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Care of Collections (MSc)

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Mode: Part time

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Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

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

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Vocational design

Benefit from exceptional training in preventive conservation and the management of cultural and heritage collections.

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Expert-led

Taught by internationally-recognised experts in the field.

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Real-world experience

You’ll be ‘twinned’ with a real heritage organisation, to study how it operates and how it relates to the care of collections.

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Purpose-built laboratories

Bespoke conservation suite, recently enhanced with a £250,000 upgrade.

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.

Where you'll study

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Curious about the human experience across millennia and cultures, we are seeking to better understand our past, to illuminate our present and improve our future.

  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4470
  • MarkerColum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Admissions criteria

This degree is suitable for graduates in Archaeology, History, Ancient History, Conservation and Heritage 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 (with at least 6.0 in any sub-score) 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.

Applications should include a brief statement (500 words) on dissertation plans.

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

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

You take a total of 180 credits of modules over three years.

This consists of 120 credits of taught modules and, following successful completion of the taught stage, a 60-credit dissertation.

As many of our part-time postgraduate programmes are over three years in duration, you will need to check your postgraduate loan eligibility status

 

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

You will take modules totalling 60 credits in year one.

Year two

You will take modules totalling 60 credits in year two.

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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

You will be taught 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 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 appropriate 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.

 

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.

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 to 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

 

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£4,975None

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

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

EU students entering in 2020/21 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. The Welsh Government has not yet confirmed fees and funding for EU students starting in 2021/22. We will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£10,850£1,000

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

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Career prospects

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.

Funding

Master's Excellence Scholarship

This award worth £3000 is open to UK and EU students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate Master’s Finance

If you’re starting your master’s degree in September 2020 or later, you may be able to apply for postgraduate student finance to support your study at Cardiff University.

Next steps

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