MA Conservation of Cultural Heritage

The School’s academics are leading researchers, authors and editors of books, contributors to international research projects and conferences, broadcasters, conservators, and experts in heritage.

The Course

The MA Conservation of Cultural Heritage 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. Opportunities may be available to work with the University's commercial consultancy, Lincoln Conservation.

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 and 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.

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


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.

Work experience may also be available through the University's renowned conservation consultancy, Lincoln Conservation. When opportunities arise, students may work on live projects and gain valuable professional experience.

Please visit for more information.

Collections Management and Care (Option)
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Collections Management and Care (Option)

The module provides the underpinning theoretical study for understanding the principles and practice of collections management and care. The module introduces student to the “life-cycle” of museum objects and covers key issues concerning collections development, management of the internal and external environment, collections documentation and care. Procedures such as collections surveys, risk management, and emergency planning will be considered.

Conservation Practice (Core)
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Conservation Practice (Core)

This is a practical module covering the conservation treatment of one or more complex object(s) of cultural heritage. Exact content will depend on object type chosen. This module allows students to choose to specialise in a specific material discipline, or alternatively to pursue broader options.

Conservation Practice and Sharing Knowledge (Core)
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Conservation Practice and Sharing Knowledge (Core)

This is a practical module covering the conservation treatment of one or more complex object of cultural heritage. Exact content will depend on object type chosen. This module allows students to choose to specialise in a specific material discipline, or alternatively to pursue broader options.

Conservation Skills in Context (Core)
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Conservation Skills in Context (Core)

With changes in the employment patterns of conservators, the need for a diverse range of skills has become more pronounced.
This module complements skills learnt in the other core modules.
Students will learn through a combination of project based activities, critical reflection and co-creation. The module will build on background understanding and experience to increase their confidence and skills and prepare students to capitalise on a broad range of career possibilities beyond the university.

Digitising Cultural and Heritage Collections (Option)
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Digitising Cultural and Heritage Collections (Option)

This module is designed to address key issues in collections management, with a focus on digital collections. As well as aiming to introduce key theory and concepts, the module contains a strong practical dimension, as students have the opportunity to participate in the production of metadata, the development of a content management system and the application of a content management system to supporting exhibition development.

Investigative Techniques in Heritage (Core)
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Investigative Techniques in Heritage (Core)

This module aims to develop knowledge of investigative techniques and its relevance to conservation and heritage science. Students will learn about a range of analytical methods and digital tools that can be used for monitoring and analysis of cultural heritage materials.

Material Culture, Conservation and Significance (Core)
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Material Culture, Conservation and Significance (Core)

The module challenges conservation students to think broadly about the objects that they conserve. This module will encourage students to explore this process of assessing significance which supports institutions in attaining a deeper understanding objects and the values that they might hold for different audiences. This module will help students develop the analytical skills needed to assess the value of an object and how these fit into current professional structures within the heritage industry.
Lectures and workshops will explore different intellectual approaches material culture and how each might contribute to the meaning and significance of an object or collection. The assessments will encourage students to produce professional museological documentation and relate the content of this module to collections management.

Research Project (Dissertation for MA Conservation) (Core)
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Research Project (Dissertation for MA Conservation) (Core)

This module aims to give students the opportunity to apply and develop their existing knowledge and skills to an independent research project in an area of their own choice. The students will further develop, design and implement a research project in consultation with a supervisory tutor, and they will have the opportunity to reflect critically on a specialist area of cultural heritage relating to their Masters programme.

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.

† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

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.

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.

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 School of History and Heritage and Lamport Hall Preservation Trust are pleased to offer financial support for students who have been accepted onto the MA in Conservation of Cultural Heritage at the University of Lincoln for 2019/20 entry. Available funding is worth up to £2000.

Interested candidates must send a supporting statement of 350 words outlining how the bursary will aid their studies and why they feel they merit the support.

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 funding was helpful and what their future plans are.

Enquires can be directed to Dr Jim Cheshire: or Dr Melina Smirniou:

 2019/20 Entry*
Home/EU £7,400

(including Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction )**

International £16,000
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)**
 Part-time Home/EU £41 per credit point
 Part-time International £89 per credit point

* Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility


A Postgraduate Master's Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study. Individuals** will be able to borrow up to £10,906 for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate Master's qualification. The amount available will depend on the start date of your course.

- £10,906, if your course starts on or after 1 August 2019
- £10,609, if your course starts between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019


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 Master's 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.

Fees for enrolment on additional modules

Tuition fees for additional activity are payable by the student/sponsor and charged at the equivalent £ per credit point rate for each module. Additional activity includes:

- Enrolment on modules that are in addition to the validated programme curriculum

- Enrolment on modules that are over and above the full credit diet for the relevant academic year

- Retakes of modules as permitted by the Board of Examiners

Exceptionally tuition fees may not be payable where a student has been granted a retake with approved extenuating circumstances.

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

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.

First or second class honours degree in conservation or equivalent professional experience.

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. . These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

Learn from Experts

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

Melina Smirniou

Dr Melina Smirniou

Programme Leader

Melina is a conservator and archaeological scientist. She has worked at the British Museum, co-directed and founded Conservators Without Borders and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the not-for-profit Heritage Without Borders. Research interests include the Late Bronze Age primary production and glass trade in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Eastern Mediterranean, as well as analysis and characterisation of glass and glazed ceramics from a wide geographical and chronological range.


Your Future Career

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


At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our students. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

The University has spent £200 million on its award-winning campus, with further expenditure of £130 million planned over the next ten years.

Students can study and research in the University's Great Central Warehouse Library, which provides more than 250,000 printed books and approximately 400,000 electronic books and journals, as well as databases and specialist collections. The Library has a range of different spaces for shared and individual learning.

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.