Skip to main content

Professional Conservation (MSc)

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Mode: Part time

Course options See other modes of study
Start date
calendar

Open day

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

Why study this course

This highly-regarded programme teaches the design, execution and delivery of research in conservation and conservation science via seminars and laboratory practice.

tick

Problem-solving focus

Designed for conservators and science graduates.

rosette

Research-driven

Delivers design, execution and delivery of research in conservation science.

structure

Flexibility to specialise

Specialise in areas of real interest to you and your professional ambitions.

building

Purpose-built laboratories

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

Taught by internationally respected researchers, this programme is designed to meet the needs of conservators and science graduates wishing to expand into the exciting fields of the conservation and heritage sciences. With a focus on thought processes rather than knowledge, our aim is to produce problem-solvers and critical thinkers who can design and execute robust research which advances understanding in the sector.

You'll be immersed in the theory and practice of conservation and heritage sciences. Modules that challenge your preconceptions of conservation and examine the literature that underpins our profession sit alongside modules centred on skills acquisition in the investigation and analysis of heritage artefacts. This culminates in independent dissertation research which evidences your understanding of scientific process and ability to produce novel datasets.

Pursuing your studies in our suite of purpose-built laboratories, you will have access to a wealth of specialist equipment. In-house resources range from scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared and raman spectroscopies to electrochemistry, spectrophotometry and x-radiography. Our collaboration with the National Museum Wales allows students to access x-ray diffraction and x-ray fluorescence techniques. We also offer specialist visualisation technologies such as digital microscopy, GIS, digital illustration and a photography suite, plus sample preparation equipment (freeze dryers, air abrasion and microbalances). We have a dedicated climatic simulation laboratory for modelling the impact of environments on heritage and conservation materials.

Our MSc students join a vibrant and supportive research and teaching environment of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral conservators and heritage scientists.

Celebrating the centenary of Archaeology and Conservation in 2020, we’re ranked in the world top 150 (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020) while our research ranked 12th among archaeology departments in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

 

 

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 from Archaeology, History, Ancient History, Conservation & Heritage, 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. 

Evidence of an interest in or commitment to the cultural heritage sector will strengthen an application.

Applicants with a first language other than English:You must demonstrate a IELTS test with a minimum score of 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in any sub-score) or equivalent.

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

This is a part-time programme, taught over four semesters (two years). Following successful completion of the taught element you will move on to your dissertation in the third year.

In the taught element you will study core modules totalling 80 credits and choose optional modules worth 40 credits.  Following successful completion of the taught element of the degree you undertake a dissertation (20,000 words).

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 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.

Year one

In year one you will take modules totalling 60 credits.

Year two

In year twp you will take modules totalling 60 credits.

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?

We teach via lectures, seminars, group discussion, tutorials, laboratory classes, demonstrations and field trips. 

Our focus is on interaction with staff and involvement in laboratory practice. This aims to develop the skills and the critical insight necessary to generate and execute ,evidence based research designs. and put them into practice  

The dissertation forms an important part of the programme, as does the instrumental analysis and data interpretation that accompanies laboratory practice.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment of the programme comes through a diverse range of assessment methods including essays, reports, written critique, data interpretation, oral presentation, research design, and dissertation.

This range of assessment ensures that you have developed a broad range of skills, knowledge and communication methods  that are of direct relevance to the design, delivery and reporting of research, while also being of relevance within many other contexts.

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?

You will have access to a wide range of in-house analytical equipment and laboratory facilities to support your research including:

  • Analytical SEM
  • Portable XRF 
  • FTIR with microscope attached
  • Portable Raman Spectroscopy
  • EIS
  • X-radiography
  • Climatic chambers 
  • Digital microscopy 
  • NdYag laser
  • Digital photographic facilities
  • Object conservation laboratories
  • Waterlogged materials laboratory
  • Digital microscopy suite
  • Computer suite

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. 

Feedback

Feedback on coursework is provided via written comments on submitted work and individual discussion in tutorials.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will develop a wide range of skills, including ability to:

  • Problem solve
  • Make evidence-based decisions via reading, observation and experiment
  • Design experiments to support conservation goals
  • Evaluate, interpret and contextualise analytical data in
  • Understand the importance of sampling and sample design in conservation science
  • Pragmatically integrate experimental data into conservation contexts
  • Operate selected instrumental analysis techniques
  • Recognise good and bad research
  • Identify and define research impact within conservation
  • Manage small scientific projects
  • Understand the principles and dynamics of managing small teams
  • Produce and address design briefs for conservation
  • Communicate orally with specialists and non-specialists
  • Deliver writing styles suited to the needs of end users
  • Influence the viewpoint of others with evidence based argument
  • Evaluate your own decisions and accept formative critique from colleagues
  • Deconstruct problems and build solutions for them

Transferable Skills

  • Identify professional standards and provide work output that meets these standards
  • Recognise quality
  • Set standards
  • Communicate effectively with fellow professionals and the public
  • Time manage and structure workloads 

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2021/22)

Fees for entry 2021/22 are not yet available.

Students from outside the EU (2021/22)

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year.

Additional costs

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

No specific equipment is required.

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

icon-academic

Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2020 dates.
icon-chat

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.
icon-international

International

Learn more about our truly global university.
icon-pen

Discover more

Related searches: History and ancient history, Archaeology