837171

Masters Level

Collections Management

Using scientific analysis and evaluation of the internal and external environment supported by theoretical study, students have the opportunity to develop a thorough understanding of preventative conservation, collections management and the causes of deterioration in historic objects.

Conservation Management/ Professional Studies

The management of conservation as a topic of research and study is fairly new. Theories and concepts taken from the general field of management studies can be applied to the discipline of conservation and the conservation profession has generated a small selection of such texts in recent years. With changes in the employment patterns of conservators, the need for management skills has become more pronounced.

This module offers students the chance to develop a background understanding and the opportunity to build confidence and skills in this area, whilst preparing for entry into the profession. Students are given opportunities to consider the development of their CVs and portfolios through various aspects of the study.

Interpreting Objects

This module aims to allow the student the opportunity to place historic objects in a museological, cultural, artistic, spiritual and technological context. It examines how museums have developed in their educational role and factors relevant to the interpretation of objects such as past cultural imperialism, views on class and gender together with current approaches to cultural diversity and social inclusion. The study is related to the conservator’s intervention and the handling, storage and treatment of historic material. The module aims to foster the development of teamwork and presentation skills through one of the assessment elements.

Negotiated Theory and Practice I

This module is designed to allow students the opportunity to further their practical skills through the treatment of challenging and complex historical objects. There is a considerable focus on the practical treatments of complex composite objects. This involves many hours of supervised workshop access.

Negotiated Theory and Practice II

This double module allows students the opportunity to further their practical skills through the treatment of challenging and complex historical objects.

Research Methods in Conservation

This research methods unit is designed to prepare students for their Research Project which is undertaken during the summer semester. This may be conducted within the University, or outside, for instance, in a museum or laboratory in the UK or overseas. Please note that students are expected to cover their own travel, accommodation and general living expenses during the completion of the research project. These costs are likely to vary depending on where the student chooses to conduct their research.

Research Project (MA Conservation and Restoration)

This module allows students to undertake a major independent research project in an area of their own choice. Students are allocated a dissertation tutor following their decision to on the topic to be researched. Regular tutorials with the dissertation tutor are designed to monitor students' time management.

Please note that students are expected to cover their own travel, accommodation and general living expenses during the completion of the research project. These costs are likely to vary depending on where the student chooses to conduct their research.

Special Features

A good reputation has been built within the Cultural Heritage Sector that ensures fine quality and challenging objects are often trusted to the University for treatment.

International Study Visit

MA students on this programme may have the opportunity to join undergraduate and Diploma students on an optional international study visit. In the past these have included Berlin, Athens, Amsterdam and Florence. Please note that students are expected to cover their travel, accommodation and general living costs when taking part in an optional study visit.


The unit has strong links with local, regional and national museums, professional bodies and agencies in the heritage field. International links can provide opportunities for placements and study abroad. Please note that students are required to cover their accommodation, travel and general living expenses when on a placement or studying abroad.

Opportunities may also be available through the University's renowned conservation consultancy, Crick Smith. Where opportunities arise, the consultancy invites students to apply to work on live projects, which can offer valuable professional experience.

Please visit for more information on the consultancies' work.


As a postgraduate student, you will have the opportunity to work in purpose-designed, well-equipped workshops. You will have the chance to work on objects of historic and cultural importance from museums, historic houses, private collections and ecclesiastical sources.

Blended learning students are able to borrow portable equipment kits for examination and environmental monitoring.

Career and Personal Development

Graduates have gained employment as conservators in museums, galleries, historic houses and conservation agencies, nationally and internationally. Internships have included roles in natural history at the Horniman Museum, mechanical objects at Edinburgh Museum and textile conservation for the National Trust at Blickling.

Careers Services

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities.
The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages here

Other Costs

Additional Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

Research Project

Students on this programme are expected to complete a Research Project which is undertaken during the summer semester. This may be conducted within the University, or outside, for instance, in a museum or laboratory in the UK or overseas. Please note that students are expected to cover their own travel, accommodation and general living expenses during the completion of the research project. These costs are likely to vary depending on where students choose to conduct their research.

Programme Specific Funding & Bursaries

The School of History & Heritage and Lamport Hall Preservation Trust are pleased to offer two bursaries for students who have been accepted onto the MA in Conservation of Historic Objects at the University of Lincoln. Each bursary is worth up to £2000 towards the UK/EU course fee.

Interested candidates must send a supporting statement of 350 words outlining how the bursary will aid their studies and how they might make use of the collections and archives of Lamport Hall.

The successful applicants will be required to submit a brief report to the Lamport Hall Trustees by the end of their studies on a project they have carried out during the MA programme, explaining how the bursary was helpful and what their future plans are.

Supporting statements and further enquires can be directed to Dr Jim Cheshire: or Dr Melina Smirniou: by 9th of September 2016.

Tuition Fees

   2016/17 Entry*
Home/EU £7,100
(including Alumni Scholarship 30% reduction)
(including Non-Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction)
International £15,700
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)
 Part-time Home/EU  £39 per credit point
 Part-time International  £87 per credit point

* Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility


A new system of postgraduate loans for Masters courses will be introduced in the UK, beginning from the 2016-17 academic year. Under the new scheme Individuals will be able to borrow up to £10,000 for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate Masters qualification.


As a postgraduate student you may be eligible for scholarships in addition to those shown above.

Guidance for Part-time Postgraduate Fees

To complete a standard Masters Taught programme, you must complete 180 credit points.

Full time students will be invoiced for the programme in full upon initial enrolment.

For part-time students, tuition fees are payable each credit point enrolled. To calculate your part-time fees, multiply the part-time fee per credit point by the number of credits you intend to complete within that academic year. This is usually between 60 and 90 credit points per year.

For example, if the fee per credit point for your programme is £38, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2280.


For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.