The MA Heritage Conservation provides an opportunity to combine paid work with hands-on conservation experience and academic teaching. The programme is studied as part of a master's level degree apprenticeship and creates a new route for those with no prior conservation knowledge to enter the profession.
The programme is designed to educate future professionals in conservation of cultural heritage materials and seeks to prepare students to work as conservators in museums, historic properties, or in the private sector. The course supports specialisation in a range of different areas of conservation. While it is aimed at those who have a no prior conservation experience, students with some prior conservation knowledge may be considered for a shorter pathway.
The programme focuses on the skills, knowledge, and understanding relevant to the professional practice of conservation of a wide range of materials and contexts. Students are also encouraged to develop an ethical awareness and an understanding of the professional codes of ethics in the conservation and preservation of cultural heritage.
Students undertake 80% of their training with their employer, and 20% off the job – this will include taught sessions at university, self-directed learning, study visits, and research. The course is delivered through workshop, studio and laboratory sessions, lectures, demonstrations, and seminars. The structure and timetable of the taught element of the programme will vary depending on start date, and on specific timetabling requirements. For every hour of taught time, it is expected that students will spend 2-3 hours in self-directed study.
We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs. For research programmes this includes research fees and research support fees.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this module students have the chance to learn the theory and application of basic conservation principles related to observation, documentation, condition assessment and cleaning of historic objects.
In this module students have the chance to learn the theory and application of conservation principles related to adhesives, consolidants, modelling and casting.
This module is designed to introduce students to basic chemistry concepts, and the scientific study of materials commonly found in cultural heritage. Students may develop a systematic approach to scientific investigation and examination of historic objects and an understanding to the nature of different materials, technological factors and the processes of deterioration
This module aims to provide the underpinning basic theoretical knowledge related to historic materials, on which the discipline of conservation is based. Students are introduced to a range of conservation techniques, through lectures discussing a range of different material types and their potential deterioration
This module provides an introduction to the recording skills necessary for a practicing conservator. Various forms of documentation encountered in the practice of conservation will be introduced, and drawing and photography recordings skills developed. Students are introduced to the basic principles of photography, lighting techniques and their application in conservation. The conventions and standard representations used in record drawing are also introduced.
This module provides an introduction to the preventive conservation skills needed to undertake basic care of collections. Students are introduced to practical preventive conservation and collections management procedures, and have the opportunity to gain experience in environmental monitoring and surveying. Topics such as integrated pest management and emergency planning are also discussed.
† 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.
University assessments include presentations and written assignments. Successful completion of the MA Heritage Conservation is a requirement for progression to the end-point assessment for the apprenticeship award.
Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future, and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.
There are more ways than ever before to fund your postgraduate study, whether you want to do a taught or research course. For those wishing to undertake a Master's course, you can apply for a loan as a contribution towards the course and living costs. Loans are also available to those who wish to undertake doctoral study. The University offers a number of scholarships and funded studentships for those interested in postgraduate study. Learn how Master's and PhD loans, scholarships, and studentships can help you fund your studies on our Postgraduate Fees and Funding pages.
Apprentices do not pay university fees. Course fees are paid via employer contributions to the Apprenticeship Levee. Small employers who do not contribute to the levee may be asked to pay a small percentage towards the fees.
At Lincoln, Covid-19 has encouraged us to review our practices and, as a result, to take the opportunity to find new ways to enhance the student experience. We have made changes to our teaching and learning approach and to our campus, to ensure that students and staff can enjoy a safe and positive learning experience. We will continue to follow Government guidance and work closely with the local Public Health experts as the situation progresses, and adapt our teaching and learning accordingly to keep our campus as safe as possible.
The University of Lincoln has a suite of purpose-built conservation laboratories and a wide range of specialist equipment. Students can view the conservation laboratories by undertaking a virtual walk through below.
Prior to acceptance onto the MA Heritage Conservation applicants must be able to demonstrate that they hold a suitable job role, that their employer is committed to supporting their apprenticeship journey, and that they are eligible under the Education and Skills Funding Agency rules (working and residing in England).
They will be asked to attend for interview and complete a Skills Scan, where their knowledge skills and behavior will be mapped against the apprenticeship standard. Employers will be involved throughout the process.
The apprenticeship standard an be found here: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/cultural-heritage-conservator-degree/
How to Apply
Candidates should apply through their conservation employer. The University works with employers to select suitable candidates; this may be an existing member of staff or a new employee recruited specifically as an apprentice.
Graduates may progress into a range of careers in the conservation and heritage industries, or progress to further study at doctoral level.
Find out more about how postgraduate study can help further your career, develop your knowledge, or even prepare you to start your own business at one of our postgraduate events.Find out More