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Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London: Conservation of Wall Paintings

Institution Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London
Department Conservation and Technology
Telephone 02039477673
Study type Taught


Course overview

The Courtauld is a leading centre in the world for education and research in wall painting conservation. The 3-year practical MA in Wall Painting Conservation will prepare you for a professional career. Wall painting conservation is an inclusive, interdisciplinary and global profession. Applicants usually have a BA or equivalent degree in the humanities or the natural sciences. The student body is international, with a yearly intake limited to 4, which makes the teacher-student ratio exceptionally high. The course leads to an exceptionally high degree of employment upon graduation.

You will learn to evaluate the synergistic relationship between wall paintings, built heritage and the environment. Teaching at the Courtauld focuses on wall painting conservation through a rigorous ethical and scientific framework for the assessment of risk, and the impact of passive, preventive and remedial conservation. You will be able to scientifically analyse wall paintings, asses their condition, and test performance of interventions with reference to material science.

The MA degree will prove you with extensive practical experience in various aspects of wall paintings conservation, and on completion of the MA degree you will be able to design, evaluate and carry out conservation treatments on wall paintings. Upon completion of the course you will have gained the digital and organisational skills to manage ambitious projects, both independently and in collaboration. The course will provide you with critical, and communication skills for diverse careers in conservation and beyond.

By the end of the course of study you will be able to:

  • Design and implement a holistic programme of conservation of wall paintings with full awareness of ethical considerations, the professional context and values

  • Recommend preventive and passive measures that address the activation mechanisms of deterioration identified through environmental monitoring and scientific analysis

  • Examine and assess the original and added materials on wall paintings and their support and evaluate intervention implications

  • Carry out monitoring and maintenance programmes related to the assessment of wall paintings

  • Produce full written, graphic, scientific and photographic documentation


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