Care of Collections (MSc)
What is involved in the MSc Care of Collections ?
Cardiff's MSc in Care of Collections provides opportunities for graduates from conservation and other disciplines to study preventive conservation and care of cultural and heritage collections.
The aim of the MSc is vocational; the programme is directly relevant to the activities of museums, historic houses and similar institutions. Seminars, lectures and assessed work aim to combine theoretical knowledge with realistic practical applications. The programme will also encourage students to develop their verbal and written communication skills. In this way, the qualification will contribute to the student's experience and qualifications which will be relevant when seeking work within the heritage sector. For students not seeking employment in this field, the MSc provides a stimulating and unusual taught Masters scheme that embodies elements of art and science and includes a wide range of transferable skills.
Who can apply?
Applicants who already possess a conservation qualification can extend their original training while they study collections care. Students without a conservation qualification will acquire foundation knowledge about the structure and decay of materials and the museum environment.
Our approach to teaching and learning
With the support of the teaching staff, MSc students take an active role in the learning process. Successful postgraduate learning requires independent action from students as they develop their own ideas and communicate their thoughts and questions to staff and to peers. Students are challenged to develop their own ideas, supported by research within a structured and supportive environment. Teaching and assessment are based on verbal communication, discussion groups, activities, reports and essays, as well as an in-depth dissertation. This interactive approach to teaching limits the number of students that we are able to admit to the degree in any one year but it allows students to immerse themselves within the topic whilst finding and developing their own interests and specialisms.
How is the course structured?
The MSc Care of Collections runs for twelve months, beginning at the end of September. The course is divided into two parts. Part one is assessed by coursework and examinations, which are collated at the end of the second semester of the academic year. Students must pass the first part in order to progress to the second, which is purely a research element in the form of a dissertation of up to 20,000 words. Students taking a part-time route will take two years to complete 120 credits before undertaking their dissertation in the final summer from June to September.
All students take 180 credits of modules, including the skills modules and dissertation. The Conservation modules taken vary depending on the subject of the student's undergraduate degree.
Please note that some modules are subject to review and may change prior to academic year 2013-2014.
Skills modules (40 credits)
- Writing Archaeology - 10 credits (HST300)
- Research Methods - 10 credits (HST301)
- Speaking Archaeology - 10 credits (HST302)
Conservation modules (80 credits)
Students with a BSc in Conservation or an equivalent qualification take two of the following modules:
Students with an undergraduate degree in subject other than Conservation take these two modules:
Dissertation (60 credits)
What will I learn and what skills will I acquire?
The Care of Collections MSc offers students the chance to acquire and perfect valuable transferable skills critical to careers in many different fields. Upon completion of the programme, students will have acquired the following skills.
Intellectual skills, including the ability to critically evaluate evidence and its interpretation and to be tolerant of differing interpretations; to sustain a logical argument and reach a conclusion that can be defended; to synthesise and analyse information; to compare and contrast theoretical explanations and to integrate different methodologies.
Communication skills, including the ability to communicate orally in an appropriate professional medium; to make presentations both as an individual and as part of a group; to write effectively at an advanced level.
Numeracy skills, including the ability to display and present numerical data in appropriate formats; and to analyse numerical data and solve basic mathematical and statistical problems.
Information technology skills, including the ability to produce and calculate values using a spreadsheet; to produce and query databases; to use e-mail, the Internet and the World Wide Web; to find, manage and utilise information and data.
Personal skills, including the ability to manage workloads; to adapt and apply skills to new contexts; to assess and formulate priorities, constraints and goals and to adapt to changing circumstances.
Above all, by the end of the Cardiff Masters degree, students will be able to critically assess the work of others and of their own, to engage effectively in debate at an advanced level, to plan, design and carry out a coherent research strategy, and to produce detailed and coherent reports and presentations.
To find out about funding opportunities, please visit our Postgraduate Funding Opportunities page.
Students applying to take the MSc should (normally) have one of the following qualifications:
- At least an Upper Second Class (2.i) undergraduate degree in Conservation or a related subject.
- Experience, qualifications or achievements in museums, heritage management or another field of relevance. Potential applicants are required to contact the post-graduate admissions tutor.
- For overseas students, the minimum requirements for English language are IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 600 (paper-based test) or 250 (computer based test).
We encourage applications from students whose undergraduate degrees are from non-UK universities. Please contact the postgraduate admissions tutor to discuss particular requirements.
For more information contact: