MA by Research

Key Information


1 year


2 years

Entry Requirements

See More


Brayford Pool

Start Dates in October and February

Programme Overview

MA by Research Conservation is designed for students who are keen to undertake an in-depth project of their choice in a particular field of conservation, with the guidance of an expert academic supervisor. You are expected to write a dissertation of around 25,000 words that demonstrates expert knowledge and understanding of the subject area you have chosen. This degree is best suited to students who have a tightly defined research project that is achievable within the time frame.

Students can benefit from the specialist knowledge of academics who are engaged in the Centre for Conservation and Cultural Heritage Research. You will also have access to a range of analytical equipment and technical expertise.

As a postgraduate research student, you are encouraged to participate in the School of Humanities and Heritage's lively culture of research seminars and events, as well as postgraduate forums, training and social events.

Key Features

Conduct independent and academically significant research

Benefit from training courses to develop key research skills

Supervision and support from expert academic staff

Present at talks and seminars to showcase your work

Enrol in February or October each year

Students and staff in the Wren Library

How You Study

Study takes the form of supervised individual research, so the majority of the time is spent in independent study. You will need to take considerable responsibility for your studies, including time management, project planning and writing drafts of your work. You are expected to submit appropriate work regularly to your supervisors and to act on the feedback received.

You will have regular meetings with your academic supervisors who will discuss the development of the research, comment on written drafts, and agree the next stage of work.

Research Areas and Topics

Our team of Conservation academics have particularly strengths in these areas:

  • Archaeological conservation
  • Paint and pigment analysis
  • Preventive conservation
  • Material culture studies
  • Cultural history
  • Analysis of historic materials

You can find out more about current research projects connected to the Centre for Conservation and Cultural Heritage Research.

You can consult all the academic profiles of staff in Lincoln’s School of Humanities and Heritage

How you are assessed

The assessment takes the form of a 25,000-word dissertation.

How to Apply

To support your experience within the postgraduate research community, new students are encouraged to enrol in October or February, although alternative dates may be agreed with your supervisors on an individual basis. When writing your research proposal, please take note of the following guidance:

Writing a Research Proposal
  • A research proposal will only be considered if there are academics in the subject with an interest in your field. Please study the staff profiles closely to make sure there is at least one member of staff whose interests intersect broadly with your own.
  • The research proposal should be 1,000-2,000 words in length.
  • Clearly define the topic you are interested in, and demonstrate understanding of the relevant research area.
  • Include two or three research questions that you will explore in your research.
  • Outline the research methodologies/approaches you will use to undertake the research.
  • Include a provisional bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
  • You might include a brief literature review of the key works that relate to your topic, and signal how these inform your approach to your subject.
  • Sketch out a provisional plan of work that includes research/archival visits and a timetable for the writing of chapters.
  • Make sure the proposal is well presented with sections and subheadings and is free of errors.

Applicants with appropriate projects will be offered an interview with the programme leader and one or more subject specialists where the application can be discussed in more detail.


Applicants with appropriate proposals will be offered an interview with the programme leader and one or more subject specialists, who will discuss with you in more detail the research proposal and your suitability to undertake it.

How to Apply

Postgraduate Research Application Support

Find out more about the application process for research degrees and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page, which also features contact details for dedicated support with your application.

How to Apply
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Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

First or upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject.

Vitally, you will need to submit a research proposal along with your application form. The proposal forms the basis of your programme of study, as well as demonstrating your suitability to undertake the project.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. .

Programme Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below. Research students may be required to pay additional fees in addition to cover the cost of specialist resources, equipment and access to any specialist collections that may be required to support their research project. These will be informed by your research proposal and will be calculated on an individual basis.

Programme Fees

Funding Your Research

Loans and Studentships

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate research, from Master's and Doctoral Loans, to research studentship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Career Development

Graduates from Lincoln’s Conservation programmes have gained employment as conservators in museums, galleries, historic houses, and conservation agencies, both 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. An MA by Research can also be the basis for embarking on a PhD in Conservation of Cultural Heritage and potentially an academic career.

The University’s Doctoral School provides a focal point for Lincoln’s community of researchers, where ideas and experiences can be developed and shared across disciplines. It also offers support and training to help equip you for both academic and non-academic careers.

Doctoral School

Academic Contact

For more information about this course, please contact:

Dr Rebecca Styler

Research at Lincoln

Through our research, we are striving to change society for the better. Working with regional, national, and international partners, our academics are engaged in groundbreaking studies that are challenging the status quo. We also understand the importance of providing the best possible environment for pursuing research that can support our communities and make a tangible difference to the world around us.

Explore Our Research
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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.