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Care of Collections (MSc)

This vocational programme offers exceptional training in preventive conservation and the management of cultural and heritage collections, regardless of humanities or science background.

We are highly regarded within the sector nationally and internationally for this vocational MSc Care of Collections programme, which offers exceptional training in preventive conservation and the management of cultural and heritage collections regardless of humanities or science background. 

You will become adept in the skills essential for a heritage career including project design and report writing, and gain valuable museum or heritage experience.
 
Twinned with a heritage organisation in the UK, you will experience collection management and operation in the working environment.  You are not expected to have a high level of scientific knowledge for this programme, but a strong interest in the subject is anticipated.

Designed with entry to the heritage profession in mind, our stimulating programme embodies elements of art and science and includes a wide range of transferable skills.

Distinctive features

  • Our range of programmes is designed for all entry levels, from experienced practitioner to graduate wishing to enter the sector.
  • Taught by internationally-recognised experts in the field.
  • The degree offers specialist skills for building a portfolio of qualifications for entry to the museum sector. 
  • You will be ‘twinned’ with a real heritage organisation and have the opportunity to study the operation of this organisation and how it relates to the care of collections.
  • Committed to opening up the profession regardless of discipline background, we do not presume a significant level of scientific knowledge.
  • High proportion of transferable skills (particularly in research, project design and report writing).

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration1 year
QualificationMSc
ModeFull-time
Other ways to study this course
Contact

Admissions criteria

This degree is suitable for graduates in archaeology, history, ancient history, conservation and the sciences. 

Applicants should normally possess a higher education degree with a first or good upper second class Honours (UK), or a qualification recognised by the University as equivalent to this.

Applicants with a first language other than English

You must demonstrate a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent.

If you have an arts based degree you must supply evidence of the highest level of education within science that you have achieved. Evidence of an interest in or commitment to the cultural heritage sector will strengthen an application.

We welcome applications year-round but to commence your studies in any given year (starting September), you must submit your application by 1st August.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

You take a total of 180 credits of modules, consisting of:

•    40 credits of core skills modules

And either :
•    80 credits of compulsory modules (for students without a background in Conservation), or
•    40 credits of compulsory modules plus your choice of a further 40 credits of option modules (for students with a conservation background)

Following successful completion of the taught stage you will progress to the dissertation (60 credits).

 

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

We teach via seminars, lectures and assessed work to combine theoretical knowledge with realistic practical applications, including in partner museum and related heritage organisations. 

Teaching usually takes place on Thursdays and Fridays, with additional tutorials and field trips on Wednesdays.

How will I be supported?

On enrolment, you are assigned your own Personal Tutor and provided with teaching and learning resources, including Postgraduate Handbook. Additional specific module resources are made available during the programme.

We offer one-to-one time in set office hours during teaching weeks, and also welcome email contact. Additionally, you can make appointments to see your personal tutor on a one-to-one basis about any issue. Our Professional Services team is also available for advice and support.

Your personal tutor is your contact point to discuss any problems arising from the course. Further queries should be addressed to the School.

Many students choose discursive dissertations but for those preferring laboratory-based projects focused on care of collections there are a wide range of analytical facilities in-house. These include:

  • Analytical SEM
  • Climatic chambers
  • Digital microscopy
  • Photographic facilities (featuring dedicated image processing laboratory)
  • Computer suite
  • Feedback

Discussion of assignments is offered and written feedback is provided on summative assessment. You are encouraged to discuss your ideas with module tutors both in seminars and one-to-one in office hours.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is via essays, exams, oral presentations and reports, to ensure you develop a broad range of skills, and underpinning knowledge to become adept in communication by the completion of the course.

On successful completion of the taught elements of the programme you progress to a dissertation of up to 20,000 words. This self-regulated year of study is ideal preparation for progression to PhD.​

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire a broad range of skills including the ability to:

  • talk with conservators and conservation scientists on the decay of objects
  • understand simple management strategies for the analysis of organisations in context and for planning and managing change
  • understand the role of units of measurement and precision in determining data collection and interpretation
  • carry out independent research on specialist subjects
  • exercise initiative, personal responsibility and decision-making in complex situations and offer pragmatic evidence based solutions for problems
  • recognise and utilise basic influence techniques
  • present information in a professional context
  • acquire the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development

Graduates of this and similar degree programmes have embarked on careers in a range of professions from academia, the heritage sector, journalism and law to media research (media, commercial, academic), teaching and publishing. A significant number choose to continue studies at PhD level.

Recent graduate destinations include CADW, Church in Wales, Council for British Archaeology, Glamorgan Archives, Heritage Lottery Fund, National Trust, Tate Gallery, Welsh Assembly Government and a range of universities in the UK and overseas.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,350None

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2019/20 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£20,650£1,000

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.