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MSc Sustainable Building Conservation

Dr Oriel Prizeman introducing students to the Roman Forum

Accredited by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and approved by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), this distinctive masters qualification addresses current challenges and concerns recognised worldwide and emphasises the role of sustainability within a historic context.

Programme features

  • IHBC accredited and a RIBA recognised masters degree.
  • Focuses new career paths by enabling students to develop expertise with regard to energy conservation and the sustainable use of materials in the context of historic buildings.
  • Contributions from many invited experts from practice, industry and academia, numerous field trips to live sites and a three -day intensive tour in the fourth module.
  • Offered on both a full-time and a part-time basis and attracts students from a broad range of backgrounds who benefit from the opportunity to exchange and build their expertise.
  • The taught modules are all delivered over two-day sessions enabling part-time candidates who are employed or in practice to participate.
  • Part-time students will complete three modules (i.e. 60 credits) in the first year and two modules in the second year. They will be given until the following December to submit their dissertation.

Accreditation and professional progression

As an IHBC accredited course, it will enable suitably qualified candidates to achieve full IHBC accreditation in two years as opposed to five years. Completion of the RIBA approved course for RIBA and Architects Registration Board (ARB) registered Architects will entitle you to become “Conservation Registrants” immediately. For ARB/RIBA registered architects, it reduces the number of years in practice required to be entitled “Specialist Conservation Architect” to four years (from five) and two years (from three) for “Conservation Architect”.

The course validation for both the IHBC accreditation and the RIBA recognition is based on its alignment with International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) education criteria. As such, international students should be able to claim similar professional acknowledgement in their home countries.

Course aims

  • Broaden your career opportunities by enabling you to gain expertise in conservation leading towards professional accreditation.
  • Augment your current expertise by developing skills to assert detailed and strategic responses to complex issues regarding building conservation in the context of a sustainable agenda.
  • Ensure you possess the requisite knowledge but also to know where to refer for advice in order to take responsibility when making reasoned decisions in relation to multifaceted conservation issues.
  • Enable you to use project-based case studies in order to develop a clear understanding of relevant legislative frameworks.
  • Enable you to develop autonomous judgments of appropriateness regarding responses to the historic built environment.

Watch the MSc Sustainable Building Conservation film

How to apply

For more information on course content, structure, fees and how to apply, please visit our MSc Sustainable Building Conservation course information page.

Important calendar dates 2020-21

Enrolment and School inductionWeek commencing 23 September 2019
Course induction27 September 2019
ART501: The conservator’s role (Full-time and part-time Year 1)10-11 October and 7-8 November 2019
ART502: Tools of interpretation (Full-time and part-time Year 1)28-29 November 2019 and 16-17 January 2020
ART503: Energy use in historic buildings (Full-time and part-time Year 1)6-7 February and 20-21 February 2020
ART504: Case studies and regional work (Full-time and part-time Year 2)24-25 October 2019 and 14-15 November 2019
Study trip27-31 January and 19-20 March 2020
ART505: Design tools: Methods of repair (Full-time and part-time Year 2)5-6 December 2019 and 9-10 January 2020
ART506: Dissertation (Full-time and part-time Year 2)26-27 March 2020

What our students say

I was offered a position at China National Engineering Research Centre for Human Settlements this month. This centre is a primary technology pillar unit for China’s undertakings in the area of human settlement technologies, with China Architecture Design & Research Group being its parent organisation. Before this month, I have been working at this centre as an intern for about four months. I remember the day when I was interviewed, my boss said to me, because of my graduating from Cardiff University, she offered me this interview opportunity. I have never been as proud as that moment.

Li Yang

Former students include architects, surveyors, project managers, conservation contractors, archaeologists, planners, historians, academics, conservation officers, engineers, building managers, developers and other related built environment professionals.

For their dissertations, three of our graduates have won the IHBC Gus Astley award and one has also been a student scholar at the North America based Association for Preservation Technology International.

Our graduates have gone on to:

  • transform their professional practices
  • win funded PhD studentships
  • take up senior management roles in government heritage agencies in three continents
  • be specialist advisors in the Planning Inspectorate
  • adopt senior roles in numerous local authorities and NGOs including the National Trust.

Course Director

Dr Oriel Prizeman

Dr Oriel Prizeman


+44 (0)29 2087 5967

Deputy Course Leader

Dr Christopher Whitman

Dr Christopher Whitman


+44 (0)29 2087 5893

Admissions support

Architecture Admissions